Writing with pens is a lost art in a world of electronic mails and text messages. The art of writing was once an exquisite trend that was followed not only by the societal elites but also by the hard-working middle class. Perhaps, that was the only way people could communicate. Regardless, it is a craft worth preserving. Not to mention that even today, over 60 per cent of the communications and official work is still done in writing. Montblanc is one certain name that comes to mind when the delicate art of writing is in question. Montblanc is usually associated with watches but that is not the only domain they excel at. The luxury goods manufacturer is also known for its expertise in other luxury products such as pens. Yes, pens. As much as it may sound ridiculous, the brand deals in some of the most luxurious pens ever made. I, for one, am an avid user of Montblanc pens and I cannot emphasize enough on the sheer quality of the pens. One of the most beautiful models of pens from the German manufacturer is the Meisterstuck. The product holds equal importance as a Porsche 911 in the field of automobiles or the Royal Oak in the field of watchmaking. A Visit To The Past The history of fountain pens is surprisingly a short one. The earliest models came out at the very end of the 19th century and became excessively famous in the 20th century. Now, first of all, it is important to understand how fountains pens work. These tiny writing instruments use water-soluble inks and they have a storage system. Although there are modern timesaving and cost-effective mechanisms in place today such as replaceable cartridges, old school enthusiasts still prefer filling up pens with ink bottles. That’s just the way things are. Lastly, the pens use a nib at the very bottom of which is a small cut through which the ink flows out. This liquid that flows through the pen relies heavily on the capillary action of the pen. The capillary action is essentially the mechanism that allows the ink to flow in between the walls of the nib which is ultimately assisted by a roller ball. In high-end fountain pens, this roller ball is made of the platinum class of metals such as rhodium and iridium. The entire nib, on the other hand, is made of 18-carat or 14-carat gold. This is, however, something that is exclusive to high-end pens only. In the initial years of the fountain pen, the filling systems were primitive. One could refill the pens with an eye dropper. As the years went by, the development led to the use of pistons and rubber-like bladders that could hold ink. Then there came a series of safety pens that had retractable nibs. In essence, the nib of the pens could be telescoped back into the main body eventually preventing any possibilities of leakage. This was a rather bold invention as ink spillage was common in fountain pens back in the early 1900s. Montblanc Pens Come Into The Picture Coming back to Montblanc, the first pen to ever have the name ‘Montblanc’ was in 1910. The product had a plain and simplistic touch with its white cap. It was not until 1913, that the pens started getting the iconic six-pointed mountain snowflake. The brand’s most popular pen, the Meisterstuck was launched in 1924. By the year 1934, the pen was so popular that it was ‘the’ product in the high-end pens market. The popularity was so widespread that the brand adopted the name ‘Montblanc’. There are some things that are not expected to be, yet they do happen. Something similar happened with fountain pens like Montblanc. Over time, they became more of a luxury good rather than a tool. This is very similar to the case of many luxury watches that we see today. As the years pass on by, the technology of these fountains pens takes a step forward as well. The vulcanized rubber used in pen barrels were soon replaced by modern industrial grade plastics like celluloid, which later got replaced by thermoplastics such as acrylics. The toughness and durability made these substances the ideal choice for filling systems in pens. Today, we live in an era where fountains pens may have lost their philosophical value but there is no doubt about the fact that they still are one of the many marvellous creations that the golden era of industrialization age gave us.
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