Sunday, June 14, 2009

Montblanc Collection Catalogue

Here’s two of my options.
1 = Put a tenner aside each week, then in a couple of years I’ll be able to afford a Mont Blanc.
2 = Tell my wife there won’t be any holiday this year because I’m off to the Mont Blanc boutique this weekend.

Maybe I should have a reader poll to see which I should choose?

In the meantime though, whist I’m unable to afford a Montblanc pencil, I can afford a Montblanc catalogue full of pretty pictures! Here’s one catalogue, the "Montblanc Collection". It’s hardcover, a bit squarer than A4 size, 172 full colour numbered pages. I don’t know what year this catalogue is from. I suspect it is a 1997 updated reprint of the 1996 catalogue, as several photographs show series of annual diaries, with 1996 usually the last year pictured, but a couple show 1997.Montblanc really push the whole concept of “the writing experience”. The catalogue is full of stories of famous essayists and writers from the past, and with your Montblanc you will be able to join that heritage, become one of the select few to experience the pure writing joy of putting a Montblanc to paper. Inspiration and words of importance will just pour forth. Yea well, I’d like one anyway.The pages are tab cut into sections for different writing instrument models and other products.The Montblanc Meisterstuck Grand Document Marker (highlighter). That’s craaaaaa-zeeee! Hundreds of dollars for a yellow highlighter! Still I imagine many would say the same thing about the pencil too.Page after page of pens, pencils, diaries, pen pouches, etc etc etc.Some of the most expensive leads and eraser refills you can buy.

Enjoy it if you can afford it.


Henrik said...

Here's a third option: buy a used one. I've had the same idea - never nind the arguments, at some point you just want one. So I went hunting. Even the pre loved specimens is a bit pricy, but I've seen Meisterstücks (pencils)at around 275 of your money a piece. So some Montblancs are within reach.
Really nice post as usual.

Slywy said...

Go with option 2, and option 3 will be your readers betting how long it takes for divorce proceedings to begin. :) I'm guessing Mrs. Dave is a veritable saint. And Henrik is right—maybe a used Montblanc is a good alternative. I have some pre-driven Epic pens (out-of-production Papermates) that work just like when they were brand new.

Kiwi-d said...

Well Mrs Dave is of course a lovely lady...anyway, I'm not averse to a pre-loved Montblanc but the world is just awash with fakes so I've sort of decided that if I do ever get one it will have to be brand new from a genuine authorised dealer.
Even authorised dealers have to be double checked - sometime back when I was toying with the idea I emailed Montblanc about two authorised dealers I was considering buying from, and Montblanc replied that they absolutely were not authorised dealers.

Anonymous said...

I was a little bit puzzled by Dave's various places for comments, this one belongs here (copy)

For everyone wanting a Montblanc (Masterpiece) pencil,
ebay Germany is the place to go, they are less expensive here.

Enter this as the search string:
montblanc (bleist*, dreh*, drück*, mine*) -roll* -kugel* -kuli*

good luck!

btw: Montblanc doesn't allow enduser business via internet in Germany and elsewhere (if they can), even refills! That's why you can only get used pen(cils) this way.
I have a Masterpiece (Meisterstück), a gift from my father. It's nice to have but I don't use it.

-Arne, Hamburg, Montblanc town.

Unknown said...

=This message is mostly for Dave.=
If you are a Montblanc fan and continue to read, I apologize in advance if I ruffle feathers.

My suggestion would be _not_ to buy a Montblanc. Or, maybe I'm agreeing with others to buy it secondhand. I have no experience with their pencils, only with their pens (fountain and rollerball) which I have used on and off for 20 years now. They are definitely nice pens but just that--nice. In no way are they worth their current retail price, and several friends who own them agree. I write with a fountain pen daily and, in my opinion, Sailor has a superior nib and Pelikan makes comparable if not better nibs. Both of these pens are equally impressive visually and cost less. Secondly, the Meisterstuck bodies are made out of "precious resin", a material which cannot cost more than a few cents per pen. Dave, you are an engineer (if I remember correctly). What is precious resin? How much would a pen's worth of electronics grade acrylic resin cost? Not much.
Finally, unlike other manufacturers with excellent repair service, Montblanc is very expensive. I recently had a crack in the pen body and was told that to replace it would cost US$90 which is more than the original price of the pen.
In recent years Montblanc has pushed hard to become a luxury brand and part of this strategy was to raise prices while expanding the product range. I honestly liked them as a pen company but, in my opinion, they are currently bilking their customers.

