Although we constantly see questions about the entry-level and intermediate level fountain pens on the market, we have noticed a steady number of people reaching out each month with questions about flagship pens from the various luxury fountain pen brands on the market. Although we do see a whole range of questions about different luxury pen models, the most frequent comparison that we see requested each month is for a Montblanc 149 Vs Pelikan M1000 breakdown.
Although Montblanc has managed to establish itself as the number one luxury fountain pen brand in the world, you most definitely pay a high premium for having the Montblanc logo on the finial of your pen cap. When it comes to the actual functionality and performance of their pens, you can often get the same or a potentially better level of performance out of the flagship fountain pen models from other brands while potentially saving hundreds of dollars.
In our opinion, this is definitely true when it comes to the Montblanc Meisterstück 149 and although it is an excellent pen, other flagship pens from other brands such as Sailor, Pilot, and Pelikan can offer similar performance while offering excellent savings. Although there are some strong contenders out there, we definitely do feel that the Pelikan m1000 is the best Montblanc 149 alternative on the market and we would actually recommend the m1000 over the 149 to most of our readers.
With the performance of both the Montblanc 149 and the Pelikan m1000 being so similar but their price tag being so different, we have our in-depth article below going over both pens. We try to cover as many key points as possible and recommend when one option is better than the other and as usual, we also have our comparison table below going over some of the key features for both pens.
Montblanc 149 Vs Pelikan M1000 Head To Head
As you can see from the key features above, there are some solid similarities between the pens but they do write slightly different to each other. On top of this, one question that we often recommend our readers ask themselves is if they want the best pen relative to their price points of if they want the pen with the most prestige. This tends to be a quick and easy to get the correct answer for your specific situation and budget without having to waste hours going over the advantages and disadvantages of both.
If you do want the best performing pen relative to their price points then we would highly recommend that our readers go with the Pelikan m1000. It is much cheaper than the Montblanc 149 but offers very similar performance and in many cases, actually beats the performance of the 149 if you prefer using a pen with a springy nib.
On the flipside of this though, if you want a fountain pen that has the most prestige and bragging rights associated with it while also having the budget available then the Montblanc 149 is definitely the pen for you as when it comes to prestige, no other pen even comes close. In fact, if you are prioritizing the prestige and bragging rights that your pen offers you over functionality, performance, and price tag then the closest Montblanc 149 alternative is probably the Montblanc 145 due to it still having the Montblanc branding.
As the Pelikan m1000 is our primary recommendation to the vast majority of our readers due to its outstanding performance and much lower price tag than the Montblanc 149 we will be going over our mini-review of the pen first before going over our review of the 149 later in the article. We always like to offer these mini-reviews of the featured pens in our articles to try and help our readers decide what pen is better for them.
Pelikan M1000 Review
The m1000 is the flagship of the Pelikan Souveran range of luxury fountain pens with the pen having an outstanding reputation amongst the community. Although the m800 did not prove to be as popular as expected, the m1000 just keeps on going from strength to strength similar to the Pelikan m600. As you would expect due to the higher price tag for the m1000, it does have a number of upgrades and improvements over the m600 that do make it a much better pen if it fits your budget.
The Pelikan M1000 Nib
Just like the majority of other flagship luxury fountain pens on the market, the nib of the Pelikan m1000 is made from 18 carat gold. Although the gold carat rating of a nib can technically make the nib more responsive to your writing rather than being rigid like a stainless steel or gold plated nib, the difference will be minimal for the majority of people. On top of this, Pelikan’s nibs are known to be springy when compared to the other popular fountain pen brands out there with some people preferring this and others preferring a stiffer nib.
The nib on the m1000 is definitely more flexible than the nib on the Montblanc though so if you do prefer a pen that has more flex in the nib, the m1000 is defiantly the pen for you out of our two featured options. On the flipside of this though, some fountain pen enthusiasts do say that the additional spring and flex in the nib of the m1000 makes them feel as though they have less control over the nib when writing meaning that the Montblanc 149 will be the better option for anyone who prefers a rigid nib on their fountain pen.
Just like all of the other pens in the Pelikan rage, the m1000 is a wet writer and although this tends not to be an issue for the majority of people, it may cause problems for anyone who is left handed and writes quickly as it may cause you to smudge or smear your words. There are definitely wetter nibs out there though and the wetness of Pelikan nibs is by designed and is controlled very well.
