I'm going to try to make this week's blog article short and sweet. I've been meaning to write about Montblanc's Starwalker pens for a while, and the new Space Blue series finally pushed me over the edge. I don't own any Montblanc pens myself, but this new Starwalker really intrigues me. Like other Starwalkers, it's a sleek and futuristic shape that evokes a much more contemporary mood than the iconic Meisterstück introduced in 1951. The Starwalker pen collection was first launched in 2003, and was intended to appeal to a younger audience or to anyone who wants something a little more daring than the classic cigar-shaped pen. It offers a very different look and feel, while still retaining the uniqueness and prestige of a Montblanc. I'm a big fan of science fiction and modernist design, so I can't help being attracted to the space age curves and lines of these pens that pay tribute to space exploration and our place in the universe.
Fineliner, Ballpoint, and Fountain
Like many pens, Starwalkers come in three different formats, but instead of the standard fountain pen, rollerball, and ballpoint, Starwalkers can be fountain pens, fineliners, or ballpoints. If you've ever used an ultra-fine Sharpie or a Micron drawing pen, you know what a fineliner is. Fineliners are easy to use and have very precise tips that are great for sketching or writing. I find them very enjoyable, and I especially like the Montblanc fineliner pen, which has a little bit of give to it, so it feels smooth, natural, and a little bouncy in your hand. It's extremely easy to control and to write or draw with comfortably, and has a far nicer feel on the paper than your standard disposable fineliner does. The Montblanc fineliner pen can be refilled with either fineliner refills (which come in both medium and broad, and in a number of different colors), or with rollerball refills, which also come in lots of colors and in either fine or medium line widths. We have them in Mystery Black, Pacific Blue, Nightfire Red, Fortune Green, Chestnut Brown, Amethyst Purple, Manganese Orange, Walt Disney, Barbados Blue, and Modena Red right now. I love how versatile that is!
The Starwalker ballpoints are pretty straightforward, but note that, again, you can refill them with quite a few different fun and interesting colors. When choosing your Starwalker refills, be sure to get the Montblanc standard size, not mini or LeGrand size! It can be a little confusing, so, if you aren't sure which refill to get, it doesn't hurt to ask a customer service agent to help you before you order.
Starwalker fountain pens are filled with a converter or a cartridge, and we have a huge selection of Montblanc fountain pen inks. Check out my recent blog article to read more about them. It's easy to refill your Starwalker with a Montblanc ink cartridge or use the converter that comes with your pen to refill it from a bottle. Their nibs are Au585 gold (14 karats).
Nine Distinct Looks and Feels
In addition to the three different types of pens (fountain, fineliner, and ballpoint), Starwalkers come in three different combinations of materials, so there are actually nine possibilities when you choose a Starwalker. I only brought home three pens for my photoshoot, because I didn't want to have nine Montblancs away from the store, but I chose one to represent each type: resin, doué (two-tone; part resin and part metal), and all metal. All three styles, even the resin one, have metal end finials and front sections in the fineliner and fountain models. In most of my photos, you'll see an all-metal fountain pen, a doué fineliner, and a resin ballpoint.
The resin material is much lighter than the other two, the doué is an intermediate weight, and the all metal is quite weighty, but all three styles are well-balanced and comfortable in the hand. The fineliner and fountain pen are designed to be used with the cap posted on the back of the pen (although you don't have to do this, of course, if you prefer the weight or feel with the cap set to the side), and they feature a threaded area right above the end finial, so your cap can securely screw onto the back of the pen. I really like this thoughtful detail.
If you love heavy pens, you'll really enjoy the all-metal style, and if you prefer the lighter feel of a traditional Montblanc Meisterstück, then I'd go for the resin model. The doué is a nice in-between weight.
Pictured above are the ballpoint, fineliner, and fountain pen side by side, in the resin style. The resin Starwalker is slightly heavier than a 146 (LeGrande) size Meisterstück, although the Starwalker falls in between a 145 (Classique) and 146 (LeGrande) Meisterstück, size-wise. The additional metal in the Starwalker design gives it more weight.
As you can see from my photos, the intermediate size of a Starwalker works well in both a man's or a woman's hand. Usually these pens are marketed toward men, but they feel like a good size to me. The size is similar to my Sailor 1911L.
(The resin ballpoint in my hand.)
(The metal fountain pen in my hand. I like the ribbed grip section on the fineliner and fountain!)
As I discussed in my Meisterstück article, Montblancs are often counterfeited, so it's very important to get your pen from a trusted source. Just like other Montblancs, each Starwalker has its own nine-digit serial number laser-printed on the pen. For these pens, you can find the number on the side of the clip. It's quite hard to see, so you'll probably need a magnifying glass, loupe, or your phone.
You can also find the words "MADE IN GERMANY" and "METAL" on the underside of the clip.
Widmanstätten Pattern Texture
Of all the Starwalkers we have in the store, this new Space Blue series is definitely my favorite. I really like the navy blue color, which can appear grey or even black in photos, unless you see it next to an actual black object like this black Girologio writing mat. In person, it's definitely blue, but a very sophisticated and stylish shade that shows off the pattern well, with plenty of contrast. The color matches Montblanc's new Ink Blue Sartorial Pen Pouches beautifully, and the all-metal version of the pens look fantastic with the Forged Iron version of the case. Although the metal pens are mostly silver, they have space blue rings, and you can see the blue color even when the cap is posted.
(Pictured: Starwalkers with Sartorial 2-Pen Pouch in Ink Blue, 1-Pen Pouch in Forged Iron, and the #146 Vintage Logo Yellow Notebook.)
My favorite thing about these pens, though, is the texture, which was inspired by Widmanstätten patterns, also known as Thomson structures. These extremely intriguing patterns "are figures of long nickel–iron crystals, found in the octahedrite iron meteorites and some pallasites." (Pallasites are another type of meteorite.) Check out the Wikipedia article about Widmanstätten patterns, because they are fascinating and, in my opinion, very beautiful. I'm crazy about patterns like this that occur in crystals, and I love looking at Widmanstätten pattern photos!
This particular pattern only forms deep inside planetary bodies that take millions of years to cool. Iron never crystallizes this way on Earth's surface, so any metal that naturally shows this pattern on Earth came from a meteorite. Iron from meteorites with this pattern was used to forge tools and weapons such as swords and daggers in prehistoric times. Very, very cool.
Knowing that the Space Blue Starwalkers are inspired by meteorites really excites my love of space and the natural world, and touching the Widmanstätten pattern texture that is expressed on these pens feels amazing. I love the feel, both on the resin material and the metal.
The colors and texture of these pens and cases is very tasteful and subtly dramatic at the same time. I don't really have a favorite between the resin, doué, and metal versions of the pens. They are all elegant expressions of the design, and I think the story of the Widmanstätten patterns makes this particular Starwalker collection especially compelling.
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