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Pelikan Blue O' Blue With Pelikan Broad Italic Nib


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32 replies to this topic

#1 dms525

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 04:53

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Pelikan M800 Blue O' Blue with the Pelikan Broad Italic nib


The Pelikan Sourveraen Blue O' Blue is a special edition pen in the M800 format released in August, 2010. I wanted one from the first photos I saw of this beauty. Since my principal fountain pen use is italic and chancery cursive lettering, I ordered it with the newly release M800 broad italic nib.

Shortly after I had placed my order, I read some comments on FPN that were less than flattering regarding the nib I had ordered. I decided I needed to judge it for myself, keeping the options of an exchange or a nibmeister make-over in reserve.
______________________________________________________________________
Appearance & Design (9.5) – The Bo'B is more gorgeous “in the acrylic” than any photo can reveal 
The acrylic body is more translucent than I had expected. The varied blue shades present as striking yet not flashy. The hardware detailing is tasteful and elegant throughout, from cap to nib. The only aesthetic enhancement which I can imagine would be to make the piston knob of blue acrylic like the barrel or gold plate it.

Construction & Quality (10) – I haven't been able to find flaws
This pen exudes quality. The fit and finish is outstanding.

Weight & Dimensions (9.5) – This is a large pen with substantial heft Especially after mostly using my (also) new M200 for the past week, the M800 feels thick and heavy. This is not a negative. I haven't yet used a M600, but the M800 is close to my ideal in terms of hand comfort in use. It is also not too large to carry comfortably in a shirt or jacket pocket or in a pen case.

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Pelikan M200 & Pelikan M800 Blue O' Blue

Nib & Performance (4) – Very wet and very smooth The nib is a broad italic. It is beautiful to look at, and it's smoothness is amazing. I don't know enough to differentiate a “stub” from a “cursive italic,” but it is certainly not a “crisp italic.” Thick/thin line differentiation is, in my estimation, poor. There does not seem to be much “flex,” but, again, I don't have enough experience with different nibs to provide a comparison. I initially loaded the pen with Noodler's Brown Beaver ink, and the flow was just too great. It was significantly better with Mont Blanc black. Even though ink flow is generally on the wet side,I have found that, after the pen has not been used for a few minutes, ink flow did not re-start consistently, if my first stroke was a “push.” I got almost no line thickness variation with most papers. I have both Clairefontaine Triomphe and Rhodia, and I got significantly better variation writing on the Rhodia paper. This degree of fussiness limits the pen's utility beyond what's acceptable to me.

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Filling System & Maintenance (10) - Classic reliable piston filler The filling system works like a charm. I have not taken the nib off.

Cost & Value (8) – This is a fine pen for the money, and I got a very good price on a special sale. It's weak point is definitely the nib, but I'm giving it full credit for its many outstanding qualities and assuming I will be delighted with it, once I have either replaced the nib or had the present one tuned.

Conclusion (Final score: 8.5) – This score suffers from the shortcomings of the nib. With a nib as good as this fine pen deserves, I would estimate the Final Score would be approximately 9.4.

David

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#2 olivier78860

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 09:27

Nice review !
There's been some complaining about the recent Pelikan nibs.
Your solution might be to find a pre-1997 Pelikan nib in the size you desire, there are many NOS ones available if you search a little.

Concerning the ink flow, try with the standard Pelikan blue or the Waterman Florida blue, after flushing the pen. If it's persisting, then it's a feed problem, and you might send it to Pelikan. Otherwise, ink is the culprit.

Edited by olivier78860, 11 August 2011 - 09:29.

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#3 rroossinck

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 10:33

What a pretty pen! I'm not much for gold trim, but I might be able to make the exception for this one, as the color scheme seems to work pretty well.

A couple of thoughts & questions.

