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Pelikan - What Am I Missing?

overpriced or ignorant

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64 replies to this topic

#41 79spitfire


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Posted 30 March 2014 - 20:26

The M200 pens are some of my favorites. They are a bit plain, but that is part of the German aesthetic.


I like them for how they write, the same type of mechanism is available in less expensive pens. And after checking Richard Binder's site, a Binderized M200 is $124. Not bad really, the M200 does have an engineered replaceable nib, with a proper feed and buffer (Parker called it an accumulator). Where as most other pens use a standard feed and nib from another manufacture.


I am also kicking myself, there were some green M200 or 205 demonstrators going on e-bay for $75 and I didn't grab one! Does anyone know if these pens are hand assembled?


$200 does seem a bit high.

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#42 WirsPlm



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Posted 30 March 2014 - 21:36

Yes, they didn't fit well in my hand either.  The 1.1 Lamy nib has transformed my handwriting for the better.  So.  Rad.
Yeah, that's what I figured, re: the higher priced Pelikans being more representative.  The higher tier pens look very nice, and I admittedly didn't get to try those out.
Amen.  And a big -thank you- for the recommendation on stubs for the Metro!

You can also put a 78G B italic nib on the Metropolitan, it's a bit wider than the Plumix (and much, much cheaper than the Prera).

I've also been highly unimpressed with Pelikan pens, especially with the latest price increase (they seem like they want to be Montblanc but they don't have the Montblanc name) they're definitely overpriced pens at this point. I've tried some cheaper Pelikans and own a Pelikano and don't like the nib (sweet spot is in the wrong place for me) so I'm not interested in buying one.

Edited by WirsPlm, 30 March 2014 - 21:39.

#43 max dog

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 22:47

I really like the springy reponsive M200 nib.  Comparable to many more expensive 14K nib pens.  The Lamy Safari is a nail compared to the M200.

Edited by max dog, 30 March 2014 - 22:49.

#44 Runnin_Ute


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Posted 31 March 2014 - 01:45

I have three Pelikan's - a 120 Merz & Krell (EF) from the early 1970's, a M150 from the pre-97 era, and a post 2003 M205 in Toledo Red. The M150 & M205 are both medium. A lot lighter and smaller than some of my other pens, but all incredible writers. The EF on the 120 might be the best of the bunch. And cost? Shipped for the 3 about $166 US. The 120 was NOS, the M205 had been inked once as had the M150. Binder's pricing is about the most I would pay for a M200/M205 new though.


I have considered other Pelikan models, mostly vintage models, but if I went to a larger than M2xx the largest I would likely go is the M6xx series.

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#45 SharpSpine


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Posted 31 March 2014 - 02:29

I don't know what you're missing as I can't get past their looks. Not very appealing to me.
> Brian < Right Brained Writer

#46 requiescat


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Posted 31 March 2014 - 03:53

I'm on my second Pelikan M200 demonstrator; I sold off the first because I gave up on its nib (persistent skipping that I couldn't figure out how to fix),  The second skips less, but still skips once in a while with the XF nib it came with, which drives me nuts.  It's kind of infuriating because I don't mind the plain looks (when I want a showy pen, I use one of my Parker Vacumatics), and I prefer lighter, smaller pens.  The Pelikan M200 is exactly the right weight and it feels so comfortable.  I used to like the thought of one of the bigger Pelikans before I bought the M200s and I'm glad I didn't, because they would have been larger and not comfortable for someone with my hand size/preference in pens.  But unfortunately I just have no luck with the nibs and I'm not willing to buy another nib in hopes of getting one that I can get to work.  Now, the artist's nib I bought from Richard Binder for the M200 works beautifully, but it's too finicky to be a daily writer, which is what I really would have loved.  I'm sort of resigned to just using the pen when I want to do some inking/drawing.

#47 bizhe



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Posted 31 March 2014 - 05:23

In fountain pens light doesn't necessarily mean bad. Many prefer light pens for long periods of writing.

#48 Anabasis



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Posted 31 March 2014 - 05:26

I like my m200 a lot - there is nothing cheap about it to me.  It is light, as has been mentioned, but it is plastic.  The fit and finish on mine are good, the only qualm being a bit of a seam from the injection molding on the section.  The piston filling mechanism is much more smooth than on my Lamy 2000.  It also has a great, smooth steel nib. 


I do not know what is not to like.  If you do not like light pens, or smaller pens, then it is probably not the pen for you, but I cannot understand calling it "cheap".  At the $100 price range, I believe that the m200 is one of the best buys out there.

#49 Ink Blotto

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 07:19

I'm not sure why so many people equate heaviness with quality or strength. Cheap things are often heavier than they need to be. Better design, engineering, and materials should lead to a higher strength to weight ratio. Pens made of modern acrylic will be lighter and stronger than those made of earlier synthetics. Maybe I'm generalizing too much myself.

#50 parnesh


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Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:04



I do not know what is not to like.  If you do not like light pens, or smaller pens, then it is probably not the pen for you, but I cannot understand calling it "cheap".  At the $100 price range, I believe that the m200 is one of the best buys out there.


