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.
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.
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.
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.
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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