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Pelikan M200 Comprehensive Reivew


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22 replies to this topic

#1 freewheelingvagabond

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 02:46

Introduction: I wanted to get myself a smooth and somewhat wet writer. I was aware of the positive feedbacks about Pelikan on fpn and elsewhere, and wanted to see it myself. At the store I tried out a few pens within my budget and then chose this ahead of Waterman Expert and Cross ATX.

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First Impressions: I was quite intrigued and somewhat excited by the transparent green-looking part of the barrel, the ink window that is. The nib is also nice to look at, and overall the pen has a classic design. The clip looks beautiful. The pen comes in a beautiful spacious blue box. Score: 8/10

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Appearance and Design: This pen has a very good design, both aesthetically and functionally. It looks classic in this glossy black finish. Score: 9/10

Construction and Quality: The pen is very well-constructed, though the body is not much resistant to scratches. Please take care and don’t drop it please! Score: 7/10

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Weight and Dimensions: This is quite a light pen. It is a somewhat small pen, measuring 12.4cm capped (see the photo) and 12 cm uncapped. It feels small in hand but on posting the cap the instrument elongates to a more generous 14.7 cm. It is a very well-balanced pen with the cap posted. Posting the cap doesn’t affect the weight that much. Score: 8/10
Filling System and Maintenance: This pen, like other Pelikans, is piston filler. The piston mechanism is very smooth and the pen holds a large volume of ink. It does take more water, time and patience to clean the pen. Ink filling is not at all messy, better than converters I would say. I don’t know how easy it is to disassemble the pen, but the nib is easily removed. Score: 9/10

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Nib and Performance: This is hands down the best thing about this pen in my opinion. The nib is gold plated stainless steel, and I have the medium size. One can change and put the gold nib for Pelikan M400 on M200. The nib is very smooth and the pen is a moderately wet writer which I like. The best part about it though is the amount of feedback this soft nib has- I was quite taken aback. With very little pressure the pen lays down a line marginally thicker than that by a Lamy Safari fine nib. With regular pressure the pen gives a wider line. And it responds quite a bit to more pressure which can be exploited skilfully for line variation. And the wet feed supports the bending of tines and the thicker line by adequate supply of ink. But an important point is that even when writing normally with regular pressure, this pen gives more character to my writing than my Lamy Safari, Sheaffer 300, Parker Frontier or Sailor Sapporo. Score: 10/10 Some more photos.
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Cost and Value: I got this pen for 4200INR which is almost 100 US$. This is considerably more than the prices on several websites but in India these pens are more expensive to purchase (maybe because of taxes). And also at the store I had the opportunity of trying it out including writing with it besides the M200 demonstrator, the Cross ATX and the Waterman Expert. Compared to many other pens, I think pen provides excellent value. Score: 8/10 (This score is a local score, i.e. in terms of geography, mind you. Had I been living in the U.S. and purchased it for anything less than 75$, I would’ve given more points. Also relative to the other pens in this price range, I would not give it less than 9 out of 10 in this category)

Conclusion: One of the best pens in my limited collection if not the best. Nothing bad about it except that the body is not very scratch resistant and it may be a small pen for some people. I have only positive things to say  Overall Score: 59/70 = 84%

I hope this review is informative and helpful. Please feel free to comment.
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#2 DAYoung

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 02:55

Nice review, Vagabond: clear, fair, thoughtful. And I can't disagree with any of it.

I'd only add that your photos need a little work. They're a bit dark and undetailed.
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#3 encaenmi

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 03:19

Amazing! So, would you say the nib is flexible? How flexible?

#4 freewheelingvagabond

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 03:35

Nice review, Vagabond: clear, fair, thoughtful. And I can't disagree with any of it.

I'd only add that your photos need a little work. They're a bit dark and undetailed.



Thanks Damon for your comments. Yes you are correct, I need to work on the photography and sort out the issues.
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#5 MYU

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 17:43

Thanks for the detailed review with copious writing samples. :thumbup: Photos are a bit dark, because you're using a flash. I recommend using strong ambient light and a tripod mounted camera for better results.

Btw, the flex in your nib seems uncommon. I've got a medium nibbed M200 and it is springy but doesn't exhibit this kind of flex. Are you pushing down with deliberate extra force on your nib?

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#6 PianoMan14

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 17:54

I have an M200 reground into an 0.6mm stub by Richard Binder and I couldn't agree more.

The nib is very soft and a pleasure to write with.

And it never seems to run out of ink.
Soli Deo Gloria!

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#7 freewheelingvagabond

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 19:24

Amazing! So, would you say the nib is flexible? How flexible?


Good question. Now first of all, I've never tried out a vintage flex nib myself first-hand. I'd like to point out two things. First, this pen can be exploited to give line variation as seen. At the same time, it does take a bit of pressure to bend the tines and it's not something I'd call feather touch. I can't say how much pressure this pen requires relative to a vintage flex. So as long as I don't gather more knowledge, inside and experience, I'd stay on the safe side and say that this is just a soft nib with a hint of flex, it is not something like a vintage flex or semiflex.
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#8 Kelly G

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 05:40

A very good review.