My problem with the only pelikan I have, an m215 is the nib. The nib has a slight baby's bottom. For a steel nibbed pen for ~$100, I expect better QA. Mind you my first Lamy 2000 was not great either (an EF nib) but the pen had enough other redeeming qualities to make me purchase a second M nib one. If TWSBI can sell a demo with steel nib with better out of the box performance ( I have 4 TWSBI nibs in across three pens), I don't see how pelikan can not.


However when compared against Pilot pens such as the prera, MR, 78G and gold nibbed 74, 92, 823, I question the value proposition of getting a pelikan.

#51 MBFan



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Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:53


By what sorcery! What is this majestic stallion of a pen?!

Edit: eagerly researched, and now up to date. ^

I agree generally with OP. I bought a 205 with 14k nib, and it is quite the anticlimax, although I may just put it into my TWSBI to soup that up.

I recommend looking at the vintage Pels, they look great and are loads cheaper. I want a 400nn (? the cigar shaped one with no silly gold rings near the blind cap) in striated green...mhhhhhhh

Edited by MBFan, 31 March 2014 - 08:56.

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#52 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 09:32

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. :yikes: 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. 


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,


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#53 abritdownunder



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Posted 31 March 2014 - 11:33

I own two Pelikan pens, a M1000 in Green/black and a M200 Demonstrator. They are lovely pens, both write beautifully and, to me, look fantastic. The M1000 is a big pen which feels great in my big hand. The M200 is tiny and I have to use it posted, which I don't normally like to do. Were they worth the price I paid? Well, I paid the price and don't regret it, so to me I think they were well worth it. Are they my favourite pens? No, there is plenty to like about both pens, and until recently the M1000 was my daily writer (replaced now by a Conway Stewart Churchill), but they do both have some areas I'm not so keen on.


I can totally understand how some people get hooked on the Pelikan brand but I can also understand the 'Pelikan Meh!' side too.



#54 Bigeddie


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Posted 31 March 2014 - 12:42

I love my m200, although I don't use it as much as I should. I got my first m200 around the same time as a TWSBI 540 at the start of my addiction and it was the one that hooked me. Over here in the UK an m200 can be had for around £55-60 with the special editions around £60-90. $200 seems very high, but we pay over the odds for Noodlers ink. 


I have 10-15 Pelikans now, and have had 3-4 more that have moved on. I love the m200/400 size and they are surprisingly durable. The first m200 took something of a beating in the days before I had a case, the plating around the top of the cap is worn and the nib has lost some plating through regular daily use, but it still works a charm. 


I would highly recommend an m200 as a starting piston filler, but do check out NOS m400s that can be had for not much more, certainly below $200! 

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#55 Tanzanite


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Posted 31 March 2014 - 18:14

I have some Pelikan M200 and M205 and they are my favourite fp. I prefer the F nibs for their softness. The M nibs are harder. I always have at least a couple of M200 with me at work and a few other fp.

#56 ericthered2004



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Posted 31 March 2014 - 20:10

I didn't have much luck with the 200s I had a few years back.  They weren't particularly expensive back then, and I got a deal on one (a demonstrator).  But the design didn't thrill me, they weren't that smooth and they  just didn't suit my hand:  something to do with the long nib, I always thought.  I did think of giving the M600 or M800 a try, having heard so much about them, but they are way out of my price range these days.


I like my Epoch, though, very much.  It has one of the smoothest nibs I own.


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#57 hulya



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Posted 31 March 2014 - 22:16


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.


Beautifully put.


When people say Pelikan pens feel cheap, perhaps they don't stop to consider how hard it is to make a piston-filler so light and so durable at the same time.

#58 bjornhansson


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Posted 31 March 2014 - 22:51

In my opinion, Pelikan pens, especially the M200s, offer fantastic value for money. I probably wouldn't buy an M200 if it cost me $200, but, considering that a brand new one can be had for half that price, I don't think there are many pens that offer better value for money.

In terms of subjective writing pleasure, I would rate my M200:s higher than substantially more expensive pens such as the Montblanc Starwalker, the Parker Duofold Centennial and, admittedly, the Pelikan M800.

Writing pleasure is a very subjective thing. I would urge you not to dismiss the Pelikans until you have written with one (or a few) of them. :-)

#59 sotto2


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Posted 01 April 2014 - 00:04

+1 on rating the M200 higher than the Starwalker. I pulled my hair out with my Starwalker for maybe a year trying to get it tweaked right. The damn cap still seems to fuse to the section somehow every now and then so that it's almost impossible to remove it without unscrewing the barrel. WTH?!


#60 fljones3



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Posted 01 April 2014 - 03:42

M200's are fantastic pens. I have two of them differently inked and nibbed. I have spent enough on cheaper pens that did not write well to buy a M200. You can look around and find good pricing on them. Not worth $200 but I got mine much less.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: overpriced, or, ignorant

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