Montblanc Slim Line c1980-1986

by Jim Mamoulides, December 21, 2001, Updated May 31, 2002 

Montblanc Slimline

Three Generations

In 1973, Montblanc decided that a thin model pen similar to the Aurora Hastil would be a good addition to the line, and engaged Aurora to create a batch of pens to test market. The pen, similar in design to the Hastil, was all metal construction and a tubular shape, with the Montblanc imprint at the base of the cap and the white star logo appearing on both the cap top and the barrel end. The test marketing was a success and the Montblanc introduced the Noblesse line in 1973, continuing in production through 2002.

Montblanc Slimline
Montblanc Slim Line Matte Black Pen and Pushbutton Ballpoint Set c1981

Over its lifetime, the Noblesse line went through three "generations," all similar in construction and yet very different before the final, Noblesse Oblige offering. The first design is narrow, clean and simple, where the final version, while still a tubular design, is larger in diameter and more ornate. Montblanc began direct production in 1974 and the first generation pens were produced through 1979/1980.

The first generation Noblesse line was offered in finishes of brushed stainless steel, silver plate, smooth gold plate, and engraved gold plate with longitudal lines down the cap and barrel over brass base metal. All types are complimented with gold plated trim. The pen cap top face is adorned with a flush inset plastic Montblanc logo and a cutout of the Montblanc "snowflake" mounted in a dish shaped indentation in the barrel end. The cap and barrel ends are gold plated, as is a band at the base of the section where the cap meets the barrel. These first generation pens have a plain straight clip with a narrowing taper toward the tip that bends downward toward the cap. The fountain pens are fitted with a distinctive square and plain stainless steel nib with only "MB" as an identifying mark.

Montblanc Slimline
Montblanc Slim Line Matte Black Pen and Pushbutton Ballpoint Set c1981

The fountain pen was complimented with a matching rollerball pen, a push-button ballpoint pen, and an injector pencil, all of which tapered both at the barrel and cap ends.

Montblanc Slimline
Montblanc Slim Line Matte Black Nib

Second Generation Noblesse and Slim Line

The second generation Noblesse and the Slim Line were introduced in 1980/1981, and were produced through 1986. These pens share many characteristics; both are tubular from cap top to barrel end, the nibs are the same shape, and the clips are both bar shaped. The Noblesse is the higher end pen, with the fountain pen now fitted with a 14 karat gold (marked 585) nib, while the Slim Line has the same type nib made of stainless steel, either plain or gold plated. The biggest distinguishing feature between the two pens is the distinctive large plastic Monblanc logo inset into the base of the clip on the Slim Line pens. The Noblesse pens have a flat plain solid bar clip.

Montblanc Slimline
Montblanc Slim Line Matte Black Detail Showing Logo on Clip

The Slim Line, a less expensive variation of the Noblesse, also known as "CS Line" (for Color Slim) pens, are often called Noblesse pens by collectors because of their great similarity with the second generation Noblesse. Only Slim Line models were offered in matte satin colors, only Noblesse pens were offered in glossy solid enamel colors, including blue, black, gray, and burgundy, with gold plate trim. Both Noblesse and Slim Line pens were offered with gold plated cap and barrel with engraved longitudinal lines, silver plate finish, and brushed stainless finish with chrome plate trim and plain white metal nib. The Slim Line was also offered with a matte black cap with brushed stainless barrel with chrome plate trim and plain stainless steel nib. Both Noblesse and Slim Line models included fountain pen, rollerball pen, pushbutton ballpoint, and an injector pencil. The Slim Line also included a two-color twin ballpoint. The matching pencil and ballpoint are a new design, still pushbutton, but a more conventional "Parker Jotter" shape.

The complete list of Slim Line matte anodized paint finishes is: black, brown, blue, red, green, and white, with white being the rarest color. The Slim Line fountain pen has the same nib with the Montblanc star logo and "Montblanc" spelled out on two lines. All writing modes of the pen, rollerball, pencil and ballpoint have the new clip and logo design, and all have the logo as an inlay to the clip and cap or plunger top.

Montblanc Slimline
Montblanc Slim Line Matte Black Pen and Pushbutton Ballpoint c1981

Third Generation Noblesse

The third generation Noblesse, made from 1986 to 1999, is more elaborate than previous generations, having a more complex clip, made as two long bars with a tab on the end, more pronouced trim, and a more traditional shaped nib on the fountain pen. The gold plated trim at the cap and barrel ends widened to about 1/4 inch and the cap lip and the barrel top both were gold plated trimmed, creating a wide band in the middle of the pen when capped. The section has a trim ring near the nib and the nib is a more traditional "flared" open nib, with the Montblanc logo and scrolling. The pen was offered in the same finishes and trim as the earlier version, including brushed stainless steel, silver plate, and gold plate, but the lacquered pens were offered with marbled finishes.

Montblanc Slimline
Montblanc Noblesse from 1998 Montblanc Catalog

The last Noblesse, the Noblesse Oblige, is a bigger pen with some of the design elements of the third generation pen, but not as slender.


The matte black Slim Line shown in this article is fitted with a super-smooth medium nib that glides on paper. The pen, being very thin, not much bigger around than a standard size pencil, is surprisingly long, at about 5 1/2 inches long capped and 6 1/8 inches posted. It's a standard cartridge / converter pen with a very smooth operating converter and uses standard international cartridges. The clip mounts very high on the cap, which should make it sit flush in a pocket, but you will have to have a really deep pocket for this to happen!

The cap snaps onto the end of the barrel very securely. No matter how vigorously you write, it's going to stay put. I wish all pens posted this well.

The nib is not large and is rather squared off and plain, save the Montblanc white star logo engraved. This is one smooth nib, however. It's one of the best writers I have ever used. My daughter, who has pretty open access to my collection, finds this to be her favorite pen. I think that's a combination of the thin body, that although it's all metal, it's not particularly heavy, and that it puts ink on the paper immediately when the nib touches down. This pen is a real joy to write with.

Montblanc Slimline
Montblanc Slim Line Matte Black Pen and Pushbutton Ballpoint Set c1981

If you are looking for a showpiece, look elsewhere. The matte finish and limited amount of trim flash is not going to get you noticed. Probably the only thing that will garner any attention with this pen is the three white stars that adorn each end and the clip.

I can attest to the durability of the Slim Line, probably the most bullet-proof pen in the Montblanc stable. I've dropped this pen numerous times on hard and soft surfaces (I don't know why I'm so hard on this pen!) and I've only managed to put a few minor dings in the cap top. The paint only shows minor scuffing from 20 years of hard use (I'm the original owner). No "precious resin" here! The current models have more brightwork, but appear to be about as durable. This model is my favorite because of the star clip. They were only made for a few years, but they don't command outrageous prices, not much different than when new. Highly recommended.


Thanks to Michael Rapps for additional information on the Noblesse.

Comments on this article may be sent to the author, Jim Mamoulides Bibliography