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Pelikan M 640 Mount Everest Special Edition


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Pfhorrest

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 16:08

I bought this pen for around $320 USD on eBay a few weeks ago. A bit late to arrive, but it was well worth it. The M 640 is a special edition version of the Pelikan M 600 fountain pen, which has a wider barrel and is themed around "natural wonders" such as Mount Everest, the Polar Lights (aurora borealis), the Sahara desert, and Niagara Falls. This is a review of the Mount Everest edition.

Packaging - 8/10 - The Pelikan M640 Mount Everest comes in a plain grey oval box with the Pelikan logo on the front. Inside, there is a band restraint which holds the pen, and below this a small compartment in which the paperwork and the little pen booklet rests. I was very disappointed that the pen did not come with the blue Pelikan warranty card, but with luck I won't have to send it to Pelikan for anything.

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This is one of the few pens which look better in person than in the manufacturer's photo. ;)

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In all, a very nice presentation case for this pen.

Appearance - 8/10 - The first thing you notice about this pen is the convex profile of the barrel. At its widest point, the barrel is even wider than the cap, which I found a bit strange. The piston knob and the cap are matte gray resin, while the barrel is coated silver and gold etching.

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The bottom of the piston knob, the trim, clip, and end of cap are platinum plated, and complement the color scheme quite well. Note that there are two cap rings near the barrel, where the words Pelikan and Germany are engraved.

The Pelikan logo seems to be missing one chick, and the clip doesn't look very... correct. (Although it doesn't lose anything functionally.) I would have preferred a standard flat clip.

The barrel has a magnificent "pearlescent" effect to the silver, and a distinct brushed sheen to the gold. Combined with the coating, the whole appearance is very lustrous. This is one pen that will get stolen if left unattended for any amount of time. :)

Build quality - 10/10

Extremely solid. The platinum plated metal components have been flawlessly done, the piston knob is substantial, the cap is a bit light but also feels quite solid, and the clip is sturdy.

No part of this pen flexes when put under pressure, so it's probably quite durable. Granted, it is a bit lighter than I expected, but it does not reflect the solidity of the pen.

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Filling System - 10/10

This was my first piston filling pen, so the score is a bit biased, but it is a very nice filling system! To fill the pen, rotate the piston knob all the way to the open position and insert in an ink bottle. Return the knob to its original position, and the pen is full. The first time I attempted filling, the pen would not take up much ink, but the second attempt was flawless. The piston is quite smooth, and its action feels very solid and precise.

The only downside is there is no ink window to view the ink level. At first I thought that I would not need an ink window, but now I'm beginning to see how it could be useful.

The weight difference between full and empty is quite significant, so I suppose it is a way to tell whether the pen has been filled correctly or not.

Nib and Performance - 4/10

Ugh. Worst out of the box nib I have ever encountered (No exaggeration.) Skips every few letters, doesn't complete words, even stops writing for periods of time! In fact, after filling the nib would not write for about 30 seconds.

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I eventually examined the nib under a magnifying glass, and the tines were misaligned. After re-aligning the pen stopped skipping, but flow was still unsatisfactory. I had to carefully use a blade to seperate the tines ever so slightly. Now, the nib as it is would score 9/10, but because it sucked so much out of the box I had to give it a 4/10.

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Ergonomics - 10/10

Pelikan was very smart to have the wide barrel and the gently sloped grip section on this pen. It's extremely comfortable in the hand, and while writing it feels like a natural, organic object. Nothing gets in the way of writing with this pen.

Posted, it's a bit less comfortable, but I never post pens so it's a non-issue for me.

Cost and Value - 7/10

Due to the nature of this pen as a Special Edition, the MSRP is automatically going to be quite high. However, even at the MSRP of around USD $500, I think this pen is a pretty good value. I recieved it for around $320 and I think that is a very good price for this pen. Even so, I might not have too much trouble buying it at MSRP. Now only if nib quality control could be a little better...

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Final Score: 8.5/10

-Forrest

Edited by Pfhorrest, 21 November 2009 - 16:11.

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#2 greencobra

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 16:56

Nice to get a grail pen! Interesting pen I think. I believe the barrel design is a play on the topographical map of Mt. Everest which is why the widest spot is where it is.

I'm sorry it's not behaving well but if you're in the US, call or email Chartpak, it's in Massachusetts.(Google them) They will fix it up ASAP. If you want to take a chance and not send the pen, just unsrew the nib and send it in, they'll send along a new one. If there's a special Mt. Everest edition nib, make sure you tell them.
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#3 Pfhorrest

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 17:15

Oh, the nib is fine now. It was just bad out of the box. :)
The sword is mightier than the pen. However, swords are now obsolete whereas pens are not.

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#4 breaker

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 16:14

nice review and nice pen
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#5 Rekord

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 22:34

Thanks for the review! I am looking at getting this pen too so your review comes in handy.
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#6 WRob

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 00:50

Oh, the nib is fine now. It was just bad out of the box. :)


I got a new M805 at the end of last year ... the nib wasn't too good out of the box, but after a while of playing about with it it's pretty good.

Maybe this is becoming a common problem with new Pelikans?
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#7 Robert Alan

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 22:24

Oh, the nib is fine now. It was just bad out of the box. :)


I got a new M805 at the end of last year ... the nib wasn't too good out of the box, but after a while of playing about with it it's pretty good.

