I don't know what you're missing as I can't get past their looks. Not very appealing to me.
What pens do you like?
I felt the same way in 1964 when I first came to Germany.....what an ugly pen, it was no where as pretty as a Snorkel or a P-51...and them over priced clunky MB-149....why it used gold plate and cost as much as a rolled gold trimmed Snorkel. Back in the days of 4-1.....
Never ever heard of either of those 'local yokal' fountain pens back in the States, in the days of the Almighty Dollar. This was still when the Snorkel, P-51 & P-75 were advertized on TV, color if you were well off B&W for the working class.
Never liked the Lamy 2000, which I first seen the year it came out, in '66. That's real Bauhaus; function first, last and always. Like a Pelikan.
Still don't like the 2000.....which is never on Ebay ...used, when i do look. That's a bit odd.
You see a piston pen like the Pelikan is a bit back weighted, and that in plastic compared to a sac-lever pen.....which is a hell of a lot better balanced than a C/C pen for some odd reason.
There was no reason to make a pen streamlined....very few folks write that fast. Pelikan finally got torpedo shaped with the 400NN.
Bauhaus is a style of function first, like the famous Lamy 2000.
1929 when Pelikan first started making the piston pen....the number one pen in Germany was the Kaweco....in it had by far the best nib in the world, out side the US Morton nib....most labor intensive. Hand hammered and annealed . From @ 1900 Kaweco used the Morton nib until 1914 when they made a deal with Morton to buy machinery and take US families to Germany to teach Germans how to make a Morton nib. It went bankrupt in 1930 because the owner lost money in other places in 1929. The greatest nib in the world died...from teh new owner's rationalization.
Soennecken and MB trailed far behind as second and third best German pens.
Pelikan started out using MB nibs.....no big deal, was done by many companies. Osmia also made nibs for many of the 120 German fountain pen manufacturers or assemblers.
Pelikan dragged the kicking and screaming Soennecken and MB away from lever-sac pens into the piston. Held more ink.
Pelikan is an acquired taste, like dirty sour French wine from Bordeaux.....now I do compare all red wine to Bordeaux, and a pen gets compared to a Pelikan....or an older non-146-9 MB.
No a Pelikan is not as sleek as a Geha 725 or a Snorkel, or even certain models of the P-51. The Vac is prettier....so is certain Osmia black, grey and pearl marbled pens....My Italian Columbus is much prettier than a Pelikan.
Do you like the clunky MB Sheaffer New Balance clones?
Get your self a '50-60's Pelikan once you are ready for semi-flex or 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex....until then get a true to size springy regular flex '83-97 M400.....Or a 200, Don't waste your money on a post '97 unless all you want is a fat blobby butter smooth semi-nail nibbed 400/600.
800 is a great nail....A Townsend is as good a nail, and cheaper.....better looking?
What do you think?
Now I have a 100N, 500, 400N, 400NN, two 140's a 120. A '90's 400, two '90's Celebries, All with very good to grand nibs.
I have a marbled green & 'gold' trimmed Celebery.....with a nib as good as a 200....that is one of the prettiest of the Pelikan pens. Try one of them....metal lacquer C/C pens...if you don't like normal Pelikans...it's got a real nice springy regular flex nib.