1. Which hand do you write with?
2. When you received the pen, did you flush it with soapy water before putting it to work?
3. For what it's worth, I do see a fair bit of line variation in the writing sample that you posted.
4. For what it's worth, M800 nibs aren't typically known to be overly flexy right out of the box. I've heard stories that the M1xxx nibs tend to have more spring to them, but the M8xx nibs are typically pretty stiff. If it's flexy you're looking for, the nib may need to be tuned specifically for that characteristic (and as I'm sure you're aware, several nib artists are capable of doing that for you).

Just my two cents...take them with appropriate measures of salt. :)

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#4 ralfstc

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 11:15

Hi,

Pelikan nibs are often very wet (in my opinion) out of the box. The best ink I've found for them, in the natural state, is Pelikan Blue Black. Even if you don't stick with this ink, it'll give you more of an idea of the effects of the nib shape than a gushier ink.

At some point I would send the pen off to get nib work done. I know this seems ridiculous when you buy a premium pen, but Pelikans are set up from the factory to be as user friendly as possible, which means big flow and easy writing. For somebody like yourself who knows what they are doing, they are too wet. So a wee bit of flow adjustment would really help. It's like Harley Davidsons, btw-- they are set up to run a little rich, which drops the power but makes it harder to blow up the engine by mistake . . . An experienced rider immediately changes the chip to get better mileage and more power.

Good luck, and I hope you stick with it. I've found 99.9% of Pelikan nibs to be delightful!

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#5 dms525

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 20:32

Nice review !
There's been some complaining about the recent Pelikan nibs.
Your solution might be to find a pre-1997 Pelikan nib in the size you desire, there are many NOS ones available if you search a little.

Concerning the ink flow, try with the standard Pelikan blue or the Waterman Florida blue, after flushing the pen. If it's persisting, then it's a feed problem, and you might send it to Pelikan. Otherwise, ink is the culprit.


Thanks, Olivier.

I saw a significant difference in ink flow between the Noodlers and the MB inks. Thanks for your suggesting inks that might provide better performance. I will definitely follow up on this and report.

David

#6 Pensharp

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 20:32

It's far too beautiful a pen to leave in that unhappy state. I have one that was reground by John Mottishaw (nibs.com) to a broad cursive italic - wonderful line variation and ink flow. It's one of my favorite daily writers. In short, this pen is well worth the effort to have it visit one of the nibmeisters. Your efforts will be repaid down the years.
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#7 dms525

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 20:35

What a pretty pen! I'm not much for gold trim, but I might be able to make the exception for this one, as the color scheme seems to work pretty well.

A couple of thoughts & questions.

1. Which hand do you write with?
2. When you received the pen, did you flush it with soapy water before putting it to work?
3. For what it's worth, I do see a fair bit of line variation in the writing sample that you posted.
4. For what it's worth, M800 nibs aren't typically known to be overly flexy right out of the box. I've heard stories that the M1xxx nibs tend to have more spring to them, but the M8xx nibs are typically pretty stiff. If it's flexy you're looking for, the nib may need to be tuned specifically for that characteristic (and as I'm sure you're aware, several nib artists are capable of doing that for you).

Just my two cents...take them with appropriate measures of salt. :)


Hi, Ryan.

I am right handed.

I did not flush the pen before loading it but did flush with tap water between inks.

I guess I'm comparing the Pelikan italic nib with a crisp italic nib from Richard Binder. Probably unfair ... like life.

I'm not looking for more flex, just more line definition. My next step will be to try other inks, I think.

David

#8 dms525

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 20:38

Hi,

Pelikan nibs are often very wet (in my opinion) out of the box. The best ink I've found for them, in the natural state, is Pelikan Blue Black. Even if you don't stick with this ink, it'll give you more of an idea of the effects of the nib shape than a gushier ink.

At some point I would send the pen off to get nib work done. I know this seems ridiculous when you buy a premium pen, but Pelikans are set up from the factory to be as user friendly as possible, which means big flow and easy writing. For somebody like yourself who knows what they are doing, they are too wet. So a wee bit of flow adjustment would really help. It's like Harley Davidsons, btw-- they are set up to run a little rich, which drops the power but makes it harder to blow up the engine by mistake . . . An experienced rider immediately changes the chip to get better mileage and more power.

