The Montblanc 149 Masterpiece must be one of the most widely recognized fountain pens around. Produced continuously since 1952 and likely to remain in production as long as Montblanc exists, the 149 has changed little in external appearance over the years. Nonetheless, there are significant differences between new and old examples, with pre-1962 pens being the most desirable.

The most obvious external difference is the wide gold-filled central cap band flanked by narrow bands in sterling silver (see detail right) instead of the three gold-plated bands used later.  Internally, the earlier 149s have a heavy brass two-stage filling mechanism of the type used in Montblancs of the '30s and '40s.  The overall heft of the earlier pens is also much greater than the injection-molded plastic models of more recent years; from all reports, the older celluloid material is also stronger and tougher.

For many years vintage 149s weren't terribly expensive -- probably because of their superficial resemblance to their modern descendents, which have become so ubiquitous as to have lost their cachet among diehard pen enthusiasts.  In the last few years, prices have gone up and availability down; nonetheless, early 149s still sell for significantly less than their mechanically-identical flat-topped predecessors.

Link to Montblancs for sale


PEN CATALOG SPECIALS PEN PROFILES PEN BLOG SEARCH
WE BUY PENS! PENS FAQ SITE MAP RESOURCES HOME