The Montblanc Rouge et Noir (oops!) Ballpoint Pen

I bought the Montblanc Rouge et Noir ballpoint pen.

Before any of you scream at me for buying a non-fountain pen – and a BALLPOINT PEN in fact, let me try to redeem myself by explaining why I bought it. 🙂

Truth be told, I do have a great many fountain pens, but how many do I actually use – and how many cartridges or converters do I actually finish using – in a year?

Probably less than my fingers can count.

It’s quite unfortunate that I don’t get to use fountain pens because pretty much the only time I get to use a pen would be at work, where I need to scribble in a designated laboratory book, of which the paper I wish I could burn. In fact, most of my time is spent at taking notes in this one and only book, so I never really got to use fountain pens that much at work. Outside of work, I don’t tend to write much. The only journal I keep is this website. I love my fountain pens, but I don’t get to use them enough.

So 2 weeks ago, I went to the Montblanc anniversary private event in Singapore, dropped my jaws at the wonderful artistic pieces there, and then decided to splurge on a Montblanc.

Two sins I have commited – one being that the pen I bought was a ballpoint pen, the other being that it was a Montblanc (a sin that my wallet still cries about). But my heart is happy! Finally I have a Montblanc pen, and finally I have a pen I can use at work!

Now that we got that out of the way, let me introduce the Montblanc Rouge et Noir Ballpoint Pen:

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This pen screams of “Slytherin!” because of the serpent that is coiled around the end of the pen, but I love it, ooh! But I love it. The Montblanc Rouge et Noir Heritage Collection is a collection to commemorate the first time a Rouge et Noir pen was created, dating back all the way to 1906. This celebration was to honour the 110th anniversary of the Montblanc pen, and the pioneering spirit of the company as it designed one of the first pens that did not require an inkwell to work. Of course, the focus was all on the fountain pen, but there are also rollerballs and ballpoints available, if you’d like to get them too.

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Source: Quill & Pad

One of the things you may notice is that the Montblanc star is not white against black, but off-white (may I say ivory?) against orange. This look has been deliberately created to reminisce the vintage colours of that time. It looks pretty unique to me so I was particularly attracted to it. Montblanc calls the orange “coral”, and there is a coral-coloured special edition available as well. Except the coral version’s serpent has two beautiful green eyes made of spinel. While I know that many preferred the all-coral version of the pen, I chose the black version because I wanted the ivory star and coral capped tip to stand out more!

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The serpent clip is made of aged alloy which gives it a nice vintage look, matching the coral/ivory coloured emblem. It somehow seems to give the pen a powerful, or even evil look, as the snake is a predator. However, upon checking various sources online, I found that the serpent could also mean very positive things such as the creative life force, regeneration, and so on. I am happy to have a serpent symbol in my hand at work. 🙂

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The ballpoint pen does not have a removable cap but a twist mechanism that allows the nib to protrude for writing. This is another things I like about this pen, as it lends convenience to me for my lab use as I may not always have time to unscrew caps just to write down a reading from my experiments. When positioned for writing, the pen feels a little top-heavy, probably due to the serpent and the emblem itself. Unlike cheap disposable ballpoint pens, the nib of this pen writes extremely smoothly with a nice constant flow of ink. Montblanc ballpoint refills aren’t cheap, but I am also happy to learn that Monteverde refills can also be used, and are much cheaper!

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At the side of the clip, there is a MONT BLANC engraved with the picture of a mountain in between the two syllables, the pre-1910 version of the Montblanc logo. This pen screams of heritage and memory of the esteemed company.

Here are some pictures of the pen:

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I must say that this already-beautiful, relatively discreet and classic-looking version of the Montblanc Rouge et Noir Heritage Collection is very much the plain-looking cousin of the exquisite Serpent Limited Edition Writing Instruments. Imagine a 6-carat diamond in the shape of the Montblanc star, set atop the cap of the pen. Diamonds and precious gems dotting the entire body. And a serpent that starts from the clip, and winds around the rest of the pen body. Yep, that is the one-of-a-kind, one-piece-in-the-world-only Ultimate Serpent Limited Edition.

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Screengrab from Montblanc

I don’t know what to say! It is just absolutely stunning.

At the Montblanc anniversary event, I did not get to see this wonderful masterpiece in person, but I saw another, also very stunning piece – The Royal Serpent.

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This version does not have the 6-carat Montblanc star on the cap, but is also ravishing. I love the rubies on the serpent that runs along the entire pen body.

You can read more about the Limited Edition Serpents here on the Fountain Pen Network.

Here are some pictures that I took of the event. Many thanks to Aaron for inviting me, and tempting me to get a Serpent for myself. I am a happy girl.

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A photo of the Montblanc Rouge et Noir backdrop. Sorry for lousy photo-taking skills.

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I would love to hear your thoughts!