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Pelikan 250 Translucent


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#1 Martijn

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 16:08

Pelikan Souveršn 250 Transparent
The Cuban Connection

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Introduction
Most fountain pen enthusiasts enjoy to see whatís going on in their fountain penís. Pelikan offers that option with their entry model for the Souveršn-line; the 200. This pen is know as a value-for-money pen with a smooth nib, good quality and a pleasant writing experience. But what if you prefer a gold nib? Well, then you can always turn to the less known brother of the 200 Transparent; the 250 Transparent.

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Barrel
Pelikan offers the Transparent collection in 5 colours; red, green, blue, anthracite and amber. This review features the amber coloured 250, a beautiful, warm colour that gives you in combination with the gold plated accents the idea of a sunny day in Cuba, complete with linen suit, panama hat and of course a Cuban cigar.

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The translucent barrel reviles all the secrets of pen, including a few that you are probably not looking for. Even on modest winter day in The Netherlands you can clearly see the signs of condensation inside the barrel. On warmer days you can also see the condensation in the cap when the pen is closed. Although normal with fountain penís it isnít really attractive to look at.

A big plus for this pen is that Pelikan succeeded in making it not look cheap. Despite the fact that it is made out of ordinary plastic it looks really nice, tasteful and, yes even classy! Perhaps can Pelikan share this knowledge with car manufacturers?

Cap and clip
The cap features the famous Pelikan-shaped clip which is quite flexible and can even be put into pockets made out of thicker cloth. The clip is gold plated and itís Art Deco-looks are really adding style to this pen. The cap itself is a screw down, simple and smooth, no complains in that area. The top of the cap is made out of black plastic and is probably the least attractive part of the pen. The golden Pelikan logo on top of the cap is very nice, but the plastic top still looks kind of cheap. Because the cap is translucent it is also very clear when it is time to clean the cap again, although Iíve noticed that with careful use you donít have to do this too often.

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Filling
Itís always a pleasure to use the piston filler of this Pelikan. Very easy to use and now also a feast for the eye! It probably will not be a crowd-pleaser since there is not a cartridge-version available of this model, but then again it was probably not created as a crowd-pleaser in the first place. Interesting now is that the colour of the ink you use also has effect on the appearance of the pen itself. Not in an extreme way, but it is noticeable. The pen in the pictures is currently filled with Pelikan Brillian Brown, to stay in the Cuban-theme.

Nib
One of the best parts about this pen is without a doubt the 14K gold nib. This pen features a fine-nib that is not elaborately decorated nor in two-tone like we are used from most contemporary Pelikanís. Actually that is a very good thing because it looks more in style with the design of the pen although one can easily confuse it with the gold-plated nib of the 200. Letís call it a private pleasure.

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Sizes
Nib: 19mm
Barrel + nib: 121mm
Cap: 57mm
Nib + barrel with posted cap: 147mm
Closed: 125mm

Writing
Writing is where the 250 proves it value. This is one of the most smoothes F-nibís Iíve ever tried. Hardly any scratching and no skipping; it writes like a warm knife sliding through butter. The line is wet and together with the quite responsive nib it is capable of a dynamic handwriting. The size of the line is quite broad for a fine-nib, and it comes very close to a medium. The ink flow is like we are used from Pelikan; steady and reliable.

The thickness of the pen where you hold it when you are writing is average. People who put there fingers higher have more to grab on to, including a quite uncomfortable thread. But when you write like me, with your fingers almost touching the nib, this pen is quite small between the fingers.

Balance barrel only
Writing with the barrel only gives the feeling that you are writing with a purse pen. Itís not really uncomfortable, but you miss the weight.

Balance with cap
When writing the 250 with the cap posted on the barrel it seems like youíve entered a different world; from a purse pen to a full size writing instrument. The pen is more in balance and much easier to control, giving you the smooth writing experience that we know from the larger Pelikanís.

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Packaging
Itís the pen that matters but the packaging is usually the cream of the cake. In this area Pelikan doesnít disappoint at all! The pen comes in a very nice box that features the classic Pelikan colours. Of course the box is made out of cardboard and synthetic silk but it looks quite classy and more then one would expect from a pen with this price tag. The box is made in such a way that it can house 3 pens quite nicely, so it can even double as a storage box when you are not into really big pens (but then you wouldnít have bought this 250 in the first place).

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Papers
The papers are pretty standard but nicely in the theme of the box. It explains simple and clear how to use your pen in half a dozen languages on nice thick paper.

Price
The current list price for this pen is $135,- and with that price it is one of the cheapest fountain pens with a gold nib on todayís market, and not to forget one of the cheapest demonstrators with a gold nib ever!

Competition
Competition is very difficult to find for this Pelikan. With itís price of $135,- it is positioned as a gold nib entry level and there is finds the Waterman Charleston ($140,-), Parker Sonnet ($125,-) and the Cross Townsend ($165,-) as itís main competitors. However none of these provide a view on the action inside the pen and are all cartridge/converter filled. The cheapest pen providing you with a translucent body and a gold nib is the Visconti Van Gogh Crystal, but that one is with itís retail price of $275,- more then twice as expensive as the Pelikan.

If you donít care about the golden nib but do want to see whatís going on insight of your fountain pen can turn to the 250ís brother; the 200. This fountain pen is prized at $75,-. And when thatís above your budget you can always turn to the Lamy Safari. Okay, you donít have a fancy piston filler and have to settle for either a cartridge or an converter but with a price tag of $25,- you can hardly ask for more!

Conclusion
So basically what we have here is a $135,- pen that looks like a $75,- pen but writes like itís $200,- plus siblings. For this amount of money such a writing experience is rare. Especially when it is made by a premium German pen manufacturer and provides you with an inside on how the pen works! Some details could be worked out a bit better and the pen still is a bit small but can provide you with an ďadultĒ writing experience. Overall a very intresting fountain pen for a very good price.

