A little star: the Montblanc Le Petit Prince LeGrand

I missed out on the Little Prince when I was a kid. It’s only as an adult that this charming story got its hooks into me. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read it to my daughter, and I think we now have four editions around the house.

So it’s a wonder that it’s taken me this long to add Montblanc’s first celebration of the story to my collection. But here it is.

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This is the ‘Prince and Fox’ release, to be followed by two more (the next is on its way in a few months). And mine is the midpriced version: there’s a smaller Classique and more expensive Solitaire Doue Classique and Solitaire LeGrand. In my opinion, the normal LeGrand is less garish than the lacquered Solitaire, and it has the benefit of an ink window.

But anyway.

The Petit Prince is 146-sized, with all the usual 146 features: a screw cap with decent clip, piston filler with ink window, medium-sized 14k gold nib with rhodium plating and plastic feed. The pen itself is in a midnight blue resin, which I really like. It looks a very similar colour to the JFK special edition, and is set off beautifully by the silver trim.

There are several design touches that nod to the Little Prince. Most noticeable is the Fox head engraving on the cap. It’s unfilled, so subtler than it might have been, and it’s barely noticeable under the fingertip.

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On the clip is a yellow inlaid star, irregular as Saint-Exupery drew it. It contrasts beautifully against the blue.

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Around the finial is, in French, a quotation from the book, celebrating the friendship between the Prince and Fox: you to me are unique in all the world.

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At the other end, the filler knob is silvered metal, which adds a bit of weight and bling.

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Remove the cap and you’ll see the nib, monotone silver and engraved with the Prince, the Fox, and two stars. It’s a cute nib.

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In all other respects, it’s a 146. It comes in the usual box (unless you buy the Happy Holidays edition), with just a small brochure explaining the various design features. It handles much like any other 146, with the exception of a touch more weight at the back. The nib on mine has perhaps the slightest baby’s bottom and hesitates on the first touch, but otherwise writes a nice wet medium line that’s on the broad size. I am inclined to do a nib swap.

I like this pen a lot. From three feet away it’s a very sober silver-and-blue Montblanc. In the hand, the trained eye spots the irregular star, whimsical quotation and the fox heads, and immediately you’re in the world of the Petit Prince.

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That’s a wonderful place to be, of course, but a dangerous one, too: if you’re in a very serious meeting being a very serious adult counting up all the stars in the sky, you may just end up questioning your life decisions, and wishing you had a beautiful flower with thorns and a Fox to be your friend.

I bought mine from Iguanasell. You can get yours from any Montblanc boutique for £630.

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