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Review: Pelikan Grand Prix (Medium Nib)


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Turnpike

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 09:25

I know it has been done before, but I could not contain myself. Not that I am overtly excited by the new acquisition; but since I've just bought my first Pelikan, I thought it might interest a few to have a second review of this rather colourful pen.

An earlier reviewer has mentioned that the Grand Prix looks like a toothbrush. It feels like one as well. Not just the rubber parts, but the plastic is a distinct reminder of the nature of this pen, and the consumer market it is targeted at - school kids on an allowance. Which is also why it comes in a choice of such in-your-face colours. Though the blue-green Grand Prix breaks the generalisation.

At INR 155/- however, the Pelikan Grand Prix is equally expensive as a Parker Beta FP. I also saw a Rs. 110/- Schnieder which I chose to avoid as I have no knowledge of them. The Pelikano Junior was selling for INR 180/-. I chose the middle of the lot.

In India, the Pelikan Grand Prix comes with a large cartridge and six small cartridges of Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue ink. Interestingly the Parker Beta does not have such graciousness. Even more interestingly, the INR 10/- (yes ten) Montex Handy #27 comes with one small cartridge of ink that does not feel all that different from the Pelikan 4001.

Initially, the Pelikan seemed a dry writer. It is not something I am fond of. I prefer wetter nibs. Then I realised that the pen actually behaves differently on different paper. The writing samples provided here are from a company writing pad of acceptable quality. The wetness of the nib seems accentuated. However, on an ordinary exercise book borrowed from by brother, the pen hardly made an impression. I used another writing pad with a slightly thick paper, and a slight plasticky finish and the Pelikan drew a rather dry line. You can tell that I'm not an expert on paper, and I cannot possibly tell what paper I am writing on. All I know is that I did not pay for any of them.

I am tempted to compare the Pelikan Grand Prix to the Parker Beta that has the same nib unit as the slightly more expensive Parker Vector. While I have a mostly favourable opinion of the Parker, I may lean in favour of the Pelikan since my Vector has, in the past, given up on me on several embarrassingly crucial situations. (The Parker lies cleaned, boxed, and in the closet.)

The nib unit on the Pelikan was smooth on my finger-tip. I am of the idea that the Pelikano junior and the Grand Prix share a very similar nib unit. I may be corrected if I'm mistaken. At least they felt the same to my finger-tip. What made me buy the Grand Prix over the Pelikano junior was the presence of the clip. I need that. Of course, the Grand Prix actually looks a lot worse than most toothbrushes, but the fact that it looks so understated means that no one would want to snitch one from the drawer.

It seems that how the cap fits the pen is a major issue for most users, and I'm glad to say that the cap of the Pelikano Grand Prix fits - just fits, like barely and then a tiny bit more. The cap won't fall off, but don't expect it to give the nice 'click' you may get from some other pens. The clip is not as tight as would make it usable. I wouldn't want to carry the pen in a small shirt pocket for the fear that the pen will leap out and dive. The clip hardly pinches the fabric to hold on.

That said, it remains to be seen for how long I actually stick writing with a fountain pen. My pens of regular use are a Sheaffer Sentinel Chrome ball pen, and a Parker Vector Flighter roller pen. My pen-for-show is a Cross Century Classic ball pen. However, I have had to use fountain pens all through school, and totally understand the charm of using one.

Someone mentioned in a comment to the earlier review of the Grand Prix that cheap well-made fountain pens are what will keep the fountain pen hobby alive. I second that. I'm not currently very fond of expensive pens - one that others borrow and forget to return, or return with a bent nib. I would spend approximately up to INR 200/- for a decent fountain pen, just for those days when I want to try out something more than a bland ball-point/roller-point. And the Pelikan Grand Prix just fits the bill. It's cheap, writes well for most people and is understated. What could I ask for more?

Don't even ask ;)

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I can speak Pelikanese!

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#2 akrishna59

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 09:44

:W2FPN: that is a very well written first review. we have some dedicated indians on this forum now. sorry to hear about your "closeted" parker. they usually perform well for me, mind telling us what problem you had with it.

and thinking about forsaking fountain pens???? the horror!!!!

real gentlemen (and ladies, ahem) always write with fountain pens. no questions, pls.

best wishes.

rgds.

krishna.
ladies and gentlemen write with fountain pens only.

#3 Turnpike

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 09:59

:W2FPN: that is a very well written first review. we have some dedicated indians on this forum now. sorry to hear about your "closeted" parker. they usually perform well for me, mind telling us what problem you had with it.

and thinking about forsaking fountain pens???? the horror!!!!

real gentlemen (and ladies, ahem) always write with fountain pens. no questions, pls.

best wishes.

rgds.

krishna.



Thank you for the welcome. Yes, I did notice the rather significant presence of Indians on this forum. The Vector would just stop writing for a while. I have no idea why. It's not an ink clog issue as the pen is generally kept clean. Perhaps it's a paper issue. As far as forsaking FPs are concerned, I've done that time and again, and I've ceased to be surprised when I go out and buy one for myself just because I'm bored of BPs/RPs. I'm never bored of FPs. I just run out of patience at times. :)

Thank you for your comment.
I can speak Pelikanese!

#4 ThirdeYe

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 04:54

:W2FPN: that is a very well written first review. we have some dedicated indians on this forum now. sorry to hear about your "closeted" parker. they usually perform well for me, mind telling us what problem you had with it.

and thinking about forsaking fountain pens???? the horror!!!!

real gentlemen (and ladies, ahem) always write with fountain pens. no questions, pls.

best wishes.

rgds.

krishna.



Thank you for the welcome. Yes, I did notice the rather significant presence of Indians on this forum. The Vector would just stop writing for a while. I have no idea why. It's not an ink clog issue as the pen is generally kept clean. Perhaps it's a paper issue. As far as forsaking FPs are concerned, I've done that time and again, and I've ceased to be surprised when I go out and buy one for myself just because I'm bored of BPs/RPs. I'm never bored of FPs. I just run out of patience at times. :)

Thank you for your comment.


I have had flow problems with my Vector as well. Which is strange, because I typically hear good reviews of them.

Thanks for the great review!
Derek's Pens and Pencils
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#5 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 08:17

nice review :thumbup: I always value pelikan for their great reliability
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 Turnpike

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 14:16

nice review :thumbup: I always value pelikan for their great reliability


Quite surprisingly, I had only fleetingly heard of the Pelikan brand before. It was only after I joined FPN that I got to know more about it. And here I am with one of my own :)
I can speak Pelikanese!

#7 lewis

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 14:50

Nice review. Love the pics!
Fountain pens aren't a collection, it's an insatiable obsession!

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#8 Turnpike

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 16:13

I have had flow problems with my Vector as well. Which is strange, because I typically hear good reviews of them.


It can't be the ink. I use the Parker Quink. So perhaps it's the climate?
I can speak Pelikanese!

#9 hari317

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 11:13

Hi Turnpike, Thank you for reveiwing this Pelikan. Nice pictures and you have a very good hand. congratulations!

From the closeup picture of the nib, the nib looks imbalanced, you can get a smoother performance if you balance the nib.

Best
hari
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