Sunday, April 3, 2011

Montblanc F.Scott Fitzgerald Review, Writers Edition 2002

Earlier on, during the start of my craze of FP, I've listed a platinum 146 in my wishlist of pens(it is still there, btw). However, due to my obsession with the Writers Edition recently, I have collected a handful of good deal WE fountain pens and seem to have put the idea of getting the 146 on hold. My latest haul, the F.Scott Fitzgerald has reminded me again of the 146. That is mainly because they have much in common. I compared the 2 in the MB boutique, where I purchased the F. Scott Fitzgerald, and true enough the F. Scott Fitzgerald is based on the platfrom of the 146. Similar nib dimension and apart from all the diffrences in cosmetic , the F. Scott Fitzgerald is shorter, and has no ink windows. Holding and writing with the F. Scott Fitzgerald has a strong Meisterstuck feel to it, in terms of weight, dimension and quality of writing. I won't dare to conclude that the F. Scott Fitzgerald is a substitute for the 146, but lets just say I won't be craving for the 146, at least for now...

Appearance and Design 8/10
Classic almost Meisterstuck like shape and proportion, the F. Scott Fitzgerald is based on the 1920 art deco era, from the silver rings and 2 colour barrel to the art-deco pattern on the nib. I have a thing for dwi-tone nib colours and this is one of my favourite in the WE line. The clip and rings are made of 925 sterling silver and there are some oxidation after being more than 8 years on the shelf. I could even tell there's a fingerprint that has been there for a long time from the oxidation marks. I used a bit of hot water, baking soda and salt with some cotton buds to clean it, and brings out the shine again (though there are some visible abrasive marks under the reading light).
The real aesthetic here is really the mother of pearl resin on the barrel, making it unique and gives the extra depth of pattern. One can't help but rotating the pen to see how the pattern goes around the barrel. The creamy white multi depth pattern gives it al almost 3D feel to the texture. Here are some closeup, I tried my best to capture the pattern.

Construction and Quality 7/10
This is a full resin pen, lightweight in construction and again has the similar feel of quality of construction as the Meisterstuck. The parts are well put together where there are silver rings and resin, and the cap screws in firmly into the barrel (somewhat firmer than the 146 that I have compared). However, I did noticed a slight movement and 'click' sound made when rotating the cap at the tip where the emblem is. This due to some slight loose joints between the upper dome part of the cap and the clip ring, which I think can easily be tighten. The clip slides in and out easily but grips my shirt pocket rather well. Overall, it is a finely built pen with no major glitches than may affects its functionality.

Weight and Dimension 8/10
Shorter than the 146 but slightly larger in diameter, it is almost like a shrinked proportion of the 149. Because of the shorter length and its light weight, its more pleasant to write with the cap posted. I feel like I could almost write for hours and the good proportion needs almost no time for me to get used to it. I normally prefer heavier pens and write unposted but with the F. Scott Fitzgerald, I found myself loving a light weight pen and having the cap posted. I think I've discovered another kind of joy in writing with this pen. Again, the feel is rather close to the Meisterstuck.

Nib Performance 9/10
Now, this is where it is really shines. I think it is up there with my Mark Twain. The medium nib that I have glides effortlessly on the paper and is an eagar writer with no skipping or pauses. Not too wet nor too dry and would have less bleed through on some papers. The 18k nib is semi-flex to firm and the lines are consistent and ideal for quick note takings. Writing angle is wide and forgiving, and i find myself focus more on thinking what to write than my writing technique, as how a good pen should be. The nib has the art-deco pattern engraving, paying tribute to the 1920s, the time when F. Scott Fitzgerald thrives. It reminds me of the product design in those times, and other images associated with the swinging 20s. Overall, a great writing nib.

Filling system and Maintenance 8/10
Standard Mont Blanc piston system, smooth and easy and the holds just as much of ink as the 146 (as claimed by the salesperson). I've cleaned and run water through it first to smoothen out the piston knob after all these years on the shelf (it was a bit tight at first). I've only filled it up for the first time, and so far it works well as expected. The surface is smooth and can easily be wiped with a cleaning cloth.

Cost and Value 6/10
This F. Scott Fitzgerald is the most expensive listed pen I see in the market. I would probably not consider at all it if it wasn't for the hefty discount which I got. Considering that this is a 9 year old limited edition pen, it is getting rare after all, and it won't be long before its is fully gone. For that retail price, there's a lot more options out there that may write equally well.

Overall 7.67/10
I must confess that I was still hesitating about this pen until the very moment I walked into the shop. But when I picked it up and noticed that it is special in its own way, with a little more 'jazz' added to it over a Meisterstuck shell, plus the great discount being offer, I thought why not? There's only a handful of WE which I really like and this is one of the most elegantly designed pen of the lot. Along with the William Faulkner, the F. Scott Fitzgerald is already in my rotation of daily use of pens that makes daily writing, a special moment everytime.

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