With the Montblanc luxury range of fountain pens having a huge amount of prestige attached to them, we are seeing more and more people asking for comparisons of pens from the Montblanc range. Although we have already pitted a number of Montblanc pens up against some other brands, we have noticed more and more people asking for a direct comparison between the Montblanc 149 and the Montblanc 146.
Due to this, we have decided to publish our Montblanc 149 vs 146 comparison article in the hope of helping our readers fine the perfect pen for their needs. Although the Montblanc 149 and the Montblanc 146 are both excellent pens, you definitely do pay a premium for having the Montblanc brand on your fountain pen and there are compeating pens from other brands that offer similar functionality.
We have mentioned the Pelikan m1000 and Pelikan m800 as excellent alternatives to the Montblanc 149 a number of times now as well as the Pelikan m600 as a solid alternative to the Montblanc 146 as the offer similar performance at a lower price tag. That said though, for the rest of this article, we will be putting the 149 and 146 head to head to try and help our readers choose the perfect pen for them.
We have our direct comparison table between the two luxury fountain pens below putting the main features of each against each other. This usually helps any of our readers who are short on time and need a quick answer but we have our full, in-depth break down of the two featured pens under our comparison table for any of our readers who have more time to read the whole article and go into why we feel the Montblanc 149 is the better option.
Montblanc 149 Vs 146 Head To Head
As you can see from our comparison table between the two fountain pens above, both are very similar to each other and offer excellent quality as you would expect from the Montblanc range. Although the Montblanc 146 is ideal if you are on a budget as it is an excellent pen if you want the Montblanc branding, the majority of people looking for a Montblanc will have the money for the Montblanc 149 as well as want the prestige that comes with owning the 149.
Montblanc 149 Review
Although the Montblanc 149 is regarded as one of the best fountain pens ever made, it is a very expensive pen and way out of the budget of the majority of our readers. That said though, the price tag can be justified due to the design and craftsmanship of the pen being of the highest possible quality. On top of that, Montblanc has spent decades upon decades building its reputation as the number one luxury brand for anyone who wants prestige on their products.
The Montblanc 149 Nib
One of the best things about any Montblanc fountain pen is the nib, not only have they been designed to offer you the best possible writing experience by far but Montblanc also ensures that their pens are also manufactured to the highest possible standard too with the 149 having an 18-carat gold nib as standard. Although this does set them well above the vast majority of the competing fountain pen brands on the market right now, Pelikan's nibs are definitely up there with the Montblanc nibs offering a great writing experience too.
As standard, the Montblanc 149 is only available with an extra-fine, fine, medium or broad nib size direct from Montblanc but some of their registered partner stationary stores will offer them in double broad or oblique nib options too. Depending on where you live you may be able to get these in your local photography store but the majority of people will have to check online retailers for anything outside of the standard four.
As Montblanc are a western fountain pen brand, their pens conform to very similar nib sizes to the other western fountain pen brands on the market right now. This means that if you already own a fountain pen from another western fountain pen brand and you want a similar text size out of your pen when writing with your Montblanc then you should be able to keep the same nib size. For example, say you currently use a Lamy 2000 with a medium nib, you should be able to go with the Montblanc 149 with a medium nib for a similar font during use.
Now, if you are currently using an Asian fountain pen such as the Sailor 1911 then you may want to try and downsize the nib on your Montblanc to keep a similar font size. This is due to the majority of Asian brands sticking to the Asian nib sizes that are slightly smaller than the western standard nib sizes on fountain pens.
For example, a medium nib on a Sailor 1911 will be closer to the fine nib size on the Montblanc 149 rather than the medium nib size due to the Asian nib size being smaller. Although this will not be an exact match, it does tend to be closer and help you keep close to your current font size but that being said, if you don’t care about keeping a similar font size then you don’t have to worry about this anyway.
Due to Montblanc wanting to offer their users the smoothest possible writing experience when using fountain pens like the Montblanc 149 they have engineered their nibs to be wet writers as they are smoother than standard or dry writers. This should not be an issue for most people as wet writers are becoming more and more popular anyway due to their nibs tending to glide over the paper when writing.
That said though, wet nibs can have some issues with feathering, ghosting, and bleeding but this is usually only on thinner, low GSM paper and even then, it is usually not too bad. Due to the price point of the Montblanc 149, we would guess that most of our readers looking to add the pen to their collection will be writing on thicker, high GSM paper anyway. As this paper is considerably thicker than low GSM paper, it prevents any issues with bleeding or ghosting when using a wet nibbed fountain pen and also improves your writing experience due to the paper being smoother.
