The Montblanc range of luxury pens definitely has a mixed reputation amongst the fountain pen community with some people absolutely loving them and others feeling that they are too overpriced for their performance and functionality and that a different, cheaper pen brand will be the better option for the majority of people. With the Montblanc 145 being one of their more popular fountain pens and coming in with a price tag of almost $600 but delivering similar performance to something like the Pelikan m800, you can see why the Montblanc range is controversial to say the least.
That said though, sales of the Montblanc 145 are better than ever with sales of the even more expensive Montblanc 149 starting to increase at a steady rate, we often see people reaching out and asking why Montblanc are so expensive as well as why people actually pay the price. Due to seeing so many people reaching out and asking this over the last few months, we have decided to dedicate todays article to Montblanc pens and their price tags to try and help our readers see where the potential value of the pen comes from.
Now, as with most expensive products, there are a number of different reasons that all come together to have a direct effect on its price tag and the Montblanc fountain pen range is no different. Due to this, we have decided to go over the most important factors of the pens below with an explanation for each to show how the asking price for a Montblanc is calculated.
Why Are Montblanc Pens So Expensive
History And Reputation
One of the main advantages that European and Japanese pen companies have over the companies from other parts of the world is their history and reputation. Montblanc started to produce pens and other writing instruments back in the early twentieth century and quickly managed to earn a reputation for reliable pens that offer a super smooth writing experience.
Fast forward to the 1950s and early 1960s and the Montblanc pen range has evolved to be a dominant force in the luxury fountain pen market with many European Royal Families choosing Montblanc as their pen brand of choice. Around this time, Montblanc also started to produce their signature celluloid pens using the highest possible quality nitrocellulose and camphor resin to try and solidify themselves as the number one luxury pen brand in the world.
Over the next decade, these celluloid pens from the Montblanc range ended up evolving into their Meisterstück range of pens where an entry level pen from the Meisterstück range is likely to set you back around $300 and then prices rapidly increase from there. The Meisterstück range has some of the most iconic and sought-after fountain pens ever made and they have the price tags to match.
Unlike almost every other pen brand in the world who has some form of entry-level pen under the $100 price point, Montblanc has always focused on the luxury side of pens with their cheapest pen, the Montblanc PIX coming with a $200 price tag. All throughout their history, Montblanc has always managed to produce pens without any major issues too, and are one of only a handful of pen brands to be able to make that boast.
As we touched on above, Montblanc have always done everything in their power to source the highest possible quality nitrocellulose and camphor resin as their base ingredients used for their pen barrels and caps. Even during years where the cotton harvests produced sub-par nitrocellulose Montblanc chose to keep their quality and pay the higher premium to ensure that they were always getting the absolute best.
Although there are a number of premium resins or precious metals that can be used for the creation of a pen body, Montblanc has usually stood their ground and stuck with what they know. Although they do have a few special edition pens from some of their ranges that do break the norm, Montblanc has developed their celluloid creation process over the years and with them using the best ingredients possible their pens have an almost legendary build quality.
The engineering of the Montblanc Meisterstück range is second to none in our opinion. They really do go that extra mile to ensure that their pens are perfect in every way before shipping them. Although a pen from the Meisterstück range and a pen from the Pelikan M series may look similar when side by side to the untrained eye, a collector of fountain pen will be able to notice the attention to detail.
One the flipside of this though, many people within the fountain pen collecting community rightly point out that although Montblanc do arguably have the best possible engineering standards of any of the luxury pen brands, the actual writing experience of their pens is very similar to their closest competitors without the higher price tag.
That brings us onto the writing experience of Montblanc pens. Although the flagship models from the other luxury pen brands can compete with the writing experience of the Meisterstück range of pens from Montblanc, there can often be issues with the competition that the Montblanc pens do not have. For example, some of the pens from the Pelikan M series can have a scratchy writing experience, especially when using an extra-fine nib.
Although a comparable pen from the Pelikan M series is usually at least a few hundred dollars cheaper than their Montblanc variant, the smear on the reputation of the other pen brands can leave a long-lasting impression for the ultra-wealthy who will only settle for the absolute best no matter what. Even the cheapest Montblanc pens on the market have been engineered to offer the best possible writing experience possible.
