Talk:Montblanc (company)

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How to Spot a Fake[edit]

I added a "citation needed" tag for this section, since most of the advice only applies to certain modern pens. It would be unfortunate if someone with an authentic pen reading this thought their pen was fake because it did not meet these criteria. I'm going to delete it in the next few days if nothing is added to back it up.

None of the pens had serial numbers until 1991, and some pens made afterward will not have them. The "Made in Germany" and "Pix" also do not appear on every pen. Furthermore, if pen's clip has been replaced by Montblanc (perhaps the cap broke or was lost) the replacement may not have a serial number. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.225.168.85 (talk) 22:03, 10 February 2010 (UTC)


Logo / Photography[edit]

Anyone who got a good photo of the white star logo for the page? I'd like to add it - FrankSneddon (talk) 10:16, 15 July 2009 (UTC)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:88.107.55.110 has been editing this page and those of other companies/products owned by the Richemont Group, deleting sourced, NPOV material, and adding or restoring stuff that seems to favour their interests, without proper discussion. If he's not a PR sock puppet, could he start a DISCUSSION on why he wants these changes? Umptious 17:54, 25 August 2007 (UTC)


—Preceding unsigned comment added by Umptious (talkcontribs) 17:54, August 25, 2007 (UTC)

I've done by best to add links and to remove obvious PR copy.


Anyone have a good image of the white star that can be added to this article? Hiberniantears 21:42, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Just did :) Bsodmike 18:12, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

The preciousness of the resin refers to its density. Montblanc has created a patented formula for its resin that makes it more durable than the average resin in pens. If cared for properly, it will be resistant to surface scratches and wear due to the corrosive effects of your finger oils. Yes, it is fragile, but like one of the other commentors said, "fragile things can certainly be precious." Nothing is indestructible. A pen, like anything else, will wear as well as you treat it. I've had mine for years, and it still looks beautiful.

There is no attempt at deception. No one is implying that the material is worth more than it actually is. With Montblanc, you pay for the fact that everything is hand crafted in Germany, plated or solid precious metals, and of course, there is the elite distinction of owning a Montblanc pen. Value, like time, is relative. You can get where you are going in a Kia, but its more fun in a Porsche. Its the same with a pen. Anyone can use a Bic, but only the elite can use a Montblanc.

PS. They told me all this information when I bought a Meisterstuck for my friend. If you want answers to your questions, visit a Montblanc boutique. They are more than helpful and informed on the product they sell.

WhatALady (talk) 20:06, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Precious resin[edit]

I don't understand the contraversy. Supposedly the material is some unspecified kind of plastic with one or more other materials added to it. Which to me sounds like a pretty standard definition of a wide variety of proprietary composite materials promoted commercially in various ways. No evidence is offered that the material is in fact inexpensive or easy to manufacture or is commonly available elsewhere.

- The material looks and behaves like plastic costing a few cents per kilo. I think calling such a material "precious" and trying to imply that it is something else - like the genuinely precious resins used in pen manufacture like urushi - is fairly described as controversial. As are the claims that it cracks easily.

- Or to put it another way: if I tried to sell what look like ordinary grocery bags for $100 each, justifying this by saying that they are made of "precious fabric", but refusing to say how it is precious, do you think that most people would accept or contest my valuation? "Controversy" is, by definition, an appropriate adjective for a contested claim.

But if there is some kind of widely recognized controversy, it should at least have some references (tag added)

- The two references following are such references; one for "it is really plastic", one for "it breaks".

Those references are very weak. The first one merely mentions that it "looks like shiny plastic." So? Does that mean that that particular plastic-looking formulation it isn't difficult to develop and/or manufacture, or even that its status as a trade secret (regardless of manufacturing cost) imparts it with value.

-

No one would ever claim that Cola-Cola is expensive to manufacture but the specific flavoring recipe is certainly "precious".  There are all sorts of exotic materials which have a "plastic-like" appearance or contain plastic as an ingredient. 

