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Pelikan 120 Vintage piston fountain pen


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42 replies to this topic

#1 ranjit

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 03:59

Dear All,

I just came across a Vintage Pelikan 120 piston fountain pen on EBaY. Is it a good pen?
How much will be an appropriate cost for it? It is in an 'as is' condition for sale.

Have anybody bought pens on EBay? I havent..so i ask this to you.

Finally, it is having a 'EF' or a 'F' nib type. not really sure about that. I although prefer the thicker ones..'M' suits me fine.

If i do buy this pen, will it be possible for me to fit a 'M' nib onto it??

Thanking you all in advance,

ranjit.

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#2 piembi

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 20:43

The 120 is the lower end version of the 140.

I do not follow the 120s because I don't like the size of the pen. A 140 can be something between 20-40 Euros. I got a 140 for little more then 20 Euros but normally I am looking for 400s.

Don't know about the 120 but the 140 does take the modern nibs of the M150.
The size of the 120 should be the same but I don't know about the thread.
Maybe Rick Propas can help you with this.

#3 Rick Propas

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 01:54

Yeah, I can.

With all kinds of variations, the 120 is essentially the same pen as the 140, but with an alloy nib. Nibs from the vintage 140s will fit, as will the later Merz & Krell 120 nibs and the M100-M600 nibs.

Watch out, however, for some of the later M&K models as they have different feeds and collars and are interchangeable with nothing in the known universe.

#4 ranjit

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 03:55

QUOTE(Rick Propas @ Jun 5 2008, 01:54 AM) View Post
Yeah, I can.

With all kinds of variations, the 120 is essentially the same pen as the 140, but with an alloy nib. Nibs from the vintage 140s will fit, as will the later Merz & Krell 120 nibs and the M100-M600 nibs.

Watch out, however, for some of the later M&K models as they have different feeds and collars and are interchangeable with nothing in the known universe.


Ok thanks a lot friends!

God Bless!

#5 Pelikanyo

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 20:05

There were three different 120 models. The earliest was a very nice "student pen" similar to the 140, but with a plated nib.
Later in the 70's the Swiss influence of the Mertz & Krell hit. This was a VERY nice pen, with a totally new, and quite flexible, plated nib and comb type feed; unique, as Rick said. Artists love(d) this pen, as the two ink channels in the feed could be widened into one, and the pen could then use inda ink for sketching. Later, the MC120 Deluxe, or "The Pelikan Caligraphy Pen" came with 3 nibs of different mm widths and a tool used to change them while the pen was filled with ink (just kept your fingers clean!). These weren't the greatest nibs, and the pen was kind of a dud. I beleve it later became the M100...with a better nib and feed.

BTW...all 120's only came in green with a black cap...or all black (ahhh...I think.)

Regards!
Pelikanyo Paul

Edited by Pelikanyo, 05 June 2008 - 20:12.

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#6 Pelikanyo

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 20:10

Hey Rick...is it "Merz" or "Mertz"??

Regards!
"Today is, where your book begins...the rest is still unwritten"
-Natasha Bedingfield

#7 werue

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 07:46

Hello Pelikanyo Paul,

it is "Mertz & Krell" .......

Best regards
Werner



#8 Pengrump

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 11:55

Used one of the Mertz and Krell Pelikan 120s in grad school back in the second half of the 1970s. It was the variant sold in art stores that preceded the calligraphy version and was the pen that really turned me on to fountain pens. Through it, I discovered the joys both of piston fillers and of semi-flex. Unfortunately someone knocked it off my desk and stepped on it in 1981. crybaby.gif crybaby.gif I tried to replace it, but the pens I came up with were all the later calligraphy versions with iinferior nibs and pistons that fell apart easily. There really was an enormous difference between those two versions of the pen.

#9 Pelikanyo

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 14:59

QUOTE(Pengrump @ Jun 17 2008, 07:55 AM) View Post
Used one of the Mertz and Krell Pelikan 120s in grad school back in the second half of the 1970s. It was the variant sold in art stores that preceded the calligraphy version and was the pen that really turned me on to fountain pens. Through it, I discovered the joys both of piston fillers and of semi-flex. Unfortunately someone knocked it off my desk and stepped on it in 1981. crybaby.gif crybaby.gif I tried to replace it, but the pens I came up with were all the later calligraphy versions with iinferior nibs and pistons that fell apart easily. There really was an enormous difference between those two versions of the pen.