What Is So Special About A Montblanc Pen
Although all of the factors covered above do come into play for the price tag of the Montblanc fountain pen range, a pen is only really worth what someone is willing to pay for it and thats where Montblanc’s marketing team come in. Montblanc arguably have the best luxury good marketing team in the world that is ran as if it were a military operation to ensure that their ultra-wealthy lifestyle branding is reinforced with everything that they do.
Over the decades they have managed to build up an image for all of their products including their watches and other luxury non-pen goods that a large amount of their marketing is essentially done for them now via “wealthy lifestyle Instagrammers”. The wealthy who share their lives via social media don’t post photographs of themselves with a Pelikan, Cross, or Pilot, it is always a Montblanc.
Is Montblanc A Luxury Brand of Pens
This is where there is definitely a debate amongst the fountain pen community with some people saying that Montblanc is THE luxury brand of pens and that the other leading fountain pen brands out there are classed as premium brands. Arguments can definitely be made both for and against this but the main argument of those who consider Montblanc to be the only true luxury pen brand can rightly say that Montblanc offer pens with similar performance and functionality to other leading fountain pen brands but add between $200 and $500 to the price tag and they sell like hot cakes.
On the flipside of this though, people also rightly argue that this is simply due to the marketing of the Montblanc range and that when it comes to performance and functionality there are plenty of pens out there that can hold their own against the Montblanc range while being considerably cheaper. You are going to have to use your own judgement as to wether Montblanc are the only true luxury pen brand or not but theres no realistic way that anyone can argue that Montblancs pens are not luxury pens.
Do Montblanc Pens Hold Their Value
As with all other types of investing, past performance is not a guarentee of the future performance of something and is just an indicator. That said though, there are plenty of pens from multiple Montblanc ranges that have not only held their value over time but have actually increased in value and by a considerable amount too. The Montblanc special edition releases tend to be some of the better pens for increasing in value but they have to be in mint condition and the person that the special edition pen is dedicated to also comes into play.
Here are some of the current Montblanc special edition pens, again though, please remember that there is no guarantee of a pens value increasing with time:-
What Pen Is Better Than Montblanc
As we have covered above, this is definitely subjective and will often come down to the specific Montblanc pen that you are comparing it too. In our opinion, here are some of the leading Montblanc alternatives on the market that can deliver comparable performance but are often cheaper than their Montblanc equivilant.
What Is The Cheapest Montblanc Pen
At the time of writing, the Montblanc PIX is the cheapest Montblanc currently available on the market and it still comes with a price tag of around $200 depending on where you buy it. On top of this, the Montblanc PIX is a ballpoint pen rather than a fountain pen making it their absolutely entry level option for anyone wanting to add a Montblanc to their collection.
The next level up is the MontBlanc Meisterstuck Platinum Line that will usually come in at around the $300 price point depending on vendor. Just like the Montblanc PIX though, the Platinum Line is also a ball point pen rather than being one of the signature Montblanc fountain pens.
The Montblanc Starwalker is one of their cheapest fountain pens on the market at the time of writing but it usually retails for around $400 new and can be hard to find for under $300 pre-owned depending on your location. The prices of the Montblanc fountain pen range increase almost exponentially from there with some of their limited edition Meisterstück range pens retailing for thousands of dollars and selling fast.
Are Montblanc Pens Worth It
Unfortunately, this is one of those questions that only you are able to answer and it will definitely come down to your own personal financial situation. As we mentioned throughout the article, there are people within the fountain pen collecting community who are huge fans of the Montblanc range where as there are others who feel they are highly over prices and targeted towards the ultra-wealthy rather than regular people with both sides being correct.
Although Montblanc offer excellent quality, there are definitely comparable pens available at lower price points that can offer a similar writing experience without you having to break the bank. One thing that is becoming more and more popular is to purchase pre-owned Montblanc fountain pens that are in good condition due the pens tending to hold their value well. Even then though, the pre-owned Montblanc is usually the same kind of price point as a brand new pen from a compeating brand.