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Fountain Pen Review: Montblanc Meisterstück Le Grand 146


Introduction

First and foremost, Montblanc's fountain pen's are more of a status symbol than anything else; most people who purchase one are doing it for the brand recognition alone. Little do they know that with the Montblanc Meisterstück Le Grand 146, they're getting an elite writing instrument with an iconic design. 

Specs

 

Body Material: "Precious" Resin
Trim: Gold
Length (capped): 14.1cm
Length (uncapped): 12.3cm
Nib material: 14 Karat Gold
Weight (all): 31 grams
Filling system: Piston-filler

Aesthetics

The Meisterstück series possess one of the most iconic designs in the fountain pen world; the first thing that catches your eye with the Montblanc Meisterstück Le Grand 146 is the classic white star that is synonymous with the Montblanc brand. Due to the undeniable branding power of Montblanc and the star being synonymous with the brand, the bold white star on the pen immediately gives the pen a luxurious aesthetic. 

File:Montblanc-Füller - Meisterstück 4810 Pix-9711.jpg

(Taken by © Raimond Spekking)

The Meisterstück Le Grand 146 sports a tapered, cigar shape; it's important to remember that whilst many premium fountain pens are cigar shaped making it seem common, Montblanc were one of the originators of this design. The Meisterstück Le Grand 146's "precious" resin body is piano black and complimented by 14 Karat gold trims along the pen, the result is a classy look worthy of the price tag. 

The Meisterstück Le Grand 146's gold clip sports a more minimalistic style, wearing no decorations. However, the attention to detail on the cap band is truly impressive; the engraving is deep and is a great showcase for Montblanc's elite craftsmanship whilst the gold plated rings that accompany it, further add to the premium aesthetic.

The only drawback for the pen is it's bland packaging. For the price you're paying you would expect more than a standard black box with very little decoration or style. A fountain pen of this calibre deserves to have a great unboxing experience to compliment it. 

Construction Quality

Montblanc state that the Meisterstück Le Grand 146 is predominantly made of "Precious" Resin, the result is a sturdy and premium-feeling pen. In daily use, the pen picks up barely any scratches or scuffs; this must be down to Montblanc's "Precious" Resin being fairly scratch-resistant. Similarly, the rare scratches it does pick up are far from prominent and largely go unnoticed. Furthermore, usually piano black pen's pick up fingerprints like no man's business but the Meisterstück Le Grand 146 does well to avoid them.

Following the same theme of the rest of the pen, the gold clip feels strong and robust; it does a great job of staying clipped to even the most awkward of materials. As for the nib, it is very much on the smaller side yet doesn't look out of place; as it's made of 14 Karat Gold, it feels stable at all times and even has a nice bounce to it. Lastly, the grip and threads are buttery-smooth, thus you don't have to worry about constantly hurting yourself.

The only real downside for the construction quality of the Meisterstück Le Grand 146 is the cap is a little loose. The spin cap isn't going to fall off in daily use but having that little wriggle room may be annoying to some and may lead to the ink drying out quicker than usual. 

Ergonomics

Weighing in at 31 grams, the Meisterstück Le Grand 146 is a fairly hefty pen; this is largely down to the premium-feeling "Precious resin" and it's slightly bigger than average measurements. Montblanc have done a phenomenal job at making sure the pen is well balanced, even when posted the pen is graceful to write with.

(Taken by © Raimond Spekking)

Despite the Meisterstück Le Grand 146 having bigger than average measurements, the section on the pen is considerably shorter than average. Therefore, if possible those with larger hands may want to try and get a feel for the pen before purchasing. Other than that, the section is remarkably smooth with no obtrusive threads to annoy you.

Writing Performance

Just because the Meisterstück Le Grand 146 has the Montblanc stamp on it, don't confuse this pen for just an aesthetic showpiece. This pen is an incredible writer. The 14 Karat gold nib is a joy to write with; it's smooth whilst offering just the right amount of feedback. As you would expect from a pen of this calibre, there is no sign of hard-starting or skipping. 

File:Montblanc-Füller - Meisterstück 4810 Pix-9713.jpg

(Taken by © Raimond Spekking)

The nib is fairly flexible, therefore you can vary your line width by applying different amounts of pressure. This pen is great for those who want to dabble in calligraphy. The Meisterstück Le Grand 146 is on the wetter and wider side of most fountain pen, producing clean and smooth lines whilst also not taking too much time to dry so you don't have to threat about smudging or smearing your work.

Maintenance

The Meisterstück Le Grand 146 supports a piston filling mechanism. The process is very straightforward; you dip the nib into your bottle of ink, you rotate the piston knob away from the body which then draws the ink up to the ink chamber. It's common to see piston processes that are messy and tedious but that is not the case with this fountain pen, instead this process is clean and sleek. Additionally, the ink chamber can hold nearly a whole bottle of ink, therefore even the heaviest users can go a while without having to refill it. 

Montblanc have included a discreet ink window behind the nib so you're able to see exactly how much ink is left in the fountain pen. Therefore you're never going to be caught out with no ink when travelling or on the go. The Meisterstück Le Grand 146 is fairly easy to dissemble and comes packaged with a special tool to help you dissemble and assemble the pen. This makes cleaning it inside and out simple and straightforward.

Value for Money & Conclusion

The Meisterstück Le Grand 146 is currently priced between £500 and £550 depending on where you look, it's available at very few high-street stationers therefore you may have to look at online retailers such as the Montblanc shop and Amazon. You may think that no fountain pen is worthy of such an extreme price tag but i disagree. A pen as iconic as the Meisterstück Le Grand 146 is only going to appreciate in value over the years and for the price you're getting a special fountain pen compromised of elite craftsmanship.

 

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