- Sure. But how many of them are described as precious?

As for whether it breaks, again, so what?  Fragile things can certainly be previous.  Emeralds, for example, are very fragile.  Or fine stemware for that matter. 

- 1. Yes. But in the case of emeralds and and stemware, some reason can be given for the precious nature of the item. In the case of MB precious resin, as in that of the grocery bag, the reasons is just "because I say so". In the case of coca cola, the formula is precious to the company, but one would hardly claim that an individual can of coke was of great value... More: while stemware itself can be precious, would any agree to pay ten times as much for a particular piece because it was described as being made of "precious" sand?

- 2. "Fragile things can certainly be previous." Yes, but the use of a fragile "precious" material in applications requiring robustness will still be controversial. However this point has gone with re-editting, and the new version is generally an improvement.

I do see some evidence of a controversy here, but I think the article could be better observe NPOV with respect to a factual account of published opinions.

For example, the article doesn't even mention the MB claim contained in the first reference that the forumla is an extremely tightly-kept trade secret.

- This probably needs adding. It's a fascinating, almost Borgesian point: can you say if something is or isn't precious if you don't know what it is? Can something become precious *because* you don't know what is?

What definition are you trying to attach to the use of the adjective precious? My dictionary says "of great value" and secondarily "greatly valued or treasured by someone." Clearly the concept of "precious" is at least partially subjective. Contrast with "rare" (not commonly found) or even "exotic" (out of the ordinary). MB does not claim that the resin used is "rare" or "exotic." If I owned a MB pen (I don't), I could correctly consider it precious.

- Again: if one owned a piece of stemware, one might consider the flatware precious or not, but would anyone accept the term "precious sand" for the material it was made of, *unless* this sand was rare or exotic in some way? "Precious metal" means a rare and valuable material like gold, "precious resin" clearly echoes this. Your argument amounts to the claim that the description of a raw material can be changed by the use it is put to: this is very poor semantics and amounts to a destruction of the meaning of the word "precious" in this context. (If any material can become precious by being used in an object which its owner can consider of value, then every material is precious - so steel is just as much a precious metal as silver or gold...)

You might disagree. Its subjective.

- Really? If you were sold "precious metal" and it turned out to be rusty iron you would feel this was utterly non-controversial?

Raw material? MB does not claim that the "precious resin" is a "raw material," only part of the construction of the finished pen. In fact, they explicitly claim the opposite by pointing out that the formula is secret. Precious resin is description of a trade-secret manufactured material, not a raw material.

- I think that you are quibbling over the point at which something is a "raw material" rather than just "a material". Forget the "raw" if it confuses you.

- That's what the disputed word "controversy" implies, together with some heat to the discussion. If a term like "deception" or "fraud" was used, then it would be a breach of NPOV

Wait a minute! The article reports a belief that MB does "deliberately mislead" (unsourced, by the way).

Unless it can be documented that this belief is widespread part of a widespread controversy (not just some WP editor) it should be removed.

- Why don't people spend 60 seconds using google themselves if they think more links are needed? Added.

If MB thinks their resin is "precious", it is (but perhaps only to them).

- Which would make their use of the term controversial...

The references provided support the idea that the resin: a) "looks like pastic" and b) breaks easily.  Beyond that we really can't say.  We don't even know, for example, whether it really is plastic, or just _looks_ like pastic  At least not from the references provided.  Let's maintain our neutrality here and report objectively about any controversy.  To go beyond that is inappropriate for WP.

- Your wiki philosophy is utterly correct, but I don't think you've thought about the word "controversy" enough. It means that there is a heated discussion, not that MB's claims are false. It is the job of the article to report the existence of the controversy and the reasons for it: doing this is not taking sides. Your last comment would be entirely correct ***if the article claimed definitively that PR is not precious or is plastic.*** However the article doesn't do that.

The phrase "buy a $600 plastic pen" strongly suggests that the pen is in fact plastic.

