Montblanc


M 2

Last year one of the UK jewellery chains had a huge discount on some Montblanc items. This included the Montblanc M which could be had for less than 50% of the current recommended retail price. You will understand how difficult it was to resist.

The Montblanc M with the Universalpatrone – good use of the available space

The Montblanc M was designed by Mark Newson and is quite unusual for Montblanc standards. Not everyone is keen on the looks of this pen, but I love it. If you were to classify fountain pens by appearance then the M would be much closer to the Lamy dialog 3 than to your average Montblanc. Its most exotic feature is the cap which is magnetically aligned and held in place.

Unlike many other Montblanc pens which come with a converter the M not only doesn’t come with one, there’s also none available that officially fits. I successfully used the Cross Verve adapter in the past, but my Cross adapter is now back in the Verve.

I am now using what I call a Lamy/Pelikan cartridge. Probably 20 to 25 years ago these no-name cartridges got popular in parts of Europe. You could always get no-name Pelikan/standard cartridges [1]Pelikan has a big share of the market for school fountain pens., but with the popularity of the Lamy Safari being used in schools the ink cartridge manufacturers thought of putting a Pelikan compatible end on a Lamy compatible cartridge. Clever stuff and if you don’t mind refilling your cartridge with a syringe (I don’t mind) then it is just perfect for the Montblanc M’s body with the tapered end.

The Lamy end of the Universalpatrone

The only problem is that these cartridges don’t seem to be popular in either the UK, where I live or the USA, where nearly all the Bleistift Blog readers are based – as I wasn’t able to find these in online shops. I hope online shops in the UK and the USA will stock them in the future. In Germany, you can get them under the name “Universalpatrone” on eBay and Amazon for less than 10 cents per cartridge if you buy a bigger pack.

The standard/Pelikan end of the Universalpatrone

Proper reviews of the Montblanc M:

Pencilcase Blog

Gentleman Stationer

UK Fountain Pens

Gourmet Pens

References

References
1Pelikan has a big share of the market for school fountain pens.

The Montblanc and the recipe 7

I spotted this recipe yesterday evening, when my wife was preparing her dinner. What’s that, I thought. Why is Montblanc being mentioned in a recipe? Turns out the Montblanc is used to describe the size of the asparagus. I wonder whether the author did this to show off, or whether a Montblanc pen is really a universal thing everyone knows the size of…
Montblanc recipeIn my imagination it happened like this:

Are those recipes ready to be published?

 

Kind of – there’s one problem with the asparagus and shrimps recipe.

 

What problem?

 

It’s about the size of the asparagus. We wrote the size down in cm, but thought it’s odd if people take their tape measure out when  preparing food.

 

That’s easy, we just describe the size of the asparagus using an everyday object – one we all use on a daily basis. Write down the asparagus should be the size of a Montblanc.

 

Ah, of course, why didn’t I think of it earlier…

Montblanc recipe


Mahatma Gandhi ink 3

If you are interested in fountain pens you probably came across Montblanc’s Mahatma Gandhi fountain pen. Keeping  in mind that Gandhi led a simple lifestyle, gave up unnecessary expenditure and promoted Indian-made goods there is a huge discrepancy between what he represented and what Montblanc’s Mahatma Gandhi pen stands for. No wonder this pen made headlines in several newspapers, including USA Today and The Guardian.

More affordable was Montblanc’s saffron coloured Mahatma Gandhi ink, which was released around the same time but sold out very soon. De Atramentis started selling an ink with the same colour and the same name. Even though there is a chance that Montblanc’s Gandhi ink was manufactured by De Atramentis I wouldn’t bet on it. Old Montblanc ink and De Atramentis inks are made in Germany, but as far as I know Montblanc’s old inks were made by Gutenberg [1]previously mentioned in this article – not by De Atramentis. Montblanc’s new inks are made in Austria.

De Atramentis’ Mahatma Gandhi ink is probably a copy of Montblanc’s ink, but it might be worth a try if you were keen on getting Montblanc’s Gandhi ink and missed your chance when it was first released. Unfortunately, De Atramentis’ shipping costs outside Germany are quite steep.

References

References
1previously mentioned in this article

No Montblanc Season’s Greetings ink for 2010

Sad news, at least for those of us who like fountain pens. After searching the Fountain Pen Network and not being able to find any information about this year’s Season’s Greetings ink I  just called a Montblanc boutique…

…and found out that there is no Season’s Greetings ink for 2010 …What a shame!

Maybe this should not be too much of a surprise after they recycled 2008’s White Forest ink in 2009. The reasons for last year’s recycling are now unclear. Was it because of quality issues or did they just have too much stock left?

If you want to read more about the Season’s Greetings inks that were available from 2005 to 2009 have a look at this blog post.


Montblanc Christmas Ink 2

Montblanc did not release a new Christmas Ink this year, as I discovered when I went to the Montblanc Boutique in Manchester last week. Instead last year’s ink White Forest has been released again. It is a shame as I was looking forward to a new, scented Christmas ink. As far as I know there have been four different Montblanc Christmas inks until now:

  • The brown ink from 2005, also called Cookies and Spices
  • The ink from 2006. Same colour, spicier cinnamon smell
  • The red ink from 2007 with a vanilla smell
  • The green ink from 2008, with a pinewood smell. The first one with an official name: White Forest

Unfortunately many cleaning products have a pinewood smell, not making this smell a good choice in my opinion. The 2009 ink has the same name, packing, colour and I couldn’t notice a different scent when I was in the Montblanc Boutique.

According to messages on the Fountain Pen Network the re-release of the same ink might be because of problems with last year’s Christmas ink. I remember that the bottle I bought back then was difficult to open, as if there was a vacuum inside. It even kept the white foamy insert of the lid on the bottle, separating the insert from the lid even though it had been glued on in the factory. When I moved this foam disc away you could hear the air being sucked in and there was this something mould-like floating on the surface.

Montblanc Christmas Ink

Montblanc Christmas Ink: 2005, 2007, 2008

Well.. If I feel very christmasy I might order some Christmas scented inks from De Atramentis instead, but postage to the UK is not cheap and when I ordered from them before there were some unidentifyable “things” in the package, including lots of hair, which put me off.