Posts filed under Pelikan

The Pelikan Stola III (Fountain Pen, Rollerball, and Ballpoint): A Review

(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

Pelikan introduced a new line of pens in the fall of 2015 called Stola. The Stola I line is matte and glossy black and comes in a ballpoint and rollerball. The Stola II line (also ballpoint and rollerball) combines two colors: black and matte silver, and the ballpoint pen includes a stylus. These two lines do not appear to be available in America. The Stola III line is matte silver with black accents and is the only one that includes a fountain pen. The word "stola" in German means "wrap," so perhaps the name derives from the special coating used on the pens.

The Pelikan Stola III comes in three flavors: fountain pen, rollerball, and ballpoint. All three are coated with matte-silver lacquer with black plastic accents and a steel clip. The barrels are brass, coated with the same silver lacquer. This gives the pens a nice amount of heft in the hand, but they are not overly heavy.

Each pen comes packaged in a minimalist silver box with a black foam interior and ribbon holder.

The cap (for the fountain pen and rollerball) is made of aluminum and bears the Pelikan logo on its finial.

The black steel clip shape echoes the pelican beak clips on the higher-end Pelikan fountain pens, though it is an outline not solid. It is also very tight so it might be difficult to clip onto thick fabric. The Pelikan name is printed in black at the bottom of the cap which snaps on.

The Fountain Pen

The Stola III fountain pen comes with a medium steel nib (no other sizes are offered). The nib is engraved with some simple scroll work.

A high-capacity cartridge with blue ink is provided with the pen. The Pelikan site doesn't clarify whether or not the pen can use a Pelikan converter. It only mentions the large cartridges and the Pelikan Edelstein ink cartridges.

The Stola writes quite well. I noticed a couple of skips from time to time, but no hard starts. It writes smoothly, but offers no flex or bounce. This is a hard nib.

The Stola III fountain pen is a nice alternative to the Lamy AL-Star, a very similar pen at a similar price point. For those of us who don't like the Lamy's grip section, the Stola offers a smooth grip with a brass (rather than aluminum) barrel. The Stola is significantly shorter than the Lamy (4.625 inches vs. 5.12 inches unposted). I tried posting the Stola and the cap kept popping off, so if length is important to you, the Stola might be too short. The Stola is heavier than the Lamy at 1.2 ounces vs. 0.78 ounces. Unlike the Lamy, you don't have numerous color choices with the Stola, but the Stola seems much more sophisticated in design.

The Rollerball

The Stola III rollerball I reviewed has a medium width stroke, but you can get Pelikan 338 refills in blue or black in fine, medium, or broad.

The rollerball writes smoothly and the ink is bold. I didn't encounter any ink blobbing, hard starts, or skipping. The pen is a nice weight (1.2 ounces) and feels good in the hand. Like the fountain pen, it is almost impossible to post the cap.

The Ballpoint

The Stola III ballpoint uses a twist mechanism to extend and retract the point. Compared to the other two pens, its grip section is quite broad (0.438 inches). Because of this, the pen was uncomfortable for me to hold and my hand tired easily. However, of the three pens, this one is the lightest at 0.9 ounces.

Like the rollerball, my review pen came with a medium stroke. But, once again, you can get 337 refills in black, blue, or red in fine, medium, or broad.

The ballpoint was the least impressive of the three pens in terms of writing. The ink didn't flow as well and was definitely lighter than the rollerball ink. The pen seemed to drag on the paper.

You can purchase any of the three Stola III pens from Goldspot Pens. The fountain pen is $35.95; the rollerball is $27.95, and the ballpoint is $27.95. Refills for the rollerball and ballpoint run $10.00 a piece.

Pros

  • The Stola III pens are very reasonably priced.
  • The construction of these pens is solid, and the matte silver with black accents is classy looking.
  • The fountain pen and rollerball write beautifully.
  • These pens would make wonderful gifts for fountain pen newbies, graduates, officemates, and others.

Cons

  • Of the three pens, I would recommend only the fountain pen and rollerball. The ballpoint was uncomfortable and the least smooth writer.
  • The fountain pen is fairly short and posting the cap is difficult.
  • You don't have any nib choices for the fountain pen other than medium.

(Goldspot Pens provided these products at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes).

Posted on March 4, 2016 and filed under Pelikan, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

The Pelikan M600 Pink Special Edition Fountain Pen: A Review

(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

Scandalized! That's what I was when I first saw ads for the Pelikan M600 Pink "Ladies" Collection complete with boudoir box. I busted out laughing. I scoffed. I was offended by a so-called "ladies" Pelikan, even more so by the packaging. A pen in a corset box? Seriously, Pelikan?

I posted pictures on Facebook making fun of the pen. "Look! It's a Victoria's Secret pen!" "Barbie would love this pen!" "Who would buy this atrocity?"

Me, that's who.