- It doesn't unless you alter the meaning of the sentence by selective quoting. The original is "Critics feel that the element of secrecy and the adjective "precious" are arbitrarily used to deliberately mislead people who would be unlikely to knowingly buy a $600 plastic pen (see e.g. here)."

So far there is not even a reference supporting the idea of any widespread belief (much less serious chemical analysis) that pens are actually plastic (only that they "look like" plastic).

- There are *two* "precious resin is plastic" references in the article: one to Business Week, and the other to a forum discussion between a group of fountain pen collectors - one of who if memory serves me rightly was a chemist and expert of polymers, the other one of the foremost living fountain pen restorers and experts... This is in the space of a single paragraph, in an article that was almost sourceless before.


At best that part of the article should be written more neutrally.

- But once again, ***how***? The article (as opposed to this discussion, where it has often been necessary to explain the its-plastic-side against fairly bizarre logic) says that there is a debate and references people who say that PR seems to be glass reinforced plastic, and that "precious" is used only as an marketing term to glamorize the material, and that MB won't say what it is. That's literally all there is to say. MB have never, as far as I can find searching the web, issued a "It's not plastic" statement.


—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 199.164.185.221 (talk)

 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 63.198.99.84 (talk) 22:04, August 20, 2007 (UTC) 


—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 71.84.3.72 (talk) 23:54:04, August 18, 2007 (UTC)

In my view, this article fails to meet Wikipedia standards on many if not most criteria. The article does not approach neutrality. It focuses on a narrow set of concerns about product quality, and offers very little about the history, development, and product line of the company. Montblanc diversified away from pens many years ago, as noted, and the article fails to make clear that this company produces a diverse and far-reaching range of products. Even the naive observer would be aware that the company's products are of generally very high quality, so the focus on this purported issue in particular weakens this article. In my view, something approaching a complete rewrite is needed. Laurence R. Hunt, Kenora, Canada (talk) 03:02, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

The preciousness of the resin refers to its density. Montblanc has created a patented formula for its resin that makes it more durable than the average resin in pens. If cared for properly, it will be resistant to surface scratches and wear due to the corrosive effects of your finger oils. Yes, it is fragile, but like one of the other commentors said, "fragile things can certainly be precious." Nothing is indestructible. A pen, like anything else, will wear as well as you treat it. I've had mine for years, and it still looks beautiful.

There is no attempt at deception. No one is implying that the material is worth more than it actually is. With Montblanc, you pay for the fact that everything is hand crafted in Germany, plated or solid precious metals, and of course, there is the elite distinction of owning a Montblanc pen. Value, like time, is relative. You can get where you are going in a Kia, but its more fun in a Porsche. Its the same with a pen. Anyone can use a Bic, but only the elite can use a Montblanc.

PS. They told me all this information when I bought a Meisterstuck for my friend. If you want answers to your questions, visit a Montblanc boutique. They are more than helpful and informed on the product they sell.

WhatALady (talk) 20:20, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Name of Company[edit]

The entire title of this article is wrong. The name of the pen company is 'Mont Blanc', not 'Montblanc'. No one seems to have mentioned this. Why hasn't this been corrected? coyote 09:53, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

On Montblanc's official website, the name is consistantly referred to as "Montblanc". Mike Helms 10:36, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Commercial links[edit]

Per the Wiki acceptable use policy, please DO NOT add commercial links to resellers, etc.

Mike Helms 15:25, 29 September 2006 (UTC)


In adding his critisism, one user stated: "Added something about Mont Blanc being too delicate for regular use. This isn't bias -- I used to have a Mont Blanc and I thought it was really crappy frankly)." The text he added was far more wide-reaching then his own anecdotal experiences. I have removed that text. I would welcome any such text in the future with 1) proper citations rather than reference to personal experience, and 2) removal of references to "most" "many" or "a lot" - if Montblanc had nearly the number of unsatisfied customers implied by these descriptors, this entire article would be in the past tense.


--- It depends. They may have a heap of first time customers and little repeat business. It depends on their business model.

