Montblanc pens are known worldwide for their quality and craftsmanship. The German pen manufacturer uses only the finest materials in each pen that they make. Montblanc pens fall into a different category from most other pens on the market. Considered luxury items that come with a price tag to match, Montblanc pens are often copied. These copies are sold as originals when they are, in fact, cheap imitations.
So how do you tell the difference? In many cases, these knock-offs look so similar to the originals that only an expert can spot the forgery. If you are preparing to spend thousands on a pen that you find questionable, Montblanc does offer an authentication service. However, it will cost both time and money. Alternatively, there are several characteristics of the pen that you can examine to get a good idea of whether the pen is a real Montblanc or not.
Montblanc uses a unique material they call “precious resin” in the shaft of their pens. This resin is of high quality and feels different from a pen made of plastic or metal. Montblanc pens are never painted either. A painted pen is an immediate giveaway.
While many Montblanc pens appear black to the naked eye, their resin shaft is actually a dark red wine color. You can see this color if you hold the shaft of the pen up to bright light. The light shining around the pen’s edges will cause a dark red hue to appear around the pen. We might be stating the obvious here, but be careful not to shine the bright light in your eyes while performing this test, as you could damage your eyesight.
Montblanc pens manufactured since 1990 should have two different engravings. The first is a serial number on the clip band. You may need to grab a magnifying glass to make out the numbers, but they should be there. Don’t worry if the font used to engrave the serial number appears to vary from pen to pen. That is not unusual.
The second engraved mark on the pen is the word “Pix.” This word should be on the underside of the pen clip on pens dating from 1997 and later. Most fake Montblanc pens will be missing this mark.
The packaging for a Montblanc pen is a perfect complement to the pen itself. Typically, these pens come in cases resembling an expensive jewelry case. You should expect a leather or faux leather exterior on a hinged box. The interior should be molded to hold the pen and may be lined with velvet. If your pen comes in a flimsy felt sleeve, you can be pretty sure that it is not in its original packaging. Yes, one could buy the packaging online and use it to sell forgeries. However, that is a lot of extra work. Most pen forgers skip that step and use a different style of packaging.
The nib of a Montblanc pen can offer two different types of clues when it comes to authenticity. First, take a look at the quality of the construction and engraving on the nib itself. The flaws may not be immediately obvious. However, if you compare a Montblanc nib to a fake nib, the differences become apparent. Montblanc takes great care when overlaying gold on their nibs. The gold is applied with precision. Counterfeit nibs, on the other hand, may appear gold, but on closer examination, you may find that it is merely gold-colored paint sloppily applied to the tip of the nib. Remember that everything about a Montblanc pen is done with exactness. Careless flaws should be a red flag.
The writing experience that a nib gives to the user is another clue. Try writing with the pen. Does the tip feel too stiff and unyielding compared to other luxury pens? This rigid feeling may be a symptom of a nib made with a hard metal rather than soft gold. Counterfeit manufacturers can save money on materials by cutting corners on the nib. These cheaper nibs often have an inconsistent ink flow, which may be noticeable as well.
While we all like to think that we are getting a good deal, there are not many Montblanc pens for sale well below value. If the price seems too good to be true, it likely is. Most people selling second-hand pens know how much they are worth and will price them accordingly. If you do find what looks like a great deal online, you can test this theory by asking the seller if they have more pens for sale. If they try to sell you large volumes of pens for much less than they are worth, you can be pretty sure the pens are not bona fide Montblancs.
The best way is to be sure you are getting a real authentic pen is to buy from a reputable Montblanc store. Specializing in high-end writing utensils, these stores and boutiques can show you brand new as well as used options that may be a good fit for your needs and your budget. Contact us at Pen Boutique to learn more about our Montblanc selection. We can also help you with parts and ink pen refills. Best of all, by avoiding the shady corners of the internet, you can be confident that you are not wasting money on a poor replica of a classy pen.