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

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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: Lamy 2000

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There are many new fountain pen models every year. Some of them are just a refresh of colours used, while the others have new designs. There are also designs that had never been significantly changed. These are the classics that often have a large number of followers, and the designs have stood the test of time. The pen to be reviewed this time is one good example of the pens in the classics category. It is the Lamy 2000.

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Basic Information:

Fountain Pen: Lamy 2000
Nib: 14K gold fine nib
Filling System: Piston
Production: Regular edition

1. Packaging (7/10):
Just like any Lamy packaging that I have seen so far, the pen box of the Lamy 2000 provides adequate protection to the pen, but it looks underwhelming. The design is towards saving the space, saving the material used, and let the focus stay on the pen.
However as one of Lamy’s most iconic designs, this pen deserves a more delicate packaging, in my opinion. Personally, I can understand the simplicity design. But I still don’t really appreciate what’s provided here. I feel it’s not enough for a fountain pen of this status and price range.

2. Pen Design (9/10):

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The Lamy 2000 speaks both classic and future at the same time. It has a high performance gold nib and an efficient piston filling system. It shifts away from using traditional pen materials, but instead let Makrolon and stainless steel form the streamlined shape of the fountain pen. The overall matte finish and the contrast between the grey and silver tones create a piece of writing instrument that is not only looking elegant, but also comfortable in the hand.
The Lamy 2000 features a snap cap. The capping mechanism provides a solid feedback when the cap is closed/removed. The pen has a good weight balance with or without posting the cap. Without posting, the pen is still long enough. With the matte stainless steel grip section, the Lamy 2000 is comfortable to hold. Since the surface is not polished to a mirror like shine, it is easy to have a firm grip on the pen, and there are no threads to be found. The hooded nib design is not commonly seen on modern fountain pens. This design integrates well aesthetically, as the streamlined shape of the pen extends naturally all the way to the nib.

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On the other end of the pen, here it comes one of my favourite designs on the Lamy 2000. The piston knob is perfectly integrating into the shape of the pen, and it is easy to see how great it is engineered. When the piston knob is screwed in, the gap between the barrel and the piston knob is incredibly thin. It is quite difficult to see where that gap is, making the pen look wonderfully simple and elegant. At the end of the grip section, there is also a narrow gap. The grip section is removable, and can be screwed off to gain access to the nib unit and the ink reservoir.

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My Lamy 2000 is equipped with a 14K gold fine nib, plated with platinum. The nib is quite tiny. With the hooded nib design, the nib cannot be very large. Even though usually I prefer the appearances of pens with large nibs, this design of the Lamy 2000 doesn’t really bother me.

3. Filling System (9/10):
The Lamy 2000 utilizes the piston filling system, and it has a great one. The piston filling mechanism integrated into the pen is not only working well, but also aesthetically pleasing. As mentioned earlier, the piston knob is perfectly fitted as the extension of the barrel. The piston operation is smooth, and the ink reservoir has a good capacity. With the installed fine nib, I think the amount of ink that this pen can hold is quite generous. On the barrel and near the grip section, there are four clear stripes. These are the ink windows. When the pen is filled in full, these ink windows can hardly been seen. However, when the ink level gets lower, the ink windows start to reappear and can show the colour of the ink used. Other than Pelikan’s piston implementation, this is one of the best that I have used.
While this piston filling system works really well, it is not perfect. The grip section is removable, so that the ink reservoir can be accessed. However, the ink reservoir is quite narrow, making is a bit difficult to lubricate the piston seal through the chamber. It seems that it’s not very straightforward to remove the piston mechanism either. Regardless, I really enjoy the piston filling system on the Lamy 2000.

4. Nib Performance (9/10):

Many of the Lamy fountain pen models share the same nib configuration, whether in stainless steel or gold. That is the nib that’s been used in the Lamy Safari, Al-star, Studio, Dialog 3, etc. But the Lamy 2000 doesn’t use this same nib design. This pen uses a small nib that fits only on the Lamy 2000 series. For the one in my collection, I picked the 14K gold fine nib. Other than being very rigid and have no springiness or line variation, I like everything else about this nib. The fine nib writes true to its size designation, and have a fairly wet flow for a fine nib. It’s very smooth right out of the box, and there has been zero issue with skipping or hard start. It is such a perfectly tuned nib, particularly good for daily writings. Thanks to the snap cap, the Lamy 2000 is an excellent choice for taking quick notes as well.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (10/10):
The Lamy 2000’s pen body is made from mainly Makrolon and stainless steel, and both are very strong and scratch resistant materials. After long period of uses, my pen is still able to mostly keep its original look and feel.
The grip section of the Lamy 2000 can be removed, therefore gaining direct access to the nib unit and the ink reservoir. The piston unit seems to be difficult to remove, but the operation is smooth and effortless. Cleaning the pen is a fairly simple task.

