No. 22 1/2 Push knob Filler

In 1924 Montblanc introduced the "Meisterstück" series which was intended to be the company's top-of-the-line offering. MB's marketing department came up with the clever idea of offering the pens with a lifetime guarantee allowing them to be sold at a premium price even at a time when the economy was in a difficult position. The series were numbered based on their price. So, No. 25 meant that it cost 25 Reichsmark (RM) which was the currency in Germany at the time. The smaller numbers meant that the pens cost less but also that they were smaller in size. The No. 25 was amongst the smaller pens in the lineup. The largest was the No. 45.

The body and cap of pens in this series are believed to be made of celluloid, but one particular advertisement from the late 1920s showing this series of pens in its lever variant distinguishes it from that of other pens in the market by asserting that, "In keeping with our tradition of quality, we do not make pens made from cheap celluloid material that is flammable; our material is absolutely breakage and fireproof". 

The push knob filling system on this pen was known as Stoßfüller. It was advertised as being so convenient to use that it needed only a single hand to fill the pen. 

Over the years of its production, this series presented many variations - from safety filler to push-knob filler; in colours like red, blues, greens, black, and more; with elongated cap-tops and regular cap tops; with many interesting kinds of clips; with different imprints on nibs; from small size 20 pens to large size 45 pens, and much more.

 

Check out the "pen history" section of our website for examples of all these variations!

For bibliography, see Resources page -->link

No. 221/2 Push knob Filler

In 1924 Montblanc introduced the "Meisterstück" series which was intended to be the company's top-of-the-line offering. MB's marketing department came up with a clever idea of offering the pens with a lifetime guarantee, allowing them to be sold at a premium price even at a time when the economy was in a difficult position.

These pens were numbered based on their price, and the line up included a No. 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45. A No. 20 meant that it cost 20 Reichsmark (RM) which was the currency in Germany at the time. But, what if over time the price of the No. 20 needed to increase? Well, logically, the model name would need to change to reflect the price. I suspect this is what might have happened with the No. 22 1/2 we have here. Notice that the nib has the "20" imprint because MB did not change the nib imprints even though it changed the turning knob imprints.

In this particular pen's case, the increase in price might have been warranted by the fact that it was made for export to the French market where such a price was appropriate. Notice that this pen has "Chef D'œuvre" and not "Meisterstück" imprinted on its cap. Similarly, pens from this series that were made for Italy were imprinted with "Capolavoro", and those made for the English speaking market said "Masterpiece". They all mean the same thing. Other distinct characteristics of the French market pens was that they didn't like Montblanc throwing its brand name all over the place! So, you will notice that the teardrop clip and the barrel are missing "Montblanc" and other typical patent-related imprints. 

Considering the nib imprint, teardrop clip, and push-knob filling system, I date this pen to 1929-30.

I was under the impression that like its colourful counterparts, this black pen was made of celluloid too. However, I was corrected by my more-knowledgable friend Joudenali who explained that the black pens were made of hard rubber or ebonite. I must say that this pen has held its colour quite well over the past 90 years, considering how black hard rubber tends to oxidize into shades of brown over time. 

The push knob filling system on this pen was known as Stoßfüller. It was advertised as being so convenient to use that it needed only a single hand to fill the pen. 

Over the years of its production, this series presented many variations - from safety filler to lever filler to push-knob filler; in colours like red, blues, greens, black, and more; with elongated cap-tops and regular cap tops; with many interesting kinds of clips; with different imprints on nibs; from small size 20 pens to large size 45 pens, and much more.

 

Check out the "pen history" section of our website for examples of all these variations!

For bibliography, see Resources page -->link

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