--- Arguing on the basis of "people would have more sense"/"it couldn't happen here" is an argument completely contradicted by history.

Anecdotes[edit]

Hi: The trouble is, where do you get data for customer experenience that is not, at least partially, anecdotal. I've been told by two pen shops not to ever, ever drop a MB pen because the resin will split and I'll need to have components replaced. Who am I? Some guy on the internet? But a guy on the internet who is doing his research before buying. My *opinion* is that probably MB is going to have very few negative pen reviews in magazines and books because what they sell is an experience and are probably very protective of their reputations.

Consumables— That being said, being the kind of guy who researches everything before buying (I'm sooooo anal, but I'm getting better) is that MB may be turning into a company that makes money off of consumables and repairs. Potential clues include MB's resistance to setting up an internet purchase/distribution system so that consumers can compare prices. Ten years ago on a national broadcaster, some pen expert opined that MB was going to turn into a slightly different company and that the pens were no longer the focus, but 'businessman jewelery'. The use of liquid-based (rather than gel) roller balls means the refills last two weeks (they insist that the water-based rollerballs provide a better 'experience'). Pen review sites that say a two-foot drop (not unreasonable in office environments) is enough to send a Mont Blanc back to the pen shop.

Manufacture— Moreover, look at the fittings, the base of the ben (where you grip) is a metal thread. The barrel or shaft is usually moulded resin with no metal fitting inside to screw into the base (the StarWalker is an exception). This means the metal fittings, which are several thousand times harder than the resin, will wear down the threads in the shaft. Comperable pens from other manufacturers I've been looking at (no names, just an observation) are metal to metal. I interrogated a seller one about this and the person insisted resins were better because they were strong and when I pointed out that the main advantage to resins is their lightness, not strength (ie compare aluminum to steel), I got what I called a 'DeBeers' backpedal. For generations, flawless diamonds were what were sold as valuable; now that we can manufacture flawless diamonds, DeBeers has reversed itself and says flaws are wonderful. I was then accused of reverse snobbery.

Value over time— Finally, look at the re-sale value. Really well made brand names tend to have high re-sale values. Compare a 20-year-old Mercedes or Porsche to a 20-year-old Buick. If I look on E-Bay, a StarkWalker sellls for half its retail price or less, but a vintage pen sells for at least that amount. You'd figure a vingage pen with more mileage would have less value, no? Why does certain types of high-fi audio gear (at least as subjective as fountain pens!) have lengthy resale value --Byrston amplifiers have 20 year guarantees, Macintosh tuners from 20 years ago still sell for hundreds of dollars, et cetera.

Improving the article— I've still not decided what my reward to myself for my raise will be yet, and I won't mention other manufacturers, but my opinions are beginning to solidify. To improve the article I think we need to find ratings systems and comparative statistical reports of user satisfaction. Moreover, any interviews with pen experts and resellers who judge the longevity and quality of manufacture/repair cycle could also be cited.

Thanks. Just some guy on the internet with opinions that do not count as data

Thanks for sharing that with us, but have you considered putting your experiences on a site such as Epinions, where it might help more people and be more relevant in terms of your personal experience with Montblanc pens?--Folksong 20:34, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Not that it's particularly relevant here, but I've dropped my Montblanc more times than I care to remember, and the resin has yet to split. As for resale - it's a dang pen, dude. If you're that worried about reliability, don't buy a Merc or a Porsche; get a Honda and be done with it. -- Mike Helms 01:55, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

I have also commented above. The focus of this article on a so-called controversy about product quality is entirely inappropriate and unencyclopedic. This discussion does not belong in a primary Wikipedia article. I have also noted that Montblanc diversified beyond the manufacture of pens many years ago. A much more objective discussion about the history and development of the company and its current product line is called for. To be clear, it is obvious to even the naive observer that this company manufactures high quality products. Why is this unsubstantiated "controversy" the primary focus of the article? If there is in fact a controversy among pen collectors, surely there are references to support this. If not, the topic is needlessly entered in this article. The primary emphasis of the article is patently unobjective. To be honest, I was shocked that this article stands in its present form. Laurence R. Hunt, Kenora, Canada (talk) 03:13, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Cheap Mont Blanc (Pilot G-2)[edit]