Special thanks to Dennis Bowden for providing the price information on this pen.

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#2 KCat

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 16:12

Excellent Review!

KCat
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#3 Keith with a capital K

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 18:27

*applause*

Excellent review and great pictures...
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#4 Velma

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 18:53

Excellent review. (No, Velma -- you may NOT buy any more pens until after you move, and you already know what your next one will be. You may take notes. That's it.)

#5 Sarj

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 18:53

Excellent review.

Thanks Martijn
Sarj

#6 Stompy

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 19:50

Excellent review. Great pictures and a nice personal point of view.

#7 Stylo

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 20:30

Excellent review. Great pictures and a nice personal point of view.

What a nice, entertaining, and informative review. I`t was a pleasure to read! :) Thank you.

I have a transparent blue M200 with a medium stainless steel nib instead of the 250's gold, and I share the same overall impressions. As someone who grips a little high, I feel the shortness of the pen, and if I lower my grip to compensate for it, I end up gripping by the threads. But despite this minor inconvenience, I really enjoy writing with this pen. It is simply an outstanding writer, even with the SS nib. It's light, responsive, always delivers the right amount of ink, and it is incredibly reliable. I also find the looks of my blue stunning, so simple yet so elegant.

Frankly, for people who find the M200/250/400 to fit perfectly in their hands (I envy them), they could just stick to buying the multitude of available finishes and experiment with all sorts of nibs. The SS M200 nibs cost something like $10-15!

Martijn, I just found a little typo that a spell checker would miss. In your "Barrel" section, you have "The translucent barrel reviles all the secrets." I suspect you meant "reveals." :)

Thanks again.

#8 wimg

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 23:34

Thanks Martijn!

Very nice review indeed, with lots of nice photographs! An enjoyable read, and, yes, the pen is very nice too :lol:. Great minds think alike don't they? :lol:

Warm regards, Wim

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#9 Maja

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 23:35

Martijn,
Fabulous review----and the photos are very nice, too. Thank you for your detailed explanation of a wonderful pen (I have an M200, which is the same size as the 250, I think). Gold nib or gold-plated steel nib, I love my Pelikans! More people should have one of these in their pen chests :) Oh, and I completely agree with you on the size of the pen when it is posted; it is the perfect size for me!
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#10 Martijn

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Posted 27 March 2005 - 08:33

I have an M200, which is the same size as the 250, I think


Yes, the only difference between the 200 and the 250 is the golden nib.

Thanks for all the compliments.... :blush: Inspires me to do some more reviews....which gives me an excuse (if I need one!) to buy more pen's...to write more reviews....so that I need more pen's......etc. etc.

Martijn

#11 wimg

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Posted 27 March 2005 - 13:31

Hi Martijn,

Somehow I know you still have a few pens to go for a review :lol:.

Looking forward to seeing more, in any case!

BTW, what camera do you use and how do you photograph your pens, lighting, special effects, macro, etc.?

TIA,
Kind regards, Wim

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#12 mchristi

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 05:53

Excellent review. I own a couple of Pelikan 200s (one is the blue marbled and the other the anthracite transparent. Both are excelelent pens. I keep a Richard Binder italic nib in one of them, and every once in a while I think about getting a third (so I can have a Pel with an M and F and the italic, of course ;) ).

Mark C.

#13 Leslie J.

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 07:23

That is a great review! I've always liked the amber model. Can't justify the price since I have so many 200's, but it is very attractive. I would have chosen this one over the blue one I have if it had been available at the time. Nice article.
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#14 Apollo

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 20:31

I know this thread is almost 5 months old, but after reading Martijn's review I had to get one. I got an amber translucent model like Martijn's, except mine has a medium nib. Writing with it is indeed a pleasure and the piston filling mechanism works flawlessly. The M250 is my first Pelikan, but I can already tell it won't be the last.
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#15 KCat

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 21:35

It was an inspiring review for sure. Where is Martijn anyway?

Enjoy the pen! They can be wonderful writers.

KCat
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#16 Roger

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 21:53

Just found your review, Martijn. Great job! :D

I have the exact same model and color with a B nib that Richard Binder stubbed for me. :) It is my first custom nib. It will not be the last! :lol:
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#17 wimg

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 23:46

It was an inspiring review for sure.  Where is Martijn anyway?

Enjoy the pen!  They can be wonderful writers.

Hi KCat,

I'll send him an email. He was going to spend his holiday (this month) in the US, and bring stacks of pens back... :D

Warm regards, Wim

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#18 Dillo

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 01:34

Hi,

Here goes! I just swap the steel nib on my M200 and it looks like the M250 Demonstrator. The M250 now comes only in solid colors now. That is a really nice pen. Now, only if I could afford the fine M250 or extra-fine M400 nib unit.

Dillon

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#19 inkyfingers

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 15:20

Interestingly, I got a clear Souveran a while back. Haven't taken the time to ink it up - but you can *really* see the innards in that puppy.
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#20 amin

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 02:49

Thank you for the great review. After reading this review, I purchased the identical pen from my local pen shop. Unfortunately, my nib (also a fine) scratched and skipped a bit, but after a day of nearly constant use, both seem much better. The line seems almost too wet. I am new to fountain pens, but these are my observations. Pelikan allows one to exchange to a different nib size any time in the first 4 weeks. I am considering changing to an extra fine. Even though it sounds as if I am a bit down on this pen, I am really enjoying it quite a bit. Now that the mild skipping seems to have worked itself out, I can see this becoming a daily writer. Also, the Private Reserve Black Cherry looks extremely cool through the tranparent amber.






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