Montblanc flexes with the new Meisterstück Calligraphy Solitaire Burgundy

The nib of a fountain pen is the source of its magic. Yes, there are many nice pens out there, but without a good nib, a nice pen is just a nice pen. A good pen nib can literally turn an ordinary writing experience into a memorable fusion of mind and hand – and maybe even soul, depending on the day and my mood.

Montblanc Meisterstück Calligraphy Solitaire Burgundy Fountain Pen

In the realm of luxury, the new Montblanc watches Meisterstück Calligraphie Solitaire Burgundy Lacquer is a desirable pen from all points of view and its attributes are further enhanced by its flexible 18k gold nib. This pen is part of Montblanc’s Meisterstück Great Masters Calligraphy collection, whose nibs are designed to recapture the writing experience offered by the company’s pens from the 1950s and earlier, when more flexible nibs ruled.

Flexible tips

A flexible nib promises an unparalleled writing experience with variation in writing line depending on the pressure exerted.

Press down and the nib teeth (the two sections of a nib created by the “slit”, which ends at the air hole) spread apart slightly, creating a thicker ink stroke. Release and the teeth come together for a finer line. The result is a flourishing script that is as beautiful as it is satisfying to create.

Flexible tip of the Montblanc Meisterstück Calligraphy Solitaire Burgundy fountain pen

At one time, as a distant relative of the quill pen, most fountain pen nibs were flexible. But as the ballpoint pen made its foray into “pendom,” people became accustomed to a firmer tip that could withstand more pressure than the sometimes tricky flexible tip could handle. So, in general, companies responded with firmer feathers.

Flexible nibs continue to be sought after by artists and those who love their inimitable responsiveness. They are most often found on vintage (pre-1950) pens. But with the growing interest in the art of lettering, especially calligraphy, companies have answered the call with new flexible nib options at varying prices, depending on the material used to create them.

Montblanc Meisterstück Calligraphy Solitaire Burgundy Fountain Pen

It is not surprising that Montblanc is one of these companies since it has promoted the art of beautiful writing since its creation in 1906. The word calligraphy, of Greek origin, means “beautiful writing” (Kallos and graphic).

Meisterstück Calligraphy Solitaire Burgundy

I’ve seen Montblanc’s nib making process firsthand, and it’s pretty amazing – from the initial gold preparation to the final quality checks, with a lot in between. Like other Montblanc nibs, this flexible example is hand-carved by the company’s artisans in the Hamburg workshop. Each takes about 35 discrete steps.

Montblanc Meisterstück Calligraphy Solitaire Burgundy Fountain Pen

The body of the Meisterstück Calligraphy Solitaire Burgundy Lacquer is also remarkable. It features an interesting shaded decor using a new lacquering technique transforming the brushed metal into a color gradient. The translucent burgundy hue is complemented by champagne gold fittings, and the 18k champagne gold nib features special engravings indicating its flexible status.

The pen is also available as a fountain pen with a standard nib or as a roller pen.

Writing with the Montblanc Meisterstück Calligraphy Solitaire Burgundy Fountain Pen

Final Thoughts

Choosing a fountain pen nib is a very individual thing (I usually like a fine 18k gold nib). When I was a newbie collector, some elders advised me to find out what type of nib I liked and never lend a pen. Over time, they said, a fountain pen becomes precisely its own, with gold nib wear being just one of the many ways a pen carries its history. Another’s hand – pressure, writing angle and even choice of paper – could potentially disrupt the natural evolution and uniqueness of my feather.

I’ve loosened up over the years, allowing myself a wider (and richer) experience by experimenting with a variety of cutting edge sizes, shapes, materials and flexes. I found something to like in each. And I even lent a fountain pen here and there in search of conviviality rather than singularity. I have to call it personal growth.

For more information, please visit www.montblanc.com.

Montblanc Quick Facts Meisterstück Calligraphy Solitaire Burgundy
Editions: fountain pen with flexible tip; fountain pen with standard nib; Roller
Cap and body: burgundy lacquer with gradient effect; champagne gold trim
Nib: 18 carat gold plated champagne gold
Price: $1,860 (FP flexible tip); $1,745 (FP standard nib); $1,515 (RB)

You can also enjoy:

The pinnacle of fine writing: on the spot with Montblanc fine writing instruments

The thick, swirling brushstrokes of Krone’s Vincent Van Gogh pen

Montblanc Meisterstück Spike Lee Special Edition: Highlighting the Love of Writing

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