Yeah...considering it was a "student pen" found on the rack at most book stores, the Mertz & Krell was amazing.
The flex of the nib and flow of the feed were unique. Also, the finish was perfect. It was hard to feel a seam where the piston knob met the body. My favorite feature was the "fat" clip. thumbup.gif

"Today is, where your book begins...the rest is still unwritten"
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#10 ANM

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 15:26

You can tell the difference between the earlier 120 in the 50's and the Mertz and Krell versions by: the newer one had a turning knob a the end of the pen that was flush with the barrel, the cap ring was tapered, not straight and the section has a taper without a flair at the end. The early 120 nibs and the newer ones are not interchangeable. I got turned on to fountain pens when I got one in the 70's. You could get both writing and calligraphy nibs for them. finding nibs for them now days is difficult and the current Pelikan nib assemblies do not fit them. You will pretty much be stuck with the nib it comes with. If you like a broader nib, maybe you should wait for one to come along.

In my opinion, the one design flaw was the dome on the cap was thin and hollow and they tended to crack and then the clip would not work. I made a sterling silver cap dome and glued it on with epoxy when mine broke. I still have it today. As I recall, the ones I have seen lately on ebay in good condition bring around 85 to 125 dollars.
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time. TS Eliot

#11 Jerome Tarshis

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 04:34

Werner Ruettinger knows so much more than I do about German pens, and has been so generous about sharing his knowledge with people who know less than he does, that it distresses me to contradict his recent post. I am truly sorry to do this. I feel wretched. I hope I am correcting a slip of the finger, or Fingerfehler, rather than a mistaken belief.

Merz & Krell is a pen manufacturer related to a sizeable pharmaceutical company, Merz Pharma or some such name. It is possible that some pen dealers, wishing to be kind to ignorant foreigners, or wishing not to hear "Merz" mispronounced by English speakers, have actually used the spelling "Mertz" in cold blood. In the United States I see many respellings of German family names, adopted to avoid mispronunciation by English speakers or in some cases to conceal the German origin of the name.

The corporate Web site, where one may read about the Big Pharma side of the business as well as the pen manufacturer, is http://www.merz.com. Not, alas, mertz.com.

#12 Pelikanyo

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 11:16

Werner's site states:
"This model was produced by the manufacturer Mertz and Krell by order of Guenther Wagner"
"Today is, where your book begins...the rest is still unwritten"
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#13 werue

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 15:43

QUOTE(Jerome Tarshis @ Jun 20 2008, 04:34 AM) View Post
Werner Ruettinger knows so much more than I do about German pens, and has been so generous about sharing his knowledge with people who know less than he does, that it distresses me to contradict his recent post. I am truly sorry to do this. I feel wretched. I hope I am correcting a slip of the finger, or Fingerfehler, rather than a mistaken belief.


Hello,

this was really a mistake of mine. You are right, the name of the manufacturer is MERZ & KRELL located at Gross-Bieberau/Germany. But this manufacturer is as far as I know not related to the MERZ Pharma Concern. Its a company founded in 1920 and wellknown are the pens with the brand name "Senator". Excuse please once more my mistake. I will change also my homepage in the next days.

Best regards
Werner


#14 Jerome Tarshis

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 05:35

Actually the Merz of Merz + Krell is the same family as the Merz of Merz Pharma. The company's own Web site has quite a lot of company history, including at least one page that tells the story of the founding of Merz + Krell in 1920. But the fact of Senator's being part of the Merz group may be found on this third-party Web page:

http://www.answers.c...oup?cat=biz-fin

I do thank Werner Ruettinger for accepting my earlier correction as well as he seems to have done. I didn't mean to be contentious, or to pretend that I am an exigent schoolmaster left over from the Kaisertum.

As it happens, I was employed in pharmaceutical advertising when I was young, I worked on (among other projects) the English-language version of a general cultural magazine published by the manufacturer Hoechst, and I had much opportunity to think of the sometimes labyrinthine corporate structures that brought together diverse German businesses. Those companies weren't quite like Japanese daibutsu, but they certainly had tentacles.