Summary:

Packaging: 7/10
Pen Design: 9/10
Filling System: 9/10
Nib Performance: 9/10
Pen Cleaning and Maintenance: 10/10

Total: 44/50

The Lamy 2000 is a classic fountain pen that has been an excellent choice for more than 50 years. Its modern styling and strong performance make it frequently appear on many people’s recommended fountain pens or wish list.
It has a very balanced weight distribution. The snap cap opens easily and can be posted without making the pen too back heavy. The generously flowing 14K gold nib, the smooth piston filling mechanism, and the precision of the manufacturing, all can be found in the Lamy 2000.
Personally, I think the Lamy 2000 is one of the best offerings in its price range. It is a pen to be expected to work well all the time, every time.

 

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Pen Review: Omas Ogiva Alba Green

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I have already reviewed the Omas Ogiva Alba Violet (14K gold fine nib, extra flessibile) and the Omas Ogiva Alba Orange (18K gold fine nib). This third pen of the Omas Ogiva Alba collection needs no further introduction: the Omas Ogiva Alba Green.

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Basic Information:

Fountain Pen: Omas Ogiva Alba Green
Nib: 18K gold medium italic nib
Filling System: Piston
Production: Limited edition

1. Packaging (10/10):

 


Omas offers elegant packaging for this limited edition fountain pen. The box uses strong and thick cardboard for good protection and velvety fabric inside. The choices of colours and materials are well thought of. It is exactly what to expect from a limited edition pen like this.

2. Pen Design (8/10):

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All three pens (Violet, Orange and Green) in the Omas Ogiva Alba collection are identical in the shape and size. The only differences are the colour of the pen, and potentially the choice of the nib. Just like I previously reviewed, the Omas Ogiva Alba Green has a very decent length, comparable to flagship pens such as the Montblanc Meisterstück 149 and the Pelikan Souverän M1000. But the width of the pen is shorter, making this pen large but still very comfortable to hold. I prefer to use this pen without posting the cap, since the pen would be a bit too long for me. However, because the cotton resin used to make this pen is a lightweight material, the Omas Ogiva Alba Green is actually quite light and even posting doesn’t make it too back heavy.
For this pen, the colour is quite unique. It’s a green with a bit of blue tone, and the translucency is perfect. It shows the internal mechanism well, but not yet a full demonstrator.

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I acquired this pen not just because I wanted to complete the limited edition set. This pen has an interesting nib that none of my other pens have, the 18K gold medium italic nib. The engravings on this nib is the same as the one on the Omas Ogiva Alba Orange. The patterns are simple but beautiful.

3. Filling System (6/10):
Just like the other two that I have reviewed, even though this pen has a piston filling system and holds a large amount of ink, I still don’t like it very much. The piston operation is stiff and ink tends to get trapped behind the piston seal and dries up there. Later I was advised how to disassemble the pen to fix all these problems, which really gave this beautiful pen and the other two another chance to shine. But I would like the scores to reflect the pen’s original condition, especially if any fix is difficult, or may potentially void the warranty.

4. Nib Performance (4/10):

I got this pen with the hope that the medium italic nib can be fun to use and occasionally bring some interesting characteristics to my writings. However this nib did not deliver. I know that it wasn’t my fault, because I have used other italic nibs or stubs, and did not have as much issue writing with them. But this nib was difficult to use. It didn’t really put any ink onto the paper for some of the inks that I had tried. For the ones that did have a better ink flow, I still couldn’t let the nib write consistently. Eventually, I had to have the nib adjusted to have a better writing performance. Again, the score here is to reflect the original state of the nib, and it is not what I would expect from any pen of this price.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (7/10):
Without some careful work that will likely void the warranty, this pen is hard to be maintained. The nib unit is not easily removable, causing several maintenance issues. The stiff piston cannot be lubricated, and the trapped ink cannot be reached and cleaned. These issues made the pen more and more difficult to use, especially during filling and cleaning.
The cotton resin used for this pen is a fairly durable material. I have used this pen, and the other two in the same collection for quite a long time. And I haven’t really seen much wear and tear. It of course needs good protection if it is to be carried around, but not much else needs to be taken care of.

