For all the passion I have for fountain pens and ink, the chances are very good that more of my time is spent with a pencil in my hand than with a pen. For letter and journal writing a pen is best, usually a different one, a different ink each day, but for other writing, for rough drafts, it’s always a pencil. Anyone who knows me, anyone familiar with the Scriblets blog can probably tell that I get a thrill out of fountain pens and ink. But because it is my constant companion, and very nearly an extension of my right hand, because it’s a weight that gives balance and rhythm to the movement of my hand across the page, for these reasons my big, heavy pencil deserves some space here.
Not my first mention of the Montblanc Meisterstuck Platinum Le Grand 0.9 mechanical pencil, as it got a brief mention in an earlier post I did last January on the Kuru Toga pencil from Mitsubishi. But for all its good points, comparing the Kuru Toga and the Montblanc is akin to lining up a Mercedes Benz beside a Chevrolet. The difference is better engineering and high quality materials. In the long run, in a hard pushed test drive, the Benz and the Montblanc will win every time.
The first thing that must be said about the Montblanc 167 mechanical pencil is that it is large and heavy. The length, at five and seven-eighths inches is not extreme, but the barrel is slightly larger than that of a Montblanc Meisterstuck fountain pen. In other words, it is a handful. I have no means of determining the weight, though I searched a dozen or more Montblanc websites, and with no real precision can only say it is a heavy pencil weighing about 30 grams.
The barrel and cap are jet-black precious resin, which highlights the platinum plated clip and three rings around the cap. The center ring is embossed with the name, and the clip is embossed with the pencil’s individual serial number. The familiar white star Montblanc emblem is set into the top of the cap. For most users, the outstanding feature is the 0.9mm lead, a thick and hard to ‘snap’ lead, which does away with the common problem of lead breaking in mid-sentence. In almost three years I have never had one occasion when the lead broke as I was writing.
The word meisterstuck is German for ‘masterpiece’ and in the European tradition becomes the most difficult challenge for a young craftsman aiming to attain the status of master craftsman. Montblanc likes to say that any of their products carrying the Meisterstuck label hold the emotions of its maker, and that the completed work has a soul.
I can concur with that thought when I put my Montblanc Meisterstuck to paper and see what it does. I will repeat what I said in the earlier Kuru Toga post…
The Montblanc 167 writes EXACTLY as I want it to, and simply doesn’t present problems. It is one hundred percent dependable, a quality that I suppose is to be expected in fine engineering.
Neither pens nor pencil, but congratulations to the Japanese Little League Baseball team from Tokyo who defeated Hawaii in the final yesterday and are now the 2010 Little League World Champions!