Pen Review: Pelikan Souverän M405 Black-Blue-Silver

After adding the two Pelikan Classic M200/M205 fountain pens to my collection, I had been considering trying the Pelikan Souverän series fountain pens. Since I have great writing experiences with the lower end Classic line, I would like to see if the Souverän pens with the gold nibs offer even better writing performances. Therefore I picked up the Pelikan Souverän M405 Black-Blue-Silver as my first Souverän pen.

Basic Information:
Fountain Pen: Pelikan Souverän M405 Black-Blue-Silver
Nib: 14K gold extra fine nib
Filling System: Piston
Production: Regular edition

1. Packaging (9/10):

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Compared to the Classic line, the Pelikan Souverän M405 Black-Blue-Silver comes with a similar but larger and more refined box.

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Pulling the top cover off, the pen is presented in a white Pelikan pen pouch. The pen pouch is tightened by the elastic ribbon that has a plastic “seal”. Compared to the version provided by the Classic line, I think the elastic ribbon offers more practicality. Other than the pen and the pen pouch, the box also contains the warranty booklet. Overall, I think the packaging receives a small upgrade from the Classic lineup. It is a fairly elegant packaging considering the price range.

2. Pen Design (8/10):

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The Pelikan Souverän M400 series pens have almost identical designs as the Classic M200 ones, with a few refinements. Starting from the cap, instead of the plastic cap top, the Pelikan Souverän M405 Black-Blue-Silver equips a metallic cap top. On the edge of the cap and on the piston knob, there are two rings respectively. In comparison, there is only one ring on the cap and the piston knob, respectively, for the Classic series.
Having the pen uncapped, there is one more difference that can be easily seen, between the Classic and the Souverän lines. On the edge of the grip section, there is also one metal ring that makes the grip section edge no longer very sharp. I really love this improvement. The barrel material is gorgeous. The sparkling blue stripes match really well with the silver coloured trims, giving the pen a classy and elegant look, while actually have more practical uses beyond just the nice appearance. Between the blue stripes, the pen barrel is translucent, so that it is not too difficult to know the ink level. Meanwhile the design of the pen is still consistent. The entire barrel can keep the striped appearance because a dedicated ink window is not required.

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Being a small to medium size pen, the Pelikan Souverän M405 Black-Blue-Silver may not be the best sized pen for everyone. However when it is, the pen has an excellent weight balance. When posted, the overall length makes it a wonderful pen to hold in the hand, while the weight distribution is still perfect.

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Perhaps the most significant feature that distinguishes the Souverän series from the Classic line is that the Souverän fountain pens have gold nibs installed by default. For the M400 size, a 14K gold nib is provided. The M400 model and the M200 model actually share the same nib unit design. Therefore the gold nibs and the stainless steel nibs can be installed on any pen from those two models. For this pen, since it is the M405 model, it has a single tone and rhodium plated nib, which matches perfectly with the silver coloured trims. The engravings on the gold nib are very simple but elegant. It’s one of the most beautifully designed nibs that I own.

3. Filling System (10/10):
The piston filling system is my favourite filling mechanism. Just like the previously reviewed Pelikan Classic M200 and M205 pens, this pen also has a piston that operates extremely smoothly. The pen holds a large amount of ink considering its size. Since the whole barrel can serve as the ink window because of the striped pattern on it, there is no problem to tell if the pen needs a refill.

4. Nib Performance (9/10):
The 14K gold nib installed on this pen gives a hugely different writing experience than the Pelikan stainless steel nibs. The gold nib is fairly springy, but barely offers any significant line variation. As an extra fine nib, it writes extremely smoothly. The ink flow is generous, giving the ink full potential to show the shading. This extra fine nib works well on all kinds of paper and rarely has any hard start or skipping issue. It’s an outstanding nib for everyday writing.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (10/10):
This pen is very easy to clean. The piston mechanism operates very smoothly and flushing the ink out of the pen can be done fairly quickly. If any ink is particularly difficult to be cleaned, the removable nib unit allows the users to clean the inside of the barrel more carefully. The build quality of this pen is excellent. All of the parts are well polished and precisely assembled. It’s a pen that does not require too much additional maintenance, as long as the usual pen care is performed. Of course, it is always the best to carry the pen around with a pen pouch, in order to give it the best protection.

Summary:
Packaging: 9/10
Pen Design: 8/10
Filling System: 10/10
Nib Performance: 9/10
Pen Cleaning and Maintenance: 10/10

Total: 46/50

The Pelikan Souverän M405 Black-Blue-Silver is my first fountain pen of the Pelikan Souverän series. The beautiful material, excellent design, and solid construction make it an outstanding daily carry pen. Since the first purchase, I now own many more Pelikan Souverän fountain pens in various sizes and finishes. It’s hard to find anything that is not done well on these pens.

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