12-sided No. 124 in Black
This pen is from the personal collection of Joudenali. Watch out for reviews of truly rare pens from his treasure chest!
Alfred Øberg became Montblanc's official distributor in Denmark in the 1920s. From 1939 to the mid-1960s his company was allowed to design and manufacture MB pens for the domestic market, but under the condition that the Danish designs would not be identical to the German ones. In 1944, when the Hamburg factory was bombed by Allied Forces, the Denmark factory was the only one in the world producing Montblanc pens. Poul Lund, co-author of the excellent book "Montblanc in Denmark", explains more in his interview --> link.
The pen we have here is a No. 124, which is really a transitionary pen, I believe. The model that went into mainstream production was eventually called the No. 25. Vintage Danish models are cherished by collectors today for their vibrant colours and distinct designs, and the No. 25 has examples of beautiful colours that complement its 12-faceted art deco design. See our review of the green marbled and brown marbled versions -->link. However, in this article, we are looking at what is arguably a rarer colour of the No. 25 - plain black! The Danish market appreciated coloured pens, while the German market preferred black pens. And, since the Danish production was only offered to the local market, I presume that the number of black No. 25s produced was less than the coloured variant. Hence, the rarity?
The No. 25 model was also available in Germany under the "Meisterstück" series through the 1920 and 1930s. But, these pens looked quite different. You can see several examples reviewed on our website (coral red lever, lapis lazuli, etc.). The 12-sided No. 25 was essentially the Danish version of the Meisterstück in the sense that it was a top-of-the-line model but didn't use the "Meisterstück" branding.
Compare my No. 25 to Jordi's No. 124, aren't they identical?
The 12-sided No. 25 was produced between 1939-43. It typically came with a "25" inscription on its pushknob. But, not this one! Notice that the pushknob reads "124" instead. Joudenali was told by MB expert Kiyotaka Toma that this pen might have been one of the first-ever produced in this series. They must have named it 124 just like the German Meisterstück series, but Hamburg might have had a problem with the name because it too closely resembled the German pens. Montblanc Germany was very clear with its Danish counterparts that the pens produced in Denmark must not be identical to those made in Humburg. Subsequently, the Danish pens were called "25". It does sound like a plausible theory to me.
The No. 25 has a thick art deco cap ring, and the "papyrus" clip which is rather elegant. We have the 'high top' variants of the No. 25 here, but there was also a shorter and more pointy top version that replaced it in 1944.
The nib on this pen is period and model correct. The Danish 12-sided No. 25 had a 14 C nib of 225 size. Notice that the centre of the nib simply has an "M" imprint inside the star outline, instead of the "25" imprint like the German No. 25 Meisterstück pens sometimes had.
This No. 25 is a push-knob filler known as "Stoßfüller" and "Stossfüller" in old catalogues. It was advertised as "a press of the button, that is the handling for the Montblanc; no losable individual parts and allowed single hand operation". This innovation on the simple button filler was used by MB on its highest tier offerings like the 12x and earlier Meisterstück series.
For bibliography, see Resources page -->link