Good luck, and I hope you stick with it. I've found 99.9% of Pelikan nibs to be delightful!

Ralf


Thanks, Ralf.

Your advice makes good sense to me. I'm going to try one or two other inks. If that doesn't satisfy me, the nib gets replaced or tuned.

David

#9 PAKMAN

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 20:46

Great review, I love my B-o-B! I went the other way and got a extra fine and had Mike Matsuyama ease up on the ink flow to get a true extra fine line. The "italic" it typically a stub or cursive italic and is harder to get good line variation especially when a pen runs wet. I also had Mike take a Pel BB and make it a "Crisp" italic which has sharper edges and gets better variation but you have to be more careful writing and it cuts down on the smooth feeling of the Pelikan nib.

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#10 dms525

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 19:39

Update on my B-o-B with a broad italic nib:

After using the new pen for an hour or two each day for the past four days, the nib performance has changed for the better! The ink flow rate has decreased and the thick/thin differentiation has increased. Here's a sample (with the same MB ink):

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Is this due to oil on the nib wearing off?

Whatever, I am much happier with this nib. I'm still going to pick up some other inks to try, as recommended.

David

#11 Sidestreaker

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 03:32

Glad to know it worked out well. I have few other pens that improved over time and did not write well out of the box. Congrats.
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#12 fabrimedeiros

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 00:32

Pelikan M800 Italic Broad 1.5mm nib is one of the best pens I've written with. Sure it's not a crispy italic, but IMHO it has a good line variation, if you use dry and shading ink. To achieve the best line variation, your pen/nib must not be too wet. Mine isn't so wet as another Souveran nibs, like M1000. This nib has a nice grind tip, with a perfect cursive italic tip shape. There is a ton of an awesome tipping material on this tip nib. If you want a crispy italic, this nib allows that a good nibmeister can make an amazing nib for you.



#13 dms525

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 05:06

Pelikan M800 Italic Broad 1.5mm nib is one of the best pens I've written with. Sure it's not a crispy italic, but IMHO it has a good line variation, if you use dry and shading ink. To achieve the best line variation, your pen/nib must not be too wet. Mine isn't so wet as another Souveran nibs, like M1000. This nib has a nice grind tip, with a perfect cursive italic tip shape. There is a ton of an awesome tipping material on this tip nib. If you want a crispy italic, this nib allows that a good nibmeister can make an amazing nib for you.


Hi fabrimedeiros.

Do you have the Pelikan broad italic nib without any additional tuning?

Mine is better than it was out of the box, but I'm still not entirely happy with it. Line variation has improved, but now, using Pelikan ink, flow is too slow. I have to work to get it going after a brief pause in writing.

I don't know if I should try exchanging it, as some advised, or sending the one I got off to a nibmeister for tuning.

David

#14 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 15:51

very nice pen, thanks for sharing :thumbup:
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#15 fabrimedeiros

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 17:27

Pelikan M800 Italic Broad 1.5mm nib is one of the best pens I've written with. Sure it's not a crispy italic, but IMHO it has a good line variation, if you use dry and shading ink. To achieve the best line variation, your pen/nib must not be too wet. Mine isn't so wet as another Souveran nibs, like M1000. This nib has a nice grind tip, with a perfect cursive italic tip shape. There is a ton of an awesome tipping material on this tip nib. If you want a crispy italic, this nib allows that a good nibmeister can make an amazing nib for you.


Hi fabrimedeiros.

Do you have the Pelikan broad italic nib without any additional tuning?

Mine is better than it was out of the box, but I'm still not entirely happy with it. Line variation has improved, but now, using Pelikan ink, flow is too slow. I have to work to get it going after a brief pause in writing.

I don't know if I should try exchanging it, as some advised, or sending the one I got off to a nibmeister for tuning.

