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Buy Pelikan 400N Or Pelikan 400 - Advice Needed

pelikan vintage fountain pen pelikan 400 pelikan 400n

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39 replies to this topic

#1 dinupravin

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 02:23

Dear All,

 

I emailed Rick Propas about buying vintage pelikan 400 and 400N series.

 

He gave good offer for the pens.

 

But i am confused and i am also new to vintage pens.

 

Pelikan 400N is costlier and 400 is cheapest.

 

I have seen no post (AFAIK) on buying 400N in FPN.

 

What is special about 400N than that of 400 or a 400NN?

 

Please advice on whether to get 400 or 400N.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 

 


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#2 carlos.q

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 02:39

Very briefly, the 400N model was produced for only a year so they are rare and thus costly. For the long version I recommend this article:
https://thepelikansp...-pen/#more-1132

By the way, Rick is a great guy and you are sure to get a great pen, no matter which model you choose.

#3 AL01

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 03:35

 Do buy from Rick.

 

 Buying on the 'Bay and elsewhere can be risky, especially for vintage Pelikans.



#4 Misfit

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 03:54

Do use the link to the Pelikan’s Perch. It is a first rate source. The article it links to is an excellent look at the Pelikan 400, the Pelikan 400N(ew) and the 400NN. The N stands for New. I have a brown tortoise 400 that dates to 1954.

The writer of the blog is sargetalon on this forum. He helped me find my 400, after I PM’d him.
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#5 Lam1

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 04:31

As others said, Pelikan's Perch has a great article about these pens.

 

They are both great pens.

But, if you just want a great writer, there is no reason to go beyond the 400 (or a 400NN). 

The only difference from the 400N to the others is cosmetic (and minimal) and, of course, the price is much higher. So, IMO, the 400N is more for hard core Pelikan collectors.



#6 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 14:05

I bought a tortoise 400n on Ebay....it wasn't. @ a year...1956 was 400n.

 

The piston cap is slightly more rounded than the 400's but that is hard to tell really. The real difference is the length of the cap....which is longer than the 400&400nns. That allows the 400n to post to medium-long size like shorter capped the 400nn.

The 400nn is torpedo shaped like the Swam, MB146/9, Geha, some Osmia and other pens, 140. Torpedo was very in.

 

Mine was a '54 transition pen. The basic '50-54 400, has nib size on the piston cap, not on the nib. The 400n&400nn are nib marked sizes.

Mine was nib marked, no marking on the piston cap. There was also marking on the cap ring...that is missing on my older 400's. That is on my 400nn, and to my understanding on the 400n.

 

I'm not going to B**ch.........I only paid E5.00 more than for a 'regular' 400. The light tortoise matches my 500's tortoise.

 

After waiting 9 months for my Grail Pen to show up.....and it didn't I bought a flock of Pelikans.

 

There are often slight variants in the Pelikan pens, as small improvements are made or tried out......


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 14 March 2019 - 14:06.

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,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#7 Seney724

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 15:50

The 400 is a lovely pen.  I have several and they tend to be my "workhorse", every day pens. 

Low and easy maintenance.  A pleasure to use.

 

For whatever reason, I prefer the 400 over the 400N.

 

There are many, many fine sellers with large inventories of these pens.

 

If you are not in a rush and have the opportunity to go to a large pen show (one which is well attended by the international community of pen sellers / collectors) that might be the best way for you to compare & contrast the 400 series pens as well as get a good purchase price on the one you prefer.

 

Good luck!



#8 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 20:14

There are more 'color's to teh 400's than I was aware of until recently.

I personally don't need a 400n, if I could get a few of the 'odd' colors.........but expect them to be out of reach.

 

Now there are semi-flex nibs, and maxi-semi-flex nibs in the 400's....'50-65 era.

There are 15 degree grinds in the Obliques...........I do have a 30 degree OBBB (Eyeball not marked because of the rolled gold piston cap, 500 mine of which is tortoise.

 

I have in 15 and 30 degree obliques in a mix of semi&maxi, in OBB, OB, OM & OF..............pure luck.

I don't have any of them in Pelikan in 30 degree grinds.

