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Pelikan M205 Blue Demo, A Sort Of Perfection

pelikan m205 demonstrator blue

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20 replies to this topic

#1 SenZen

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 19:48

Pelikans and this model in particular have been reviewed at length, so I'll keep it short and hopefully useful.

 

Preamble:

 

Anyone who knew me at school would scoff: Twenty something fountain pens? You?? But no one understands your handwriting, not even yourself! True, but I decided to retrain myself, so after much effort it is now legible, if not particularly pretty; but more importantly it helps me organize my very dispersed thoughts.

 

I tried mostly utilitarian pens, with seven Lamy Vistas, four Mujis and a Pilot Metropolitan, and eventually realized it's a lot more about the inks than the pens for me; still there were a few designs I drooled over, particularly Pelikans which are way above what I would be willing to pay for a pen, no matter how beautiful or well made: m1005, the mythical dunkelblau m405, m406 and m805, the clear and aquamarine m205 demonstrators, but I'd never been able to see them in person, save for a Marine Blue m605 which I didn't care for. So I kept away from Pelikan, and ended up with a Sailor Professional gear, an Ambition in pearwood, two Lamy Studios (one in Imperial Blue to scratch the dunkelblau itch), besides the other pens I already had, Le Man 100, m600.

 

Enter serendipity? Used m205 blue demo for about $60 on that well known online bazaar, I can't remember if thanks to a coupon. Too good to be true? I took the plunge, sent it to a friend who resends stuff to me... It took six months to get to me, but it was well worth the wait: It's beautiful, even better than I though. And it was in almost perfect condition, save for some barely visible ink trapped in the inner cap.

 

Design: 5/5.

 

In its clear blue and silver trim pen this is now my most beautiful pen, dislodging a Faber Castell Ambition in pearwood, which looks awesome. Even the inner workings of the piston look great, in a futuristic way. It's a timeless design few brands are able to achieve.

 

fpn_1524942141__pelikan_m205_2.jpg

 

To me Pelikan Souverains and classics are the closest thing to perfect pens, although I must confess I dislike most of their special editions, marbled finishes and gold trims, which means the vast majority.

 

fpn_1524938799__pelikan_m205_1.jpg

 

It's so good looking I think I might be done with looking for a solid blue with rhodium trim model, and even the new clear (2018) m205.

 

Ergonomics: 5/5.

 

It's a small pen but with a decently wide section, works fine with my large (L size gloves) hands. I don't post but that works too. It's light and well balanced. I wouldn't mind a slightly bigger pen, at a reasonable price.

 

Construction: 5/5.

 

Looks good, feels good, works good. I disassembled the cap and in the process a tiny speck fell off, which might have been my fault or the previous owner's, but the inner cap and ring still work well to provide a good seal. Someone less clumsy shouldn't have a problem, and I'm leaving caps well enough alone from now on.

 

Nib: 5/5.

 

Smooth fine nib, writes thinner than the fine 18k on my old style m600. It makes Rohrer & Klingner look good, and that ink in turn makes all pens write a little more smoothly. Take into account I write on HP LJ 32 lbs, Clairefontaine, Rhodia, Fabriano and Tomoe River.

 

fpn_1524938201__pelikan_m205.jpg

 

Filling system: 5/5.

 

Easy to fill, holds a lot of ink, doesn't evaporate so inks don't change colour, what more could you want.

 

Reliability: 5/5.

 

This is a seldom seen parameter, but one I care for a lot. Zero starting or skipping problems, smooth nib. My m600 has been my most reliable pen, by far, and I expect the same from this m205, since they are basically the same design.

 

Maintenance: 5/5.

 

These are very low maintenance pens, although I wouldn't use them with inks that produce gunk. If you swap inks a lot like I do, the nib and feed units are not as easy to clean as others which disassemble easily, but after much rinsing it can be done. 

 

Price: 6/5?

 

Hit the jackpot, particularly for a brand in which any pen above the m200 range is way too expensive for me. Even at msrp it's a pen you could use for a long time without any problems.

