Shimmering silver: the Montblanc Martele

I’m a bit out of practice at writing reviews, but I felt an impulse to put something to paper about the Montblanc Martele.

I’ve owned this beast of a pen for a few months now, and I realised that I keep wanting to write with it every day, leaving all my other pens to gather dust. That’s unusual for me. And yet chances are you’ve never seen a Martele before, or maybe even heard of one.

Although the Martele has been in Montblanc catalogues for at least a few years, I’ve never seen another one in the flesh, even at pen shows (I’ve never seen another Geometry outside of a boutique either, for that matter). Even leaving aside the price (and more on that later), people don’t seem to go for these all-metal designs very much, and there are few reviews out there.

Which is a shame.

Montblanc’s annual releases get a lot of attention, and rightly so. Just this morning I was perusing pictures of the new Victor Hugo, Elvis Presley, and Little Prince editions — and the “curved nib” calligraphy editions, of which the gradient-shaded Solitaire really appealed.

But it’s often the rest of the standard Montblanc portfolio that charms me the most. The 1912. The Rouge et Noir. The Geometry. And most recently, the Martele.

I guess that makes me a bit of a weirdo. Anyway.

The Martele is 146-sized, very similar to the Geometry in fact, and also very Heavy Metal. The barrel and cap are made from thick hammered silver, which set my heart on fire the first time I came across it.

Let me be really clear: the silver finish is the reason to buy this pen. It is organic, soft and tactile under the fingers, with that waxy yellow sheen that only silver has. And in the light, it scatters shimmering pearls of luster whenever it’s hit by a sunbeam. Literally every time I bring it to work someone comments on how pretty it is.

It’s a great companion for the Geometry, with its cold platinum sheen and regular facets.

I’m a sucker for silver pens. I have another silver-bodied pen, the Pilot Silvern, but it feels cheap next to the Martele. And I enjoy the silver fittings on my Montegrappa Extra and Aurora Pacifico, but the bulk of those pens is still celluloid or acrylic — silver is just the trim. The Martele is the real deal.

So let’s leave the looks behind. How does it function as a pen?

Much like the Geometry, the Martele is a heavy pen, with a smooth metal section. It should be uncomfortable, but it is absolutely not. It nestles nicely in my hand, with the weight keeping it glued in place. It feels less flighty than a normal 146.

It has no ink window, which is a little bit of a pain, but not a dealbreaker for me since I always carry multiple pens. And the ink capacity is decent.

Aside from that, it’s a 146: reliable piston-fill, good cap mechanism, doesn’t dry out, classic proportions, functional clip.

I opted for a fine nib, which writes as expected (in my experience, Montblanc nibs are fairly consistent and lay a medium-wet line). The weight of the pen on such a small contact patch can cause drag, so the Martele benefits from a lubricated ink; mine is loaded with Bungubox 4B, which is a keeper.

I hesitated over the Martele for years, and I only pulled the trigger because I got a solid discount. Even so, it cost me a thousand pounds.

Do I regret it? Not one bit.

I’m looking forward to the silver patinating, and to feeling the gentle undulations of the hammered finish under my fingers for years to come.

 

14 thoughts on “Shimmering silver: the Montblanc Martele

  1. How lovely! Thanks for sharing your experience of this beautiful pen.

    I have my heart part-set on a MB Tolstoy fp (if I can find one for a price I’m willing to pay, and if I can see it in person first at a show, to check I like it in real life). I think part/ of the barrel is hammered silver, like your Martel.

    For decades I’ve had a bangle in that finish, and yes, it is truly lovely.

    Enjoy!!

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  2. Hi Anthony,
    Good to see you back! You mention the MB Elvis Presley limited edition coming soon; do you have a link to that/could you let me know where to find it? I’m a MASSIVE Elvis fan (did Graceland for my 30th!) and that’s the kind of limited edition I could justify spaffing too much money on ;)! Thank you :),

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  3. Good evening,

    Is this pen postable? If it is, would you even want to or is it too heavy on the backend? Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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  4. Hi Anthony, looks like you got yours on time…I have eyeballing this one for quite some time now, but it seems to be discontinued! I mean, it is not listed on montblanc.com anymore…bummer…

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  5. YEAY!!! It arrived today! And it is b e a u t i f u l!!!

    The hammered texture is soo cool. (Aren’t you into pocket knives as well? Maybe you know the Mcusta Shinra Emotion Tsuchi? Although in desert ironwood, the overall look is similar).

    The balance in the design is best viewed uncapped and unposted – the plain silver piston knob complements the plain silver section. When capped, I find the knob to “outbalance” the pen a bit, as it is twice as big as the tip of the cap. Splitting hairs, I know, but still.

    The weight is interesting, not heavy, but clearly different from the resins and the ebonites of this world. I like it a lot. It feels solid. You have something to hold. Unposted obviously, and nicely balanced. I like.

    The F nib writes a bit broader than I hoped for, but fits well with the more glassy Rhodia paper. Well, in my handwriting anyway. Ink flow is generous. Not super wet as a Pelikan M1005, but definitively saturated. The nib is very well tuned, no issues in the first few pages.

    And even though I already use Pelikan Violet, Iroshizuku Murasaki-Shikibu, Shikiori Shigure, and Montblanc Lavender Purple, I also ordered the Montblanc Psychedelic Purple. Based on your enthusiastic review thereof. Gorgeous colour.

    So all in all, today I am a very happy camper. I am very impressed with the overall total package and feel like a proud owner. This is a keeper.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so pleased you like it! And yes I’m into EDC, so I’ve looked up that Mcusta — they do it with a damascus scale. Very nice, sadly not UK legal.

      The thing about the weight is that it’s not a long pen and the weight is very centered. As you say, it’s solid and balanced.

      Glad you like Psychedelic too. I am a fan of Lavender Purple and I’ve tried Shigure, but which purple would you recommend I try?

      Welcome to the Martele club. Glad to have you with me 🙂

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  6. Ahh, is it because the Mcusta has a linerlock? Meaning only slipjoints are legal to carry? That is too bad…your choice for edc is rather limited then.

    Anyway, purples. Purples are good. I find the Shigure on the very dark side, Lavender Purple on the dark side, Murasaki on the light side and Pelikan and Psychedelic Purple in the middle. Not enough difference between the latter two to make a super clear distinction though, albeit Pelikan is a fraction of the price of Montblanc. So i would suggest to try out the Iroshizuku. A nice bright clear purple.

    For business use I stick to Lavender Purple though. Because it is a hint darker, it is not too much in your face and does not attract too much attention.

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