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Pelikan M205 Toledo Red

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40 replies to this topic

#1 superfreeka



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Posted 07 January 2010 - 22:11

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Background: I've been looking for a reliable, durable, practical and aesthetically pleasing fountain pen for quite some time. I've been juggling between several pens like the Lamy Safari, Esterbrook J + SJ, and Parker Challenger, but all of them lacked in some critical way which detracted from their appeal and forced me into using a Rainbow Titanium Nitride Fisher Space Pen (ballpoint) for the last 6 months. Not to disparage the Bullet Pen, which itself is the best ballpoint I've ever used.

So seeing as how my first semester of grad school just ended and Christmas was approaching, I decided to take the time to really sit down and scrutinize the market for the "perfect pen" - for under $150 shipped. It was a very tough decision as many models from many companies both modern and vintage can be had for that sum of money. Ultimately, the choice came down to the Lamy 2000, Pilot Vanishing Point, Bexley Simplicity and the Toledo Red Pelikan M205, and it was the latter which ultimately triumphed despite my biting concern over buying yet another twist cap pen.

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First Impressions: Love at first sight. I had heard good things about Pelikan before, but I never figured that I would buy one as their conservative looks and price were offputting despite my adimiration for their reputation and history. However, browsing Richard Binder's site (no affiliation) I found my attention seized by this Red Bird. I wondered if such a strikingly RED pen would be too pretentious for a student to use but these concerns were swiftly cast aside when I considered the feeling of appreciation for the pen that I felt the instant my eyes gazed on it strapped tightly into its presentation box. A looker, yes, but this pen is more than that. I felt a wave of buyer satisfaction rise over me before my hands ever held the pen.

Appearance: Make no mistake; this pen is outstandingly red. For me, the color is what attracted me to the pen and I really do find, contrary to my concern, that the striking color which draws the eye to the pen is also pleasing enough to keep it fixed there. The classy and masculine silver trim is a great synergist with the red and the black-tinted ink window is both large enough to be functional and engineered to streamline with the aesthetics of the piece. Everything is shiny, there are no manufacturing imperfections in either the plastic or metal components which I've detected; basically the pen looks and feels well built and projects itself as the product of fine craftstmanship and careful construction. The pen itself is fairly traditional looking sans the color and the Pelikan clip I've heard so much about is like youre own little membership card to Club Pelikan. I dig.

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Design: German engineering encapsulated. Everything about the pen is created with the intention of preserving its practicality while introducing sophistication. Knowing that the M205 is among Pelikans lower tiers, I find myself comforted knowing that the quality of pens from eras past has not yet been lost because there are still modern manufacturers who put their blood, sweat and tears into their product. One such manufacturer is most certainly Pelikan. Mad props, yo.

Nib: To meet my criteria, the pen had to be reliable, and because my luck with nibs and feeds has been less than stellar, I decided to allay my fears of getting a lemon and purchased the pen from Mr. Binder's website. I decided on a 0.6 mm stub nib in unplated steel to match the silver furnishings and really could not be much happier. Initially, I felt the pang of despair creep up my spine when the pen incessantly skipped on the downstroke, but after some thorough cleaning, the skipping has vanished and the pen writes like a dream! The line variation is apparant and adds an interesting character to my handrwriting - I really like it! Smooth writing, consistent ink flow and great line variation. I could not ask for more.

Filling System: Piston. Smooth. Large capacity. Mi favorito.

Cost/Value: I paid $63 for the pen's body. $60 for the stubbed unplated nib. $7 for shipping.

For $130 shipped, the pen was well within my price range though it was by no means inexpensive. We all know value is relative, but in my opinion this pen was totally worth it. Worth it not in the sense that I'm just giddy with having a great new toy, but in the sense which takes the prospect of longevity and pleasure of the writing experience into consideration.

Final Thoughts: The pen fits well in my hand and is an outstanding writer. Most certainly my favorite (although most pricey) pen in my collection. A useful work of art that I'm fully prepared to use every day until gravity, theft or forgetfulness take this beauty from me.

Having checked today (01/07/10) on Richard's site, the pen has apparantly been sold out. I am not the least surprised. This is one hell of a pen.

Quantitative Score: 9.2/10

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Edited by superfreeka, 07 January 2010 - 22:14.

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#2 buffalowings


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Posted 07 January 2010 - 22:16

thanks for the review, I have been eyeing that pen for a while, if only I had some damn money
I'm a little hot potato right meow
"no they are not making littler ponies, they are EMBRACING"
I opened a box of cheerios and planted them. I thought they were doughnut seeds. They didn't sprout :( (joke of the week)

#3 QM2



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Posted 07 January 2010 - 22:23

Great review.
I am so glad they added these pens to the line-up.
I want the white one!

