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Pelikan M450 Tortoise


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27 replies to this topic

#1 feiye

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 06:16

I ran a search through the FPN reviews and I cannot believe no one has waxed poetic about the Pelikan M450 before! *ahem* Allow me then...



1) First Impressions 10/10

One of my first pens was a Pelikan M400 (the White Honey actually) and from the first time I held it in my hand, I was captivated by the size, look and feel of the pen. When I saw the M450 in a shop window one day, I knew I had to buy it. It was a M400, only better: more shiny, more weighty, more tortoise-y and so much more pricey. Nevertheless, it took my breath away and before I knew it, my bank account was significantly lower and I had walked out with this fabulous new pen.

It comes with the deluxe Pelikan packaging, which is understated but quite handy as it fits three pens inside.

2) Appearance & Design 9/10

My oh my oh my. This M450 is quite the looker. It has a green tortoise barrel and vermeil cap and end. I think the tortoise barrel is one of the most stunning finishes on any pen and is iconic of Pelikan. This piece is not a particularly quiet pen, it really does scream "Look at me," with good reason too! Each tortoise barrel is unique, the base colour varies between light to dark green with some dark brown veins mixed in. The barrel on the M450 is actually different to the M400 White Tortoise barrel which has a yellow base, the overall effect is that the M450 feels more "tortoise-y" to me due to the green.


L to R: White Honey (with its yellow based tortoise binde), M450 (green based), M400 Kaufhof Brown Tortoise

I have noticed though that the newer M450 and the older M450 have different coloured vermeil finishes. The newer one is lighter and more cream whereas the older M450 has a very 'gold' and darker tint to it. Both are nice. Since the barrel is semi-transparent, you can see the ink level in the pen. Over time, the barrel does show signs of wear especially where the cap meets the barrel and even more so if you post.


The top M450 was purchased early 2008 whereas the bottom one was purchased late 2005, note how the gold finish on the bottom one appears darker

The cap has a blank area where you can engrave your name on it - a nice touch that allows for easy personalisation.



3) Weight & Dimensions 9/10

The dimensions are: 126mm capped, 121mm uncapped and 148mm posted. It is not a big pen but due to the vermeil end, it is well balanced and a fair bit heavier than the standard M400. I don't post my pens but if you do, the M450 is a bit too top heavy.

4) Nib & Performance 7/10

The M450 comes standard with an 18kt two tone gold nib, I love the look of Pelikan nibs. My first M450 came with a fine nib that writes more like a wet medium. It is very smooth and solid, I have no real complaints about it except that the sizing is rather deceptive. My second M450 came with an EF nib that was also extremely broad and not as smooth, but still ok. There was some concern over the QC on the Pelikan EF nibs and I understand that for a while it was a bit of a lottery as to whether the EF nib would turn out good or not.


Standard 18kt Pelikan fine nib, Visconti Blue ink

Luckily, Pelikan nibs are the easiest to swap out and it is so easy to buy a customised one. I picked up an preground XXF full flex from Richard Binder that fits right into the pen. It allows for endless customisation choices. Richard's full flex nib is a delight to use, I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another one (oh hey...I did!).


Binder M250 XXF full flex nib, Dupont Purple ink. This nib offers fantastic line variation, flexes well and the hairlines are just that.

5) Filling System 9/10

The M450 uses the legendary Pelikan piston filling system. Much has been said about this filling system and it's never failed me. Excellent ink capacity and easy to use. Getting tough stains out of this pen is a bit difficult to do. I used some Noodlers in this pen and it stained one part of the barrel, I can't clean it out but I feel it only adds to the history of the pen.

6) Cost & Value 8/10

The retail price on this piece is in the US$600s so it's not a cheap piece. Fortunately, you can pick this piece up online for around $300 to mid $400s (again I will plug Richard Binder's site which has this piece in stock). The M450, to my knowledge, has been discontinued by Pelikan so it is becoming harder to find.