Maybe this is becoming a common problem with new Pelikans?


Hello! I must say that I do not think it is a problem with new Pelikans and, I believe, it is the exception to the rule. I recently acquired an M640 Polar Lights and its 18K medium nib wrote beautifully straight from the box. Also, I have other recent editions of various Souveran and Tradition fountain pens and none have had nib issues. For the novices reading this, I would highly recommend not attempting to adjust a new nib since there is a risk of damaging it and voiding the warranty. Pelikan has a well-established nib exchange program and, I believe, that is the prudent route to take. The M640 nib is, essentially, the same design as an M600 nib. However, it is an 18K gold version and, on some M640 pens, it is a single-tone rhodium plated nib. BTW, Pelikan's latest logo has one chick. Also, the very nice booklet contained with the various M640 pens contains warranty information and there is no need for a "warranty card."

/Robert
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#8 phentrek

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 23:23

I have had a total of 12 Pelikan M800 nibs. Everyone of them except the one I bought from Richard Binder was misaligned out of the box. I know that some people have had good luck with Pelikan nibs, I'm not one of them. Once adjusted properly they are my favorite.
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#9 beluga

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 06:11

I have had a total of 12 Pelikan M800 nibs. Everyone of them except the one I bought from Richard Binder was misaligned out of the box. I know that some people have had good luck with Pelikan nibs, I'm not one of them. Once adjusted properly they are my favorite.



I concur.

Most of my newer Pelikan nibs needed some minor work to reach their best performance; a process that can be avoided when buying nibs from Richard Binder et al.


But maybe I am just too demanding....





B.

#10 markc

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 06:49

I've got 4 of the 5 in this series and every one of them wrote perfectly without any nib modification.

That being said, ALL new fountain pens REGARDLESS of the manufacturer get a nice gentle ammonia/water bath when I first get them. I've always found that some of the manufacturing residue tends to alter the pens performance if I don't do it.

Just my .02

Mark
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#11 Lorna Reed

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 08:21

thanks for a very interesting review. This is my grail pen too, but just now I don't have the funds for it....maybe one day....
I have the Sahara pen in this series which is also a beautiful pen and mine wrote and performed well, straight out of the box.
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#12 lanacre

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 16:12

I just got the Polar Lights and incidently the M625 Translucent Blue both with Fine nibs and both wrote beautifully straight outof the box. I am very happy with both :cloud9:
Experience is the name everyone gives to his mistakes.

#13 Skeet

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:14

Congrads on finally earning your grail pen. I bet you were smilin' from ear-2-ear while writing your review! :clap1:
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#14 tyb51

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 10:13

Hey, 

I'm new to the fpn and I got here because I have a few question about this pen.

I recently bought this on amazon, because I'm in love with the design (and mount everest), but I do think my pen is somehow faulty. 

I have the fine nib version and it's unbelievable scratchy. My old 20$ parker schoolpen (also fine) writes buttersmooth in comparison to this. Also it's quite dry if you don't push hard enough. I did not expect this from a quite expensive gold nib pen. Is this usual? I don't have issues with skipping tho and already looked at the tines. They are ok i think (but I don't realy know what to look for).

 

Should I switch the nibs for a medium one @parker, or try to fix it myself... and how?

 

Thnx for possible advice



#15 sargetalon

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 22:23

Hey, 

I'm new to the fpn and I got here because I have a few question about this pen.

I recently bought this on amazon, because I'm in love with the design (and mount everest), but I do think my pen is somehow faulty. 

I have the fine nib version and it's unbelievable scratchy. My old 20$ parker schoolpen (also fine) writes buttersmooth in comparison to this. Also it's quite dry if you don't push hard enough. I did not expect this from a quite expensive gold nib pen. Is this usual? I don't have issues with skipping tho and already looked at the tines. They are ok i think (but I don't realy know what to look for).

 

Should I switch the nibs for a medium one @parker, or try to fix it myself... and how?

 

Thnx for possible advice

 

Welcome to FPN.  Your question might get better traction in a thread of its own or there are also many threads already in existence on this very topic if you search around.  The Everest is a nice pen and the only Beauty of Nature pen that I currently own.  My example is a nice writer.  It is not uncommon for new pens out of the box, of any brand, to not be good writers at first.  Many reasons for this, none of them important right now.  If it is scratchy, the most common cause is misaligned tines.  This can be evaluated with a 10x loupe which is a relatively cheap item to acquire.  The naked eye cannot detect subtle misalignments so if you didn't use a loupe, you may still be missing the problem.  You're looking for the end of both tines to be in the same plane.  If one is up or down, that's an issue.  If one tine is out of alignment, it can drag and scratch.  The type of ink you use can also influence this to a small degree.  Sometimes the tipping can be uneven requiring micromesh to help smooth it but that is a job that I would relegate to an experienced hand as a new 640 should not be your first try at it.  Finally, it's a matter of expectations.  Fine nibs will be scratchier than their medium and broad counterparts and can not be expected to always be butter smooth.  Good luck with getting your nib into satisfactory writing shape.  It's a great pen and well worth sticking with.


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