Montblanc No. 2 Safety

The brand name "Montblanc" was registered by the Simplo Filler Pen Co. in 1910, making this No. 2 safety one of the first MBs produced between 1911-13. Notice the absence of the star on the cap top. This is because the star was only introduced in 1914, before which the Montblanc line had full-white cap tops and the Rouge et Noir line had full-red cap tops. Collectible Stats I rates this pen a 10 out of 12 in terms of rarity, with an estimated 25 pieces or less available today. 

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Advertisement from c. 1911.

"Best safety fountain pen; A suitable nib for every hand"

Notice the horizontal knurling at the cap top and turning knob of this pen found only in the earliest safety fillers,  in contrast to the vertical knurling that is more commonly found on later pens.

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The nibs on early Montblanc pens were produced in the U K and US. According to Collectible Stars-I, Montblanc made nibs in-house only from 1913 onwards. However, a leading expert on the matter told me that the imported nibs were used till as late as 1919-20. The "New York" imprint, "Simplo Pen Co." imprint, and the "2" in a circle on the nib pictured here tells us that it was made between 1911 and 1913. 

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This old advertisement from c. 1912 positions the No. 2 model as "Damenhalter" or ladies pen. This was because of its relatively small size. Larger pens were typically positioned for men, as we see with the No. 6 here that is advertised as "Herrenhalter". Notice that each size from No. 2 to No. 7 has a short and long version. The No.2 under review is the short version, measuring around 11 cm capped. 

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Advertisement from c. 1912, printed in Collectible Stars I

The white cap top and simple but elegant smooth black hard rubber model seems to have been well-received in the market, because several sub-brands and retailer/stationer brands manufactured by Montblanc during that period had almost-identical designs. 

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Advertisements from c. 1913, for stationer brands and Montblanc sub-brands

Source: The Montblanc Diary & Collector's Guide, by Jens Rösler

For bibliography, see Resources page -->link