7) Conclusion

I love my Pelikans, especially the tortoise ones, and the M450 is one which finds itself in my rotation the most. For its size, I think the weight is perfect and it is always pleasant to look at, plus it writes well and holds a lot of ink.

How about some more photos?




Top to bottom: M400 Kaufhof Brown (waiting on my M415 still...), M450, M400 White Tortoise


Binder's XXF full flex nib, Aurora Blue

Thanks for reading my review, hope you enjoyed it! --Feiye


Previous reviews: Visconti Art Nouveau, Montegrappa Miya Argento, Nakaya Piccolo

Edited by feiye, 24 June 2009 - 06:31.

In rotation:
Pelikan M400 with Pilot Iroshizuku Momiji
Nakaya Kuro-tame Desk Pen with Platinum Blue
Visconti Van Gogh Maxi with Aurora Black

Twitter: @souveran

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#2 1000km

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 06:25

Great review, lovely photographs, beautiful handwriting... thank you clap1.gif

#3 teeritz

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 06:43

Great review, fantastic pen. I have a milk & honey M400 and it became a favorite the minute I picked it up. Beautiful handwriting too, BTW. Pardon a newbie question, but what style of handwriting is it?

#4 feiye

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 07:01

QUOTE (1000km @ Jun 24 2009, 04:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great review, lovely photographs, beautiful handwriting... thank you clap1.gif

Thank you! I was inspired by your M415 tortoise review to write this one smile.gif (if you haven't read it, do so now!)

QUOTE (teeritz @ Jun 24 2009, 04:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great review, fantastic pen. I have a milk & honey M400 and it became a favorite the minute I picked it up. Beautiful handwriting too, BTW. Pardon a newbie question, but what style of handwriting is it?

Hello fellow Aussie! Not a newbie question at all, especially since I can't give you a straight answer! roflmho.gif It's my own butchered version Spencerian and Business handwriting. Very butchered.

Edited by feiye, 24 June 2009 - 07:03.

In rotation:
Pelikan M400 with Pilot Iroshizuku Momiji
Nakaya Kuro-tame Desk Pen with Platinum Blue
Visconti Van Gogh Maxi with Aurora Black

Twitter: @souveran

#5 Ondina

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 07:15

Stunning pen -my grail one- and awesome handwriting and review, as all the ones feiye makes. Thank you for the review.

#6 lovemy51

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 08:29

hi. i'm not a fan of the pelikans, but that's an absolute beaute!!!!!!!!!!

great handwriting too!!!!!!!!!

clap1.gif clap1.gif

#7 diplomat

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 08:42

Oh, what I see here? One of my babies!
I love this finish, it reminds me of the seagreen color Pelikan had in the 50s.
I fetched mine this year on ebay for a price lower than expected.

Thanks for the review!

Best,

#8 teeritz

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 09:46

QUOTE (feiye @ Jun 24 2009, 05:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (teeritz @ Jun 24 2009, 04:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great review, fantastic pen. I have a milk & honey M400 and it became a favorite the minute I picked it up. Beautiful handwriting too, BTW. Pardon a newbie question, but what style of handwriting is it?

Hello fellow Aussie! Not a newbie question at all, especially since I can't give you a straight answer! roflmho.gif It's my own butchered version Spencerian and Business handwriting. Very butchered.


You're kiddin' me? It's great handwriting. Got a real 'Declaration of Independence" look to it. If that's how it looks when it's butchered, then I'd love to see it when you're well-rested, sitting down and sober. wink.gif
BTW, looks like another Pelikan just made its way onto my dream list. In a recession, too. I shouldn't have logged on here today. <sigh>

#9 feiye

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 12:17

Thank you Ondina, lovemy51 and diplomat for your kind words.