 

Conclusion: 5/5.

 

This is sort of my accidental holly grail, if I'd seen this in person I would have got it a long time ago. I can't stop looking at it and it makes me want to write more, which is my ultimate test. My other pens would get ratings ranging from 2/5 to 4/5, even my m600 which has a slightly smoother nib can't compete on looks.

 

fpn_1524944858__m205_verdigris_m600_asa_


Edited by pseudo88, 29 April 2018 - 14:51.

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#2 Tseg

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Posted 29 April 2018 - 01:59

Nice review and great pen.  There are a lot of size/performance similarities to the M120 Iconic Blue I just got... except you stole this at less than half the price I paid for my blue Pelikan of similar size and nib... so congrats there!  Deals can definitely be found on the those auction sites and that waiting game to determine if you were just had is always interesting when you think you are getting a deal.  Right off the bat I gravitated to girthier pens but was surprised that writing with my smaller steel nibbed Pelikan pen was unexpectedly comfortable.  Having the light weight I think helps accommodate a thinner section from an ergonomics perspective... it is like waving one's hand through air.

 

I have been debating if I wanted to go bigger would the next up be an M600 or M800?... I'm intrigued now by light pens.  I'm curious whether you find the M600 substantially different or more comfortable than the M205?  I have the M1000 which I have named Pig Pen because it is so big, fat and sloppy... but also liberating to write with.



#3 SenZen

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Posted 29 April 2018 - 14:46

Nice review and great pen.  There are a lot of size/performance similarities to the M120 Iconic Blue I just got... except you stole this at less than half the price I paid for my blue Pelikan of similar size and nib... so congrats there!  Deals can definitely be found on the those auction sites and that waiting game to determine if you were just had is always interesting when you think you are getting a deal.  Right off the bat I gravitated to girthier pens but was surprised that writing with my smaller steel nibbed Pelikan pen was unexpectedly comfortable.  Having the light weight I think helps accommodate a thinner section from an ergonomics perspective... it is like waving one's hand through air.

 

I have been debating if I wanted to go bigger would the next up be an M600 or M800?... I'm intrigued now by light pens.  I'm curious whether you find the M600 substantially different or more comfortable than the M205?  I have the M1000 which I have named Pig Pen because it is so big, fat and sloppy... but also liberating to write with.

 

My m600 is the "old style" as far as I understand, it's the m400 body but with an 18k nib, which has the same dimensions as the m205... So can't comment on bigger Pelikans, except that I can't justify the price, particularly since other brands offer either an awesome design (you could get a Parker 75 Ciselé for way less) or intriguing nibs, e.g. Pilot WA, or both, like Sailor's limited editions... And both are very comfortable as you say.


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#4 sargetalon

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 02:15

Great price, great pen, great review.  Thanks for sharing.


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#5 minddance

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 05:23

Almost perfect except for the section circled in red: ink tends to stain the insides of this part and requires repeated flushing and/or ultrasonic cleaning. There is an irregular gap between the outer barrel and the plastic inside, forgive my rough description. The non-demo versions appear ok because it cannot be seen. Demo versions show this very clearly. If one doesn't change inks and ink colour then it is alright if there's some residue. For an avid ink changer, thorough cleaning takes more time than I please.

Otherwise a near-perfect pen :)

If I had to be utterly honest, I'd give 3.5/5 for maintenance due to 2 things:
1. As described above
2. Ink tends to stain and reside in the hole in the feed unit and it is not easy to get it out even with ultrasonic cleaners and repeated flushing. If one rolls the tip of a tissue paper and stick it inside that hole, the tissue paper is soaked with very saturated ink residue. I get this even after exposing the nib-feed unit in a long ultrasonic bath.

These issues are consistent across all the Pelikan pens from m200 to m1000.

