Back in the days of my highly ego-motivated management work, I bought myself a present. I went walking into an Office Depot store one day and, with a sense of worthiness and self-deservedness, laid down about $80. to buy myself one of these pens. I had coveted them in the pockets and in the hands of others for many years - now it was MY turn! I bought a couple of extra (Medium Black) refills, put the thing in my shirt pocket and went on my way feeling as though I had just invested in acknowledging my own success.
Over the ensuing years (nearly 20 of them), I have used this pen nearly daily and while, at first, it seemed a bit to heavy and wide, my hand quickly adjusted to it's feel. I simply love it. The refills manufactured for it by Mont Blanc are, incidentally, FAR superior to the second-rung "Fits Mont Blanc" refills available at most office supply stores and are consistent with the instrument itself.
But, I am writing this review, in large part to comment on my experience with the Warrantee - said (and written) to be "... for the lifetime of the original owner." I have seen many such warrantees and guarantees in my life and have adjusted my expectations about their fulfillment down to a level commensurate with my actual experience. The Mont Blanc was an exception. Together with its flawless heavy highly polished black resin case, 24-karat gold appointments and amazingly smooth scripting, one needs to hold and write with it to fully appreciate both its enduring beauty AND functionality.
After about 15 years, something (I was never quite sure exactly what) happened that crushed the lower part of the pen. For a month or so, it sat in my desk drawer and each time I looked at it, I was saddened. The, I recalled the warrantee. I looked up Mont Blanc on the web, found the address and the instructions for returning a broken instrument for warrantee service. (It is all performed by the company itself - not, as is so often the case, by local "Authorized Warrantee Service Centers.") I sent the pen in, offering neither proof of purchase (which I had lost a good many years prior to this) and a check for $35., the then rate for handling, servicing, repairing and returning the pen. In two weeks I had my pen back - to all appearances, brand new!
I was both pleased and astounded. Although I have, in the meanwhile, retired from my ambition and returned to line-staff work, I still love and regularly use my Mont Blanc - trusting that should tragedy ever again befall it - the warrantee will still be there.
I also note that the current equivalent of this pen sells for something in the range of $230. Now, that's appreciation. Whoever would have suspected that for a pen?
So, like I advise people when they ask me when the best time is to buy their first home: I say, "As soon as you can", I also advise any lover or serious appreciator of fine writing instruments to consider the Mont Blanc Ball Point - not only because of it's unequalled quality as a pen - but also because of the continuing honor of a company that assures it's reputation remains upheld and deserved by providing the service they promised at the beginning.
on July 16, 2011
There was a time when slim pens, notably those made by Cross, were the IN thing in the business world. Montblanc, which had been around since 1906, was thought of more as an aristocratic brand. Then, in the mid-nineties, Montblanc suddenly became the ultimate business-class pen. At that time, the product you see here sold for $100 -- considerably more than the Cross designs. The Montblanc pens, because they were thicker, were more comfortable to hold, and didn't tire out the hand like the slimmer pens and pencils. As others have said, the Montblanc pens also write incredibly smoothly. Other brands followed suit with thicker pens, but, if you wanted the ultimate, you bought a $100 Montblanc Meisterstuck pen. It was the gold-standard. If you were in the technical disciplines, you bought a pen-and-pencil pair.
It wasn't long before Montblancs became so widespread, that they lost a bit of their cache. Montblanc Corporation also offered a wide range of special designs, including limited-editions, and while they sold enough to make a profit, business people, particularly men, tended to treat them as a bit frivolous for everyday use. Montblanc faced a problem: most of the people who could afford Montblancs and valued them as symbols of success as well as practical writing instruments already had them. Could Montblanc count on new professionals entering the workplace buying their pens? Or would new professionals see them as symbols of the previous generation? Would they go the way of the slim designs?
Montblanc made a smart business decision. They decided to raise the price of the Meisterstuck. I don't know how long Montblanc took to get to the current price point of $350, or exactly when they made the first price increase beyond $100. Maybe someone else will comment. I do believe that the ploy worked. The Meisterstuck is now, more than ever, a symbol of success. My wife and I have bought two them as gifts in the past two years: one for a woman who had graduated to executive status in her company and another for a nephew who had just graduated med-school.
