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Pelikan M800


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20 replies to this topic

#1 elderberry

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 12:35

Hi all,

This is a review of the pen which made me fall in love with anything-but-round-tipped nibs: the Pelikan M800 with 1,5 mm stub. The model I have is not off-the-shelf because this nib is usually only sold with the green striated M800, which I hated so the shop assistant unscrewed the nib and put it onto a red striated one without further ado.
______________________________________________________________________
Appearance & Design (6/10) - Well, it's a Pelikan
The design follows the usual Pelikan "Souveraen" pattern which probably everyone has seen before: black and gold plated cap and piston knob, "pelikan beak" clip and a semi-transparent barrel which also acts as an ink window. The design is undoubtedly functional and unobtrusive but, to my eyes, not pretty.

pelikan1.jpg

Construction & Quality (10/10) - Follows the German stereotype
Nothing bad to say: piston-filler, screw-on cap, resin section. The clip effortlessly slides into a pocket or pen pouch without having to be lifted manually. The nib can be unscrewed without force for cleaning or nib change which I appreciate. The construction has proven reliable for decades, there are many Pelikans from the 50s which are still perfect writers so it can only be hoped the newer ones follow this tradition.

Weight & Dimensions (10/10) - Reasonably long and hefty
The M800 is one of the longer Pelikan Models, it's 142 mm long with cap which feels "just right" for me, as does the weight. It's one of those pens you don't feel in your hand as soon as you write with them, it's like they're a part of your body even when you don't write with it really frequently. Even the diameter of the section seems to be just suitable for my grip.

pelikan2.jpg

Nib & Performance (7/10) - A wet nail with loads of line variation
The 1,5 mm "italic" nib has been introduced by Pelikan rather recently and comes for the time being only with the green M800. It's 18k gold, bicolor with an engraved pelikan and some flourishes, very rigid but still offering a smooth-as-silk writing feel. I find it easier to "hit" the sweet spot than I would have expected, even when I switch frequently between this one and an oblique nib, which I sometimes do for training. It also offers a very generous ink flow which can be too much of a good thing for some papers. I find it shines particularly with pale inks such as the J. Herbin olive-green "Bethge No. 1" I've used in the attached writing sample. The only downside is the price which I will say more about later on.

pelikan3.jpg

Filling System & Maintenance (10/10) - Classic reliable piston filler
The piston filler operates smoothly and holds a reasonable amout of ink, the nib can be unscrewed. For all other issues the Pelikan service is said to be very good, at least in my country.

pelikan4.jpg

Cost & Value (4/10) - expensive nib
The usual retail price for this pen with this nib is about € 350,- ($ 500,-?) in my country which I think makes it 50% more expensive than a M800 with a common nib, something which can't really be justified when I could buy a common BB nib, send it to a nibmeister for a regrind and perfect adjustment to my needs and still have made a good deal when I get it back. However, back then when I bought this pen I didn't know about this option and would have been reluctant to send my precious to a perfect stranger, so I guess when in the same situation I would still buy it.

Final score 7,8
Hope this review has been of some help.
Read more about me, my pens, photography & so on my little blog

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#2 Pens Woods

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 13:13

Nice review Elderberry. I , also, fell in love with the Pelikan M800. In fact I have three of them-- a medium, fine, and EF nib. Not to repeat what you have said, I find this fountain pen a very comfortable and smooth writer, always reliable. I try to write with each one every day. Good luck with your Pel.


Pete
There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man
that he does not know until he takes up his pen to write.
Thackeray

#3 lowks

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 07:26

Mine is a M850 bought from printhardcopy and it writes like a dream. You know you are reaching the fountain pen zenith when you say things like "I try to write with each one every day" :roflmho:

#4 robeck

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 11:32

I've been toying with the idea of getting a blue M800 to join my green M1000 but seeing your photos has made me re-think. That red looks absolutely gorgeous. Great photos, thank you.

Dean



#5 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 14:19

Owning one old style m800 and two black m1000s,they are some of my very best and most trusted pens. They are built like and tank and are a delight to write with. I tried one m800 with an ib nib and it was one of the best nibs I have ever testwritten.

Edited by georges zaslavsky, 21 February 2011 - 14:20.

Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#6 Ghost Plane

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 17:14

Have one in a blue I got from printhardcopy. The M800 is a little small/light for my tastes [I know, I know] but the nib is awesome and it holds a bomb of ink. :thumbup:

#7 Russ

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 23:12

I am curious: Do M1000 owners find the M800 to be enough of a joy to warrant having one, when the M1000 offers a nib in a better class? I have an M1000, but have always wondered if an M800 would be something I might enjoy ... IF, IF, IF I can put down my YOL Grand long enough to try something else. :roflmho:

I will say -- the red body is very attractive!

Edited by Russ, 21 February 2011 - 23:12.


#8 Ghost Plane

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 02:01

Of the 2, I prefer the M1000. However, the IB nib made the M800 worth it. I have the O3B on the 1000, so each have their advantages. However the 800 is a little small for my tastes. If not for the nib, I wouldn't.

#9 jgrasty

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 02:50

I have three M800 pens, and it is a truly outstanding writing instrument. I've had a M nib converted to cursive italic by Mike-It-Work, and I've had that nib in use ever since. Hard to put down...

Try Noodler's Tiananmen in that pen, awesome combo. :wub:

Regards,

Joey

http://flexiblenib.com


#10 MaxFrank

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 17:30

Lovely pen, wonderful color as well. I hope to own an m800 once, but at the moment I feel that I'm not yet worthy of having it

#11 piscator

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 00:26

Thanks for the review! Very helpful. One day a Pelikan 800, or perhaps a 1000, will work its way into my inventory.

#12 Russ

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 00:34

I may buy an M800 just to get the red body. :eureka:

#13 toomanypelikans

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 02:43

Yes I really like the look of the Black/Red Striated body - I might have to pick one up to go with my IB nibbed M800 Blue o'Blue. :-)

#14 kcunvong

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 02:48

Very beautiful. I have but one question, do you rotate your pen to get such line variation, or is that natural with this italic nib?

#15 breaker

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 15:54

nice review and pics
thanks!
Cogito ergo sum

#16 garnet

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 16:36

Nice review.... I have an 800 with a fine and an xxxf by Binder. I like the nibs they are smooth as butter. My 800 is the green striated and I like the 1000 in black. I'm not over keen on any of the other colours for Pelikans... but that's my choice. By the way I have two 140's from the 1950's and they are both as good as new.
Lamy 2000 xf
PELIKAN 800 (Binder xxxf) Green striated.
Pelikan 140 f & xf
DuoFold (1955) italic
PFM V xf
Collection of 200+ Wyverns

#17 lewis

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 22:29

Nice review. I love your handwriting and that colour ink.

I have the red M800 with a BB nib. It's a classy pen indeed.

L
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Shotokan Karate: Respect, Etiquette, Discipline, Perseverance

#18 skye

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 16:41

I have an embarrassingly stupid question. I recently bought a Pelikan M1000, which is a piston filled pen. When I unscrew the end to fill the pen, it unscrews about 4 turns and that is all. Obviously, this is a large pen and I expected to be able to fill it with a lot of ink. However, the four turns do not take in all that much ink. I have pens with pistons, like the Visconti where the top unscrews and then a large plunger pulls out, indicating that the whole cylinder will fill with ink. I also have an Omas which only screws out about 4 turns.

Am I doing something wrong? Does the Pelikan have a plunger? I am afraid to push, pull or turn too aggressively. I don't want to damage the pen.

Thanks for your help.

Skye

#19 fabrimedeiros

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 18:11

Very beautiful. I have but one question, do you rotate your pen to get such line variation, or is that natural with this italic nib?


Italic nib naturally produces this line variation.

#20 fabrimedeiros

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 18:35

I have an embarrassingly stupid question. I recently bought a Pelikan M1000, which is a piston filled pen. When I unscrew the end to fill the pen, it unscrews about 4 turns and that is all. Obviously, this is a large pen and I expected to be able to fill it with a lot of ink. However, the four turns do not take in all that much ink. I have pens with pistons, like the Visconti where the top unscrews and then a large plunger pulls out, indicating that the whole cylinder will fill with ink. I also have an Omas which only screws out about 4 turns.

Am I doing something wrong? Does the Pelikan have a plunger? I am afraid to push, pull or turn too aggressively. I don't want to damage the pen.

Thanks for your help.

Skye

Hello, Skye!

Sometimes you need to fill and flush ink more than one time. It's like a converter piston filler. At the first fill, the resevoir will not be full of ink, but the next time, it can happen. Another way is fill the resevoir one time. Then, put the nib up and unscrew the plunger until you see that one ink drop was releazed. Fill one more time from that ink level. It will ensure that your resevoir pen will be completely full. I hope this can help you.

cheers






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