The Barrel Of The Montblanc 149
Although the nib is the main selling point of any Montblanc fountain pen, the build quality and toughness of the barrel is definitely in second. This is due to the precious resin that Montblanc use for both their barrels and caps to ensure that the pen is as robust as humanly possible while also being as lightweight as possible too. Although a large number of fountain pen brands do now use resin for their fountain pens, Montblanc and Pelikan do tend to have the best formulas to keep their pens tough and light.
There is a number of different designs of the Montblanc 149 available with a wide range of colors and patterns to fit your taste. On top of this, there are also a ton of different limited edition runs of the Montblanc 149 with unique looks but this usually retail for considerably more than the normal Montblanc 149 editions that are already expensive. That said though, the limited edition Montblanc 149’s hold their value very well due to having a decent re-sale market with fountain pen collectors.
The trim on the Montblanc 149 is usually gold or platinum but this will depend on the design as some of the limited edition runs of the 149 do have other materials as their trim due to it fitting their design better. Although the standard black barrel and cap with a gold trim is the most popular Montblanc 149 on the market, there wide range of colors ensures that you can get something to match your taste.
The barrel of the Montblanc 149 perfectly hides the piston filler of the pen while also ensuring that you are able to quickly and easily get access to it when needed for refills. Although some people do prefer the Pelikan piston filler system, the Montblanc piston filler is definitely up there too being one of the best on the market with ease.
Although some of the Japanese fountain pen brands have put a ton of money into developing the cartridge convertor system, in our opinion, the piston filler system is still better. Due to the majority of people preferring a piston filler in their more expensive fountain pens, it would seem that the community agree with us too.
The Montblanc 149 Cap
As we touched on earlier, the cap of the Montblanc 149 is also made from their precious resin to ensure that the cap is as tough and light as possible too. The caps of their pens also match the color and trim of their barrels to ensure that the pens match and look good too.
The Montblanc 149 uses a twist lock system on its cap to secure the barrel when not in use and at this price point in the market, a twist lock system is a must. Although a number of people are ok with a push to lock system on their fountain pen caps, it is simply not worth the risk of the push to lock system failing, especially after you have had the pen for years.
A push to lock cap can fail and cause the pen barrel to drop to the floor and either go missing or break. When you are paying hundreds of dollars for your Montblanc 149 you want to minimize any potential issues like this that could damage your pen. Montblanc put the twist lock system on their fountain pens as standard these day to help to prevent this from happening and keep the cap and barrel mounted.
Being a Montblanc pen, the clip has been designed to not only offer perfect functionality of securing your pen as required but also to add to the prestige. As we touched on earlier, the trims of Montblanc pens are usually gold with a few being platinum or other precious metals. Their clips have plenty of flex in them to allow you to clip the pen to your pocket or papers without having any issues too.
As we said earlier in the article, the cap is made from precious resin so it is very lightweight for its size. This is ideal as it keeps the 149 perfectly balances with the cap posted helping it score points. Although you would expect this as standard at this price point on the market anyway but some other fountain pen brands, even with their premium price point models do have issues with back weighting.
The Ink Reservoir Of The Montblanc 149
Due to there being a few slightly different variants of the Montblanc 149 different variants have a different maximum ink capacity but all Montblanc 149’s will hold between 1.1ml-2.1ml in their ink reservoir. Even at 1.1ml this is above average and should be enough for most of our readers without them having any problems with running out of ink and not being able to refill it when required.
The Montblanc 149 also has an ink view window to allow you to quickly and easily check the current levels of ink in the ink reservoir allowing you to plan your refills better. Although you are well within your rights to expect an ink view window in a fountain pen with a price tag of the Montblanc 149, some of the competing models on the market dont offer one or have one that is a pain to see through.
Montblanc 149 Writing Samples
The video below offers some writing samples for the Montblanc 149 showing you exactly what you can expect from the pen during general use. Please note that the purpose of the video is to show how smooth the pen writes rather than the skill of hand writing in the sample.
Montblanc 146 Review
Although the Montblanc 146 is not our primary pick for this particular article, it is still an excellent pen with a large customer base and an excellent reputation amongst the community. The main reason that we put the Montblanc 149 ahead of the 146 is due to the majority of people looking to add a Montblanc to their collection wanting the absolute best.
If you are dead set on adding a Montblanc to your fountain pen collection but are on a budget then the 146 can fill this role but the issue is that there are a number of pens like the Pelikan m600 that offers similar performance and functionality to the Montblanc 146 at a lower price point in the market. This is why we often just recommend that our readers consider something like the m600 over the Montblanc 146 if they are unable to go for the Montblanc 149.
The Montblanc 146 Nib
The Montblanc 146 nib is made from 14 carat gold rather than the 18 carat gold that the Montblanc 149 uses but in all honesty, the vast majority of our readers won’t be able to tell the difference in the writing experience between the two anyway. Although the 149 does technically have more spring and flex in its nib due to the higher carat rating, a 14 carat gold nib offers a very similar writing experience.
