Montblanc Now Offering Bespoke Pen Making Service
A new service by traditional fine pen (among other goods) maker Montblanc will offer customers the experience and opportunity to order custom made pens suited to their particular writing style. Montblanc has always offered a number of pen nib sizes depending on a writer's preferences, but the new service will include a unique personalized writing evaluation to designed to identify how someone writes, what the best type of pen size is for them. It also involves the creation of a one-of-a-kind fountain pen nib made for you at the Montblanc pen manufacture in Hamburg, Germany.
I had the opportunity to experience the writing "exam" myself first-hand. The process is simple and informative. Montblanc sits you in front of a computer with a large digital writing tablet. You are given special paper sheets that are placed over the tablet and asked to write preselected text as you normally would. Your writing is digitized via software on the computer in real time, which tracks variables such as how hard you write, the angles you make with the pen, and when you lift a pen off the paper when writing. It is quite interesting to see an analysis of your own writing – the test feels a lot like a vision exam.
The computer makes a recommendation as to what type of Montblanc fountain pen nib is best suited for your penmanship style. A fountain pen nib is the tip of the pen that actually does the writing. At one time these tips were part of specially cut feathers, but have since been made out of metal. Montblanc is known for making the highest quality, most effective pen nibs around (and they look quite nice as well). Montblanc pen nibs are constructed from solid gold, with the ends of the tips being made from a complex metal alloy (that is actually more expensive than gold). This alloy is used because gold is a relatively soft metal, and Montblanc designs their pens to last decades, even with constant use.
Montblanc offers a large range of nib sizes. The size of the nib relates to its actual size, and the width of the thin split in the gold that feeds the ink. The smaller the size, the finer the lines made with the pen are on paper.
After my initial writing test I was given the opportunity to test out each of the Montblanc pen nib sizes to see what felt the most comfortable, and was best suited to my writing style. As a lefty, my needs are a bit more complex, and it was interesting to see what nibs worked better than others for me. The Montblanc writing technician also offers pointers on how to write more smoothly, as well as how to operate a traditional fountain pen. Users of primarily ball-point pens will certainly receive in interesting education, and those only familiar with lower-end fountain pens will be specially surprised with the Montblanc writing experience.
Nib sizes range from "extra fine" to various levels of "bold" that produce thick, inky lines. The latter are best suited to those with "prominent" signature styles. I personally like the smaller sized nibs that create precision, thin lines. Montblanc is able to make custom nib sizes and shapes specially for you if they don't already offer a standard size that fits your ideal writing style.
The basic writing test is free, and afterward customers can opt to order custom made, solid gold Montblanc pen nibs. The nibs take several weeks to complete, and include special personalized stamps in the gold based on a design the customer likes. All Montblanc nibs currently feature decorate stamps on the nibs. The custom nib making service costs just over 600 euros, and can be placed inside an existing Montblanc fountain pen, or a new pen can be made. New pens will add an additional cost to the service – with a price that depends on what pen body style you are interested in. Montblanc pen nibs require a few dozen steps to make and involve a number steps that include hands-on inspection, finishing, and quality testing.
This Montblanc "writing workshop" style experience is not only very unique but enlightening. In about 20 minutes you can become an instant expert on how to write with a traditional fountain pen, and the ability to own your own custom-made Montblanc fountain-pen will make the services highly desirable to people new or already familiar with high-quality writing instruments.
Currently the service is in trial stages and available via Montblanc in Hamburg, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Expect the service to expand gradually as people become aware of it (and Montblanc is able to train people at their boutique locations). If you are interested in the service, I recommend checking it out soon before it becomes too popular or prices are raised – as they seem reasonable right now for what you get.
Ariel Adams publishes the luxury watch reviews site aBlogtoRead.com.