By comparison, this event that resulted in founding what is now the Senator pen company is quite simple.

Edited by Jerome Tarshis, 29 June 2008 - 10:33.


#15 Joe Beamish

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 02:26

Hi all --

I have both versions of the 120 -- I used to use them for drawing, but now want to try them for writing.

What's the best black ink for these? I think I'm more interested in blackness (opacity) than in whether the ink is waterproof.

Thank you,

Joe

#16 Artie

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 03:49

Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black is very opaque.. almost as black as india ink.

#17 Joe Beamish

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 12:58

Thanks. Is the Pelikan ink "dry"? I've been searching the forums for this topic, and have noticed people saying it's "dry".

I'm a total noob, so I'm not really sure what that means. I used to draw with a rather viscous very black ink by Ph. Marten (sp?). It was thickish, and perhaps that is what's meant by "dry". Too dry to write with, really.

My preferred 120 for drawing is the later Mertz (or Merz) model; mine happens to have a stiffish, reluctant piston -- it works, just stiffly -- so I suppose I should have mentioned that I wish to avoid inks that might exacerbate this problem.

OFF TOPIC
I love this forum -- but I think it needs a "for dummies" section covering just the boneheaded basics. How to flush and fill different pens. How to clean them. What to do if...

The repair section is mainly trigonometry and calculus; I'm at the very basic algebra level at best....

QUOTE (Artie @ Aug 1 2009, 11:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black is very opaque.. almost as black as india ink.



#18 soapytwist

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 13:14

QUOTE (Joe Beamish @ Aug 2 2009, 01:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OFF TOPIC
I love this forum -- but I think it needs a "for dummies" section covering just the boneheaded basics. How to flush and fill different pens. How to clean them. What to do if...

The repair section is mainly trigonometry and calculus; I'm at the very basic algebra level at best....

Joe - I've been collecting pens twenty years and am still finding answers to my 'noob' questions when I search for stuff on FPN. There's no such thing as a noob, only an initiate seeking enlightenment. You could ask the same question here two days in a row and get different but useful answers each time...
"Truth can never be told, so as to be understood, and not be believ'd." (Wiiliam Blake)

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#19 tmenyc

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 14:51

I have, and love, a 120 which I bought in a bookstore in 1970, my first week of college after I inadvertently left my Parker 21 at home. I still have both, although only use the 120 on a regular basis. It is a wonderful pen, although since the caps are quite fragile and prone to cracking, I don't carry the pen with me. The M nib is smooth as can be. I tend to use Pelikan black ink in it, although it now has PR Lake Tahoe blue. It has also had Quink black. I've never had a problem with any of them.
Tim

Edited by tmenyc, 02 August 2009 - 14:52.


#20 Joe Beamish

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 16:17

I bet it's a great feeling to continue to own and use an object that came into your life at a magic time: First week of college. That's very cool indeed. That's one of the reasons I enjoy and value things like fountain pens as opposed to everything being disposable all the time.

Nibs. The nibs on both my 120's simply say "EF" for extra fine. But they're clearly different from each other; the older nib is broader and beefier, and the black plastic underside of the nib has furrows or grooves which run in the same direction as the pen itself; conversely, my newer (Mertz) 120 on its nib's black plastic underside (whatever it's called -- the feed mechanism?) has lines running perpendicular to the length of the pen.

What's an M nib?

Both pens are great, though I've tended to spend more time with the newer one (which I understand dates from the 70's).



QUOTE (tmenyc @ Aug 2 2009, 10:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have, and love, a 120 which I bought in a bookstore in 1970, my first week of college after I inadvertently left my Parker 21 at home. I still have both, although only use the 120 on a regular basis. It is a wonderful pen, although since the caps are quite fragile and prone to cracking, I don't carry the pen with me. The M nib is smooth as can be. I tend to use Pelikan black ink in it, although it now has PR Lake Tahoe blue. It has also had Quink black. I've never had a problem with any of them.
Tim

Edited by Joe Beamish, 02 August 2009 - 16:18.







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