Pen Review: Pelikan Classic M205 Amethyst

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Pelikan has a lineup of premium fountain pen inks called the Edelstein. Since 2012, a new colour gets introduced every year, called the Ink of the Year. Starting in 2015, Pelikan also releases a special edition fountain pen with the matching colour, in the Classic M200/205 line. The 2015 special edition colour is the Amethyst. This review is going to go over the details of the Pelikan Classic M205 Amethyst.

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Basic Information:
Fountain Pen: Pelikan Classic M205 Amethyst
Nib: Stainless steel fine nib
Filling System: Piston
Production: Special edition

1. Packaging (9/10):
The Pelikan Classic M205 Amethyst has a simple but adequate packaging, just like any other regular production Classic line fountain pens. There is actually a version with a special packaging, which includes both the pen and the Ink of the Year ink bottle. In comparison, this box seems much more plain and simple, but it’s still a great one.

2. Pen Design (9/10):

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The Pelikan Classic M205 Amethyst is a beautiful pen. The overall shape and structure of this pen is identical to the ones that I have reviewed in the past (M200 Black, M200 Café Crème, M200 Demonstrator & M205 White-Silver), but what makes it stand out is the beautiful frosted purple resin. It’s a demonstrator fountain pen, which shows the piston mechanism inside the barrel, the nib inside the cap, and the amount of ink left in the reservoir. But unlike some other clear demonstrators, such as the Lamy Vista or the Pelikan Classic M200 Demonstrator, or the one with the matte surface, the Platinum 3776 Century Nice Pur, the Pelikan Classic M205 Amethyst is polished outside, but frosted inside. I really enjoy this wonderful approach. Combining with the silver coloured trims, this pen is very attractive. I really wish that the same finish can be made available on the M805 model.
Other than the special finish, the Pelikan Classic M205 Amethyst shares the same design aspects as the other M200/M205 pens. The cap twists off, and posts deeply and securely onto the end of the barrel. The lightweight resin ensures that the weight balance is always excellent, no matter whether the cap is posted or not. The nib unit is interchangeable, so that this pen can be fitted with any M200/M205 stainless steel nib, or M400/M405 14K gold nib, which is one of my favourite features from the Pelikan Classic and Souverän lines of fountain pens.

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Being a lower level model from Pelikan, the M205 Amethyst is not perfect. The seam lines are visible on the grip section. And compared to the metallic cap top from the Souverän line, the plastic cap top looks a bit out of place, considering that the rest of the pen is constructed by either the translucent purple resin, or the silver coloured trims.
Despite the imperfections, I think the Pelikan Classic M205 Amethyst has a great design for its price.

3. Filling System (10/10):
Just like any other Pelikan Classic M200/M205 that I have reviewed, the piston filling mechanism installed here is flawless. It has a decent ink capacity. The piston operation is very smooth. And the whole translucent barrel serves as the perfect ink window. If you like a coloured demonstrator, there is not much else to ask for.

4. Nib Performance (9/10):

The stainless steel nibs from the Pelikan Classic line always have high performances. Personally, I think they are among the best in their category. This fine nib doesn’t have much special. It is rigid and it doesn’t offer any significant line variation, but it always writes without any disruptions. Right out of the box, hard start or skipping problems don’t exist on this nib. As a good option for a daily writer, its reliable performance is the key.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (10/10):
The Pelikan Classic M205 Amethyst doesn’t take much effort to clean. The piston operation is smooth and effective. The nib unit is removable for easy access to the ink reservoir. Furthermore, the piston seal is tightly fit, so that unlike what I have experienced with my Omas Ogiva Alba, no ink gets trapped behind the piston seal. Within its price range, there isn’t much else that can compete. The resin used to make the pen will of course see some normal micro-scratches during the daily use. But other than that, there isn’t much to worry about. The build quality of the pen is excellent.