David


Hi David,

Sorry for the delayed response. Yes, my M800 IB has no additional tuning. I really love it as it is. Sure, it's something between cursive Italic and stub I guess, so it has not so much line variation. In my opinion, you want a crispy italic. I guess you'll be very satisfied with your M800 IB reground to a Crispy Italic by a nib artist; I think I'll do the same, when I get bored with this nib.

Cheers,
Fabricio

#16 rdh

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 18:09

I concur with many of the other comments. I would flush as recommended and try a truly safe ink, like Waterman Florida Blue or Quink Washable Blue. By the way, I think the Florida Blue would be an excellent ink for your blue pen. Fill it and use all the ink a couple of times. If your pen is writing perfect, then go ahead and try other inks or keep the ones you are using. If the troubles reappear with other inks, you know it is the ink and not your nib that is the problem. If the nib still doesn't work the way you want, send it off to the pen spa for a makeover.

Dave

#17 dms525

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 21:43

Pelikan M800 Italic Broad 1.5mm nib is one of the best pens I've written with. Sure it's not a crispy italic, but IMHO it has a good line variation, if you use dry and shading ink. To achieve the best line variation, your pen/nib must not be too wet. Mine isn't so wet as another Souveran nibs, like M1000. This nib has a nice grind tip, with a perfect cursive italic tip shape. There is a ton of an awesome tipping material on this tip nib. If you want a crispy italic, this nib allows that a good nibmeister can make an amazing nib for you.


Hi fabrimedeiros.

Do you have the Pelikan broad italic nib without any additional tuning?

Mine is better than it was out of the box, but I'm still not entirely happy with it. Line variation has improved, but now, using Pelikan ink, flow is too slow. I have to work to get it going after a brief pause in writing.

I don't know if I should try exchanging it, as some advised, or sending the one I got off to a nibmeister for tuning.

David


Hi David,

Sorry for the delayed response. Yes, my M800 IB has no additional tuning. I really love it as it is. Sure, it's something between cursive Italic and stub I guess, so it has not so much line variation. In my opinion, you want a crispy italic. I guess you'll be very satisfied with your M800 IB reground to a Crispy Italic by a nib artist; I think I'll do the same, when I get bored with this nib.

Cheers,
Fabricio


Thanks for your reply.

The nib performance seems to be continuing to improve. Maybe it's I who am improving. Anyway, I think at least one of us my need some tuning. :hmm1:

My current thought is to have it ground to increase line definition somewhat, but not necessarily to a crisp italic extent. I'm just starting to learn about these differences in the abstract and gathering first hand experience as possible. Unfortunately, I have no local pen shops where I can try out a variety of FP italic nibs.

#18 dms525

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 21:49

I concur with many of the other comments. I would flush as recommended and try a truly safe ink, like Waterman Florida Blue or Quink Washable Blue. By the way, I think the Florida Blue would be an excellent ink for your blue pen. Fill it and use all the ink a couple of times. If your pen is writing perfect, then go ahead and try other inks or keep the ones you are using. If the troubles reappear with other inks, you know it is the ink and not your nib that is the problem. If the nib still doesn't work the way you want, send it off to the pen spa for a makeover.

Dave


Thanks, Dave.

I have been using Pelikan Royal Blue for the past few days. The nib doesn't skip at all. It still doesn't always start after a pause in writing, but this is improving, it seems to me. I also bought a bottle of Waterman Blue/Black that I'm going to test next.

I expect to send the nib off for tuning regardless. I want it optimized for ink flow and the line definition enhanced. However, at this point, I don't expect to need to exchange it. I gather the need for some "breaking in" of a new nib is not unusual.

David

#19 Sidestreaker

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 18:00

I just joined the flock and picked this very pen to be my first bird! Looking forward to using it and I'll contribute a review about it soon!
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#20 TDL

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 12:54

I have been using a Blue O'Blue for 6 months or more, set with a standard fine nib. Until recently it wrote perfectly. Since I loaded it with Iroshizuku Asa-gao (Morning Glory) I have started to experience the odd case of skippong on some characters. Nothing too serious, but noticable, especially when taking notes quickly.
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