Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Montblanc Meisterstuck 149

The Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 is probably one of the world's most sought-after fountain pens. The Meisterstuck (Masterpiece) 149 has been around since 1952, and remains Montblanc's flagship fountain pen to this day. It is certainly the largest and most expensive pen in Montblanc's non-limited edition lineup. In over 60 years of production its classic appearance to the casual observer has remained unchanged.

Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 (1990 model)

In a world of replica luxury goods, the Meisterstuck range of pens has attracted more than it's fair share of attention in the lucrative counterfeit market. Costing today, in excess of £530 for the genuine article, Hepworth Dixon can only recommend that new MB 149's are purchased from a Montblanc boutique or an authorised dealer, this should guarantee authenticity.

For the collector or individual who wishes to own this legendary writing instrument, how can we be certain that when buying a used 149 (particularly over the internet), that we are getting the authentic article? Answer. Always buy from a reputable dealer/restorer, one who a has sound knowledge of Montblanc pens, vintage and modern. Also a positive sales history of high end Montblanc writing instruments.

Determining the age of a Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 

After WWII, Montblanc totally re-designed and re-styled their high end Meisterstuck range. The 140 series was introduced in 1948, this comprised three models, numbers 142, 144 and 146. All these were made from celluloid, and fitted with metal, telescoping piston fill mechanism's. It was not until 1952 that Montblanc introduced the largest model into the 140 series, the highly successful Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 (sometimes, mistakenly called 'The Diplomat').


1952 - Celluloid, single unit barrel, telescoping piston, flat ebonite feed and tri-colour 18ct nib.
1955 - Flat feed replaced with round ebonite feed, with grooves to face and shank.
1959 - Celluloid replaced by thermo-plastic "Precious Resin", non- telescoping filling assembly (black plastic threads visible when un-screwing piston filling knob), tri-colour 14ct nib.
1965 - Round ebonite feed, grooves to face only.
1969 - Solid ebonite feed (no grooves to face or shank).
1972 - Bi-colour 14ct nib.
1975 - Split ebonite feed.
1985 - Barrel made from two sections with nib and feed forming part of of a screw-in section, clip ring engraved "W.- GERMANY".
1990 - Filler body assembly made of brass (brass threads visible when un-screwing piston filling knob), bi-colour 18ct nib fitted, nib feeder made of plastic with horizontal combs.
1991 - Clip ring engraved with "GERMANY" also two letter and seven digit identity number.
1994 - Tri-colour 18 ct nib re-introduced.
 1997 - Letters "PIX" can be found on underside of cap clip.

Late 80's, early 90's Montblanc 149. Dismantled for authentication

Recently, we acquired an early 1990's Meisterstuck 149, boxed and unused. Brass threads were apparent beneath piston filling knob, W.-GERMANY was inscribed on clip ring. This would have dated production to 1990. Something was not right thou, the feeder was made of ebonite and not plastic.

To get to the bottom of this variance, we dismantled the entire pen. All components were genuine, even down to the factory pink thread sealing compound (Montblanc's secret recipe), which is used to seal two piece barrel together.

After much research we found the answer, a one year transition period (1990 - 1991) when both ebonite and plastic feeds were used. Tie this in with bi-colour 14ct gold nib, and we can conclude that this pen is genuine and manufactured during 1990.

Following full service and re-assembly. This 1990 Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 is available to purchase via the Hepworth Dixon website: