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Refom 1745 Vs Pelikan M200


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Bigeddie

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 21:00

The subtitle of this thread was hard, I don't consider the M200 to be a low end pen, but I do consider the two to be comparable. The M200 was the second pen I bought since getting into fountain pens again, this time in a big way (the first being the TWSBI 540). The Reform I discovered very recently and was very impressed at performance for the money.


Out of the box:
The Pelikan comes with a nice display box and with papers. The Reform comes with nothing, unless you buy them by the case. They come in cardboard boxes of 24 and nowhere on the packaging does it say that size the nibs are.


Design and Appearance:
The M200 only comes in black, pictured, at the time of writing. It has come in various colours including marbled blue or green (rumored to be returning) -with the striped bodies reserved for the M400s of the same size. Variants include M205s (at time of writing) have silver trim and are available in black, red and white, as well as a special yellow/demonstrator highlighter edition; M215 which have metal bodies as opposed to the M200's plastic/resin; and M250 which come with the bi-colour gold nib from the M400. The Pelikan clips across most of the Pelikan range are a pelican's beak.

The Reform 1745 is more basic, with fewer options, It comes in green with a black caps and section. I have seen photos of a similar pen in blue, but never seen one. The firm apparently folded in 1993 with some NOS left around. Both pen's seem to be made of a nice enough quality materials, with the Pelikan's trim being of a higher standard.

(Pelikan M200 left, Reform 1745 right)
Posted Image
PR side by side by Bigeddie100, on Flickr

Feel and Construction:
Both pens feel well constructed, if light due to their mostly plastic construction. Mostly full, the M200 - 15g, the 1745 10g. Their length is about the same, both capped 13cm and posted 15cm, if anything the 1745 is a little longer than the M200. The M200 is also noticeably wider than the reform, although posted neither seems like a small pen.

Posted Image
PR side by side rule by Bigeddie100, on Flickr

Posted Image
PR side by side posted by Bigeddie100, on Flickr

The piston of the Pelikan is very smooth. In terms of use this is the biggest difference between the two pens. The Reform's piston is much stiffer than the Pelikan, both seem to work effectively. The 1745's blind cap fits flush with the body. Both pens seem very well engineered.

Both pens have an ink viewing window to gauge the level of ink. In black, the M200's is not too clear, although in other colours the ink level is more visible.


Nibs and writing performance:
Both have removable nibs, both screw fit, although the nibs of the 1745 are not labelled, if indeed they ever came in different sizes. The Pelikan nibs are available in EF, F, M, B, BB, OM and OB sizes. The one sampled here is an F.

Both the pen's have steel nibs. The nib on the 1745 writes most like a fine, slightly finer than the M200. The M200's nib is gold plated and states the size, the 1745's is duo-tone but there is no real indication of the plating material, the The 1745's nib is also more flexible than the Pelikan's, surprisingly so.

M200 nib
Posted Image
PR pel nib by Bigeddie100, on Flickr

1745 nib
Posted Image
PR reform nib by Bigeddie100, on Flickr

Writing samples with both pens
Posted Image
PR writing sample by Bigeddie100, on Flickr

In terms of writing, both put down a nice fine line, neither is particularly wet, I use two different 1745's, one was very dry 'out of the box' (well, post packet) which was solved by pushing the pen to the limit I would consider flexing the nib a few times. The gently pushing the tines apart trick didn't have the same effect where the 1745's nib was so flexible.

Cost:
The Pelikan was purchased from The Writing Desk (no affil) in the UK for around £50 inc. postage. The Reform for £13.50 inc. postage on e-bay. They can be had cheaper (£8) NOS in the classifies at the time of writing. I think the reform's are tremendously good value, I always keep my pens in a case, but this is one I wouldn't be heart broken if it got scratched up in a pocket.

Conclusion:
The 'if I could have just one' winner is the Pelikan, but it is 4 to 5 times the price. It's things like the smooth piston that show. That said the nib on the Reform is fantastic. Ultimately of course, it's a matter of taste.

Disclosure; I have some Reform 1745's on classified currently - I have tried not to let this bias my review.
For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love. -Carl Sagan

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#2 Bill C

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 20:00

I just ordered a Reform 1745 and have not used a piston filler like it and I'm excited to learn about the variation of line it offers. Can't wait for it to get here. Thanks for the review.

Edited by Bill C, 22 December 2011 - 20:12.


#3 lovemy51

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 06:19

a well done comparative review!

i have the 1745 and an M150 -not the 200- and i also chose the Pelikan over the Reform. i've always found the Reform's nib to be too scratchy for my liking.

#4 KrazyIvan

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 17:50

I had been debating on the M200 because I thought it might be a bit small for my liking. This comparison really changes my mind. I have a 1745 and the larger diameter of the M200 is something I like. My reform was also scratchy and had anemic ink flow. I fixed that and it is a smooth wet writer now. Thank you for sharing.

#5 Spector

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 23:58

I think I might grab a reform 1745 soon. does anyone know how hard they are to adjust yourself?
Posted Image "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored" -Aldous Huxley

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#6 KrazyIvan

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 00:51

I did not find it all that difficult.

#7 diverdoc

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 03:46

I have a Pelikan M250 and a Reform 1745 that I picked up off an online auction. I enjoy the aesthetics & performance of the Pelikan more, but I agree that the Reform packs a lot of value for the price. The Reform was just a little scratchy at first, but a VERY gentle pass over a micro-fine ceramic hone and it was smooth as silk. I wanted to pick up more before the last of the NOS supply dried up. I got lucky and picked up a whole factory-packed box of 24 from the German version of the same online auction for $30.00 plus shipping. I sold a few as singles, but I'm keeping the rest for me! I reasoned I could even introduce the kids to using fountain pens with them, but since they are only going to get harder to find, I think I let the kids use Pilot 74Gs.

Best regards,
Tim







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