Pen Review: Pelikan Souverän M400 Black-Red

For more details, please visit the following related pen reviews:

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: 10/10
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.

Pen Review: Lamy 2000

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.

Pen Review: Omas Ogiva Alba Green

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.

Pen Review: Pelikan Classic M200 Black

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.

Pen Review: Omas Ogiva Alba Orange

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.

Pen Review: Omas Ogiva Alba Violet

Many pen companies release limited edition pens that have each pen numbered. Such pens are often used to celebrate a certain anniversary or represent a particular theme. The Omas Ogiva Alba collection is one example of it. This collection contains fountain pens in three different colours: violet, orange, and green. The collection was to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Omas company, and the colours chosen are the ones found in the Aurora Borealis. There were 327 fountain pens made for each colour. This review is going to cover one of the pens in the collection, the Omas Ogiva Alba Violet.

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Basic Information:
Fountain Pen: Omas Ogiva Alba Violet
Nib: 14K gold fine nib, extra flessibile
Filling System: Piston
Production: Limited edition

1. Packaging (10/10):

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In terms of packaging, the Omas Ogiva Alba collection has one of the best presentations in my pen collection. The light grey hard cardboard box is inside a dark grey cardboard sleeve. Lifting the top half of the box, the pen is presented and wrapped inside a small plastic bag, which has a sticker that indicates the nib option and the limited edition number. What’s also included is a light grey pen pouch made in the velvety fabric, which is used for the interior of the box as well. Overall, there is great design consistency and excellent build quality. It’s simple but also elegant. It’s luxurious but not overwhelming.

2. Pen Design (8/10):
The Omas Ogiva Alba Violet fountain pen is beautiful. Its length is similar to flagship pens such as the Pelikan Souverän M1000 and the Montblanc Meisterstück 149. But comparing to the Montblanc Meisterstück 149, the Omas Ogiva Alba has a slimmer body. The pen is made from cotton resin, and the lightweight pen sits very well in the hand. The shape of the pen body is commonly seen, but the fluted design on the barrel and cap, combining with the purple material that is slightly translucent, make this pen look very elegant.

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The cap can be posted securely onto the back of the pen. Posting the cap makes the pen very long and a bit back heavy. Personally I don’t post the cap for this pen. The grip section is long and have small steps from the barrel to the nib. The length and width of the grip section make it comfortable to be held. However there are threads right in the middle of the section. The threads do not really bother me when I’m holding the pen. But I think it will be more comfortable to hold the pen if the threads can be moved to either the front or the back of the grip section. Also on this part of the pen, the limited edition number is engraved here.

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There are two rings on the cap, one being just a thin band and the other carrying the greek key design. A similar set of rings are installed near the edge of the grip section. Together with an additional thin band on the piston knob and the rigid but easy-to-use roller clip, all of the metal trims are rhodium plated. This shows an excellent design consistency that matches really well with the purple coloured barrel.

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In comparison to the rich decorations on the pen, the nib engravings seem to be a bit underwhelming. Other than the nib specifications engraved there, there is actually no art decoration on the nib. The engravings indicate that the nib is made of 14K gold and the nib width “F” is marked on the side of the nib. What’s perhaps the most interesting engraving is the “extra flessibiile” on the top. More details about it will be covered in the nib performance review. Even though the nib looks a bit boring, the rhodium plating still ensures that the colour scheme of the pen is consistent.

3. Filling System (6/10):
I really like the piston filling system. However, I have to deduct several points here for the Omas Ogiva Alba Violet. First of all, the piston does not operate smoothly. When I turn the piston knob, there is a fair amount of friction. If the pen is left not inked for a while, it becomes even more difficult to get the piston to move. It feels like the piston is stuck in the barrel. This leads to the second issue. There is no simple way to lubricate the piston, because neither the piston mechanism nor the nib unit is easily removable. Not only the piston cannot be maintained, cleaning the pen also takes a lot of effort. The pen cannot be flushed with direct access to the inner barrel, so that the users are forced to operate the piston repetitively. Unfortunately the piston is not powerful enough and it takes extremely long to fully clean the pen. The third issue related to the piston is the piston seal. It seems that ink constantly gets trapped behind the piston seal or between the two ends of the seal. Then the trapped ink dries out and more or less ruins the beautiful demonstrator appearance. The dried ink may also impact the smoothness of the piston operation. The basic functionalities of any piston filling mechanism are there. However these problems make the pen less enjoyable to use. If these issues can be fixed, together with the large ink capacity that is already offered, it will be an even better fountain pen.

4. Nib Performance (10/10):

This is where this pen really shines. As mentioned earlier, the nib has an engraving that indicates “extra flessibile”. This is my most favourite feature on this pen: the nib offers quite a significant amount of springiness and flexibility. Without much pressure, the nib gives a wet and fine line. When pressed down a bit, the nib tines flex out slightly and provide line variations to the handwriting. Meanwhile, the ebonite feed has no problem catching up with the ink flow, making the writing really enjoyable. It can be considered as around a semi flex nib and it is not commonly seen on modern pens. Of course, using any flex nib should be done with enough care and caution, in order to make sure that the nib is not applied with too much pressure and damaged. once the users can fully understand the capability and limit of the nib, it can bring a lot of characters to the handwriting.
The nib writes right out of the box and doesn’t really require any adjustment. Also there is no issue with hard start or skipping. In general, it writes with a wet ink flow, so that it works the best with better quality paper that handles feathering and bleed through well.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (7/10):
Being a piston filler, not having an easily removable nib unit impacts the ease of pen cleaning and maintenance. As mentioned earlier, cleaning the pen by operating the piston takes a great amount of effort. Meanwhile, the piston has issues with trapped ink and cannot be easily lubricated. Being a translucent fountain pen, these issues are not only making the pen less convenient to use, but also not ideal for the pen’s appearance.

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 Violet is a great limited edition offering. It has an excellent pen design with a packaging that matches the same high standard. The 14K gold fine nib with “extra flessibile” definitely gets the spotlight and its performance is one of the best in my collection. It would be an even more amazing pen if the piston design can improve, in order to bring better cleaning efficiency and maintainability. Having a nib unit that is not easily removable can be inconvenient for a piston filling pen, especially one that has a piston that can benefit from a bit more lubrication.
Overall, I think this pen is a great offering for its price range. It may not be an ideal daily writer, but the amazing nib can provide excellent character to the handwriting.

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.