1. Appearance & Design
There are those who like Pelikan piston pens for their conservative aesthetics, and then there are those who think they look too blah. The coloured demonstrator adds an element of fun to the pen and makes it more appealing to a younger crowd. Well at least thatís what I think! I wasnít sure about the shade of blue based on photos on the Internet, but it turned out to be a sky blue. Depending on the lighting, it can look like closer to cobalt blue too.
Iíd previously considered the colourless M205 but it did not attract me as I could see the grey and black plastic innards too clearly, and that to me cheapens the look of the pen. An added advantage to the M205 is that being coloured, any ink stains and condensation will not show up as clearly. Iíve never been a fan of ornate pens and prefer my pens to have minimal or no bling, so the M205 suits me just fine. Compared to the dark green M200 which I own, I prefer the silver trimmings of the M205. The other demonstrator which I owned briefly, the Pilot Custom 74, appears to have an over-large cap that ruins the aesthetics of the pen. Given my inexplicable attraction for most things blue, my rating for the appearance of this pen is probably a little biased.
2. Construction & Quality
The pen feels reasonably solid even though it is made of plastic. If memory serves me correctly, Iíd dropped the cap of my M200 before and it endured that abuse without any signs, so Iím expecting this pen to behave the same as the plastics used for both pens appear to be similar. The section of the M205, however, has a slightly prominent manufacturing seam that I could detect, compared to that on my M200, which is almost unidentifiable by touch. Iím not too pleased with that, so Iíve deducted one mark for that. The clip of the pen appears to be sturdy and tight, but I donít clip my pens so I'm not the best person to determine that. The section has just a slightly raised instead of over-pronounced lip at the edge, and that is what I prefer for my pens. Iíll say that the pen is very well constructed in general.
3. Weight & Dimensions
Capped: 12.4 cm. Without cap: 12.1 cm. Posted: 14.9 cm. Diameter of middle part of section: 1 cm. Using a flimsy letter scale, the pen appears to be about 15 grams with almost a full tank of ink. Most people consider this a small sized pen, but the dimensions and weight are just nice for me as I have small hands. While I do not usually post my pens, Iíve tried doing so for this pen and the cap sits in place nicely without shifting the balance of the pen much. Hereís one more gratuitous photo of the pen.
4. Nib & Performance
I got an EF nib as I think finer line widths complement my writing better. The nib is made of stainless steel and there are two chicks on it, compared to the cap, which has one chick, though I doubt if you can see it from the photo below. Not that it makes a difference to how the pen writes!
This particular nib that I have is not as smooth as the nib for my M200 but feels a little toothy, and Iíve tried it with both Parker Quink and Sailor Jentle Blue. The nib is a little too wet for my taste, making the line width closer to 0.6mm instead of 0.5mm. There is also considerable bleedthrough on the lecture pad that I use, which is usually tolerant of all but the wettest nibs. This can probably be improved by using a drier ink, but I like how the Noodlerís Ottoman Azure looks with this pen!
For both inks that I tried, some of my strokes are not fully formed, especially at the beginning of a downstroke. This is not reflected in the bad poetry that I got inspired to pen above, but it's occured often enough for me to be sure it's due to the nib, not the ink or the paper. Using my 30X loupe, it seems as though the left tine facing me has a slight babyís bottom. Iím disappointed with the performance of the nib, but Iíll be contacting Pelikan for a replacement once the weekend is over. The good things is that I got the pen from an authorised distributor and replacement nibs are readily available on the Internet. Thatís one of the reasons why I like Pelikans.
5. Filling System & Maintenance
This piston filling pen holds between 1.3 to 1.5 ml of ink, acording to this thread. The piston is really smooth compared to those on the M200 and M150 that I own. I first filled the pen the usual way by dunking the entire nib and section into the bottle of ink, but ink got into the double-walled section. While it doesnít bother me very much, it does obscure my view of the feed, which kind of defeats the pen being a demonstrator. For my second filling with the Ottoman Azure, I rinsed out the pen and used an eyedropper instead, so the section is now clean. Since the nib can be unscrewed easily, cleaning the pen is a cinch. Being a demonstrator makes it even more fun.
6. Cost & Value
I got the pen for $75.99, which is the best price Iíve found so far, compared to the local brick and mortar shops as well as reputable online shops. However, I do wish that Pelikan can price their piston pens even more competitively, so that I can afford more of their pens! That said, Iíve tried a few low end vintage piston pens, and theyíre really nothing to write home about. Or at least, I wonít be able to write anything very pleasant about them. So I've decided to stick to Pelikan piston pens, and I guess the price tag comes with the quality, though I still wish that it were cheaper. Perhaps someone can enlighten me about the costs of making fountain pens in general and piston pens in particular!
The M205 demonstrator in blue is great if you like small pens that hold a lot of ink. The blue demonstrator is IMHO even nicer than the colourless one and the M200 that came with gold trimmings. Iíll be using it as a daily pen once I get the nib replaced. Iím looking forward to the white M205 as well, and hope that Pelikan will offer more exciting colours for their pens in the future. Iím enamoured enough with this pen to vaguely consider getting another one for safekeeping just in case I lose or damage it!
Final score: 9/10
Edited by holgalee, 29 August 2009 - 13:32.