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.
This is one of the few pens which look better in person than in the manufacturer's photo.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
Final Score: 8.5/10
Edited by Pfhorrest, 21 November 2009 - 16:11.