Montblanc Noblesse







Disclaimer on Pricing and Valuation




The VIP Line
In 1973, Montblanc decided that a thin model pen similar to the Aurora Hastil would be a good addition to the line, and engaged Aurora to create a batch of pens to test the market - this is the VIP pen, made by Aurora and branded by Montblanc. 


The first Montblanc VIP made by Aurora in a similar packaging as the Aurora Hastil

Shortly afterwards, Montblanc decided to manufacture themselves the VIP (through a partnership with the German pen manufacturer Mutschler). This line was only made available in a solid matte black finish.

Market acceptance of these pens was a success and Montblanc introduced the Noblesse line in 1974, continuing its production through the early 2000s when all variations of the Noblesse pens were discontinued in favour of the new Boheme range.

A Montblanc VIP Fountain Pen (mid 1970s)


Description
Good Value
Online/Auction Values
Specialty Store Pricing
Ballpoint Pen
€ 90 to € 160
€ 129 to € 218
Fountain Pen
€ 140 to € 220
€ 99 to € 218
US$ 320
Sheldon Rarity Factor: (R3***) Scarce



The SlimLine Range
Following on the success of the VIP, Montblanc introduced the SlimLine and the Noblesse ranges - their market positioning was achieved by the characteristics of each line/pen type.

The SlimLine pens had a straight clip with a small plastic Montblanc star at its end and they all just offered steel and gold-plated nibs (never solid gold nibs). The range was available in a large array of metal finishes (brushed stainless steel, matte stainless steel, chrome, anthracite), and anodised matte paint finishes (black, brown, blue, red, green and white).

The SlimLine fountain pen had the same nib as the Noblesse with the Montblanc star logo and "Montblanc" spelt out on two lines. All writing models of the pen, rollerball, pencil and ballpoint had the logo as an inlay to the clip, top of the cap and at the end of the barrel.


Description
Good Value
Online/Auction Values
Specialty Store Pricing
Ballpoint Pen
€ 60 to € 130
€ 84 - € 136
US$ 200 - US$ 240
Rollerball Pen
€ 60 to € 130
€ 66 - € 235
Fountain Pen
€ 70 to € 140
€ 61 - € 262
US$ 320
Sheldon Rarity Factor: (R3***) Scarce



The Noblesse Range / 1st Generation
The Noblesse line offered a larger range of nobler finishes and solid gold nibs, and one can break down the range into 3 different generations.

The 1st Generation Noblesse line was offered in finishes of brushed stainless steel, silver plate, smooth gold plate, and engraved gold plate with longitudinal lines down the cap and barrel over brass base metal. All types are complemented with gold plated trim. The pen cap top face is adorned with a flush inset plastic Montblanc logo and a cutout of the Montblanc "snowflake" mounted in a dish shaped indentation on the barrel end. The cap and barrel ends are gold plated, as is a band at the base of the section where the cap meets the barrel. These first generation pens have a plain straight clip with a narrowing taper toward the tip that bends downward toward the cap. The fountain pens are fitted with a distinctive square and plain stainless steel nib with only "MB" as an identifying mark.

A 1st Generation Noblesse Fountain Pen in brushed stainless steel finish


Description
Good Value
Online/Auction Values
Specialty Store Pricing
Ballpoint Pen
€ 75 to € 110
€ 40 to € 118
Rollerball Pen
€ 80 to € 125
€ 57 to € 152
Fountain Pen
€ 90 to € 140
€ 52 to € 394
US$ 175
Sheldon Rarity Factor: (R3***) Scarce



The Noblesse Range / 2nd Generation
The 2nd Generation Noblesse was introduced in 1980/1981. Against the SlimLine, the Noblesse is the higher end pen, with the fountain pen now fitted with a 14 karat gold (marked 585) nib, while the SlimLine has the same type nib made of stainless steel, either plain or gold-plated. The biggest distinguishing feature between the two pens is the distinctive large plastic Montblanc logo inset into the base of the clip on the SlimLine pens. The Noblesse pens have a flat plain solid bar clip.


The SlimLine, also known as "CS Line" (for Colour Slim) pens, are often called Noblesse pens by collectors because of their great similarity with the 2nd Generation Noblesse. Only SlimLine models were offered in matte satin colours, only Noblesse pens were offered in glossy solid lacquered colours. 

Both Noblesse and SlimLine pens were offered with gold plated cap and barrel with engraved longitudinal lines, silver plate finish, and brushed stainless finish with chrome plate trim and plain white metal nib. Both Noblesse and SlimLine models included fountain pen, rollerball pen, push button ballpoint, and an injector pencil. The SlimLine also included a two-colour twin ballpoint. The matching pencil and ballpoint are a new design, still pushbutton, but a more conventional "Parker Jotter" shape.