In spite of some claims that this isn't necessarily a women's pen, it was clearly packaged and marketed to appeal primarily to women. Classic Fountain Pens simply calls it the Pelikan M600 Pink Special Edition, but notes that in "some markets" it is known as the "Pink Ladies Pelikan."

Even though I was initially incensed by such gendered marketing (I mean this is the 21st Century, people), I realized that it's nothing new. In the past there were Lady Sheaffers and Lady Soenneckens. Pilot markets pens to women, such as the Pilot Lady White Fountain Pen. Other manufacturers do the same or offer pens that might appeal more to women, such as the Montblanc Princess Grace or the Parker Sonnet Feminine collection.

So I grew a little less critical. A little. The pens above don't come in corset boxes (though one of my friends wondered why Pelikan put the pen in a tennis shoe box . . . .) Still. I think Pelikan could have thought through the implications of the packaging and marketed the pen to a broader audience.

I decided it didn't matter to me since I would never be caught dead with a Victoria's Secret pen. But then I saw photographs of the pen by actual owners. The color was less Barbie pink, more subtle, like dark cherry. The pen looked sophisticated and gorgeous rather than bubble-gum silly.

And that's when the obsession started. Me. The one who derided Pelikan for flouting a gendered pen. Me, the one who owns nothing pink in her wardrobe. Suddenly, I was thinking how nice this pen would look next to black leather.

I fell for the Pink Pelikan, and I fell hard. I had to have one. I told myself it was for research–I must write a review for Pen Addict. I even told myself I wouldn't ink the pen. I would just write a review and send it back. But I inked the Pink, and I was hooked.

This really is a gorgeous pen in person. It comes packaged in a plain white outer box (like the sleeves that are placed over racy magazines?) Inside is the boudoir box: a corset of silver laced in pink, silky ribbon.

Fortunately, you don't have to unlace the whole box. Once you untie the bow, the two sides of the box fall open to reveal the pen.

The colors have so much more depth than in the advertising shots. The darker stripes are cherry pink with a softer pink underneath.

Like the White Pelikan Tortoise, the grip and piston are white plastic with gold rings, and the cap is white.

Unlike the Tortoise, the finial is etched gold rather than black and gold. The larger band at the base of the cap is engraved with the words "Pelikan," "Souverän," and "Germany."

The nib is two-tone 14K gold. It is engraved with the usual beautiful scrollwork and the Pelikan logo. I love the design of Pelikan nibs–they are spectacular.

I opted for a fine nib. In the past, I always purchased extra fine nibs on my Pelikans. Then I moved up to italics, and lately I've been getting oblique triple broads. This time I decided to keep things simple and go with a fine nib.

It writes perfectly–smooth and lush. I inked it with Iroshizuku Tsutsuji, purchased especially for this pen (my first truly pink ink). I have absolutely no complaints, no hard starts, no skipping.

The M600 is a good fit for many people. M800s can be too big and heavy. M400s can be too small.

The M600 is 5.2 inches when capped, just less than 5 inches uncapped, and 6 inches posted. It's a light pen, weighing only 18.2 grams. It retails for $500 at Classic Fountain Pens, and that seems to be the price across the board at most retailers. You may find it for less if you do some hunting.

The Pink Pelikan M600 is a terrific pen. It boasts the usual Pelikan quality, and hopefully this pen won't have the cap cracking issues the M400 White Tortoise did. I highly recommend this pen to both men and women who love this color. Pink can brighten anyone's day. Plus, who doesn't need a corset box in their closet?

Pros

  • A simply gorgeous pen with colors that are much more sophisticated in person than in photographs

  • This is a piston filler, which is my favorite type of filling system.

  • The 14K nib is smooth and writes straight out of the (corset) box.
  • The pen is light in the hand and well balanced.

Cons

  • The packaging is interesting, to say the least. But if you don't like it, you don't have to keep it. Me? I'm keeping it for posterity.
  • This is an expensive pen at $500.
  • People with larger hands or who prefer some heft to their fountain pens may find this pen too small or light
Posted on October 30, 2015 and filed under Pelikan, Pen Reviews, Fountain Pens.

Pelikan M205 Amethyst Fountain Pen Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

The Pelikan M205 is one of the highly regarded "entry level" fountain pens out there, and one of the best options for an affordable piston-filler pen. Sure, there's TWSBI, but what if you want something in a solid barrel, or with other color options? Pelikan has you covered.

If you remember, I wrote about the new Pelikan Edelstein ink for 2015 last week — Amethyst. Well, Pelikan also created a special version of their popular M205 with the same color for 2015. That's right — a semi-translucent amethyst barrel. It's gorgeous, but it's also my first experience with a Pelikan pen. The Amethyst Pelikan M205 is a pretty pen, but how does it write?

Like I mentioned, the M205 is a piston-filler fountain pen that comes with a steel nib. Pelikan, a German fountain pen and ink company, are known for their beautiful line of fountain pens and inks that many people collect or wish to try. There's always plenty of Pelikans at the pen shows I've attended, so I'm surprised I'm only just getting around to trying one out. First impressions? It's a fantastic pen.