Nobody seems to mention them :)

The rating for ergonomics is debatable, everybody has different preferences. This is a surprisingly light and nimble pen but the girth (depends on where the writer holds the pen) is just a tad smaller than I like. Therefore, 4/5 for ergonomics. Posted and uposted makes a rather huge difference too (as with many other pens).

I have no issues with the nib and sealing mechanism. Therefore the highest possible marks from me :)

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Edited by minddance, 03 May 2018 - 05:42.


#6 Caeruleum

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 10:44

Thank you for the review. Stunning photographs.
I'm interested in the M205 classic and you cast a very good light on it.

#7 SenZen

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 14:51

@ minddance: I don't mind seeing ink inside the section, it's part of its character; but I can understand if others do. Luckily Verdigris is there to stay, so no more cleaning out this nib unit. @Caeruleum: my pleasure! I think that was my first pen review. The aquamarine and the new clear versions also look stunning to me.
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell

#8 SenZen

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 16:38

Almost perfect except for the section circled in red: ink tends to stain the insides of this part and requires repeated flushing and/or ultrasonic cleaning. There is an irregular gap between the outer barrel and the plastic inside, forgive my rough description. The non-demo versions appear ok because it cannot be seen. Demo versions show this very clearly. If one doesn't change inks and ink colour then it is alright if there's some residue. For an avid ink changer, thorough cleaning takes more time than I please.

 

 

I had not understood this particular issue, I thought you were talking about ink between the feed unit and the section, but there seems to be an easy solution (from thepelikansperch, go to 3:14):

 


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell

#9 minddance

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 18:01

Right, thank you for mentioning it, the syringe solution :) it is quite a new video, forgive me for not being up to date.

#10 amk

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 21:06

A couple of years ago I said to myself no m200 series; I was concentrating on m400 and m600 and vintage Pelikans.

 

Then an m200 turned up missing its clip for almost nothing ... and I was hooked. Light but not flimsy, small but not too petite, a super smooth piston, and really great nibs... blast, now I've got m200 demonstrator obsession. (Blue, smoky quartz, amethyst, amber and clear demo to date... but I want those neon highlighter ones.)

 

As a writer and researcher I need a pen that's reliable and a joy to use. m200 is it.


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#11 SenZen

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 22:41

Right, thank you for mentioning it, the syringe solution :) it is quite a new video, forgive me for not being up to date.

 

I stumbled upon it, I had no idea this issue existed in the first place!


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

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#12 SenZen

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 22:44

(Blue, smoky quartz, amethyst, amber and clear demo to date... but I want those neon highlighter ones.)

 

 

 

Only that? :lticaptd: I really hope they never trot out an athracite with silver trim, otherwise I'll have to flog a well used kidney. Or a solid blue and silver trim re-issue :rolleyes: .


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell

#13 MHBru

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 04:08

I only have one m205 and it's the blue demonstrator. (Others are m800s). When it arrives the nib was so scratchy i couldn't stand it. Tried to service it myself and it was better but I finally decided (convinced myself) that I wanted a medium nib and got one from Dan Smith. Now the pen is a beautiful writer. Although my smallest pen it's a pleasure to use.

#14 sansenri

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 21:35

very nice review of a favorite pen model.

I have too many M200s...

one turned up under the seat in my car while I was cleaning the car last week end... (gosh, was I glad, it has a 14k nib in it...!)

some of the ones I have are identical to each other (old style blue marble, green marble), but were purposely bought cheap on the bay, because of a few usage marks here and there. They are my workhorses, I take them around with me, especially when traveling, I don't worry to much if they take some bashing, and as mentioned in this thread, the main reason is reliability. They never fail on me, and that is a very big plus.

I love the fact they are light, flow is good, and the piston holds a good amount of ink, which I can always see in the ink window.

I do not post them and often hold them with my fingers above the threads (i.e. on the barrel!) in a sort of paint brush manner.

I very rarely feel the need for the M600 (for looks the blue silver trim M605 is really nice), which is however just as nice in terms of reliability and being light. I do like the M800 but it's another pen altogether.