Summary:

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

Total: 47/50

The Pelikan Classic M205 Amethyst is Pelikan’s first special edition release that matches the corresponding Edelstein Ink of the Year, and it’s a great one. The M200/M205 model is on the small/medium side for a pen, but it is easy to handle and great for carry around. Other than a few seam lines that are not polished off, and a few decorations that are less fancy compared to the gold nib Souverän model, this pen has a lot of great features. The translucent and frosted purple cap and barrel look amazing, and the smooth piston filling mechanism only makes it even better. Being a special edition and for what it offers, I think it falls into the right price range. No matter if you choose the M205 Amethyst, or any other version from the Pelikan Classic lineup, it will be a great writer.

 

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Pen Review: Pelikan Souverän M400 Tortoiseshell-White

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I have reviewed several Pelikan Souverän M400/M405 fountain pens in the past, and most of them are excellent daily writing pens. But in my opinion, none of those colour versions are as beautiful and unique as the one that I am going to review this time. This pen is the Pelikan Souverän M400 Tortoiseshell-White.

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Basic Information:

Fountain Pen: Pelikan Souverän M400 Tortoiseshell-White
Nib: 14K gold fine nib
Filling System: Piston
Production: Regular edition

1. Packaging (9/10):

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This is a regular edition fountain pen and there is no special packaging. But what’s been presented is excellent. The pen box uses solid cardboard, and the white Pelikan pen pouch gives the pen the extra protection. It has pretty much everything that one should expect from a regular edition packaging. The build quality and attention to details are adequate for the price of the pen.
2. Pen Design (9/10):

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The Pelikan Souverän M400 Tortoiseshell-White shares the same size and structure as the other M400/M405 versions, such as the ones that I have reviewed before (M405 Black-Blue-Silver, M400 Black-Green, and M400 Black-Red). The pen is in the small to medium size range. But with a light weight construction and a cap that can be easily posted, the pen is quite comfortable to hold, no matter whether it is posted or not. Since I already have a few of the M400/M405 fountain pens, then why would I want to also get this version? It’s because of the colour scheme. The Tortoiseshell-White has the white cap, grip section, and piston knob. The gold plated trims mix well with the overall light coloured pen. However, my favourite design is on the barrel. It’s the light green, yellow, and brown coloured stripes. Unlike the other regular edition colour stripes, which are the green, blue, red, and grey (Stresemann), the Tortoiseshell-White has everything. It is multi-coloured, with no two stripes being the same. The barrel blends in very well with the rest of the pen. The light green and yellow tone is the perfect match with the white resin. For all of the current offerings in the M400/M405 line, the Tortoiseshell-White is my favourite. If there has to be something that I don’t particularly like, then it has to be the trim colour. I enjoy the gold-plated clip and rings here, but silver coloured trims is always my preferred choice. What else do I wish for? If this finish can be made for the M800/M805 and the M1000/M1005 models, that would be a dream come true.
3. Filling System (10/10):

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If you are looking for the best implementation of a piston filling mechanism, then Pelikan is the brand you would like to look at. Even though the M400 model is not Pelikan’s flagship product, the pen still has one of the best piston filling system on the market. The operation is easy and smooth. The ink capacity is high. And the removable nib unit makes it easy to complete a thorough cleaning. Specifically for this Tortoiseshell-White finish, the light coloured barrel stripes find the perfect balance between showing the beautiful patterns on the barrel and serving as an ink window. Among the pens that I’m aware of, that are lower than or in the price range of the M400/M405, I find that no one offers any filling system implementation that is as great. Many of them can’t even compete in any one of the features that I just mentioned.
4. Nib Performance (9/10):

Just like the other regular edition M400/M405 fountain pen, the M400 Tortoiseshell-White is equipped with a 14K gold nib. For this pen I selected a fine nib. The nib writes well out of the box and writes very smoothly. The ink flow is very generous. This 14K gold nib gives a little bit of line variation. It is a bit bouncy, but it’s no way near any nib that offers flex or semi-flex writing. Similar to the fine nib on the previously reviewed M400 Black-Red, this fine nib is on the wider side of its nib size designation. But other than the concern with the line width, this nib is a good choice as an excellent daily writer.
5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (10/10):
Being just another version of the standard M400 model fountain pen, this M400 Tortoiseshell-White is as durable as the other ones that I have reviewed. With the same high quality piston filling mechanism and the removable nib unit, there is no problem with the pen cleaning either. One thing to mention is that since this pen uses white coloured resin, when the pen is getting ink fills from ink bottles, the white grip section may have contact with the ink. Compared to the other pens that use darker materials, any ink residual can be easily seen. However, fortunately I find that wiping the ink off the grip section is fairly easy. And the ink doesn’t seem to cause any staining so far, as long as I try to clean the grip section right after the ink fill.

