Not long ago I had decided I had enough pens and should focus on enjoying them. Then on a whim I bought a Pelikan M120 Iconic Blue with Broad nib and I remembered how nice the smaller Pelikan pens were. My favorite pen is a Pelikan M805 and my m200 and m215 have been sitting unloved for the most part. The M120 works so well for pocket carry it woke the need to get a few more pens. I next bought an vintage 400 with OM nib and while I was waiting for it to come from Europe I just needed to scratch the need for a 100n style pen, but I wanted one with modern materials that I would not have to worry about becoming brittle or celluloid shrinkage any time soon. One of the things that bothered me about m200-m400 series pens is the friction fit piston housing. Like the vintage 100/100n/101n or my m805 the piston housing on this pen unscrews. I have never needed to remove the piston on my m200 that I got back in 2008, but it's a feature that feels right to me. It's just elegant that the pen was built to be disassembled from the cap down to the piston.
So why the m101n lizard? I could have gone with the brown tortoise and maybe some day I would get that, but more likely I would go vintage for similar styled Pelikans now that I have one that I don't worry about being in my pocket on the go.
The nib on this pen is fairly standard modern Pelikan M gold nib. Smooth with out being over polished. Everybody says the nibs run wide but this M puts down a 0.55mm line on Rhoda paper which is half way between fine and medium. It does not take much pressure to bring the line width to 0.8mm, but in my normal writing it stays at 0.55mm. My m805 M writes with a 0.6mm line. I must write with a softer hand then most people to not experience these gold nibs being wider then standard. I have the pen inked with Robert Oster Blue Water Ice and I love the shading I get with this nib. Remember it's also easy to swap a vintage 400 nib into this pen for a different writing experience.
I think the design of the pen is very classy. The lizard pattern reminds me of carbon fiber with it's swirl of different shades of gray. Pictures don't do justice to the depth this material has. The gray ink window is very easy to use. It does hide the ink color but it does not take strong light to see your ink levels. It's like the m120 Iconic Blue in that. The shape of the cap final makes it very easy to remove the pen from a shirt pocket or the pen pocket on my shorts. In pictures it seems too tall but it's not at all in person. This feature is part of why it's my favorite for pocket carry. The cap does not post very deep, but on mine it posts securely. I have medium sized hands and it's easy for me to write with posted or not. I expect people with larger hands would only be able to use it posted, just like a m400.
This is not an inexpensive pen. I was able to get from a FPN user this pen un-inked for $400. I could have gotten an m800 or one of the special edition m600's for less from Cult Pens. I have seen these listed on eBay for much more. You can also pick up vintage 100n's for less money, or in restored condition more. For me it was worth the money. I smile every time I see it sitting on my desk asking to be picked up. It's size and light weight makes it a great pen to carry around when I would have left my m805 on my desk. It being a 175th anniversary edition does not hurt, but also does not stop me from using it.
It's strange the re-introduced m101n's have not gotten a lot of love. It would be cool if Pelikan re-introduced the Magnum model that was a little larger then the 100n it proceeded. Having a slight larger and thicker model I think might have gone over better with todays market.