The story begins in an anonymous hotel room when Pentrace reader Willis reports a pen sighting while watching the Bond movie “Never Say Never Again” on TV. With the details posted on the message board, our intrepid agent 007 (jeff Peirce) who was monitoring communications that night, reports back with the information that the pen is in fact a Mont Blanc 149 (old style) with a Union Jack flag on the barrel. He is also able to confirm that the very pen is now in the possession of “M” (Mike Mihlberger of Office&Things).
Flying down to “M” the following day, 007 records images of the pen on a special disposable camera and arranges for “Q” (jeff’s son James) to digitize and compress the images and relay them trans Atlantic to Pentrace HQ in Ireland.
Unbeknownst to our agents, the evil operatives if ISP were conspiring to thwart the successful transmission of the images, but reckoned without the resources of 007 who, having battled with the system many times before, had arranged for duplicates to be sent by both “Q” and agent 006 (Brian Nelson). Despite several dastardly attempts by the evil email operatives, the images were digitally enhanced and safely transmitted to the website for examination by international pen experts…
The movie “Never Say Never Again” was not one of the “official” Bond movies. It wasn’t directed by Cubby Brocolli and didn’t feature the famous opening theme or shooting sequence. It saw the return of Sean Connery to the role of Bond after many years in what was in effect a remake of “Thunderball” with a twist. The villain was Fatima Blush (Barbara Carrera) and it was she who met her demise on the end of a rocket-propelled by the MB 149 shooting pen, leaving only a pair of smoking spike heels behind!
It is unusual for a person with the refined and educated taste of Bond to carry a fountain pen with a gaudy flag emblazoned on it, an image more suited to a British seaside resort souvenir shop, but the props people obviously saw nothing wrong with redecorating the precious resin. Another Mont Blanc was employed in the film “Octopussy”, this one a Solitaire with a listening device in the removable blind cap. The Solitaire was filled with a concentrated mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids, a combination which can be approximated by mixing equal parts of Penman Saphire and Private Reserve Tanzanite.
“M” displays the pen Union Jack pen from time to time in his shop but refuses to sell it or even quote a price. He was given it by Mont Blanc in the early days, and it is certainly a great conversation piece. Even better is the fact that it remains within the pen community and is not lost in some back-lot prop store.
Many thanks to Mike Mihlberger for allowing the pics to be taken and published here, to James Peirce for the technical work, Brian Nelson for the backup support, and most of all to Jeff Peirce who was both Producer and Lead Cameraman.
To end on a quote from the film:
“We’re not allowed to give endorsements.”
Bond to Fatima Blush, who insists that he put in writing that she was his greatest love.
Next time you’re asked to check your MB 149 at the door, you’ll know why!