Aesthetics

The Amethyst M205 is an amethyst demonstrator. Yeah, you can see the innards of the pen, but the amethyst resin is fairly dark, so you mostly notice the color of the pen instead of the insides. To me, it has to be translucent to give the proper effect. Remember, the color is taken from the gem, which is also translucent. In my opinion, it looks great.

Pelikan M205 Amethyst vs Pearlette.jpg

The pen is smaller than I expected. It's much smaller than a TWSBI or Lamy Safari. It's even smaller than a Pilot Metropolitan. The closest sized pen I own is the Edison Pearlette. It's nearly identical in size, which is fairly small. I'd say it's also similar in size to a Pilot Prera.

The Pelikan logo sits atop the cap of the pen and is hard to miss. Personally, I like the logo, so I really appreciate the emblem on top. It's classy — black and white — so I think it goes well with the pen. Then, the clip is another favorite feature of mine. It's strong and works well, but I think it's a great-looking clip. It has a nice swoop at the business end, and it's always really easy to clip the pen to a case, pocket, bag, etc.

The cap screws on and has a good quality feel. The pen can post, but I tend to use it unposted. The piston mechanism also feels really great.

The furniture/accents on this pen are silver, not gold.

The nib is fairly plain compared to other nibs. There's not much on it besides the Pelikan logo and nib size indicator. It's a long and skinny nib, which matches the pen's overall aesthetic.

Overall, I think it's a very handsome pen.

Writing

So, how does it write? It's mediocre. With my copy of the pen, it was a little scratchy at first. Some minor adjustments mostly cleared up the issue, but it's still not perfectly smooth. It's an EF nib, but it's still possible to achieve a glassy feel even in a nib of this size.

If you've owned a few pens in your day, you know that nib issues are fairly standard ground with most pens in this price range. Still, it's disheartening to spend $140 on a pen that doesn't write perfectly since that's the primary function.

Still, with the slight scratch, it writes well. There's never been a flow issue, it does fairly well after being unused for a day or two, and it feels great in the hand.

Overall

The Amethyst Pelikan M205 is a beautiful pen. It's a great size for a small pen, and it has some really nice features. If the color really grabs you, you'll love this pen. If the color isn't your thing, I think you could find something more enjoyable in the same price range. For example, for about $20 or $30 more, you could buy a Lamy 2000 or a Pilot Vanishing Point — both with gold nibs. The Pelikan has a steel nib, but it also features a design that is unique to Pelikan. So, if it calls to you, go for it! It's a timeless design that will never get old.

(Goldspot Pens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

Posted on October 21, 2015 and filed under Pelikan, Pen Reviews, Fountain Pens.

Pelikan Edelstein Amethyst Ink Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

Pelikan Edelstein inks are usually highly regarded for their excellent qualities and colors, so I was pretty psyched to get a chance at their new 2015 ink — Amethyst.

To be honest, I had to look up the color because it didn't immediately pop out in my mind. I'd call it a medium purple, which is pretty close to the gem that probably inspired it.

After inking it up in a German EF nib, I was off to the races. The first impressions of the ink were great, and they didn't let up either.

Behavior

The ink is extremely smooth and lubricated, even in a slightly scratchy EF nib. I was actually surprised by the smoothness because the pen isn't usually that smooth with other inks. I'm still impressed by the smoothness of the ink, and that gets even better with a wider nib. I used the ink in a M nib as well, and it wrote like oil on glass, but didn't cause any bleed or pooling issues despite the generous flow.

The ink also doesn't have any issues starting after not being used for several days. Non-ordinary colors (like purple, red, green, etc.) normally have mixed results when it comes to reliability after a few days of storage, but Amethyst has no trouble at all. Again, pretty impressive.

Now, one of my favorite qualities of this ink is the shading. If you look at an amethyst gem, you don't see a single shade of the color. You see several different shades since there are different angles, thicknesses, and gem qualities. The Amethyst ink captures these qualities beautifully. The shading properties aren't incredibly dramatic, but they're beautiful and striking without being flamboyant. This is an ink that does extremely well in a broad or flat nibbed pen (like a stub or italic).

This is an elegant ink with some great surprises in store. People definitely notice the character.

Color

The color of the ink is very similar to the gem. Pelikan did a fantastic job matching the color. In use, it's a medium purple. If you're using it in a smaller nib, it looks entirely professional for most things. In a wider nib, it exhibits a nice range of light to medium dark purples. In any nib, it looks great and shows its character well.

Overall

In all, this is a solid ink and represents the Edelstein brand very well. It's the newest ink to the lineup, and it compliments the rest nicely. If you're interested in purple inks, Pelikan Edelstein Amethyst should be on the top of your list.

(Goldspot Pens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

Posted on October 14, 2015 and filed under Ink Reviews, Pelikan.