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Mont blanc Meisterstuck Rollerball Black 163 Review

Updated on August 4, 2011

Who are you to review the Meisterstuck 163?

I am an avid fan of Montblanc Pens -- both fountain and rollerballs. Why do I say a fan and not collector? Simply because I have not had the money to truly collect any of the signiture pieces that the Montblanc craftsman have produced. I do own an older Meisterstuck 149, handed down from me from my grandfather, but it is in serious need of TLC. Unfortunantly, all it has received is a safe resting place, which is all anyone can really ask for when they've been handed down, so I don't feel that bad.

Besides my MB Meisterstuck 149, I recently purchased a Montblanc Meisterstuck Rollerball Black 163. A lot has been written about Montblanc's Fountain Pen line, but very little about their Rollerball line. Which is a shame,because just about everything Mont Blanc touches turns to gold (or at least is ringed in gold) including their great rollerball pens. You might think that because it's a simpler pen (not a Simplo pen --the first name of the Montblanc company) it would have a little bit of a lesser price. But no, Mont Blanc knows that their name stands for quality and they are not about to soil it by creating just another rollerball pen. They have a history to uphold after all.

Meisterstuck 163 Rollerball

Light, but capable.
Light, but capable.

First--The Company Line

I love Mont Blanc, but the official description of the Rollerball 163 is all business and little pleasure.Here it is, "The Montblanc Meisterstuck Rollerball 163 is made of Montblanc's signature jet-black resin, polished to precision and with an accent of gold. The 163 has three gold rings and the cap has the white Montblanc star. Pen's clip is printed with the pen's unique serial number. It measures 5 3/8 inches long, 3/8 inches in diameter (cap), and comes with the Montblanc presentation box." Pretty descriptive I guess, but doesn't necessarily do the pen justice as a writing instrument. It's much more than just resin and gold. It's an experience.

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Second -- A First Hand Account

I almost destroyed the MB presentation box when I received my pen -- I was that excited. The pen was less weighty than I had imagined and I'll admit I was a bit distressed. Where was the glorious weighty feel that so many bloggers had written about and that was evidently present in my older, 149 fountain pen? It clearly was not present in the 163. It had a completely different feel and grip. Not only was the pen much lighter, but the shapes and contour of the pen varied from my other MB pen experiences. But not in a bad way.

The curvature of the MB 163 Rollerball is heavenly. Some mathematicians talk about the god number -- Montblanc has come up with the God Grip! The curves and contours create a grip that is nearly pleasing to any hand. No small feat given the unique tenacity of pen aficionados around the world to demean even the slightest imperfection in gription. Hey, pen collectors have to have something to talk about. It would be nicer if the feel of the grip could be backed up by a little more--you guessed it--weight, but ultimately the pen does not suffer from its lack of ounces. In fact, the feel and weight of this pen distinguishes it from its heavier, more admired sisters, giving the user an enjoyable holding experience.

163 Rollerball

Great gription and writes on a milk carton!
Great gription and writes on a milk carton!

So How Does It Write Already!

The 163 writes better than your average rollerball -- and at roughly $300 on average -- it should. I've only been using MB ink, the same that came with the pen, and I've been impressed with the results. It seems the pen can write on any surface (yes, I used an MB rollerball to write on something other than paper, I purchased it I can do what I want :)) including cardboard, pillow fabric (name tagging kids for camp) and a milk carton (don't ask). The writing is smooth and consistent. The line has an excellent precision bead with very little smudging (while trying on purpose). I'm excited to try other inks out in the pens (although not excited to purchase th refills). I can sense already that I'll have it with my for quite sometime -- regardless of what other pens come along. The 163 has a look and feel that can go anywhere -- not just to the opera.

The bottom line is that the 163 is a Mont Blanc Pen and they stand behind their products and more importantly their customers. I've been obsessed for sometime now and have read many blogs and articles about the wonderful world of MB pens. I choose the 163 for its accessibility and range of use -- and based on other pen fanatics reviews. I'm glad I did. And I hope this review helps you make some decisions about your own obsessions.


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