Posts filed under Pelikan

Pelikan Classic M120 Iconic Blue Fountain Pen Review

Pelikan Classic M120 Iconic Blue Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

There's a lot of overlap between fountain pen fanatics and those with an affinity for vintage and midcentury aesthetics. So it's no great surprise when a throwback limited edition comes along and steals our hearts.

The understated elegance of the Pelikan M120 Iconic Blue makes it a total heart thief. In photos it looks plain. Nice, but unimpressive. In person, it has a certain air about it. Somehow, they haven't just put this pen in a vintage suit--they put the soul of vintage in it. When I write with it, I feel like Agatha Christie. And I like it.

Pelikan Classic M120 Iconic Blue Ink Window

The pen is a reproduction of one of their old school pens. School pens weren't meant to be fancy, and this isn't. It's classy.

The body is a smoky cobalt blue plastic. It has 14k gold and gold-plated furniture, including the iconic Pelikan beak clip. The piston knob is a subtle step down from the body. It turns smoothly and extends just a little bit on the outside, but the ink capacity of the pen is impressive. I've been writing with it regularly for weeks and only just started seeing the ink level in the blue tinted ink window.

Pelikan Classic M120 Iconic Blue Barrel

The cap screws on. It posts securely at the back without interfering with the piston knob. It's a small pen, so I imagine a lot of people will want to use it posted. I find it comfortable both ways. The cap is light and it doesn't affect the balance too much. The top of the cap is rounded, so it doesn't have the newer painted pelikan finial, but it does have a debossed logo set into the plastic. It's tricky to see, but is in keeping with the understated design of the pen.

Pelikan Classic M120 Iconic Blue Nib

The nib is gold plated steel, this one a fine. It is incredibly smooth and is nicely wet, so it writes closer to a medium line. The nib is surprisingly springy. I had to look it up to confirm that it is indeed steel, because this feels like a gold nib. The scrollwork on it is some of the prettiest I've ever seen, with lovely filigree flourishes.

Pelikan Classic M120 Iconic Blue Clip

With its subtlety, light weight, and fantastic ink capacity, this is the perfect everyday pen. I've used it at work every day (if there's ever been a pen that screams "librarian" more than this one, I haven't met it) and keep picking it up on the weekends, too. If I had to pick one downside to this pen, it would be the price. At $188, it's a bit steep for a steel nib, factory-made pen. But price is always going to be my downside with Pelikans--and it sure doesn't stop me from loving them. I always cringe when I spend the money on one, but I never regret it.

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


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Pelikan Classic M120 Iconic Blue Writing
Posted on June 7, 2018 and filed under Pelikan, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

Pelikan M805 Ocean Swirl Special Edition: A Review

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

The Pelikan M805 Ocean Swirl is a special edition with gorgeous turquoise swirls against a black background. The pen is complemented with palladium accents and a rhodium-plated 18k nib.

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Although Pelikan calls the material used for this pen “unique,” they must mean the color, as the material appears to be common acrylic, albeit with a distinctive color and pattern. It is quite striking, especially in sunlight. It exhibits depth and chatoyance, and the color changes from turquoise to blue depending on the light.

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Pelikan’s packaging is elegant, although I never know what to do with fancy boxes other than store them in my office closet in case I decide to sell the pen one day. Nevertheless, the wood-grain-like box is sturdy, and inside is a faux-leather envelope encasing the pen. I suppose you could use the envelope as a carrying case if you wanted, but it seems rather flimsy, especially the elastic band. I much prefer Franklin-Christoph’s genuine leather, zippered pen envelopes.

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I used to think the M8XX series pens were too large for my hand, but over the years of pen collecting, I’ve been drawn to larger pens. I now find M400s and M600s too small, and I prefer the M800 size. It is 140mm capped, 127mm uncapped, and 165mm posted. It fits perfectly in my hand and it is well-balanced and not too heavy (29 grams). I don’t write with my pens posted, but you certainly can post this pen. I think it throws the balance off, but others might find the extra weight more comfortable.

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Like most (if not all) Pelikan pens, the M805 Ocean Swirl is a piston filler. The piston turns smoothly, as you would expect from German engineering. It holds about 1.5 ml of ink. One thing I really love about Pelikan pens is that you can remove the nib easily and thoroughly clean the barrel.

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The screw-on cap sports the usual Pelikan beak clip with a palladium ring engraved “Pelikan Souverän Germany.”

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The cap finial is different from other Pelikan pens I own in that the birds are etched into a matte silver background. My other Pelikans have shiny finials, but I like the matte finish.

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Although you can see some translucence in the cap with you hold it up to the light, the barrel is opaque. So, unlike some of the other Pelikan pens, you can’t really see the ink level.

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I ordered a fine nib for my Ocean Swirl. It has Pelikan’s usual gorgeous scrollwork and bird motif.

