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Pelikan - What Am I Missing?

overpriced or ignorant

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64 replies to this topic

#21 parnesh

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 13:26

I know lots of people love their L2000s, but I found it way too slippery feeling for me, even after going into the LPS fully intending to get myself one. I think maybe it had something to do with the smooth taper from the pen barrel to the section, as well as the makrolon (sp?) material.

 

And yes, absolutely. Pilot makes a great variety of excellent pens. I have two of the Pilot Metal Falcons, and they are my most used pens. Getting used to the heft of those led me to selecting the metal-barreled Pelikan M215s over the other models.

 

The L2K section isn't that slippery due to the brushed steel and makloron. Also, at least for me, the grip is up at the intersection between the steel and the makloron parts due to the hooded nib. The cap retention tabs might be annoying for some but I don't mind that.



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#22 quantumboy

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 13:31

If I were paying retail, I would agree with the original poster that they are overpriced.  For whatever reason, though, Pelikan doesn't seem nearly as obsessed as Montblanc with price protection.  There are reputable sellers online or on ebay who routinely discount by nearly 50%. New Price on an M800 is less than 400.  New price on an M1000 is often 550 or less.  Amazon sells the M200 for around $100 for many of the models.  At those price points, they are very good pens (I own an M400, M600 and M800).  

 

It's also hard for me to compare them with the Lamy 2000.  I also own that pen, but to me it's so different with both nib and design that "better" would seem to really be in the eye of the beholder.  However, even though I personally prefer my Pelikans, when comparing the Amazon price point for an L2000 (usually around 125) and their closest priced pelikan (M200 at 100), it's hard to argue that the L2000 isn't a better value.



#23 Toll

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 13:41

When I first discovered a love for fountain pens, maybe 20 years ago, I focused on Pelikans. I am not sure how that happened, but my first Pelikan was a 600, and then it was downhill from there -- more Pelikans, including vintage. Over time I grew bored with them and sold them. I have never looked back with regret and only rarely been tempted to buy another.

#24 sotto2

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 13:48

Well, when you find something that suits you perfectly, that reduces the sticker shock a little I guess. In this city of over 10 million people, there's only one place that my wife will eat waffles, and they cost 2-3 times what they cost at the hundreds of other places here that sell waffles. Same with the maple bars at a certain donut shop. If they don't have them out when she has a craving for them, she almost goes ballistic.


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#25 load81

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 14:05

I have a M800 and it is hands down the most practical, durable and dependable pen I have. It just feels like it will work anywhere and anytime for the next 40 years.
They are not cheap but compared to many other more fancy pens from the same price tier i believe they are better value. Less face, more substance.
But then again, as many others noted, this topic is highly subjective and your personal mileage may vary.

#26 Dottie

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 14:15

The pen that got me hooked on fountain pens was a Pelikan Go! Such a smooth writer. I like a light pen and don't post the cap. I'm going to the Atlanta Pen Show soon. What should I look for if I want a fine italic nib around the $100 mark? Which Pelikan or something else?



#27 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 14:32

I quite like my M600, but apart from mere a chacun son gout, I can understand the problem.  I suspect on the price side of the equation, Pelikan is being driven a little by Montblanc; they don't like the perceived consumer saying "Hey, I can afford a Pelikan, it much not be as good."  The M1000 is getting to the point where they can stop worrying about that, so hopefully they'll rethink the whole pricing structure.

 

And for the feel of it in the hand, a chacun son gout, as the French say (probably with some accents over the vowels).  There's pens some people rave about that I can happily live without too.


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#28 novarider

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 14:49

I had the same reaction to a m200 that I purchased. Then I bought a m805 and wow what a difference. My m805 is one of my favorite pens. I don't think there is a single thing I would change on the m805. I cannot honestly say that about many pens



#29 Ron_L

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 14:52

My M150 is my go to pen.  I got it for a fair price, $55.  It sits front and center and on my desk and is the first pen I pick up when writing begins.



#30 Dickkooty2

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 15:22

The pen that got me hooked on fountain pens was a Pelikan Go! Such a smooth writer. I like a light pen and don't post the cap. I'm going to the Atlanta Pen Show soon. What should I look for if I want a fine italic nib around the $100 mark? Which Pelikan or something else?

 

A year ago, I didn't own a fountain pen other than what had come my way by accident. I liked writing with them. Then I chanced upon used Pelikans as representative of design eras. Now I have 20+ old Pelikans, but nothing above the 400s. A few months ago I bought a Pelikan GO from the 80's for $14 plus shipping. I agree, It is a terrific everyday pen and with teal trim! The 80s live.

 

As I read the comments on quality of Pelikan manufacturing and pricing values for the money, I think I am better off staying with used Pelikans. The value for the money and the inherent design aesthetics are, to me, unquestioned.

 

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Edited by Dickkooty2, 30 March 2014 - 15:26.


#31 RayG

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 15:37

$200 for an M200 - that IS overpriced.  Considering you can get one with a tuned nib from Richard Binder for $120 and change, or with a custom nib for a little more.  I would try one of those as an entry level pen before crossing Pelikans off the list.

 

I agree that current Pelikan pricing is ridiculous. 


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#32 PJohnP

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 16:37

If I were paying retail, I would agree with the original poster that they are overpriced.

 

This is a very good point.  "Rack rate", MSRP, or whatever one calls it, the pricing on Pelikans (and some other brands) seems high.

 

But then, if one walks into a North American automobile dealership just to pay the "sticker price", they won't get a very good price either !  As others are pointing out in this thread, Pelikans can be obtained for a fair bit less than full retail price.

 

The M200 line is durable and dependable, but a little bit plain being (mostly) not equipped with the more elegant touches of the M400/600/800 lines.  OTOH, if one picks up an M200 or an M250, they generally get an excellent pen for day-to-day use.  My M200/250 pens have traveled around the world with me, always working on demand, delivering miles/kilometers of writing.  I will confess that I'm much more taken with the older derby caps on the M200/250 models, but that's a touch no longer available.

 

Like any pen, the fit in a particular user's hand will vary, and may not be what's desired.  There are a number of other brands that I like the look of, but simply do not work as well in my hand.  <shrug>  That's why there are different brands for different people - I don't get offended if someone tells me that a pen that I use isn't ideal for them anymore than I'd feel offended if they told me that my boots weren't in their size and don't look comfortable.  "Horses for courses", as the saying goes.

 

 

 

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#33 inBOIL

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 16:57

Not having an M200, i've been considering the Taupe or White for a few (um, like 5) years now (or possibly that upcoming Cognac one), but keep getting scared away by these threads. Does anyone wanna offer a "better than I actually expected" viewpoint?... i mean, if i regard the pen as "probably cheap plastic junk" will i perhaps be surprised?...

Here's what i'd really like to know: Is the M200 on the same level as the M100/150? (Which i DO have, and DOES feel like a cheap pen to me. From the softness of the plastic, to the sound it makes when you uncap it, etc.) i can "appreciate" that M100--but probably wouldn't if i'd paid $140 for it.

What about at $70? The M205 can be had from some Japanese sellers for around that, but ... then ... so can a basic Sailor 1911. (Which i KNOW to be a well-made, high-quality pen.)

Anyway ... just wondering. One of these years maybe i'll just buy one, and answer my own questions.



#34 ziptrickhead

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 18:05

I would not pay $200 for a M200, Pelikan prices have even gone up even more since I really got into fountain pens and I'll admit the prices are a bit of a shocker if the pen doesn't fit you well. Still, they're less expensive than Montblanc and a lot of the Italian pen manufacturers.

 

I was lucky, I managed to snag a M600 for $265 ($20 or so less than the going rate from sellers in Singapore). It was a tough buy at first because it would have been my most expensive pen at the time, but now I have no regrets. I am fortunate that the M600 size fits my hand very well and I love the lightweight feel. The same day I bought the pen I also handled a M400 and a M800. I was considering the M400 purely for the price alone as I would have saved around 60 dollars. I tried out the M800 just because it was there but regardless of price I found the pen was too back heavy for my liking. I'm lucky my friend was with me at the time to convince me to just pay the extra for the M600 because if I had gone with the M400 I probably would have hated the pen based off of the diameter of the pen alone. Now my M600 is my favorite pen and beats out some of my lower end pens (Lamy 2000, Pilot Custom 74) and even my higher end pens (146, Homo Sapiens midi). Higher cost doesn't always equate to a better pen and unfortunately the price for these "luxury" items will continue to go up. I was quite disappointed to find out that if I had gotten into pens several years earlier I could have snagged a M600 for under $200.

