Collections In Depth
Released every fall since 1992, usually consisting of a fountain pen, ballpoint pen, and 3-piece set (with mechanical pencil), each issue is themed after a famous writer and comes in a matching book display case. Fountain pens sell for around $700 when the are first released. Past releases several years old typically sell in the $900-$1,500 range. Sets are around double the fountain pen price and are limited to much smaller quantities. The least expensive piece is usually the ballpoint but can become scarce quickly due to high demand. If you can afford it, the 3-piece set is a great collectors item. The Agatha Christie, Marcel Proust, and Jules Verne are my personal favorites.
Patron of the Arts Series
Released every year since 2001, each release commemorates famous individuals making great contributions to the arts and culture. Released in spring, these issues only consist of a fountain pen in a lacquered wooden display case. Two versions of this series are issued: the 4810 version (limited to 4,810 pieces) typically sells for $2,200, with the oldest pieces going for much more, and the 888 version (limited to 888 pieces), made of more precious materials, starts at around $5,000 retail. Because these are only produced in fountain pens and in much more limited quantities than the Writers Series, the Patron of the Arts series is targeted at the more ‘serious’ Montblanc collector, especially the 888 series. The Holy Grail is the Lorenzo de Medici (first issue back in 1991), good luck finding one! My person favorite is the Octavian ‘Spider Web’ pen.
Special Edition Series
This is the series of limited pens that don’t fit neatly into a themed category. They range from Asian themed pieces (which are quite popular) to Anniversary Editions. The Special Edition Series typically has more limited production than the Patron of the Arts Series wich typically make them more highly prized.
Donation (Music) Series
Technically the Donation Series is a Special Edition and not necessarily considered a true Limited Edition because not all series pieces carried individual serial numbers (some do.) This is the least expensive series with prices typically in the $200-$500 range. A portion of the proceeds are donated to a charity benefiting young artists. Appreciation is iffy, but many people use these pieces and enjoy the classical music theme.
75th Anniversary versus 100 Years
In 1999, Montblanc released their 75th Anniversary Special Edition (appointed with yellow gold) and the more valuable, serial numbered Limited Edition (in rose gold) limited to 1,924 pieces each. These pens inlcuded a diamond on the clip ring and on the Limited Edition the Montblanc star on the cap is in mother of pearl. The most sought after piece is the 149 Fountain Pen only available in the Meisterstuck model.
Many wonder why are the 100 Years (2006) and 75th Anniversary (1999) series only 7 years apart? I call it marketing for maximum profits. Technically the two series celebrate two different events. The 75th Anniversary celebrates the debut of when Montblanc’s Meisterstuck fountain pen was introduced – the line that is Montblanc’s core brand that made them famous. The 100 Years line celebrates when the founders of Montblanc created their first pen company, the “Simplo-Filler Pens Company”. What will the celebrate next?