I've four 200's. You will grow to love this pen even more. It is without doubt the most reliable pen model I own or at least in a dead heat with the Parker "51". I always have at least two of my 200's inked and even though I may not use them for weeks at a time, they write first time every time. Now all you need to do is get one of Richard Binder's cursive italic or stub nibs for your 200 and you are set. I have a .7mm Cursive Italic in one of my 200's and it is a superlative experience.
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#9 freewheelingvagabond

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 19:33

Thanks for the detailed review with copious writing samples. :thumbup: Photos are a bit dark, because you're using a flash. I recommend using strong ambient light and a tripod mounted camera for better results.

Btw, the flex in your nib seems uncommon. I've got a medium nibbed M200 and it is springy but doesn't exhibit this kind of flex. Are you pushing down with deliberate extra force on your nib?


Sorry it took me a while to get back to you! I wish I could answer your question satisfactorily, I cannot quantify how much pressure I'm applying to the nib. It's like, well, for the thickest line the amount of pressure I've used is something about a bit more than that you use when writing with a Parker Vector ball pen. Yes, it's deliberate 'extra' force, but also not like with a lot of force. I hope I could explain.
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#10 ateebtk

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 02:46

i have ordered the M215 fine nib by richard binder, can i used a little bit "extra" force to get this type of line variation as well ? (it has steel nib w/o gold plating).

thxx,
ATK

#11 freewheelingvagabond

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 10:42

i have ordered the M215 fine nib by richard binder, can i used a little bit "extra" force to get this type of line variation as well ? (it has steel nib w/o gold plating).

thxx,
ATK


Hello there! When I went to buy my pen, I also had the fortune of checking out M215 and M205, the ones that come with the steel nib without the gold plating. Let me assure you that these two types of nibs are exactly similar and behave almost identically except that the steel nib without gold plating appeared a little smoother than than this one. This is a point I forgot to mention in the review.
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#12 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 09:10

I have a 140 14 K OB, 400 14 K M and 605 14 K BB (that is going to be Binderized into a cursive italic). The great thing the selection of nibs you can buy instead of a new pen. Steel is from what I read, nearly or as good as gold.

A man with three or four Pelikans of the various sizes and weights, and some extra nibs is set for life.And you can get them in light or heavier.


If you get the other nibs, you don't need to buy other pens. You don't need to buy a nib a month, but inside a year you could have enough nibs to do everything. You would have to buy one that has been made semi-flex, eventually.

I unfortunately started collecting, with out any sense. To have common sense one first has to have knowledge.
I am now a collector...if I was just a writer, I'd stick with the Pelikans. Then you can afford to fiddle with the Inks, and have the nibs to do so with.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 18 December 2009 - 09:13.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

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#13 DAYoung

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 09:40

if I was just a writer, I'd stick with the Pelikans


Exactly. As just a writer, I'm perfectly happy with my M215.
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#14 mvh

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 12:13

Received mine today from the writing desk. Lovely pen, but I wish I had a M nib. This one is really fine. Looks good with PR Electric blue though. lots of shading.

Regards,

Michiel

#15 bossy

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 01:09

Good review and your photos are good.
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#16 dizzypen

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 17:53

I'll only add a word of warning: while the nibs are a bit soft and springy they are not meant to be flex under heavy pressure. You will through the tines out of alignment or bend the tines or bend the nib away from the feed or crack the section if you do this too much. Every once and a while is ok, but these nibs were not made to flex.
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#17 Robert Alan

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 06:18

I unfortunately started collecting, with out any sense. To have common sense one first has to have knowledge.


Hello! You have said something really important--something that many people do not understand although I would simply call it 'sense.' There is no such thing as 'common sense.' The branch of philosophy called logic covers this problem, and I wish more people would stop getting caught up in the phrase and concept 'common sense.' It is used without giving it any thought. We have to learn--gain general knowledge--and have experiences related to whatever is to be accomplished. Not to offend anyone--or get too 'philosophical, or religious--but if God thought there was common sense, he wouldn't have given Moses, and Man, the Ten Commandments.

I am glad for FPN and all of you who are willing to share your experiences so we can gain knowledge--'pen sense.' Although I understand that some people may have intrinsic musical or engineering talent, I wasn't born knowing how to correctly dismantle and reassemble a Parker 51!

Cheers--and thanks Bo Bo!
Robert
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#18 breaker

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 11:03

nice review and very nice pics
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#19 freewheelingvagabond

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 18:49

I'll only add a word of warning: while the nibs are a bit soft and springy they are not meant to be flex under heavy pressure. You will through the tines out of alignment or bend the tines or bend the nib away from the feed or crack the section if you do this too much. Every once and a while is ok, but these nibs were not made to flex.



Thanks for your advice. I can't believe I've taken so long to get back to this. Yes, now I know better! :vbg:

Regards,
Anindya.
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#20 Nibwitz

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 14:26

Reading this somewhat older tread; I can confirm that a standard M200 can be flexed as shown here in this review. Ofcourse a bit of force is needed, but not excessive. The nib can handle it. The line-variation that is possible with the M200 is, to my knowledge, not very common in a modern fountain pen, and certainly not in a relatively afforable one. It gives the pen, although being a smooth writer, a considerable amount of 'feedback'. Pitty the nib will not win any beauty contests, but functionally it is up with the best, even with pens costing ten times the money.
Looking forward to further collecting fountain pens, the only possible smooth-flexible alternative within the Pelikan brand is the top-of-the-line M1000! But that it would be a leap in price and size. Still thinking of that...

Edited by Nibwitz, 20 December 2012 - 14:26.

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