Summary:

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

Total: 47/50

The Pelikan Souverän M400 Tortoiseshell-White is so far my favourite model in the M400/M405 lineup. I like the finish so much that if it is available on the larger M800 and M1000 size, I will be very happy to get them. Other than the beautiful finish, this pen is not much different from the other standard M400/M405 versions. The design is classic and the performance of the pen is consistently high. Considering its small to medium size and light weight, it’s a great pen to carry around and a wonderful daily writer.

 

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Pen Review: Pelikan Souverän M400 Black-Red

The Pelikan Souverän M400 Black-Red is currently for sale.

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When it comes to the Pelikan Souverän series of fountain pen, often the versions with the green or blue stripes appear. These colours can be found in many different pen sizes. Particularly, the Black-Green model is available in M300, M400, M600, M800, and M1000, which essentially is the entire regular production line of the Souverän series. There are also other coloured models that have a solid presence in Pelikan’s regular lineup. The Black-Red is one such model.

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Basic Information:

Fountain Pen: Pelikan Souverän M400 Black-Red
Nib: 14K gold fine nib
Filling System: Piston
Production: Regular edition

1. Packaging (9/10):

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The Pelikan Souverän M400 Black-Red is a regular edition pen. And it comes with the standard packaging for the Pelikan Souverän line. It’s a fairly large box that can be opened by lifting the top cover. The fountain pen itself is well protected in a white Pelikan pen pouch. The design and the materials used for the packaging is adequate for a pen of its price range. I always wish that for different pen models and colours, there can be a bit of variety. But I don’t have much to complain here considering the high build quality.

2. Pen Design (8/10):
The Pelikan Souverän M400 Black-Red has the same dimensions and weight as the two other ones that I have reviewed in the past, the M405 Black-Blue-Silver and the M400 Black-Green. The pen is of small to medium size, and the light weight makes it easy to handle, no matter whether it’s posted or not. The threads on the pen are smooth and they are not sharp. The cap posts securely, and the pen body is well polished. It is not difficult to tell that this is a well built fountain pen.

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What’s different for this version of the M400 fountain pen is the colour scheme. The pen is decorated with red stripes on the barrel. Considering that I already had two M400/M405 at that time, the red stripes was pretty much the main reason why I bought this pen. The stripes are not monotone; with different angles, there are a variety of shades of red reflecting on the barrel. Combined with the gold-plated clip and trim rings, this pen offers a warm feeling. And the contrast between the red stripes and the black resin really makes this pen stand out.

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The Black-Red design is currently available on the M400 and the M600 model. Unfortunately the M800 Black-Red seems to be already discontinued. However if that pen ever gets reintroduced, it will be an easy purchase decision.

3. Filling System (10/10):
Pelikan makes a lot of piston filling fountain pens, and the brand knows how to make it well. This M400 Black-Red has the same high quality piston filling mechanism that can be found in the other M400/M405 pens that I have reviewed. It’s smooth. It’s efficient. It has a fairly high ink capacity. The transparent caps between the stripes serve as the ink windows. I find no other pen model that also has such a great filling system within its price range.

4. Nib Performance (9/10):

The 14K gold fine nib on this pen writes very well. I did not have a very great experience with the fine nib on the M400 Black-Green that I reviewed, but this one writes without any of the issues that I had before. It writes very smoothly without any nib adjustment. My only concern about the nib is that it writes more like a medium nib. I find that Pelikan’s nibs tend to be on the wider side of the nib size designation.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (10/10):
I do not find any issue that makes this M400 Black-Red difficult to be taken care of. The materials used to construct the pen is durable, and the pen design ensures that cleaning this fountain pen can be quick and easy. With a piston unit that runs smoothly and a removable nib unit, any fountain pen ink can be effectively flushed out of this pen.

