No. 6 Long Safety
This pen is from the personal collection of Joudenali. Watch out for reviews of truly rare pens from his treasure chest!
As per a Stöffhaas advertisement from the 1920s, the safety series was available in sizes "baby short", "baby long", No. 0, No 1 short, No. 1 long, No. 2 short, No 2 long, No. 4 short, No. 4 long, No. 6 short, No. 6 long, No. 7, No. 8, and No. 12. Similar sizes are seen in other advertisements shown here too. However, Montblanc expert - Osman Sümer - has explained to me that a No. 10 size has been found too, though this is very rare, and the No. 5 size is probably even rarer if anything at all.
One very special characteristic of this pen is its solid silver snake clip which we do sometimes find on MBs from that time, but the original clips like this one are not easy to come by. The pens were not sold with the clips, they were accommodations that customers could purchase in addition to the pen. The snake clip came in skinny and not-so-skinny variants. The No. 6 pen in this article possesses the latter. See an example of the skinny snake clip in this article ->link. As per Collectible Stars I, the snake clip has never been offered in official catalogues, and so there is no evidence that it was a standard clip from Montblanc. However, it was made and sold on Astoria pens - a subsidiary of Montblanc - and so it is speculated that the clip might have been offered by retailers even on MBs if requested.
Safety fillers are a wonderfully intelligent filling system if you ask me! The nib unit rests inside the barrel when the pen is capped. After uncapping, a turning knob at the bottom of the barrel forces the inner shaft holding the feed and nib to extend and expose the nib from the section of the barrel. As it extends, the nib unit locks its collar against the section so that no ink can flow out of the barrel. This made it "safe" from ink leaks. And, because of the fact that the nib unit is always submerged in ink, this pen was advertised as never suffering from hard starts!
The video here shows the workings of a Montblanc safety mechanism from a tier-3 pen made in the 1930s. The barrel was custom made for me by Francis Goossens, and it allows us to see exactly how the helix rod and nib unit engage with each other and create a seal with the section when extended, also allowing us to visualize how the nib unit sits in ink and is thereby primed at all times and ready for writing.
For bibliography, see Resources page -->link
The hard rubber No. 6 long was manufactured in Hamburg from 1924 to 1928, and it measures the same 14 cm capped and 19 cm posted as the No. 4 long. However, the No. 6 nib was larger. Collectible Stars I claims that all these pens that were available in black, were also made in red marbled colour (2x more valuable than black) and even coral red (3x more valuable than black).
The red marbled colour in the No. 6 size is so rare that I haven't been able to find an example in any of the reference books on Montblanc. In fact, Jordi said that he only knows about maybe two more No. 6 long pens in red marbled colour out there.
The turning knob imprint says "6F", which corresponds to the nib size on the pen, which is a beautiful 14k heart-holed nib that is period correct.