This year for the holidaysI decided to treat myself to a tiny Pelikan! There was a seller on amazon offering the 101N for less than $300. I'd been fancying one for a while, but of course they are usually pretty spendy. At that price, though, game on!
The pen is not very large, being the same size as a vintage 100n. I like this size a lot, having a few 400s and other older pens. I have pretty big hands, but love the way the small pens balance and handle when they are posted. I also enjoy larger pens as well, such as my Scribo and M800. I can see the size would be an issue for people who like to write with a baseball bat, but I imagine most folks would enjoy the portability and elegance of one of these in the toolkit. It comes in a posh "I'm so fancy" sort of box:
I worked out the box is actually 130 times the volume of the pen, which seems like a lot. Especially when it doesn't hold very much:
Or, to put it another way:
Hmmmm. One of the things I admire about Germany is the progress they have made on environmental matters. Not so much here.
So, to the pen. Honestly, it's a beauty. Here it is sitting on its fancy box:
Super styley hang-tag!
Here are a couple of details. First the binde, which on mine is perhaps a slightly bluer blue-grey. A very pretty colour with a nice shimmery effect. I can't tell for sure if it's a binde or the body, by the way, but the construction looks really like a vintage Pelikan. If forced to guess, I'd say that it's a cellulose binde over a body made of the same stuff as the ink window. When you look "up" the body towards the piston it is really quite translucent and the binde has that slightly "draggy" feeling I associate with cellulose.
Here is the top of the cap. I LOVE the engraving here (sorry about the fluff in the picture. That was me, not Pelikan!):
Here are a couple of beauty shots!
So how about filling and writing? The piston action is simply superb, smooth and positive. I know people say this all the time, but the Pelikan piston really is the best in the game.
Here's a picture of the nib. It's a terrible picture, but I wanted to show the cool 1940s nib engraving! It looks like the nib is scratched in the picture, but it's not. Just needed a wipe!
The nib was terrific right out the box. Not a lot of line variation, but a nice spring, very smooth, no hesitation, skips or any other naughtiness. It's one of the nicest nibs I've tried in a long time. Here's a writing sample, with apologies for the scrawl:
So there you go. A very elegant, handy little pen, with rock solid construction and really impressive vintage references (and a "free" bottle of ink and a box your cat can live in after you take out the pen).
The cat in the room is, of course, the price. At $500 or €500, this is not a bargain. It's cute, it's fun, it has a lovely nib, but really! For $300 or €300 it's a solid deal, with character, reliability and not a little flair. I'd say that if you were thinking of one, at any price up to $400 or €400 you will feel you got your money's worth and a wee bit more!
Thanks for reading, and take care,