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

Perhaps the most iconic design of the Pelikan Souverän fountain pens is the green stripes. But the red stripes here can be equally as beautiful, if not more. Personally, I enjoy the writing performance of the Pelikan Souverän M400/M405 fountain pens, and recommend them as excellent daily writers. This M400 Black-Red adds a great colour scheme to the lineup and I really hope that this option can be available on the larger M800 and M1000 sizes.

 

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Pen Review: Pelikan Classic M200 Café Crème

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Pelikan in the recent years have been releasing special editions in the Classic M200/M205 line, mostly related to the Pelikan Edelstein Ink of the Year, or as re-release of past special editions with slight tweaks. While having a special edition that matches with the ink of the year is a cool idea, reintroducing old special releases doesn’t sound that interesting to me. However, this isn’t always the way that Pelikan releases new pen finishes. The Pelikan M200 Café Crème is one good example that has a brand new colour scheme and is quite well received.

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Basic Information:

Fountain Pen: Pelikan Classic M200 Café Crème
Nib: Stainless steel medium nib
Filling System: Piston
Production: Speciel edition

1. Packaging (9/10):

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The Pelikan Classic M200 Café Crème uses the standard Pelikan packaging for the Classic line. There is nothing that is special for this model. It’s the same box that is used by my previously reviewed M200 Black, M200 Demonstrator, and M205 White-Silver. It’s a cardboard box that can be pulled open. Inside there is a white pen pouch that protects the pen. Considering the price of the pen, the packaging here is adequate. Pelikan’s gift box for the Classic line offers elegant designs, high quality accessories, and does not take a lot of spaces.

2. Pen Design (9/10):
This special edition Pelikan Classic M200 Café Crème shares the same pen construction as the other M200/M205s that I have reviewed before. The resin body makes the pen quite light. The length and width of the pen are both about average. It’s not a big pen, but still comfortable to hold in the hand. The weight balance is well executed no matter whether the pen cap is posted or not. These small to medium size M200/M205 fountain pens offer a good balance between usability and portability.

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The biggest highlight of this special edition is the colour scheme. What’s featured here is a cream coloured barrel, with a dark brown/chocolate coloured ink window. The grip section, piston knob, and cap are made from resin in the dark brown colour. This subtle yet still unique dark brown resin is quite a good choice, in my opinion. Along with the gold-plated trims, the pen represents the “Café Crème” theme well and has a warm feeling. The colours used here are not simple repetition from another version. Instead the whole colour scheme is more or less fresh, and easily distinguishable from the other ones in the lineup.

3. Filling System (10/10):
Pelikan’s piston filling system always works reliably. This pen’s piston mechanism is no exception. It’s smooth and efficient. The barrel holds a lot of ink and the large ink window helps the users check the ink level of the pen without any difficulty.

4. Nib Performance (9/10):

The gold-plated stainless steel medium nib on this pen writes well right out of the box. It doesn’t offer much line variation but still has a lot of springiness. The nib is very smooth but not over polished. I don’t find much issue with hard start or skipping. It’s the perfect candidate for daily writings.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (10/10):

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Just like any non-demonstrator version of the Pelikan M200/M205 fountain pens, this M200 Café Crème is easy to handle when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. The nib unit is removable, making it very convenient to access the ink reservoir for the detailed cleaning. The piston unit is smooth and powerful enough to clean ink out of the pen quickly.
The resin construction may make the user feel that the pen is light and fragile. But the material is actually quite durable. Other than the normal micro-scratches, I don’t find much extra wear and tear on the pen.

Summary:

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

Total: 47/50

Among all of the special edition Pelikan Classic M200/M205s that I have, the M200 Café Crème is one of the my favourite. While most of the special editions are just different shades from the spectrum, with a single colour used for the whole pen, or just a different colour on the barrel with the rest of the pen unchanged, the Café Crème has a set of carefully selected colours and actually carries a theme. The choice of colours is up to the personal preference, but at least I really like the cream and dark brown coloured resin used here.
The Pelikan Classic M200/M205 is a good line of pens that offers excellent writing performance, high ink capacity, and relatively affordable prices. In my opinion, this M200 Café Crème is a perfect example to demonstrate what a Pelikan entry level piston filling pen should look like. With the tasteful colour scheme, it’s not just a great daily writer, but one of my favourite Pelikan fountain pens.