 

So what do you want the nib to do??? I think that more important than picking 400/400n/or 400nn.

There are some very nice colors....6-8 colors. Every time I go looking at someones Pelikan Com....I make sure I play the numbers.

Tortoise or not, light or dark, or sea green, some reddish...and that's '50's not the post 97 ones.

 

But if you want a 400n....good luck, Rick has one to sell.....  I did give getting one a try...but knowing it was rare never expected to even give getting one a try....but was very happy with the late model light tortoise 400.


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,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#9 mana

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 20:40

The 400N is great if you are a completionist or a collector. Well, it is a great pen overall but having one only matters if it matters.

 

When it comes to looks I prefer the basic 400, then I suppose the 400NN. 400N is kind of the odd bird in between... functionality and balance/usability wise there are very subtle differences between the three (400/N/NN). I have all of those in Tortoise.

As Bo Bo so often points out, the major differentiator is the nib. The nibs and nib units are all interchangeable between the 400 series pens. In general it can be said that vintage Pelikan nibs are awesome by default but there is a huge gamut of them from EEF to BBB/OBBB, from round Kugel (Ball) nibs to wider stubs/italics and oblique nibs, and from very flexible to stiff, manifold DF (Durchschreibe feder) nibs.

The nib is where the magic lies, or like I've taken to say, the nib is the soul of the pen. For anyone who actually plans to use the pen to express their hearts and minds contents the nib is way more important than any of the differences between the 400 or 400N. So lead with that. If you have any questions on the performance of vintage Pelikan nibs just fire away. :)

Here is some food for thought (especially the first image/chart showing the characteristics of the different vintage Pelikan nibs): https://www.pelikan-...Nibs/index.html


Adopt, Don't Shop! Support Your Local Animal Shelters! - Let's make this world a better place together! Because... now is the only thing that is real...

"Indifference towards people and the reality in which they live is actually the one and only cardinal sin in design." - Dieter Rams
 

EDC: Post WWII green binde Pelikan 100N CI 14K BB, post WWII black binde 100N 14K EEF. INKED: early 70s LAMY 2000 MK, Parker 51 Aerometric F & M, rOtring Art Pen 1.1 & 1.5 mm CI & Woodshed Pen Co. Red swirl 1.1 mm CI... Inks: Pelikan 4001 BB & Turquoise, vintage Parker Quink & Lamy Turquoise. Also, my own mixes. Desk pen: Black Pelikan 500NN with a 14K OF-nib in a bakelite Pelikan pen holder.


#10 Barutti

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 20:52

I fully agree with mana post. The 400N series pens are not better vs 400 and 400NN, they just are rare, because were produce less then year. 

Price difference is x 2.5 times.

So, for 400N value you can get two 400+ one 140 :D



#11 DrCodfish

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 21:01

Something which has net been said; all three versions of this pen are great writers. If you didn't know which you were using, you would not be able to tell by their performance.Yes there are differences as outlined the article written by Sargetalon, but they are much more similar than they are different.  That said, I could not rest until I finally got a tortoise version of all three.



#12 sargetalon

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 01:07

If you are new to the vintage game, then go for the 400 or 400NN.  You won't be disappointed.  You will only spend more on a 400N for what is the same writing experience and very similar look.  All 400 models are great pens.


PELIKAN - Too many birds in the flock to count.  My pen chest has proven to be a most fertile breeding ground.

fpn_1508261203__fpn_logo_300x150.jpg

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#13 dinupravin

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 02:44

The 400N is great if you are a completionist or a collector. Well, it is a great pen overall but having one only matters if it matters.

 

When it comes to looks I prefer the basic 400, then I suppose the 400NN. 400N is kind of the odd bird in between... functionality and balance/usability wise there are very subtle differences between the three (400/N/NN). I have all of those in Tortoise.

As Bo Bo so often points out, the major differentiator is the nib. The nibs and nib units are all interchangeable between the 400 series pens. In general it can be said that vintage Pelikan nibs are awesome by default but there is a huge gamut of them from EEF to BBB/OBBB, from round Kugel (Ball) nibs to wider stubs/italics and oblique nibs, and from very flexible to stiff, manifold DF (Durchschreibe feder) nibs.