Not sure if it's worth mentioning but if you buy a $10 2-pack of Mont Blanc refills and then shorten the ends a little bit, it fits perfectly into a cheap Pilot G-2 pen. So you can enjoy the (subjectively) superior writing quality of a real expensive Mont Blanc, but for just maybe $15 (for two). (Corby 02:29, 19 December 2006 (UTC))

The Authenticity and Third Party Retailers section reads like a company brochure, and provides little useful information an encyclopedia would carry.

It should be deleted or at least any points viewed as worth keeping merged into the main body

Authenticity and Third Party Retailers[edit]

I removed this section, because, as other editors have pointed out, it doesn't sound encyclopedic and sounds more like a sales blurb. If someone wants to add in sourced information about Montblanc counterfeiting incidents, they're very welcome to do so. Darksun 17:32, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Unreferenced Material removed[edit]

I have removed any unsourced or unreferenced material, especially focusing on the "criticism and controversy" section. Encyclopedic content MUST be verifiable, and the author has not linked to any sources here. There is no link or correct reference to the "Frank Dubiel article" and the "Diamond Intelligence" link does not point to any page. I would suggest that the author of this section revisit any source material if they wish to include this section. Era7er (talk) 15:01, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

What about Nibs?[edit]

Okay, I've been reading through and I own a number of fountain pens, some MB, some not, and while the body of the pen is important, I haven't seen any discussion about the nib, which is what you're paying for ultimately. Their nibs, in my opinion, are very well made and offer a very consistent writing experience. As far as the resin goes, MB's resin is lightweight, and I've dropped mine off a desk (winced when I did), but everything was fine. However, I wouldn't make it a habit of abusing it, or any other of my fountain pens- regardless of material. All high-end pens cost serious coin and to treat it like a $2 pen is foolish. Also, at least on the new Meisterstuck (Feb '08) the connection of the nib section to the body section (the hollow where the cartridge goes) is metal to metal. One last thing, for what limited editions to they make that go into the tens of thousands, as it states in the article? I have seen their pens numbered X of 10, X of 200, or the ever popular X of 4,810 at their Bond Street, London location, but never X of 30,000. Wouldn't it be helpful to qualify? Graphei (talk)graphei —Preceding comment was added at 00:17, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

The editions I've most commonly seen are X of 3, 8, 88, 333, 888, 4810 etc. The George Bernard Shaw FP for example is a release of 16,000 when you consider FPs from single sales and those also from the full "sets" (FP, BP, and mechanical pencil). Bsodmike (talk) 18:41, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Alleged "Controversy"[edit]

Three links were provided within the text, with its main reference an alleged article by "DiamondIntelligence". This link loads an error page; the other two references lead me to a 146 review and another article on a vintage 149 - completely irrelevant considering the slandering nature of the text. I have therefore removed this section from the article. Quoting Wikipedia, "Encyclopedic content must be verifiable" Bsodmike (talk) 02:31, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

The Gandhi pen controversy[edit]

The sale of the Limited Edition Gandhi pen has been suspended in India as it generated controversy. Would this be of interest on this page? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8534101.stm (Lizppp (talk) 13:50, 4 April 2010 (UTC))

Foundation date[edit]

The Simplo Filler GmBH was founded, as reported here by the daughter of Johannes Voss, in March 1908. The fact the company celebrates its century in 2006, perhaps because Eberstein started some activities in 1906, do not change the fact that the company did not existed at that time. S.piccardi (talk) 09:19, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Meisterstuck Name[edit]

Please do no refer to Meisterstuck as the name of a pen. It always was a generic name for top production, see http://www.fountainpen.it/Meisterst%C3%BCck/en