Montblanc Heritage 1912 Fountain Pen Review

Want to see the Montblanc Heritage 1912 Fountain Pen write? See it here first. Read the detailed review, tantalizing photos, mouthwatering video and the most detailed review you can hope for below.

  • Pocket Size
  • Retractable Nib
  • Nib Smoothness
  • Design
  • Retractable Nib (Yes it’s both Pro & Con)
  • Sky High Price

My short video on Montblanc Heritage:

Montblanc Heritage 1912 Design

 

SPECS:

14K Gold Retractable Nib

Nib Width: 7mm

Nib Length: 18mm

Piston Cartridge/Converter Fill

Screw Cap

Capped: 118mm

Posted: n/a

Uncapped: 122mm

Mid-Grip Width: 9mm

Cap Band Width: 12mm

Total Weight: 47g

Cap Weight: 11g

Left to Right: Grace Kelly, Tribute to Montblanc, Montblanc Heritage 1912

Ah there’s a feeling of understated power when you hold this fountain pen. It’s short, but mighty.

The first thing that you notice when you take it out of the box – besides the black resin finish – is that it’s shorter than most pens but also a little wider. The next visual impact is the iridescent star on the cap. The famous Montblanc snow capped star is cut out of quartz and it has a shimmer that just dazzles. Take a look at the photo to the left, isn’t it mesmerizing?

The Montblanc Heritage 1912 is a celebration of more than 100 years in business and there are two distinctive features that make this standout from their Heritage collection unique: it has a retractable nib and 2-step screw mechanism for the piston fill. (We’ll address filling it later in this review.)

The patented knob is very easy to use and works just like setting a watch. You pull the knob out and twist it to suck up ink into the pen and turn it the other way to push out ink before you clean it. Ingenious.

Interesting, the design feels so understated for a typical Montblanc, but inside this approachable exterior lies double the number of parts in a typical fountain pen to make it work. Even with all of the extra parts, the weight is just right.

You’re thinking, “how is that HUGE quartz logo taking up the entire real estate of the cap, understated?” Well yes that star does take up some significant room on the end of the cap, but the rest of the fountain pen is not as flashy as other writing instruments from their different collections adorned with jewels.

A noteworthy part of this pen is the small “catch” inside of the cap that stops the cap when the nib is extended by hitting a cutout on the back of the plastic feed. Great design to protect your beautiful solid 14K gold, rhodium plated nib!

Speaking of the nib, this one is extremely flat. Many nibs point down toward the paper at the end of the nib, this one sticks out straight and has a triangular vent hole. Montblanc says this triangular vent hole helps with flexibility of the tines to provide a more vintage feel as you write. Even the clip itself echos the triangular shape in the top of the clip and a ridge that carries the raised triangle feel through the rest of the clip.

The nib feels semi-flex and the tines have significant give. What’s nice (to me) about this pen is that it’s a piston fill so there are no cartridges or converters needed, everything you need is built into the pen to draw ink from a bottle.

This is a writing experience, not a pen. You have to slow down a bit to unscrew the cap, then screw out the nib so it’s for writing special things to special people. I’m sure this would get annoying to retract the nib every time you needed to cap it if it were your daily carry pen. But because it’s so beautiful and fun to write with, it’d be a great special occasion writer.

How Does The Montblanc Heritage 1912 Nib Perform?

Okay, seriously, I was skeptical.

How does a pen actually write that’s worth $1100? Is it really THAT fantastic? I’m just not feeling dropping a grand on one lonely fountain pen.

I searched for this pen on the Internet before it arrived and found a YouTube video of a proprietor using white gloves to handle this pen.

Seriously?

It’s a pen, not the cure for cancer! If I can’t hold it with my bare hand, write with it for hours, love it, and pocket it, then why blow a grand on it? Pens are designed to WRITE not look at and hold with white gloves.

So as soon as I took this pen out of the box, I inked it. Yep, I inked my first $1000 pen and used the hell out of it. You want to know how a pen writes, not just looks.