The Noblesse 2nd Generation was produced from 1980 to 1986 in 3 variants (in price ascending order):
  • all silver plated with 14kt gold nib
  • all gold plated with 14kt gold nib
  • all lacquer coated in 4 plain colours (black, blue, burgundy and grey) with 14kt gold nib
A 2nd Generation Noblesse Fountain Pen in Black Lacquer finish


Description
Good Value
Online/Auction Values
Specialty Store Pricing
Ballpoint Pen
€ 90 to € 160
€ 130 to € 323
US$ 290
Rollerball Pen
€ 110 to € 160
€ 235
Fountain Pen
€ 120 to € 180
€ 210 to € 384
US$ 360
Sheldon Rarity Factor: (R3***) Scarce



The Noblesse Range / 3rd Generation
The 3rd Generation Noblesse, made from 1987 to tghe very early 2000s, is more elaborate than previous generations, having a more complex clip, made as two long bars with a tab on the end, more pronounced trim, and a more traditional shaped nib on the fountain pen. The gold plated trim at the cap and barrel ends widened to about 1/4 inch and the cap lip and the barrel top both were gold plated trim, creating a wide band in the middle of the pen when capped. The section has a trim ring near the nib and the nib is a more traditional "flared" open nib, with the Montblanc logo and scrolling work.

The Noblesse 3rd Generation was produced between 1987 and 1999 in 5 variants (in price ascending order):
  • all silver plated with 14kt gold nib
  • all gold plated with 14kt gold nib and 18kt gold nib
  • all marble lacquered body in 3 colours (green, red and blue) with 14kt gold nib
  • silver plated cap, marble lacquered barrel in 3 colours (green, red and blue) with 14kt gold nib
  • gold plated cap, marble lacquered barrel in 3 colours (green, red and blue) with 14kt gold nib

Description
Good Value
Online/Auction Values
Specialty Store Pricing
Ballpoint Pen
€ 100 to € 180
€ 125 to € 394
US$ 330
Rollerball Pen
€ 100 to € 180
€ 114 to € 376
US$ 290
Fountain Pen
€ 130 to € 200
€ 218 to € 477
US$ 325
Sheldon Rarity Factor: (R3***) Scarce



The Noblesse Oblige Range
The Noblesse Oblige line was launched a few years after the Noblesse 3rd Generation and both lines of pens continued to be market simultaneously. As Montblanc placed its latest generation Noblesse in a higher price bracket, the Noblesse Oblige came to fill the gap previously occupied by the cheaper 2nd Generation Noblesse and SlimLine ranges. Eventually, the Noblesse ranges were discontinued upon the introduction of the Boheme line.

The Noblesse Oblige was made available in a number of solid colours in an acrylic body. The trim was usually gold-plated, although a few versions were also made with platinum-plated trim. The colours available were: black, navy blue, burgundy, dark green, olive green, baby blue, yellow, cream, greyish blue, and violet.

The range comprised fountain pens with a cartridge/converter ink system (with 14-carat gold nibs and the option of 18-carat gold nib), a ballpoint pen, a rollerball pen and a pencil.

Description
Good Value
Online/Auction Values
Specialty Store Pricing
Ballpoint Pen
€ 80 to € 160
€ 71 to € 349
US$ 330
Pencil
€ 80 to € 160
€ 175 to € 239
Rollerball Pen
€ 90 to € 160
€ 79 to € 435
US$ 270 - US$ 310
Fountain Pen
€ 120 to € 190
€ 124 to € 477
US$ 325
Sheldon Rarity Factor: (R3***) Scarce



Disclaimer on Pricing and Valuation
The prices given here are the low and high average found on the international market between the years 2014 and 2017. The difference between the lowest and the highest values can be due to such factors as the state of preservation, the provenience, the reputation of the seller, and the completeness of the offer (original case, documentation, ink accessories, etc.). Every collector should be fully aware of the difference between selling prices and purchase prices, and between passion and investment.
Against the normal "market pricing", the following table provides some guidelines for the valuation and negotiation of collectible (not current) fountain pens as per their condition.

CONDITION GRADE
VALUATION
WEIGHT
REMARKS
UNUSED
200%
No signs of use, New Old Stock, boxed and fully documented, not inked ever
MINT
175%
No discernable user markings, boxed, dipped or once ink filled
EXCELLENT
100%
All parts original, slight signs of use, slight surface scratches, minor discolouration, crisp imprints, trim or body with no significant brassing, no dings, may be boxed, fully working
FINE
90%
All parts original, some signs of use, surface scratching, brassing, light discolouration, fully functional
FAIR
70%
Not all parts may be original, heavy sign of use, worn imprints, used look, may need repairs, dings/stratches, medium discolouration
POOR
50%
Not working, missing parts, cracks, strong discolouration, very visible dings
Another devaluation scale may be considered for particular typologies of damage
ISSUE / DAMAGE
VALUATION EFFECT
Nib is twisted but working
- 5%
Nib is not original
- 20%
Personal name or advertising engraved
- 10%
Small dents in metal body/cap
- 10%
Significant dents in metal body/cap
- 30%
Small scratches/cracks in resin body/cap
- 10%
Very visible scratches/cracks in resin body/cap
- 35%
Without cap or wrong cap
- 20% to - 35%
Brand missing in cap (when applicable)
- 5% to - 15%
Without clip, broken clip or wrong clip
- 15%
Piston system is leaking (when applicable)
- 5% to - 20%
Piston system is not functioning (when applicable)
- 30% to - 35%
Safety mechanism is not functioning (when applicable)
- 30% to - 45%
Lever ink system not functioning(when applicable)
- 15%
No ink sack for lever ink system (when applicable)
- 5%

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