If your pen company has been around since 1838 - as Pelikan has - you must be doing something right. Experienced fountain pen users know all about the history, quality, and value of the brand, but for novice fountain pen users Pelikan poses a dilemma: Is the premium price worth it?
Just two years ago I was a fountain pen beginner. I knew what fountain pens were and what direction to hold the nib when writing, but that was about it. With the help of the amazing online pen community my knowledge has grown exponentially. I have learned what makes a good pen and how to apply that information when shopping for pens that suit my needs.
Discovering some favorite brands was easy. For example, Pilot pens work well for me, practically sight unseen at this stage. Their design, nibs, and price push all of my buttons. I found several other brands that work well for me: Sailor, TWSBI, Edison - the list goes on. I kept running across Pelikan pens in my shopping too, but looking at the price and comparing them to other brands I knew I already liked, I never could justify buying one. That is, until I finally put one in my hands.
I'll be the first to admit that I am lucky. Running this blog has given me access to people and products I never imagined I would have access to. I am forever grateful to my friend Thomas for allowing me to try a wide variety of pens from his collection, including my first Pelikan, the M405 with an 0.2 mm Japanese extra fine nib.
I learned a lot from that pen. Most importantly, I learned that Pelikan fountain pens suit me perfectly. I came home with a blue striated M405 of my own from the 2013 Atlanta Pen Show, and recently picked up a black M205 with a steel EF nib from JetPens to expand my Pelikan arsenal.
While the price of the 14k gold nib M405 gave me pause (I paid around $270), the steel nib M205 was more of a concern at almost half the price. Why? There are a huge amount of great steel nib pens to be found in the $40-$80 price range. How can I justify recommending the M205 when you can by my freshly minted #1 fountain pen for $60?
Because I feel different when it is in my hands.
It's not something I can quantify, and it may not help you make a purchasing decision, but that's the truth. Has some of the aura around the Pelikan brand rubbed off on me? I won't discount that, but it's more likely the precise German engineering that speaks to me. The design and functionality of this pen is flawless on all accounts. And the famous Pelikan ink window? Swoon.
Should you buy the M205 over the 14k gold nibbed Lamy 2000 or Pilot Vanishing Point? If your only consideration is the gold content of the nib, then no, you shouldn't. If you are looking for a great writing experience though, the Pelikan M205 can hang with any pen on the market.
(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)