 

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Pen Review: Pelikan Souverän M400 Black-Green

The Pelikan Souverän M400 Black-Green is currently for sale. (SOLD)

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Since I added the Pelikan Souverän M405 Black-Blue-Silver to my pen collection, I had been thinking about getting one more. Since I got a medium nib the last time (I purchased the pen with a medium nib, and later switched to an extra fine nib), I was planning to try a fine nib. Therefore, I settled with the Pelikan Souverän M400 Black-Green.

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Basic Information:

Fountain Pen: Pelikan Souverän M400 Black-Green
Nib: 14K gold fine nib
Filling System: Piston
Production: Regular edition

1. Packaging (9/10):

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The Pelikan Souverän line regular edition pens share a common packaging. This pen is no exception. This packaging is a bit more refined than the one for the Classic line: the box opens by lifting the top instead of pulling sideways. The white Pelikan pouch has an elastic band to help with the closure. This mechanism looks a bit more thoughtful and makes the pouch more practical to use, since the ones that come from the Classic line only have thin ribbons to help tighten the pouch. In addition, on the elastic band, there is a Pelikan seal, which I think is a great decoration for the pouch. Overall, the box is just a bit larger than the Classic line packaging. The box may look a bit plain, but serves the purpose very well. Since the pen is a regular production model, I don’t have much to complain here.

2. Pen Design (8/10):

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The Pelikan Souverän M400 Black-Green is the entry level model of the Souverän line, with a small-to-medium footprint (the M300/M320 line is an exception. It is smaller but more like a pocket sized pen. Also it is generally more expensive). But it has pretty much everything that one should expect from a Pelikan Souverän fountain pen. Just like the previously reviewed Pelikan Souverän M405 Black-Blue-Silver, the cap top is metallic, but this time in the gold colour. The rings on the piston knob, cap end, and the grip section are also gold plated.
The 14K gold nib installed here is two-tone. It doesn’t exactly match with the other entirely gold coloured trimmings. But I personally don’t like nibs that are completely in the gold colour anyway, so I’m happy with the design here.

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Pelikan is famous for its green-striped design on the pen. The design is iconic and hasn’t changed much for decades. Even though green may not be my favourite colour choice for the stripes, it’s hard to deny that this implementation works well. The shade of green is not very vibrant, making the pen pretty appropriately looking for formal occasions.
In addition, if you are already familiar with Pelikan’s striped design for the pen barrel, you probably also know that the gaps between any two stripes serve as the ink window. This approach ensures that the appearance of the pen is still great, because it won’t have a large chunk of the barrel being transparent. Meanwhile, how much ink is left in this piston filler still can be seen easily.

3. Filling System (10/10):
The piston filling mechanism installed in the Pelikan Souverän M400 Black-Green is exactly the same as the one in the previously reviewed M405 Black-Blue-Silver. Pelikan’s piston filling system works flawlessly. The ink capacity is great and the striped design on the barrel serve as the ink window. The users can easily check if the ink level is running low.

4. Nib Performance (6/10):

I chose a fine nib to go with this pen, because I find the 14K gold Pelikan medium nib is too broad for my daily writings. While this nib certainly writes with a line width that I’m much happier with, I find that the nib has a strange and inconsistent ink flow. When the nib is only pressed lightly, ink barely flows onto the paper. However, with much more pressure, ink flows generously, and at the same time, this nib has a lot more flexibility than the medium nib I own. There isn’t any hard start or skipping issue, and the nib at least writes right out of the box. But the strange ink flow issue confuses me. Later when I had more Pelikan Souverän M400 pens with more fine nibs, I never see this problem again.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (10/10):

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This pen is well made. The smooth piston operation and the easily removable nib unit guarantee that cleaning the pen will be a simple task.
The trims and finishes on the Pelikan Souverän line are more refined than the Classic line, and are always well finished. What you receive is a quality pen that is durable and reliable. There should be no issue with the pen as long as it is used and stored properly.

