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What Is Montblanc’s Curved Nib?

There have been scattered mentions across the web about Montblanc’s upcoming curved nib. While it hasn’t been officially released yet, enough details have been revealed that we can seemingly know that to expect.

If you aren’t familiar with it, Montblanc sells a small number of pens and other products as part of the Meisterstück Calligraphy collection. These high-end pens may or may not have calligraphy nibs. For instance there is the 1500€ Meisterstuck Solitaire Calligraphy Gold Leaf that does not have a flexible calligraphy nib and the 1600€ Meisterstuck Solitaire Calligraphy Gold Leaf Flex Nib does does have the true calligraphy nib. The popular Meisterstuck 149 is also sold with the Calligraphy Flex nib for around 850€.

Montblanc’s 18K calligraphy nib isn’t cheap and it doesn’t have the flex of a old school flex nibs from yesteryear, but it has been well-received and is known for being able to write (rather nicely in fact) from an Extra Fine to a Double Broad depending on the amount of pressure applied.

Throughout 2020 there has been chatter about an upcoming Montblanc 149 and Solitaire Le Grand 146 in burgundy lacquer that will feature the new curved nib. The original launch was slated for September 2020 but those dates will likely be pushed back. The curve nib and adjoining Montblanc 149 and 146 Solitaire are now expected to be pushed back to a 2021 release.

Montblanc Curved Nib

So what’s the deal with the curved nib? Online consensus says to expect an architect style nib with a steeper-than-normal grind angle. Such a nib would produce wide horizontal lines and thin vertical ones and be able to vary that stroke width depending on the angle at which the pen is held relative to the paper.

The nib has been compared to Sailor’s Zoom nib because of the variable stroke width. With the Zoom nib you can produce a fine line by having the pen upright or a wider line but having a lower (more acute) angle relatively to the writing surface.

Naginata sword – Wikimedia

The curved nib has also been likened to the Sailor fude de mannen nib, but perhaps the Sailor Naginata Togi is the best example.  The Naginata Togi (sometimes spelled Naginata-togi) is a nib that has been ground into a shape comparable to a Naginata sword blade. If that reference isn’t helpful (it wasn’t for us either until seeing the picture above) it’s a nib that created a variable width stroke depending the pen’s angle — just like the Zoom nib thanks to the writing tip being fine at the top and wider at the bottom and having an upward curve to it. The nib is mostly seen on the Sailor 1911 Naginata Togi.

In terms of Sailor nibs, the Zoom nib is much more affordable than the Naginata Togi, and it’s almost much more rigid. The Naginata Togi isn’t a classic flex nib, but it does have some give to it.

So, the expectation is that the MB curved nib will be a variable width calligraphy nib made of 18K gold and sold in two high-end pens, starting in 2021.

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