Pelikan Stola III
When some time ago I learned that Pelikan released an inexpensive fountain pen, which doesn't look like it was made for kids, it was a no brainer. I have a huge sympathy for this brand, despite their prices being usually way over the level of what I am able or willing to spend on a fountain pen.
I have Pelikan P16, otherwise known as Pelikan Stola III, for about a year now. I wanted to review it for some time but first I wanted to directly compare P16 to its main competition, other entry level pens of popular brands, namely Pilot Metropolitan/MR and/or Lamy Safari. However, despite considering it many times I never bought any of them and I'm likely not going to any time soon.
The design is very simplistic, a basic flat top pen, comes in only one, steel finish. I was pleasantly surprised by the feel of it. While for example Parker flighters like 45 or Frontier feel rather rough, Stola III is very smooth and doesn't really give you the feeling of holding bare metal. I think it's lacquered or something, and whatever it is, it positively influences both the look and touch of the finish. The pen however would still look rather generic and boring if it wasn't for the black clip, which is a variation of the traditional Pelikan beak. It's understated, but still interesting and classy.
The cap snaps on with a "click", there's a plastic inner cap inside. I was worried that the cap may get loose over time, like those click-on caps sometimes do, but for now - after about a year of fairly regular use - it's as good as new. Unfortunately, it is completely impossible to post this pen.
P16/Stola III is filled with standard or long international cartridges or converter, unfortunately it doesn't come with one (just one long cartridge of Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue). I tried using Waterman and Jinhao converters in it, but they don't fit well enough. I guess a Pelikan converter would be required, but since I don't own and don't intend to buy one, long cartridges do just fine.
The best thing about Pelikan P16/Stola III is that it really shines at its job - writing with it is a pleasure. The nib is wonderfully smooth and just gives you nice gliding over the paper experience that is expected of a good fountain pen. There is only one nib option, marked as medium - on the finer side of medium I'd say - which to some people may be dissapointing but I guess for the everyday writing this pen was designed for this would be the optimal choice anyway. The nib is very stiff, a complete nail - line variation is not an option.
After about a year of fairly regular use P16/Stola III does show some signs of wear. Some of the black lacquer on the section/barrel threads wore off a bit to reveal a metal (brass?) beneath (I've heard once the section is plastic - it's not, it's metal, as the whole rest of the pen) also there are a few little scratches on the barrel, but nothing very significant.
It's a very good writer, reasonably priced (ca. 25-30 USD), overall I like it a lot.
Edited by WJM, 05 December 2017 - 18:23.