Summary:

Packaging: 9/10
Pen Design: 8/10
Filling System: 10/10
Nib Performance: 6/10
Pen Cleaning and Maintenance: 10/10

Total: 43/50

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My second pen of the Pelikan Souverän line offered an interesting writing experience. While the pen is very similar to the first one, the Pelikan Souverän M405 Black-Blue-Silver, the 14K gold fine nib here seems to be a strange one. It gives an unexpected amount of flexibility, but suffers from the inconsistent ink flow.
The green stripes is one of the most recognized design elements from Pelikan. Regardless of the size, the Black-Green finish is such a classic model. In my opinion, any serious Pelikan collector should have a Black-Green model in the collection.
Overall, I think this pen is a good addition to my Pelikan collection. Even though this nib’s performance is not something to be expected from Pelikan, since later on I acquired more M400 pens, I find that this seems to be only a fairly rare case. Therefore I still recommend anyone looking for a decent medium size piston filler to take a look at this pen. It’s one of the classic fountain pens that every fountain pen user should at least have some experiences with.

 

The Pelikan Souverän M400 Black-Green is currently for sale. (SOLD)

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Pen Review: Pelikan Classic M200 Black

The Pelikan Classic M200 Black is currently for sale. (SOLD)

For the list of pens currently for sale, please visit here.

When I just started using fountain pens from Pelikan, I stayed with the M200/M205 and M400/M405 model size for quite a while. One reason was because the larger models are fairly expensive. And I didn’t know how much more those ones could offer. Another reason is that these smaller sized pens do fit my hand very well. Therefore, as I was trying hard to grow my Pelikan collection, I picked up this Pelikan Classic M200 Black.

Basic Information:

Fountain Pen: Pelikan Classic M200 Black
Nib: Stainless steel fine nib
Filling System: Piston
Production: Regular edition

1. Packaging (9/10):

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The Pelikan Classic M200/M205 line offers one of the best packaging in its price category, in my opinion. This M200 Black has the same box and accessories as the two other pens I have reviewed in the past (M205 White-Silver and M200 Demonstrator). The box is sturdy and the small pouch inside offers good protection for the pen.

2. Pen Design (8/10):

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The Pelikan Classic M200 Black shares exactly the same length and shape as the two pens that I have reviewed before. The main difference here is the colour of the pen. Being a regular edition pen, there isn’t anything particularly outstanding. The cap and barrel are in black, and the trims are gold plated. Just like the M200 Demonstrator, the stainless steel nib is gold plated, so that it matches with the rest of the trims. Black and gold is quite a classic combination for pens. It makes the pen suitable for many professional settings or formal occasions.
On the barrel near the grip section, there is a build-in ink window. It is in dark green and when the ink is filled in full, it is not very easy to be seen. I really like this design. It is both very functional, and doesn’t have too much impact to the overall appearance of the pen.

3. Filling System (10/10):
I often have no problem with Pelikan’s piston filling system. The ink capacity is great and the piston operation is always very smooth, even on the relatively entry level Pelikan piston filling fountain pens. It works even better than some of the more expensive non-Pelikan ones.

4. Nib Performance (8/10):

Comparing to the M205 White-Silver and the M200 Demonstrator, this M200 Black is equipped with really the same nib, except that it is in the fine size. The nib performs quite well and there is nothing that needs to be fixed. However I do find that this nib is not as springy as the other two stainless steel Pelikan nibs that I have reviewed. Therefore I have to take one additional point off. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent nib that performs well on all kinds of paper. There isn’t much unique character to it, but it just writes without any major issue.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (10/10):
Cleaning this Pelikan Classic M200 Black is very easy. The piston operation is efficient and effective. Inks can be flushed away quickly. If the ink tends to be not easily washable, then the nib unit can be removed to gain direct access to the ink chamber. The pen is made from resin. As long as it is taken good care of, I don’t expect anything more than the usual micro-scratches.