Montblanc pens carry a guarantee. You may want to read the details online.
I had several Montblanc pens and pencils that had been damaged in various ways over long use. A couple of years ago, I took them all into the Montblanc store at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta and had them repaired while I waited. Repair was done by parts replacement. The repair cost was reasonable, considering the current retail price. The message is that you need not consider a Meisterstuck pen as a fragile investment. One the other hand, if you buy one of the limited editions, you should probably handle it with extra care, because parts may not be available.
I bought my wife, whose resume includes editorial work, an Edgar Alan Poe limited-edition model on sale in the same Phipps Plaza shop some years ago for $350. On eBaY, in the present rotten economy, they fetch from $800 to $1000. So the limited editions are not a bad investment either.
Today, I carry a Montblanc similar to the one listed here, which I also own. The one I carry is thicker than this one and is no longer listed on the Montblanc website. Montblanc does still carry the parts. In about 10 years of use, the gold plating has never worn off. The pen is an old and trusted friend. I have to take a lot of notes by hand with the pen, and I don't like to be without it. The only time I don't carry it is on vacations, when I'm afraid that the break in my routine might cause me to lose it. One downside of an expensive pen is fear of loss.
If you make heavy use of your pen, and you can afford a Montblanc, you owe it to yourself to have one. I predict that it will become as much a part of your getting-dressed routine as your wallet and key ring.
on December 8, 2009
I bought what I thought was a Montblanc pen through one of Amazon's 'sellers'. I spent almost 300.00 on it for my husband for our 25th wedding anniversary, in December of 2008. The body of the pen cracked, and we sent it to Montblanc for repair. They sent it back, telling us they wouldn't repair it because it wasn't a Montblanc pen. So, my husband ended up with a worthless cracked pen, and by that time the 'seller' was long gone. I got nothing back, was told the A-Z refund guarantee had expired. I was also told (by a Montblanc rep) that the only place you can buy a genuine Montblanc pen is from a Montblanc dealer. So beware, I got stuck with a 2.00 pen that cost me almost 300.00. I was not given any type of a refund, credit, nothing. I'm still very upset about this.
on December 25, 2012
After years of using a gold Cross Century pen that I purchased in 1978, I received a Mont Blanc Meisterstuck ballpoint pen as a Christmas gift in 1992, and was delighted that the black ballpoint refill had a thick, dark, smooth line that made the pen a joy to write with, never skipping or varying in quality. By contast, the Cross refills of the day wrote smoothly, but with a fainter, almost gray, line. So I put my Cross away and was in pen heaven for several years. But about 10-12 years ago, Mont Blanc started monkeying around with their ballpoint refill formula and haven't gotten it right since. They went through several design changes, most recently to a stainless steel point, but none was even close to their original formula. Mont Blanc's current refills start out writing okay, but after a few pages (I take notes all day in my clinical office), the refill starts skipping and writing with a thin, scratchy feel. After several years of frustration, and many thrown-away refills, I sadly boxed my Mont Blanc and turned back to my old, slim, gold Cross Century pen. I then discovered that their refills now write with a smooth, dark line,although they tend to blob somewhat, requiring frequent nib-wipes on the page. But the Mont Blanc refills are useless. It baffles me that a company that manufactures and sells a 400-dollar ballpoint pen can't figure out how to make a refill that writes at least as good as a 40-cent Bic pen. I've written to the Mont Blanc company about this several times, but each time, they just sent me another one of their bad refills, and I don't think my comments get much farther than some secretary's secretary. Selling an expensive pen that doesn't write is like selling an expensive watch that doesn't tell time. I hope that, after more than a decade, they correct this serious design flaw but, until then, I'm putting away my Mont Blanc pen and won't be giving them for gifts till the problem is resolved. Unfortunately, as people write less and less these days in favor of keyboards and touch pads, there may not be much incentive for pen companies to improve their products. But we can hope.
on May 27, 2013
I rate this product how a bad product.
