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How to identify an authentic montblanc pen

The market is presently flooded with fake Montblanc pens emanating from the Far East, most of which are sold online. If you see a Montblanc pen for sale on one of the popular auction sites, be careful and ask questions before placing a bid--it may be a cheap knock-off. Unfortunately, the manufacturers of these artificial pens are getting better and better at their craft. Even if the answers you get point to a genuine article, the only absolutely sure way of authenticating the pen is to send it to the Montblanc factory for inspection.

Examine the writing point (nib) of the pen through a jeweller’s loupe. If the words “Iridium Tip” and “Made in Germany” are stamped on the curved metal section just behind the tiny ink delivery aperture, the pen is a fake. The only genuine Montblanc pens made with the word “Iridium” engraved on the nib are the “Starwalker” series—the most widely copied model in the Montblanc range.

Look at the underside of the nib assembly. The black section should be precisely aligned with the aperture and the joint between the ink-feed tines. If it is the slightest bit off-centre, the pen is probably a fake.

Locate the pen’s serial number followed by the word “Germany” engraved on the clip band at the top of the pen. If there is no number, it’s a sure bet that you have an imitation.

Examine the white six-pointed star at the top of the cap. A white star slightly off-centre is a strong indication that the pen is a fake.

Look for the word “Pix” followed by the registered trademark symbol under the clip. All Montblanc writing instruments produced from 1997 onward bear this mark. Earlier models were produced without the stamp, so if it’s missing, the pen may still be genuine.

Send the pen to the Montblanc factory for analysis if you’re still not sure. Apart from a microscopic examination, they will analyse the barrel material; Montblanc pens are made from a "precious resin" which cannot be faked.

Tip

Ask for a money-back guarantee in case the pen proves to be a fake. Reputable auction sites will reverse the sale if the pen turns out to be a cheap imitation. The Montblanc factory does not confiscate copies, so if you send a pen in for authentication, it will be returned whether it’s genuine or not.

Things You'll Need

  • Jeweller's loupe
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About the Author

After graduating from the University of the Witwatersrand and qualifying as an aircraft engineer, Ian Kelly joined a Kitchen remodeling company and qualified as a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD). Kelly then established an organization specializing in home improvement, including repair and maintenance of household appliances, garden equipment and lawn mowers.