A summary of the
MONTBLANC push
button Masterpieces
No.122 - L 129

by Werner Kleinhorst
 
E-mail: w.kleinh@.onlinehome.de
  


First issue February 1999 in
 
Stylophile's Online Magazin
translated
by Det Baumann

Since 1924 Montblanc used the term Meisterstueck as a sign for a special quality product.
A special identifying mark ensured the original owner with a lifelong guarantee. Although in most cases there was
no other difference to the normal Montblanc fountain pens, the buyer had to pay a considerably higher price for it.

From the beginning of the Thirties Meisterstuecks were produced only as safety fillers, push knob fillers or piston
fillers. The times of the safety filler were already long gone by. The piston fill system had proved to be especially
reliable and has established since. Competing Pelikan fought for a major share of the market with the brand new
Pelikan 100 and also other competitors in Germany realized the advantages of the piston filler.

It was inevitable, that the push knob filler series also came to an end. This filling system only is found in the high
price series Meisterstueck 122 - 129, their predecessors 20 - 45 and L25 - L35. The less expensive pens of the
2xx - 4xx series normally had the simpler push button filling system. But as always, exeptions are known.


Stoßfüller

With the push button system you had to remove the blind cap first to get to the push button.


With the push knob system the blind cap was attached to the barrel end and could not get lost, when the pen was filled. To prevent unintended operation of the filling mechanism you had first to unscrew the knob with ca. three turns. Then you could push down the knob for filling. After the filling process was finished the knob was screwed back in place.

I already have mentioned the different colors of the pens in the first part. As in the other series most of the pens
were made in plain black. Nevertheless it can be surprising to find out, that the buyer of that time had the choice
of several interesting colors according to the chosen model.

122, 124, 126, 128 in black, malachite green, azurite blue, lapislazuli
122K in malachite green, azurite blue, burgundy
122PL, 124PL, 126PL, 128PL in platinum lined (black and silver striated)
122P, 124P, 126P in pearl and black mottled
L 129 in black only

According to Jens Roesler, author of "The Montblanc Diary and Collector's Guide", we know of the existence of different colored prototypes. In addition to that there were models in sterling silver and 14k gold.

The earliest 122 - 128 had the rounded cap head and the drop shaped clip of the former series 20 - 45.


Around 1936 they were reshaped with the slim, flat design, used later also in the 13x series. The clip was reshaped with two waists from now on. In most cases the cap had one broad smooth cap ring and the engraving "Montblanc Meisterstueck" was found at the cap head.

Waisted Clip

Roesler describes the L129 with three cap rings, the middle ring broader and inscribed "Montblanc", as known
from the later piston filler L139. This version is pictured in the Montblanc catalogue from 1936. Excerpt from the
catalogue:

Selffiller (push filler) L129
MONTBLANC-Meisterstueck, luxury model. The holder for the very finest taste.
Nibs and trim plated with platinum metal. The holders are delivered with a tasteful,
very solid resin-made case.
Length ready for writing: 15.8 cm length closed: 12.8 cm

You can see at the picture of my L129, that there has been at least one model with one cap ring without any
engraving. There also is no engraving on the cap head. Therefore you find the push knob engraved with "L129".


The big nib was two tone (but now only golden) and had the number "4810" and the letter "M" in the Montblanc sign engraved.

Besides the Montblanc star in the cap head there are no other indications for Montblanc or Meisterstueck.

It is possible, that there have been other variations. But especially the L129 is very rare. I only know of the
existence of one other piece in the Hamburg Montblanc Museum. In addition to that, it is said, that another
incomplete L129 was at a London Auction some years ago. We will only know of other variations of this flag ship
of the Thirties, if further pieces come to the light in the future.

My implementations don't claim to be complete or exclusively right. But they shall help to spread the knowledge of
these fine pens. I would be pleased to get more information and hints on this topic from you.

Special thanks to Dethardt Baumann for translating the original German text.

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