The nib is where the magic lies, or like I've taken to say, the nib is the soul of the pen. For anyone who actually plans to use the pen to express their hearts and minds contents the nib is way more important than any of the differences between the 400 or 400N. So lead with that. If you have any questions on the performance of vintage Pelikan nibs just fire away. :)

Here is some food for thought (especially the first image/chart showing the characteristics of the different vintage Pelikan nibs): https://www.pelikan-...Nibs/index.html

Thank you for making me realise that performance of the nib is more important than color or variants. 

 

With this epiphany (thanks for reminding), i can safely buy a 400. 

 

I now move on to nib itself. I prefer Medium nib. Will it flex/semi-flex. Please advice. I am not into calligraphy but need subtle line variations.

 

Thanks again.


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#14 dinupravin

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 02:47

To all of of guys replied here to make me realise my mistake and choose the right pen. thank you one and all. 

 

I am going to buy a 400 because 400NN is bound to have polystyrene collar as read in our forums.

 

For a safer bet, i go with 400. 

 

Again Thank you all.

 

Now i have to decide which ink!!!!

 

Have a wonderful day everyone


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#15 Misfit

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 08:30

The decision is often the hard part. What color is the pen? If you match ink to pen, if we know the color, we can chime in with ink suggestions!

But of course not everyone matches ink to pen.
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#16 mana

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 09:51

To all of of guys replied here to make me realise my mistake and choose the right pen. thank you one and all. 

 

I am going to buy a 400 because 400NN is bound to have polystyrene collar as read in our forums.

 

For a safer bet, i go with 400.

Oh, no mistake would have been made which ever pen you chose! They are both very fine pens and among the best writers there are (In my not so humble opinion). ;)

On the polystyrene collars, I have three 400NN & one 500NN and none of them had those, guess I was just lucky?

Anyway, congrats on your choice, vintage Pelikan 400 is a fine writing companion that will most likely give you decades of faithful service and writing pleasure.


Adopt, Don't Shop! Support Your Local Animal Shelters! - Let's make this world a better place together! Because... now is the only thing that is real...

"Indifference towards people and the reality in which they live is actually the one and only cardinal sin in design." - Dieter Rams
 

EDC: Post WWII green binde Pelikan 100N CI 14K BB, post WWII black binde 100N 14K EEF. INKED: early 70s LAMY 2000 MK, Parker 51 Aerometric F & M, rOtring Art Pen 1.1 & 1.5 mm CI & Woodshed Pen Co. Red swirl 1.1 mm CI... Inks: Pelikan 4001 BB & Turquoise, vintage Parker Quink & Lamy Turquoise. Also, my own mixes. Desk pen: Black Pelikan 500NN with a 14K OF-nib in a bakelite Pelikan pen holder.


#17 carlos.q

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 10:22

With this epiphany (thanks for reminding), i can safely buy a 400. 
 
I now move on to nib itself. I prefer Medium nib. Will it flex/semi-flex. Please advice. I am not into calligraphy but need subtle line variations.

Tell Rick exactly what you need and he will choose a suitable nib for you.

#18 sargetalon

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 12:17

Polystyrene was employed in the early 60s. Ive only had one 400NN with such a collar. I wouldnt get too hung up on that but a 400 is a fine choice.

PELIKAN - Too many birds in the flock to count.  My pen chest has proven to be a most fertile breeding ground.

fpn_1508261203__fpn_logo_300x150.jpg

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#19 Seney724

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 13:02

Tell Rick exactly what you need and he will choose a suitable nib for you.

 

If it were me I'd rather decide for myself.  There are literally hundreds of Pelikan 400s at most pen shows and even more nibs to be fitted on to them.  

 

Likewise, there are many fine sellers who would be happy to help you.  

 

You will learn more about the pens and probably be more satisfied with your nib if you take this route..........and, if it is of any matter, you will probably also save some money.



#20 dinupravin

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 13:27

The decision is often the hard part. What color is the pen? If you match ink to pen, if we know the color, we can chime in with ink suggestions!

But of course not everyone matches ink to pen.

I am not going to ink match the pen. I need the ink color to be either brown or blue-black.


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