Just like its big brother, the Montblanc 146 is also only available with an extra-fine, fine, medium, and broad nib size as default from Montblanc but unlike the Montblanc 149, the nibs on the Montblanc 146 are not replaceable. This means that the registered partners and retail stores of Montblanc are not able to offer you additional options such as a double broad nib size or oblique nib options.
Being a Montblanc fountain pen, the 146 is also a wet writer to ensure that you are getting a smooth writing experience but its nib tends not to be as wet as the nib on the 149. This can help keep the pen butter-smooth during use while also minimizing the chances of you having problems with feathering or bleeding during use too. With the nib of the Montblanc 146 not being as wet as the 149, it also allows you to write on thinner paper without having issues with scratching or bleed but as we mentioned above, most people who use a Montblanc will not be writing on low-quality paper.
On top of this, due to not being as wet as the 149, if you are left-handed then the 146 can help prevent you from smearing your work if you do drag your hand when writing. This is one of the only areas where the 146 can sneak ahead of the 149 in our opinion as it can be a pain for anyone who is left-handed to find a mountain pen that is wet enough to write smoothly but not too wet to instantly smear their work.
That said though, unlike the 146, the nibs on the Montblanc 149 are replaceable so if you are left handed you are able to switch out the nib to a slightly dryer one anyway. You are also able to take advantage of fast drying inks if you do opt to go with the 149 over the 146 to reduce the chances of the nib smearing for you too.
The Barrel Of The Montblanc 146
The barrel of the Montblanc 146 is made from the same high-quality precious resin as the barrel on the Montblanc 149 offering you the same advantages. The barrel is very tough with it being able to take a supring amount of punishment without issue while also being very light. The light weight of the precious resin is a big selling point as it is able to help prevent any fatigue build up in your hands when writing for longer periods of time too.
If you are female or have smaller hands then the barrel of the Montblanc 146 may feel better when writing due to it being smaller than the Montblanc 149 with some people saying this does increase their comfort level when writing. Our main point against this is that the Pelikan m600 is even smaller than the Montblanc 146 further increasing these benefits while also saving you some cash in the process.
Although the Pelikan range do have similar functionality to Montblanc, their pens don’t have the luxury premium attached to them as their marketing strategy is totally different. Montblanc have cultivated their prestigious luxury goods reputation over decades positioning themselves as the fountain pen brand of choice for people who like prestige in their products.
Pelikans approach is to offer fountain pens across all price brackets that absolutely dominate the competition so once someone has tried a Pelikan fountain pen, they will rarely go to another brand. It is very common for someone to purchase an entry-level Pelikan pen, upgrade to one of their intermediate pens such as the Pelikan m600 and then upgrade to one of their premium price point fountain pens such as the Pelikan m800 or the Pelikan m1000 and never go with another brand.
Just like the 149, the 146 is available in a range of different colors and patterns too with a number of special editions available too. That said though, the Montblanc 146 does not tend to hold its re-sale value as well as the 149 for its special editions so keep that in mind if you do want to pay extra for a special edition 146.
Just like the rest of the Montblanc range, the 146 also uses a high-quality piston filler that performs flawlessly for your ink storage and delivery but this brings us back to the Pelikan m600. It also has a high-quality piston filler with a very similar writing experience while also being cheaper than the 146 making it very hard for us to recommend the 146 to our readers in any situation.
The Ink Reservoir Of The Montblanc 146
The ink reservoir on the Montblanc 146 is able to hold a maximum ink capacity of 1.4ml of ink at any given time with its refill system being very simple and straight forward to use. An ink capacity of 1.4ml of ink is above average too and should be plenty for most of our readers between ink refills, especially with the Montblanc 146’s nib not being as wet as the 149’s nib helping to make its ink last longer.
The ink view window on the Montblanc 146 is also easy to see making it very quick and easy to check your current ink levels in your pen and plan your refills as required. Due to bottled ink being so small and easy to transport if you these days, even if you do have to go on a business trip for a while you should easily be able to take your pen ink with you to keep your pen full and ready to write.
Montblanc 146 Writing Samples
That brings our ultimate Montblanc 149 vs 146 comparison article to a close. We hope that we have been able to help any of our readers who are considering adding either of these pens to their collection and as we have mentioned multiple times above, the Montblanc 149 would be our recommendation between the two featured pens.
Although the Montblanc 146 is a great pen, we feel that the majority of people who want a Montblanc will want the 149 anyway and the Pelikan m600 offers some solid competition to the Montblanc 146 with a lower price tag. This means that a number of our readers will be bette off going with the m600 than the 146 too.