This is a very difficult pen to photograph, as very slight changes of lighting result in different shades of blue. For some reason, the pen is also more of a 'dust magnet' than my other Pelikans, which may have something to do with the different material and manufacturing process used for the blue binde. It seems to generate a significant amount of static electricity. The cap logo has much less contrast than the regular ones, being gold on yellowish gold, and that too is difficult to photograph with my limited equipment and skills.
I ordered my example with an EF nib, and usually prefer nibs that are even finer. One of my favourite nibs is an EEF that was custom ground by Greg Minuskin, bordering on a needlepoint, which would explain why I was a little unprepared for the width of the M800 Italic nib. Back to the subject of this review, the pen wrote smoothly and consistently from the first fill with Pelikan blue-black. No skipping or false starts, smooth writing with just a hint of toothiness, and a reasonably wet line for what is a relatively dry ink.
Some folk have made unfavourable comparisons between the Blue 'o Blue and the blue version of the Waterman Phileas, but the barrel and cap material is quite different. The balance between opacity and translucence means a pen that is constantly changing its hue of blue as it is exposed to different light conditions, and for me that is part of the charm of the pen.
The build quality is of the usual Pelikan high standard, and the pen is a real gem to handle and use. One other slight variation between this pen and regular M800s is a series of four small 'bridges' between the two gold plated bands on the cap. One of these is visible in the first image, in line with the clip.
As a writer, this pen has nothing more to offer than a regular M800. The value of the cosmetic differences will be in the eye of the beholder, and I for one am happy to have paid a small premium for such a unique pen.
Edited by Pjay, 27 September 2010 - 19:41.