Summary:

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

Total: 45/50

If I can only choose one piston filling fountain pen, I will find it difficult to pick any particular model, but that pen is surely from Pelikan. Even on the entry level models, Pelikan puts a fairly decent piston mechanism there. It’s the smooth operation and maintainability that make me keep coming back to the wonderful Pelikan pens.

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The M200 size is on the small-to-medium side of fountain pens. For its size, the pen offers excellent ink capacity, along with a well performing stainless steel nib. There isn’t anything to complain about this pen. For its price, the pen offers good features and a consistent writing experience. But this pen is not my favourite pen, just because I find the appearance of the pen a bit too plain. Certainly it’s great for any professional setting, but I expect something more than the classic black and gold. Nevertheless, if this classic styling is what you are looking for, and you are interested in a smaller sized piston filling fountain pen, you may want to give the Pelikan Classic M200 Black a try.

 

The Pelikan Classic M200 Black is currently for sale. (SOLD)

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2016 Favourites – Part 2

Now it’s time to talk about my favourite fountain pen inks. Here are my top 5 inks of 2016:

  1. Montblanc Lavender Purple
  2. Diamine Asa Blue
  3. Pelikan Edelstein Mandarin
  4. Montblanc Toffee Brown
  5. Montblanc Irish Green

All of these inks can be often seen in my pens. They have good balances between saturation and shading. They all perform well in any of my pens and do not cause any ink flow or cleaning issue.

My most favourite ink releases in 2016:

  • Lamy Dark Lilac
  • Montblanc Lucky Orange
  • Montblanc William Shakespeare Velvet Red

My least favourite ink releases in 2016:

  • Montblanc Miles Davis Jazz Blue
  • J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Caroube de Chypre
  • Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine

Just like the Lamy Safari Dark Lilac fountain pen, the colour matching ink is also quite popular. Personally I really enjoy using this ink, because the ink flow and colour saturation is nearly perfect. This would have made it to my top 5 inks. However my policy is that only regular edition inks can be included in that list.

Montblanc makes a lot of special edition inks, and 2016 was no exception. The Lucky Orange and the William Shakespeare Velvet Red are both beautiful colours. Also they are very different from Montblanc’s regular edition line of colours.

Unfortunately, not all Montblanc inks are as interesting as those two. Among the new releases, I think Montblanc Miles Davis Jazz Blue is the most disappointing one. It is an uninspiring light blue that does not help enhance the writing experience. The J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Caroube de Chypre is on this list for the same reason as well. Compared to the Emerald of Chivor from 2015, this new one is not exciting at all, other than being a new colour in the lineup. The Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine is actually quite a popular ink from the last year and it performs well. But unfortunately it’s a colour that I find no use for.

My wishes for 2017:

At this moment, I’m pretty content with my collection of pens and inks. What I own already can cover all that I need. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t add any new items to the collection.

First of all, special editions are always hard to pass. As usual, I plan to add the upcoming Lamy Safari special edition fountain pen to my collection, and I have already acquired the new special edition Lamy Al-star Pacific. I will most likely add the matching colour inks as well. Another set of items that I always collect is the Pelikan Edelstein ink of the year, and the colour matching fountain pen. If Pelikan has the same plan for 2017, I don’t see why I would pass the opportunity.

Other than those more or less routine special editions, there are the occasional “surprise” special or limited edition releases. One good example is the Pelikan Souverän series fountain pens. If a brand new special edition M800/M805 gets introduced, I usually won’t miss it, as long as the price tag is reasonable. I may have to think more carefully if the new release is on a smaller sized pen model, but I tend to collect those pens regardless, considering that there are usually not too many of them every year.

Last but not least, I think there will always be areas of improvement for my collection. In 2016, I finally got a chance to look at the Aurora Optima more carefully and it quickly became one of my favourite pen models. Maybe this year I will find another pen model that is new to me, and can knock some pens out of the top 10 list! There are even models that I have heard of for a long long time, but still haven’t had a chance to actually try out. Maybe 2017 will be a year for these adventures.

So here they are, my favourite pens and inks of 2016, and my personal opinions about some of the new releases from last year. What are your favourites?