 

And I have to say, the M200 steel nibs are some of the best feeling steel nibs I've written with, even if all the nibs are tuned properly first. I have no problems switching out a M200 nib into my M600 bodies because they write so well and with the lower price point I can customize nibs for my M600 to my heart's content. That's the thing with it comes to stuff that's based off of feel; just because it works well for a lot of people, there's no reason for you to feel something is wrong with you if it doesn't fit you. Pelikans happen to work for a lot of people and that's why you hear about them so often. I'm guilty of fanboying and gushing over my M600, but it's not from group think but purely my own experiences with the pen. For example, I love how a monotone nib looks on a black and gold body but some others feel that the dual tone nib looks better and more sophisticated. Personal tastes and I won't let others from swaying me from what I believe in.

 

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EDIT:

 

The Pelikan plastic is by no means weak. I don't think I necessarily baby my pens but regardless of price I give my pens the same treatment. I use my pen at work (manufacturing) and don't carry it in a case in my bag or clipped to a shirt pocket but just in a leather slip case dropped into my front pant's pocket. I've dropped it on the ground a few times as well. No major damage yet, but my cheap pens still get the same basic treatment.


Edited by ziptrickhead, 30 March 2014 - 18:11.

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#35 Moshe ben David

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 18:22

Not having an M200, i've been considering the Taupe or White for a few (um, like 5) years now (or possibly that upcoming Cognac one), but keep getting scared away by these threads. Does anyone wanna offer a "better than I actually expected" viewpoint?... i mean, if i regard the pen as "probably cheap plastic junk" will i perhaps be surprised?...

Here's what i'd really like to know: Is the M200 on the same level as the M100/150? (Which i DO have, and DOES feel like a cheap pen to me. From the softness of the plastic, to the sound it makes when you uncap it, etc.) i can "appreciate" that M100--but probably wouldn't if i'd paid $140 for it.

What about at $70? The M205 can be had from some Japanese sellers for around that, but ... then ... so can a basic Sailor 1911. (Which i KNOW to be a well-made, high-quality pen.)

Anyway ... just wondering. One of these years maybe i'll just buy one, and answer my own questions.

 

Never having even seen a M100/150 I can't comment on that.  Regarding the M200, my own experience was that when I first laid eyes on it and first handled it I also wondered if I'd bought some extreme low end 'junk'.  All it took was for me to ink it and begin using it.  No way is it junk.  A great pen IMHO.

 

FYI:  check the prices for the M200 at various on line outlets (e.g. Fountain Pen Hospital, Fahrney's).  They've been listed at less than $100 for both the black and the demo for some time now.  Maybe even the white one.  No idea of pricing on other colors.


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#36 tknechtel

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 18:31

As others have pointed out, each to their own taste. I have 8 Pelikans, mostly vintage, and they are my favorite pens. Beautiful design, a filling system which allows for carrying a lot of ink, great reliability, and smooth nibs which can be easily swapped – all reasons to love them, and worth the money.



#37 sargetalon

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 19:01

I love Pelikan and use them almost exclusively. That said, I agree that an M200 is not worth $200. Many fine examples can be found on the used market for substantially less. I love them but would rarely ever pay retail for one.

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#38 Betweenthelines

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 19:03

A rich discussion, thank you for all your perspectives. I would agree that there are multiple factors at play, and it really does come down to personal preference. I did not get to experience fully the nib which I understand is a lot of what you're paying for. Perhaps one day if I see a good deal on a used or vintage I'll pick one up, but for now they are out of the picture.

#39 Betweenthelines

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 19:30

Double post - ignore.

Edited by Betweenthelines, 30 March 2014 - 19:31.


#40 shuuemura

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 20:24

Personally with what I know now, I wouldn't pay retail prices for a Pelikan. Although in the past I did, for the Black/Green and Tortoiseshell M800 pens.

 

The swappable nib units are excellent though, and lend themselves to modding and/or installation in custom pen bodies. Below is an example of a Indian eyedropper pen (adapted from the Deccan Masterpiece pen) that accepts the Pelikan M1000 nib.

 

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