The nib is available in extra fine, fine, medium, and broad as you would expect from a modern fountain pen with all nib sizes offering a smooth, scratch free writing experience, even when using lower quality paper. For the best performance possible, we would always recommend that you use a high-quality ink with the pen when writing.
Although some of the other fountain pens in the Pelikan M series can have some issues with their extra fine and fine nib sizes scratching on cheaper paper, this tends not to be an issue with the Pelikan m1000. All nib sizes have the proven history to offer a silky smooth writing experience no matter the paper quality or speed that you write.
The Barrel Of The Pelikan M1000
The barrel of the Pelikan m1000 is slightly larger and heavier than the average fountain pen but this is due to it also housing the differentiated piston filling mechanism as well as an ink reservoir that is double the size of a normal pen. The barrel of the pen is made from high-quality resin and the m1000 comes with a 24-carat gold trim as standard while being available in black, blue, green, and red.
We know that there is usually some debate between the gold or silver trim looking better on the black barreled M series pens from Pelikan. If you do prefer the silver trim then the Pelikan m1005 comes with the silver trim as standard rather than gold. Although there are a number of special edition Pelikan m1000 available in a number of unique colors, they tend to be very rare due to collectors pre-ordering them as soon as the new range is announced.
The barrel of the m1000 does have a slight flare to it but it is much flatter than some other fountain pens but again, this will come down to personal preference with many people tending to prefer the less obvious flare to their pen barrels. The section mounts directly into the barrel and then seamlessly leads to the nib showing both the high design and engineering standards that Pelikan deliver to their customers.
The high-quality resin that the body is made from is surprisingly light although the m1000 can be considered a little heavier than competing pens due to its longer barrel and cap. The resin is also extremely tough and robust and we have no doubt in our mind that the Pelikan m1000 will be able to last you decades if cared for correctly.
The Pelikan M1000 Cap
The cap of the m1000 is made from the same high quality resin as the barrel of the pen while having a nice clip that has just enough spring in it to get the job done but not get your pen caught on your notebooks or pockets. Depending on if you went with the Pelikan m1000 or the m1005, the clip of the pen will have the same gold or silver trim as the body of the pen ensuring that everything matches up perfectly.
The final of the cap has the Pelikan logo on it too but this has led to some confusion over the years with people potentially thinking that their official Pelikan pen is a fake. This is due to the Pelikan brand now having three official logos and depending on when you purchased your Pelikan pen, you may have a different logo to a more modern pen.
The oldest logo is the mother pelican with four babies, the less common logo is the mother pelican with two babies, and their current logo is the mother pelican with a single baby. All three logos are official logos for the Pelikan brand so there is no need to worry if you have older Pelikan pens in your fountain pen collection that have different logos to your m1000.
The Ink Reservoir Of The Pelikan M1000
The Pelikan m1000 comes with a 2ml ink reservoir as standard allowing you to hold double the ink of many competing fountain pens. Depending on your circumstances and what you may be using your m1000 for, this may be a major advantage to your but we would imagine that the majority of people will be able to quickly and easily top up the ink in their fountain pen when required without issue anyway.
Unlike some of the other Pelikan fountain pens in their M series range, the ink view window on the m1000 is easy to see through allowing you to easily check the remaining ink levels in the pen too. If you are having any issues with seeing through the transparent black resin ink window on the barrel of the body of the pen, you can often change the way that the light is hitting the pen for a better view of your ink levels.
Montblanc 149 Review
Moving on to our mini Montblanc 149 review, the flagship of the Montblanc Meisterstück range and one of the most talked-about fountain pens within the community due to its price tag and prestige. As we covered back at the start of the article, there is definitely a premium on the price tag of Montblanc pens with the 149 comings in as much as $200-$300 more than the m1000 depending on your vendor of choice.
The high price tag of the Montblanc 149 often puts it out of budget for a large number of our readers and members of the fountain pen enthusiast community. This is why we often recommend that our readers consider the Montblanc 145 if they are looking to add a Montblanc to their collection but are on a budget. We have our full Montblanc 145 review available if you are interested in this possible Montblanc 149 alternative.
The Montblanc 149 Nib
The nib of the Montblanc 149 is also 18 carat gold while also being rhodium-coated and as we mentioned above, the nib of the 149 is more rigid than the nib on the m1000. Depending on your own personal preference this may suit you more than the springier nibs on the Pelikan range but we are not convinced that this alone is worth the large increase in price tag.