QUOTE (teeritz @ Jun 24 2009, 07:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...If that's how it looks when it's butchered, then I'd love to see it when you're well-rested, sitting down and sober. wink.gif
BTW, looks like another Pelikan just made its way onto my dream list. In a recession, too. I shouldn't have logged on here today. <sigh>

M450 is a pen that's worth it though wink.gif

Spencerian exemplar, that's the piece I initially studied then proceeded to butcher.
In rotation:
Pelikan M400 with Pilot Iroshizuku Momiji
Nakaya Kuro-tame Desk Pen with Platinum Blue
Visconti Van Gogh Maxi with Aurora Black

Twitter: @souveran

#10 wykpenguin

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 12:41

Beautiful writing.

#11 youstruckgold

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 13:07

I bought one of these during my last US trip. A beautiful pen, a touch small for me, but otherwise lovely. .. and I'm up there with others on your hand writing.
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#12 MYU

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 16:05

Very nice review, and you have truly beautiful handwriting--congratulations!

Incidentally, that smooth area for the signature is called a cartouche. smile.gif

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#13 all my hues

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 16:10

Oh my goodness, I've been lusting after this pen for so long!! Haha. Has it really been discontinued by Pelikan?? blink.gif

#14 diplomat

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 16:31

QUOTE (all my hues @ Jun 24 2009, 06:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oh my goodness, I've been lusting after this pen for so long!! Haha. Has it really been discontinued by Pelikan?? blink.gif


I think they were presented in 2004 along with the M420, so not long time ago, but now they are out of production as I understand. But they pop up from time to time in ebay Germany...

#15 feiye

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 22:38

Thank you wykpenguin, youstruckgold, the handwriting is partially thanks to the Binder nib smile.gif

QUOTE (MYU @ Jun 25 2009, 02:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Very nice review, and you have truly beautiful handwriting--congratulations!

Incidentally, that smooth area for the signature is called a cartouche. smile.gif

eureka.gif Thanks for letting me know, I've learnt a new term today!

QUOTE (all my hues @ Jun 25 2009, 02:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oh my goodness, I've been lusting after this pen for so long!! Haha. Has it really been discontinued by Pelikan?? blink.gif

I'm pretty sure it's no longer being produced but they're still around from a few retailers. It'll become harder to find in the future, like the White Tortoise, in my opinion.
In rotation:
Pelikan M400 with Pilot Iroshizuku Momiji
Nakaya Kuro-tame Desk Pen with Platinum Blue
Visconti Van Gogh Maxi with Aurora Black

Twitter: @souveran

#16 Brian

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 22:46

Another great review. I like this pen too and am considering one. The only thing is that the size is a little smaller than I am used to. Too bad they are discontinuing it.

I wonder, maybe after the MB Green Striated project is concluded that maybe Pelikan would make us something similar to either the white honey or the M450, but in the M800 size. Now that would make a fine FPN project pen!

Thanks for this review. I especially like the pictures reminding me just how beautiful this pen is.

#17 Peter from Sherwood Park

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 02:39

Thank you for the review of the pen and the custom Binder nib -- great stuff!

#18 feiye

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 08:37

QUOTE (Brian @ Jun 26 2009, 08:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wonder, maybe after the MB Green Striated project is concluded that maybe Pelikan would make us something similar to either the white honey or the M450, but in the M800 size. Now that would make a fine FPN project pen!

Thanks for this review. I especially like the pictures reminding me just how beautiful this pen is.

I'm personally a huge fan of the M400 size but a M600 or M800 sized tortoise Pel would be awesome. The photos were (as always) taken with my nifty mobile phone, I'll pass on the compliments to it biggrin.gif

QUOTE (Peter from Sherwood Park @ Jun 26 2009, 12:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank you for the review of the pen and the custom Binder nib -- great stuff!

Thank you, love the Binder nib, it's fabulous. Love love.
In rotation:
Pelikan M400 with Pilot Iroshizuku Momiji
Nakaya Kuro-tame Desk Pen with Platinum Blue
Visconti Van Gogh Maxi with Aurora Black

Twitter: @souveran

#19 Sonnet

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 12:46

Terrific review. I just placed an order for one (because I must be crazy).
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#20 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 13:08

like any pel, they are a very good investment and a very reliable writer.
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time






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