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It writes smoothly. The line is closer to a medium in width, but that’s not a surprise. Pelikan nibs tend to be wider than Japanese ones.

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There’s nothing fancy or special about this fine nib—no flex or line variation, but I wasn’t expecting any. I may eventually send this nib off to have it ground into a stub or italic because those grinds make my handwriting look 100% better.

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My only disappointment with this pen is the color variation. My pen has two swaths of gorgeous swirly turquoise and two swaths that appear much darker with a little turquoise. (The color difference is much more noticeable when the pen is not in direct sunlight).

Note the beautiful swirls on this side of the pen.

Note the beautiful swirls on this side of the pen.

Yet this side of the pen is much darker with glimpses of turquoise.

Yet this side of the pen is much darker with glimpses of turquoise.

I wish my pen had more consistent turquoise swirly goodness than it does. Apparently, this varies from pen to pen. So, if you want an Ocean Swirl with lots of color, I suggest that you purchase it from a brick and mortar store where you can choose a specific pen. Or, if you are ordering online, ask the retailer to send you photos of the Ocean Swirls they have in stock, and pick one with lots of turquoise.

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Pelikan recently reduced their prices, which is a welcome change for pen collectors. Whereas last year the retail price for the Pelikan M800 Renaissance was $800.00, this year the M805 Ocean Swirl retails for $650. Actual purchase price varies a bit between retailers. You can purchase the Ocean Swirl from Goldspot Pens for $519.95.

Pros

  • The Ocean Swirl is a beautiful pen with eye-catching colors. It’s one of those pens you can stare at for a long time just for the sheer pleasure of enjoying the design.
  • When you buy a Pelikan, you know you’re getting a terrific piston filling mechanism and this pen is no exception.
  • The M8XX size is a good size for many people. The pen is well balanced and comfortable in the hand. People with small hands may find it too large, but I have small hands and the M800 size is perfect for me.
  • My nib wrote perfectly, straight out of the box. This is usually my experience with Pelikan pens, but there’s always a possibility of getting a dud. Just make sure you buy from a retailer that can test the nib for you prior to shipping or that has a good return policy.

Cons

  • My only complaint about this pen is that mine doesn’t have enough turquoise color to it. It has two swaths of turquoise and two swaths of black, and if I don’t screw the cap on just right, the swaths don’t match up, which makes me crazy. I strongly suggest that you ask to see the Ocean Swirl before you purchase it.

(I purchased the Pelikan M805 Ocean Swirl with my own funds with a discount from Vanness Pens.)


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Posted on January 12, 2018 and filed under Pelikan, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

Pelikan Souveran M400 Tortoiseshell Brown Fountain Pen Review

Certain pen companies around the world are well-known for specific things. Nakaya and their Urushi work. Sailor and their exquisite nibs. And, maybe more memorable than anyone else, Pelikan and their striated barrels.

This barrel style and design has been a hallmark of the brand since the early 1900's. Several colors populate the standard lineup - blue and green for example - but the limited colors really set themselves apart. None more so than Tortoiseshell.

Tortoiseshell has appeared all throughout Pelikan's history and across many different models. In recent years, the style and color have been limited to special releases, not stock products. The M400 Tortoiseshell is the most recent, hitting shelves in late 2016 with great fanfare.

Well-deserved fanfare in my book, despite the ultra-premium price. Let's discuss that now - this pen is $380 dollars. You can get the non-limited 400 series fountain pen for around $100 less. The most interesting thing? I rarely hear anyone complaining about the price. Pelikan has over 175 years of experience behind them, which remains apparent today in the quality of products they produce.

The M400 Tortoiseshell may be small and light, but it is built like a workhorse. Is it made for the biggest hands out there? No. My hands are a medium at best, giving me no issues holding it. It’s one of those pens that escapes into my hand and does what it does best: Write.

Pelikan nibs are considered some of the best in the world, and you will get no argument from me. Yes, they run a bit wider and wetter than their counterparts, which is due to their unparalleled softness. Even with this Extra Fine - which is as wide as I’m willing to go with a Pelikan gold nib - you will see tine movement and separation as you write. The line stays consistent though, and I can write my small characters without issue.

My favorite part of this pen is the piston filling mechanism. It works flawlessly and is unobtrusive. What more can’t you ask for? Easy cleaning I guess. It has that too. This piston is so smooth and integrates so nicely you don’t even notice it is there. And when it is time to clean, a few flushes of water is all it takes. Pelikan makes your life easier.

I can’t recommend this pen enough, or really any Pelikan outside of the M1000. It all boils down to how it will fit your style and your budget. The quality, consistency, and durability will always be there with Pelikan. That’s what an extremely long production history gets you. The M400 Tortoiseshell is no exception.

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


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Posted on January 9, 2017 and filed under Pelikan, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.