Summary:

Packaging: 10/10
Pen Design: 8/10
Filling System: 6/10
Nib Performance: 4/10
Pen Cleaning: 7/10

Total: 35/50

The Omas Ogiva Alba Green is a beautiful fountain pen with quite a unique colour and pen body material. The decent size and balanced weight make it a pen that’s comfortable to hold. Combined with the Violet and the Orange models, these three limited edition pens really make a wonderful collection. Unfortunately, comparing to the other two, this pen’s 18K gold medium italic nib was quite disappointing. In addition, similar to the other two pens, the piston mechanism in this one was also hard to operate. These issues kept this pen from my pen rotation for a long time. It is possible to disassemble the pen to fix the piston problems and have the nib adjusted. But it is not very easy and certainly not a good experience for any fountain pen beginners. Doing such fixes may cause the warranty to be no longer valid. For a pen in this price range, I expect to see no issue at all.

 

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Pen Review: Pelikan Classic M200 Black

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

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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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Pen Review: Omas Ogiva Alba Orange

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In 2015, Omas released a set of limited edition pens, in the Ogiva model, to celebrate its then upcoming 90th anniversary. There are three pens, the Violet, Orange, and Green, which are supposed to represent the colours of the Aurora Borealis. Previously I have reviewed the Violet model, which carries a 14K gold fine nib with extra flessibile. This time, I’m going to review the second pen in the set, the Orange.

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Basic Information

Fountain Pen: Omas Ogiva Alba Orange
Nib: 18K gold fine nib
Filling System: Piston
Production: Limited edition

1. Packaging (10/10):

 

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Being a limited edition fountain pen, the Omas Ogiva Alba Orange definitely invested heavily on the packaging. As previously reviewed, the choice of material, the miscellaneous items included, and the construction quality are all outstanding. There is a good balance between not spending too much energy on a box, and how to demonstrate a limited edition appropriately. The packaging is exactly the same as the Violet model, for more details please visit there.

2. Pen Design (8/10):

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Other than the difference in colour, the Omas Ogiva Alba Orange is nearly identical to the Violet model. In summary, I enjoy its size, which is fairly similar to other well-known flagship pens, such as the Montblanc Meisterstück 149 and the Pelikan Souverän M1000, but just a bit slimmer. The pen is long enough for me to not use it with the cap posted, plus that the cap does not post very deeply and can make the pen a bit back-heavy. The cotton resin material makes the pen overall very lightweight and with a medium width grip section, it sits comfortably in the hand.

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One thing to note is that the 18K gold nib has a different engraving than the 14K gold nib on the Violet model. The engraving here is more complex and I personally prefer this more elegant design.

3. Filling System (6/10):
This pen suffers from the same issues as the Omas Ogiva Alba Violet. The piston doesn’t operate smoothly. There is no easy way to lubricate the piston. And it takes a lot of effort to have the pen cleaned. I think this is a big let down of the pen, especially the trapped ink makes this light coloured demonstrator not as appealing.

4. Nib Performance (10/10):

Unlike the Violet version, this pen features a 18K gold nib, instead of the 14K gold extra flessibile nib. But this nib is equally outstanding. The fine nib writes extremely smoothly and does not have any skipping or hard start issue. The performance is consistent right out of the box. The ebonite feed helps with the ink flow significantly. I often pair the Pelikan Edelstein Mandarin ink with this pen, since that ink tends to run a bit drier. However, the same ink works wonderfully over here.
The 18K gold nib on this pen does not flex. But it has a bit of bounce when it is slightly pressed. The overall writing experience with this nib is simply perfect.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (7/10):
Just like the Omas Ogiva Alba Violet, this pen suffers from the same design choices, such as the not easily removable nib unit and piston mechanism, and the not so powerful piston operation. The Orange model is more translucent than the Violet model, therefore the trapped ink behind the piston seal is even more apparent. Because of this, I only use matching colour inks in this pen. However, the accumulated ink that has dried out behind the piston seal still can be easily seen.

Summary:

Packaging: 10/10
Pen Design: 8/10
Filling System: 6/10
Nib Performance: 10/10
Pen Cleaning and Maintenance: 7/10

Total: 41/50

The Omas Ogiva Alba Orange shares nearly the same characteristics as the previously reviewed Violet version in almost all aspects. The limited edition offering is beautiful and has an excellent nib. However, I still don’t like the certain design directions of the Ogiva model, such as the piston and nib unit that are hard to clean and maintain. Comparing to the 14K gold extra flessibile nib on the Violet model, this 18K gold fine nib makes the pen much more practical for daily writings. Considering its price range, I think this pen is a great option.

 

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