Anyone can pull a pen out of a box and show it to you. But fountain pens can be finicky writers. What are you getting?

All skepticism aside when I wrote with it. There are really no “cons” outside of that heavy price tag. Well, and, you have to screw off the cap, and then screw to expose the nib (same as one of my all-time favorite pens, the Boheme) which isn’t practical for everyday writing IF you write as much as I do.

But I used it and the Boheme everywhere I went and it was a little celebration every time I wrote something because it’s like a ceremony to get ready to write.

It’s a pen, not the cure for cancer! If I can’t hold it with my bare hand, write with it for hours, love it, and pocket it, then why blow a grand on it?

Available in medium, fine or broad nibs, I’m reviewing the medium nib on the Montblanc Heritage 1912 here. It writes like a true medium, a little on the thicker side of the spectrum, but a gorgeous line.

The ink I used is Oyster Grey Montblanc bottled ink which has a translucence, it’s a wet ink and flows well but not a deeply saturated color. I think I’d prefer to use a deep inky black in the Montblanc Heritage 1912.

What I LOVE about this fountain pen is that there was absolutely NO hard-starting, skipping or other nib irritants. This pen wrote the second it touched the paper, then danced across it, daring me to write more.

I adore a nib that does what it’s engineered to do, and this one does. The triangle vent hole and super-straight tines are more flexible than most as they touch the page and engage the dance between pen and paper well.

It does just as well on notebook paper, but be forewarned you won’t be able to use the backside of your notebook pages with the Montblanc Heritage 1912, it does ghost quite a bit and you see the words on the other side of the page. Thankfully, the bleed-through isn’t so significant that it marks up the page behind that, but you can’t use the backside legibly.

On Clairefontaine 90g paper? FANTASTIC. Always the proponent for a pen that will write on anything, (because who carries 5 pens everywhere they go? Too cumbersome, I carry two max.) This pen fits the bill and writes on any-  and everything.

It’s a medium-flow writer, meaning it’s not wet and it’s not dry. They engineered perfection in this nib and that’s what you’re paying for aside from the patented pull-knob fill system.

It feels incredibly balanced in the hand, you’d never guess at first glance that the weight and streamlined appearance hides so many mechanical parts. I had no hand fatigue and no issues with it being heavier on the knob side (a reasonable fear when I looked at the extra parts required to operate the nib and fill.)

Montblanc Heritage 1912 & Tribute To Montblanc

The Cap – Montblanc Heritage 1912

It takes about three rotations to get the cap off, four to secure it closed well.

It’s not a poster 🙁

This was such a letdown for me, but I’m admitting defeat in the design process at this pricepoint. Nothing else above $600 I’ve reviewed has been able to post the cap on the back either.

I guess manufacturers don’t want you to post because you’d scratch the finish, but that’s how I prefer to write so the fact that this one can’t post is disappointing.

What is fun is the mechanism to retract the nib and the fact that it’s a piston fill. It’s a smooth-as-silk operation to draw ink out of the bottle and I appreciate a properly working piston fill.

Yes, they’re harder to clean because there’s more real estate inside the pen to flush out when you’re changing inks, but it holds so much more than a tiny converter, you don’t have to refill as often.

Who is the Fountain Pen Good For? Is It a Good Overall Value?

I know you’re thinking a grand is too much to spend on one fountain pen.

It might be, but when you consider the 40-60K limited edition pens out there, this price-point doesn’t seem absurd.

If you’re looking for a Montblanc that makes writing a celebration, this is your pen. It has the thickness and heft of a masculine pen and the length of a pocket pen, but at 48g, don’t expect to pocket it in a shirt, it will pull down your pocket.

This is more of a special occasion pen when you want to compose a letter to someone special and set the mood while you do it. It’s for the guy or gal that makes writing letters almost ceremonious. I can see this pen being used by someone who is also heating wax while writing, planning to seal the envelope with a monogram.

Get the price of the Montblanc Heritage fountain pen now on Amazon.