Although the Montblanc 149 has been available with an extra fine, fine, medium, and broad nib as well as some limited edition nib sizes since it has been on the market, at the time of writing, the extra fine nib size is not currently available. We have seen no official comment on why this is or if the situation is only temporary or not but as the extra fine nib does seem to be one of the less popular nib sizes, we imagine that the majority of our readers will still be able to get their nib size of choice when going with the Montblanc 149.
With the huge price tag of the Montblanc 149, you would be right in expecting nothing but the best from the pen when it comes to its writing experience and the pen offers an excellent, butter smooth writing experience. That said though, if you are not bothered about the springier nib, the Pelikan m1000 does offer a comparable writing experience in our opinion while also being hundreds of dollars cheaper.
The Barrel Of The Montblanc 149
One thing that Montblanc will never be beaten on is the build quality of their pens and the 149 is no different. One of the main reasons that Montblanc have managed to earn the reputation they have as well as charge the prices they do for their fountain pens is due to their production process for their barrel and caps.
They always ensure that they have the highest quality nitrocellulose and camphor resin to make the best possible celluloid for their pens that is lightweight while also being tough. This helps to ensure that your Montblanc 149 should be able to survive any accidents without breaking and last you for many decades to come.
In fact, the build quality of the 149 is so good that their are a surprising amount of their older pens still in circulation. The pens are built so well that there is also a relatively high number of pre-1970 Montblanc 149 pens on the pre-owned market that collectors often pay very well for due to using the older telescopic piston system.
The Montblanc Meisterstück definitely does have a rounder flare to their bodies than the Pelikan M series but this will come down to how you like your fountain pen barrels. Some prefer a founder flare while some prefer a flatter flare. Due to the 149 having been in production for so long, it is available in a large variety of colors and trims from the various runs over the years.
With the model being having been in production for so long, there are also a huge number of special edition Montblanc 149s but s you would expect, they are often picked up by fountain pen collectors on release. With the Montblanc 149 being such a sought after fountain pen, some of their rare special editions can end up selling for just shy of $20,000!
The Montblanc 149 Cap
The cap of the Montblanc 149 is made from the same, high quality celluloid as the barrel of the pen and has a gold coated clip to match the trim. The clip on the cap of the pen is very flexible allowing you to easily store your pen when not in use. Some of the special edition 149’s do have the skeletal design that can sometimes interfere with the operation of the clip but the regular 149’s with their standard design do not suffer from this issue.
The finial of all Montblanc pens is where the controversy with the range usually as it is very fair to say that you are only paying the premium price point for the 149 for the iconic white Montblanc emblem on the cap. As we have mentioned throughout the article, the Montblanc 149 is all about prestige and bragging rights and although its writing experience is excellent, the Pelikan m1000 is very similar but as much as $300 cheaper!
The Ink Reservoir Of The Montblanc 149
This is the only area of the Montblanc 149 that has really seen any negative feedback from the community who actually own the pen. The listed ink reservoir capacity on a modern 149 is 2.1ml but there are countless reports of only being able to add as little as 1.1ml of ink to the pen. Although this could be an issue with some of the modern 149’s in circulation, you have to keep in mind that this range of fountain pens has been around for decades now and there is a huge number of variants in circulation.
For example, the Montblanc 149’s that use the telescopic piston system have to have their ink filled in stages so each level of the piston is able to fill up with ink. This mans that if you are not used to filling a telescopic piston fountain pen or potentially unaware that you pen even uses it, you may only be filling the first stage of the piston with ink rather than filling the pen to maximum capacity.
We really do feel that this is one of the main reasons that there are so many reports about the ink reservoir on the Montblanc 149 not holding the current listed capacity. There are simply so many variants of the 149 that have been built over the years and many people pick up a pre-owned 149, google the ink capacity, see the 2.1ml listing for the current Montblanc 149 design and complain that their, potentially much older 149 that may have a different design does not hold 2.1ml of ink.
That brings our ultimate Montblanc 149 vs Pelikan M1000 comparison to a close and just like we mentioned way back at the start of the article, in our opinion, the majority of our readers will be better off with the Pelikan m1000. It offers an excellent writing experience and is hundreds of dollars cheaper than the Montblanc 149. If you do want the prestige of owning the Montblanc 149 and have the budget available for it then go with the 149 but please note that the writing experience is very similar to the m1000.