As my pen and ink collection is slowly growing, I have been thinking about writing reviews to share my experiences. Nothing else is better than to start the journey by reviewing my very first fountain pen, the Montblanc Meisterstück Classique Platinum Line.
Fountain Pen: Montblanc Meisterstück Classique Platinum Line
Nib: 14K gold fine nib
Filling System: International cartridge & converter
1. Packaging (6/10)
The pen comes with the standard Montblanc packaging, which is a rectangular box with the Montblanc white start logo on the corner. The box is heavy and strong, and provides sufficient protection to the pen. However I would expect more for the price.
First, while it may be subjective, the appearance of the packaging certainly looks classic, but sometimes I think it’s too boring. There isn’t really anything missing, but I just feel that it is a bit too simple and unexciting.
My second concern is regarding the choice of the material, and this certainly can be also subjective. It is fairly easy to pull the pen out of the box. However there is quite a noticeable amount of resistance when I try to push the pen back to it. It feels like the fabric causes too much friction, more than what’s needed to protect the pen. Maybe the material is soft enough, but the amount of tension still makes me worry that it may scratch the pen.
2. Pen Design (8/10)
Being a member of the Meisterstück series, one of the most famous lineups from Montblanc, this pen carries the same classic styling that is present across the lineup. The pen has the traditional cigar shape and is equipped with platinum-plated trims. The trim colour contrasts well with the black resin body and the white star logo on the top of the cap. Overall, it looks very clean and streamlined.
The cap screws off and can be posted onto the barrel by friction. The pen has a balanced weight no matter whether it is posted or not. One thing to mention is that when the cap is posted, the edge of the cap sits right on my hand. With constant movement of the pen in the hand, the posted cap may eventually become loose. However I’m not very concerned about it, since I rarely post any of my pens.
This pen comes with a two-tone 14K gold nib. The engraving on the nib is rich and fancy, but not crowded. In my opinion this is one of the most beautiful nib designs in my collection. However I think I will still leave the first place to the Pelikan Souverän series. While I always prefer to see larger nibs with beautiful engravings on them, I feel that this nib is appropriately sized considering the overall dimensions of the pen. If I really have to pick one aspect that I consider improvements can be made, then I would prefer the nib to be monotone and become entirely rhodium plated. I will really appreciate the black and silver contrast that is consistent across the entire pen.
3. Filling System (8/10)
This pen utilizes the international standard cartridge/converter system. The barrel has enough space to hold either the long international cartridge, or two short ones placed back to back, which is quite convenient if you would like to take this pen for travel.
One converter is provided with the pen. The converter holds a decent amount of ink, which is especially sufficient for the fine nib. There is a tiny spring inside the converter that moves freely, serving as the agitator. It does make some noise, but the sounds is subtle, especially when the converter is filled with ink.
The best part of this converter is perhaps it is a screw-in type converter. The threads make sure that the converter can stay secure during transport or pen cleaning. I don’t have to worry about the nib unit falling and getting damaged. While threaded converters are not something that only Montblanc has, I still think Montblanc has the best execution for this design.
4. Nib Performance (8/10)
The 14K gold nib has an average ink flow, which makes the pen quite a suitable candidate for a daily writer. The nib is fairly rigid with only a tiny amount of spring. As the result, it barely has any line variation. This may be less than ideal for me. The nib writes right out of the box and there is hardly any hard start or skipping, except for only a few occasions that it has hard starts on certain paper type, such as the Midori TRAVELER’s Notebook insert.
5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (10/10)
For a pen featuring a cartridge/converter filling system, cleaning is not a difficult task. Both the nib unit and the converter can be cleaned by letting clean cold water run through. Maintenance is also not a big issue. The platinum plating holds up well so far, after more than a year of use. The resin body still looks well polished. The converter seems to be well built and replacements can be found easily. Overall it’s a pen with outstanding quality and as long as the user executes the usual pen cleaning and care, there shouldn’t be many concerns.
Pen Design: 8/10
Filling System: 8/10
Nib Performance: 8/10
Pen Cleaning and Maintenance: 10/10
Montblanc Meisterstück Classique Platinum Line is an excellent fountain pen with classic design. It has a small to average sized profile, but stays comfortably in the hand. Its build quality is outstanding and the finish is flawless. The nib writes well right out of the box and the performance is consistent. The cartridge/converter filling system may be a bit too simple for the price, but the design and execution is surely top-of-the-line. The pen doesn’t require anything more than the usual pen cleaning and care. It is an ideal daily writer and its classic look fits all different occasions. On the other hand, the nib is stiff and the writing experience can be “boring” sometimes. Considering the price, it may not be the one that offers the best value or the most fun.
This is my very first fountain pen. My experience with this pen has always been great, and it is definitely a solid starting point of my fountain pen hobby. What’s your first fountain pen?