Recently my colleagues and I have mixed feelings. Our fearless boss has decided to leave the company and heads back to Calgary for greener pastures. We are all happy and proud of him but in the same time, we know we’re going to lose a great workmate, leader, mentor and a friend. The team and I decided to get him a fountain pen, and guess who volunteered to go on a hunt? We set a budget and off I go to look for the best bargain in town.
I came across a boutique offering some really good bargain on its selected products. One thing that caught my eye was the Montblanc Solti Donation Pen. It never stuck me as an appropriate gift but knowing that my boss is somewhat a musician, I would think that this may be a perfect gift. He's quite an artist as well and I reckon that an extra fine nib would probably suit him well. The pen fits our budget after a consensus from all my colleagues
, I returned to the boutique to acquire it.
This is truly a well packaged merchandise, with much effort and attention given to the packaging, perfect for our purpose as a gift. I don't think we have to try hard to even wrap it as the box is already impressive to begin with. It comes with 2 deck of playing cards for a game of bridge, Solti's favourite game, a booklet about the pen and warranty card/instruction booklet.
Appearance and Design 9/10
A flat top fountain pen, reminiscence of old vintage MB style, the Montblanc Solti comes with a clip fashioned after a piano keyboard and the cap rings resembles key strings, all inspired by Solti's early musical career as a pianist. The red signature on the black resin recalls his choice of colour for writing musical scores and comments. Just above the signature, the ink window tinted in blue resembles of a 146 ink window. All this come together in rather handsome looking pen, one of my preferred design amongst the donation pen, and I must say rather refreshing after surrounding myself with cigar shape like pens of the Meisterstuck series.
Construction and Quality 7.5/10
The pen feels solid, no sloppy edges and all metal and resin parts are smooth and well made. After being capped, it does not feel loose, like most Miesterstuck 146/149 has, and seems sealed solid. However, the 'ebony' resin on the keyboard like clip doesn't quite give me the confidence that I'll stay there indefinitely and being extruded, may be more susceptible to scratches. I just have a thing about more than one piece component for the clip.
Weight and Dimension 8/10
Made from resin on most part, the pen is light and good for everyday use and writing. This is one of the better balanced pen, long enough to be used comfortable without posting the cap. It has the good feel of a 146 in terms of balance and size.
Nib and Performance N/A
As this is meant to be a gift, I can't comment on this as it is not being used (at least not by me). Otherwise, it will be in danger of being in my possession for good, I'm almost certain of it. It's a rhodium plated 18k nib, EF for this particular one, and looks gorgeous.
Filling System & Maintenance. 8/10
Standard piston filling system, smooth and easy to use. Seems to work well here.
I think as a limited edition or special edition pen, this carries a good value for the quality and uniqueness it offers. This is perhaps one of the few montblancs with piston filler that I can find with the budget we have set (of course the sale helps a lot too). Overall I think, as an alternative to 146s the Donation Pen series are something that should not be overlooked in terms of value.
There will be no sum of scores here as I'm not inking the nib, but one thing I have learnt is that these Donation Pens are made more for everyday use. Unlike most of POA or WE pens, they are not too flashy, lightweight, economical design, practical and solidly built, I can imagine one will certainly pick up these pens more often.
We hope that our boss will be happy with this.
Now if only they still have that other piece on sale still....