#4 Edgar Allan Bo

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 22:48

I'll wait till they release a forrest green one... -_-

#5 MYU


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Posted 08 January 2010 - 20:09

Nicely done, Superfreeky. Very clean and well presented. That red is a nice tone... I especially like how it pairs up with the ballpoint pen as well.

[MYU's Pen Review Corner]   |   "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small

#6 contaxrts2


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Posted 09 January 2010 - 14:41

Thank you for this great review. In my opinion Pelikans are just well engineered and designed since generations.

#7 Bronze



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Posted 09 January 2010 - 23:40

- Nice! I just the white one, great little pen.

#8 PenTieRun



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Posted 10 January 2010 - 03:40

Great lookin' pen, and I'd buy one, but on the white and red models the ink window destroys the unity of the body. This is certainly a rare situation where no ink window would improve the pen.

#9 Ed Ronax

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 11:30

Thanks for sharing, nice review.
And how can this be, because he is the Kwisatz Haderach.

#10 Vincent1278



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Posted 15 January 2010 - 19:03

I love the ink window. I think it makes a pen less ordinary. Such a big part of using a fp is what's going on inside and the inks we choose. I have this pen in the blue demonstrator model. While it costs 1/3 less than my most expensive pen, I think it's my favorite.


amateur vintage pen fixer and nib tuner

#11 1000km


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Posted 18 January 2010 - 22:13

Lovely pen, terrific review. My only reservation with the 205 is the steel nib. For similar money you can get a Sailor 1911M or Sapporo with a 14k nib.

#12 jdkonzem



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Posted 19 January 2010 - 21:38

Great lookin' pen, and I'd buy one, but on the white and red models the ink window destroys the unity of the body. This is certainly a rare situation where no ink window would improve the pen.

Completely agree. I love Pelikans, and I love the red with the silver furniture, but the window is the only thing that stops me. It works great on the black M200 I have because it virtually disappears when filled with ink.

Gotta find another red and silver pen to drool over...

#13 irbyls



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Posted 25 April 2010 - 02:59

I really want a red pen to complement my green pens; when I get around to buying one, I think this will be it! :puddle:

#14 Bing Bing

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 06:01

Nice looking pen, though I like the black one most.
 Fountain pens:Lamy Vista, Lamy Safari, Pelikan Griffix, Parker Reflex, Parker Jotter/15, Lamy Joy, Senator Windsor, Lamy Smile, TOZ Penkala Rexpen x2("flighter" and lacquered), Pelikan Factor 

#15 jpeck



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Posted 28 April 2010 - 02:58

Great lookin' pen, and I'd buy one, but on the white and red models the ink window destroys the unity of the body. This is certainly a rare situation where no ink window would improve the pen.

Completely agree. I love Pelikans, and I love the red with the silver furniture, but the window is the only thing that stops me. It works great on the black M200 I have because it virtually disappears when filled with ink.

Gotta find another red and silver pen to drool over...

The ink windows isn't visible when the cap is on, at least.

Edited by jpeck, 28 April 2010 - 02:58.

#16 DAYoung



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Posted 28 April 2010 - 04:36

It's gratifying to see someone enjoying their pen so much. And the clarity and detail of the review enhance this.

Mad props, yo.
Damon Young
philosopher & author
OUT NOW: The Art of Reading

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#17 mrsphotobug


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Posted 28 April 2010 - 15:39

Thanks for the review superfreeka. Based on your review I decided to get this Pen from Richardpens (no affiliation)
with a medium nib a couple months ago. It writes wet and smooth. I don't really pay much attention to the ink window,
and obviously, it doesn't look like the picture when ink is in the pen. It appears black.

I decided to get the pen because the color reminds me of the Parker Big Red pens. Also being that red is my favorite color,
I got this as my first red fountain pen. I highly recommend it.

Pelikan M605, Blue Demo M205, Red M205 * Parker Frontier, 45, Sonnet, Duofold * Waterman Expert II, Phileas * Cross Century II, Solo, Matrix * Sheaffer Statesman, Touchdown

#18 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 19:17

They had that pen in Kaufhaus (Germany)last year for E-39 in Yellow; and because I had a 400 did not buy it.

I obviously thought yellow pens grew on trees. I've not seen one, or if I did, it slipped through my memory, like mercury through a sieve.

I also need a red pen, but Esterbrook looks to be first in that color, in I'm missing it. I have many of the old Double J colors.

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,


The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.




#19 Basset



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Posted 08 July 2010 - 00:39

Mine arrived today. I have to say that the pen has more orange to it than the original photo would suggest, as least on my computer.

Compare the red Aurora Ipsilon Posted Image

with the red Pelikan M205

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#20 drparesh


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Posted 11 July 2010 - 13:02

Nice and tempting review of M205 red. Enjoy.White also is quite captivating.

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