I also like the M200 steel nibs, they have a special spring to them that almost never makes me wish I had a gold nib instead (when I do, as the pen in the car, it's usually because it is a vintage nib).



#15 Brerarnold

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 22:40

I have two Pelikans, an amber M250 (14k nib) and the blue M205 like you have. The blue was sold to me by Richard Binder and he had worked on the nib. It is silky smooth. The amber model is a very smooth writer also, but not quite as buttery. Both are M nibs.

 

Thanks for the video of the syringe technique. I doubt I'll ever use it, but it's good to know.

 

I tend to buy an ink that I like for a pen, and then stick with it. So flushing it out to change colors is something I rarely do. I have had Diamine Dark Brown in the amber and Diamine Majestic Blue in the M205 since I bought them. We all have our quirks; this is one of mine.

 

The few pens I have that I do change colors seem to clean up adequately with a flush and a soak and another flush.



#16 IndigoBOB

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 23:47

I'm picking up an m20x this week!  

 

I tried one at a pen show and fell in love with it :wub: , but didn't think to pick it up so I'm remedying that finally :happy:


Edited by IndigoBOB, 28 August 2018 - 23:48.


#17 ENewton

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 02:23

I'm picking up an m20x this week!  

 

I tried one at a pen show and fell in love with it :wub: , but didn't think to pick it up so I'm remedying that finally :happy:

 

I thought about it but brought home a 140 instead.



#18 SenZen

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 20:18

I'm picking up an m20x this week!  

 

I tried one at a pen show and fell in love with it :wub: , but didn't think to pick it up so I'm remedying that finally :happy:

 

Which one? After the blue one I got a clear, which was sort of my grail pen for a long time... It's very nice, but the blue on is special. I'm just glad they make their respective inks, Verdigris and Kon Peki look nice, even though I use a small bit of cellophane between the nib and feed to achieve that... Perhaps I should have gotten EF nibs to start with but it works for me.


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell

#19 Honeybadgers

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 21:18

the section on my new visconti divina metro is prone to sucking ink up. I learned this from my last ones. So what I did this time, which is annoying (but worth it to me) was add a tiny lip of silicon grease around the collar, fill the pen, and wipe the grease off. It worked like a charm. Worth it to me to preserve the most stunningly gorgeous object I've ever laid eyes on.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 30 August 2018 - 21:19.

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#20 IndigoBOB

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 22:34

 

Which one? After the blue one I got a clear, which was sort of my grail pen for a long time... It's very nice, but the blue on is special. I'm just glad they make their respective inks, Verdigris and Kon Peki look nice, even though I use a small bit of cellophane between the nib and feed to achieve that... Perhaps I should have gotten EF nibs to start with but it works for me.

 

 

I was initially thinking about the m200 Smokey Quartz, but that preference didn't stick.  

 

I'm not too keen on the Marbled versions.  

 

I don't like the new Olivine m205 that's coming out.

 

I like the Black m200, but I don't need a pen that's so formal.

 

I love the m205 clear demonstrator that's out now.  I think it looks beautiful :wub: .

 

I really like seeing all the ink inside sloshing around, it does the job of an ink window and more, it's fascinating to see the inner workings, and I honestly like the aesthetics of it all together.  I think it has a bare boned elegance and a cohesive beauty TBH.

 

If it came in a Souveran design it would be difficult for me to choose between that and the Clear Demonstrator, but since it doesn't and I don't need it to look professional, I'm going with the Clear Demonstrator.  

 

The next pens on my list down the road are the Lamy 2K-M, Edison EBONITE Menlo-M, and Pelikan m400-800 Souverans so I want to take advantage of the m205 Clear Demonstrator option.

 

The pen itself hits many sweet spots for me and I feel like it is my grail pen for right now and will remain so for quite some time as it did for you.  When I tried it at a pen show it caught my attention instantly, but I was ignorantly dismissive of it for having a steel nib.


Edited by IndigoBOB, 30 August 2018 - 22:39.






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