I took my pen montblanc on a site in Brazil and found that my pen is false. I was very dissatisfied.
on February 3, 2014
The order was delayed several days beyond the projected shipping window provided by the seller. After a complaint was filed and I requested a cancellation of the order, I received an intimidating e-mail from the company suggesting that a cancellation could lead to a negative standing with my Amazon account and credit rating. I withdrew my request to cancel and they did eventually overnight the pen to me. I thanked them and thought that all was well. However when I opened the box and examined the Pen - before giving it as a gift as intended- it did not appear to me that it was an authentic Montblanc product. When twisting the pen to extend the tip, it feels gritty and loose. Not at all the feel that I'm familiar with. Also the gold tip has a darkened reddish tone to it. I took it apart and examined all of the key characteristics and markings and they appeared to be authentic so I reassembled it and decided to accept it - but still not convinced it is the real deal. Very, very disappointed. I wouldn't recommend this company to anyone. Great price, but you may not get what you think you're paying for.
on February 4, 2013
My wife gave me the pen as a preaent and a fine pen it is too.
Although swathed in Platinum to increase the price what annoys me most is this use of the term "expensive resin" when describing the body.
The thing is just a plastic barrel and the refills seem to be of no more quality or cost than those of a Parker or Waterman Pen.
It appears to me that Mont Blanc pens contain little to justify the cost.... it doesn't even write better than a run of the mill Caran d'Ache!
on August 7, 2012
Montblanc itself is a terrific company that makes a top shelf pen. I have two of them, both Meisterstuck--one in black the other in burgundy. I adore them, and feel very chic when I sign anything using either of them. The problem is this: depending on the vendor, you might get a refurb or worse yet, a fake. Apparently, only MB can tell the difference, as I'm sure Amazon would never knowingly permit a vendor to sell fakes. A few months back, I bought a pen from a refurb/pre-owned shop and it shipped in time for my nephew's first job. However, to my horror, when he took it out of the casing in daylight and tried to write with it, there were someone else's initials already inscribed!!! I tried to play it off like I had ordered two pens, one for him and one for a "guy at work who was retiring." (Believe me, I hate telling 'white' lies, since no one believes them anyway.) Naturally, I returned the pen, and was refunded, but the seller NEVER mentioned the engraving in the details. Secondly, the cartridge had no ink in it, so when we assembled the pen (before noticing the initials) it wouldn't write anyway. 0-2. You may just want to buy a "new" Montblanc on Amazon, and save the $40 or $50 dollars they discount, instead of being chintzy and trying to buy one for $180 or $190, that's where the trouble starts. Be warned.
Let me say at the outset, nobody really needs a $200 ballpoint pen.
But it sure is a cool thing to have peeking out of your shirt pocket. I was blissfully unaware that such absurdly expensive writing instruments existed until a bank president buddy of mine flashed his Mont Blanc and casually mentioned what he paid for it. I was suitably impressed and decided it would be a nifty thing for a bigtime professional journalist like me to whip out at interviews and press conferences. I shopped around and picked one up at an office supply store for about half the $200 price advertised here.
When I took it out of its case, I was impressed with the craftsmanship and heft of the pen. Clearly, this is no Bic. It's a Fine Writing Instrument, made for the writing of IMPORTANT WORDS.
I got over that feeling quickly enough and was soon using it to scribble notes on cocktail napkins and grocery lists on Post-It notes.
It wasn't long before I decided I had to have the rollerball, and then the fountain pen. (But it seems like overkill to go out with all three lined up in my pocket.)
I've come to think of the ballpoint as a classy accessory, a piece of masculine jewelry that actually comes in handy when you need to write something.
And I'm always a little disappointed when people think I'm just using an ordinary ballpoint pen.
on September 21, 2006
I've owned a Meisterstuck classique ball point pen for over 15 years now. It is both beautiful to behold and very pleasant to use. However, the black "resin" (they don't call it plastic) of the pen will scratch easily. Reading online reviews from pen collectors, it is easy to find many that claim that Montblac quality is not what it used to be decades past. Such criticism seems to be focused on the fountain pens, not the ball point. I have found no quality defect on mine and would replace it if it ever was lost or stolen.
In short: can't vouch for the fountain pens, but very happy with the ball point. Just be careful with it.