Henrik said...

Well, I've heard and read this too. That's why I suggested the 3rd option. Currently I don't own a MontBlanc either, but I still want one, sometime maybe.. because I would like to own a MontBlanc :=)

Poincare said...

Acutally, it wouldn't take you a couple of years to buy a mont blanc. Each year has 52 weeks, so in only one year you would have $520 which I think should be enough to buy a mont blanc!

Kiwi-d said...

Thanks folks for your comments.
In particular, to Paul, thanks very much for your detailed comment. I don’t think I disagree with anything you say, although I can’t comment on the quality of their FP’s, etc since I don’t have any. The mark-up on cost of production to retail price for MB’s is probably something mind-boggling like 1000%+. I have no doubt they are not worth the price they cost, which is one reason why I don’t have one. Still, I keep having this yearning, and I don’t think a second-hand one will scratch that itch. Regarding pricing though, surely none of the luxury brand items can justify their pricing on any sort of relationship to cost of production? High end Parkers, Conway-Stewarts, Caran d’Ache, ST DuPont, etc – when you buy any of these don’t you accept you are paying 10% for the product and 90% for the brandname? Like artwork, cost of production is irrelevant to value?
Anyway, thanks again for your very commonsense comments, and helping to keep my feet on the ground. This years holiday is booked, so no Montblancs in the short term.
Maybe I’m hearing voices – but I could swear that down in the basement, many Lamys and several high-end Caran d’Aches are calling to me. Expect reviews soon. Even a review of a BP. Yep, maybe I have gone mad.

A couple of years ago my old faithful $50 job broke, and I’d always wanted a Rolex…

I found some comfort on a watch collector’s discussion board, with this little snippet about Rolex.
Is it as good as I think it is? Is it worth what I paid? Am I mad?
Yes, No, Probably. In that order.

Unknown said...

Dave. You make a good point on the relationship between price and cost of production for several brands. The psychology of being a collector is outside my ability to comment. I can offer a different viewpoint, though. I tend to collect items that are 1) machined to exceptional standards (Caran D'Ache pencils, IMO), 2) produce an exceptional feel for writing (Sailor FP, Hi Uni pencils), or 3) are downright clever (Uni Kuru-Toga). I try not to think of them as works of art per se but rather as highly refined tools. When I start to think of them as works of art then price I feel I should pay becomes blurry.

BTW, if you are looking for an interesting rollerball instead of a BP, I can suggest the Monteverde MegaBall. Being a rollerball than you can refill with any ink, it falls into the clever category and writes _almost_ as smoothly as a FP.

-che pablo

Kiwi-d said...

Paul, I have nothing but admiration and envy for the clarity of how you come to choose things worthy of being collected. I have long tried to define some rules to guide me, but have not made much progress. This year though I have at least set a pencil-budget, and so far I am managing to stick to it. It does focus my purchasing decisions - the want versus the limited pot of gold.

Germ said...

Not worth. better are available and at much lower cost. but, if you just have to show off how much money you have and how small some parts of the anatomy are..... :)

Penmaniacs said...

i agree a nice cheaper pentel has more bang for the buck

Penmaniacs said...

an interesting rollerball is the lamy dialog 2. The clip is now you see me
.....FLASH! you don't. The mechanism is screw style and when you extract the quality lamy rollerball the clip vanishes. About value- luxury pencils mainly appeal to collectors or company executivess so companies can get away with some gimmicks, but also these pencils are usually more reliable, durable, and cooler looking then simple bic's or pentels. Caran d' ache's products are really cool and are hand-crafted from awesome materials like rhodium and gold. Lamy's value extremely the principle that a product should be based on it functionality rather than just its looks.

Penmaniacs said...

Paul or anyone else-
would you say caran d' ache or lamy are ripping off there customers