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Pelikan ups and downs


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#1 gambosen

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 06:20

Some time back (3 years back as a matter of fact) I was obsessed with buying "the best pen for everyday use". Long hours on the internet convinced me that it was a Pelikan M800. The bigger M1000 was a bit outside my budget and there were reports that it was "too big". So in my next trip to Germany, I bought a M800 in blue and black from a site where I got almost an EUR 100 discount from the list price. It was a beauty. The piston mechanism was wonderful and the M nib was fantastically smooth with a tiny bit of flex.

I brought it back to India and all was well till the next summer, when I discovered to my dismay a tiny crack opening up on the barrel where apparently the celluloid (or whatever the striped material was) had a joint. The crack lengthened and finally it started to ooze ink. Although it was well within the guarantee period, I had lost the papers, meanwhile, being so confident of German technology. Finally the pen became unusable, though for a period I used it as a dip pen !!

On my next visit to Germany, I contacted Pelikan and bought a new barrel for another EUR 100 or so. This time I bought the black resin version which did not seem to have any joins or seams on the barrel. I retained the cap and of course the nib of the older pen. So now I have a fantastic black and gold Pelikan M800 with a great nib and a spare broken blue and black barrel which I am loath to throw away because the piston mechanism still works beautifully !!

I am posting this mainly to ask whether anyone has had the same problem as mine. I am now afraid to buy any of these pens made of fancy stuff which may not tolerate the heat and humidity of an Indian summer. I have bought 3 pens since - all black resin and gold.

Surajit
Surajit

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#2 thibaulthalpern

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 07:16

QUOTE (gambosen @ Sep 19 2008, 11:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Some time back (3 years back as a matter of fact) I was obsessed with buying "the best pen for everyday use". Long hours on the internet convinced me that it was a Pelikan M800. The bigger M1000 was a bit outside my budget and there were reports that it was "too big". So in my next trip to Germany, I bought a M800 in blue and black from a site where I got almost an EUR 100 discount from the list price. It was a beauty. The piston mechanism was wonderful and the M nib was fantastically smooth with a tiny bit of flex.

I brought it back to India and all was well till the next summer, when I discovered to my dismay a tiny crack opening up on the barrel where apparently the celluloid (or whatever the striped material was) had a joint. The crack lengthened and finally it started to ooze ink. Although it was well within the guarantee period, I had lost the papers, meanwhile, being so confident of German technology. Finally the pen became unusable, though for a period I used it as a dip pen !!

On my next visit to Germany, I contacted Pelikan and bought a new barrel for another EUR 100 or so. This time I bought the black resin version which did not seem to have any joins or seams on the barrel. I retained the cap and of course the nib of the older pen. So now I have a fantastic black and gold Pelikan M800 with a great nib and a spare broken blue and black barrel which I am loath to throw away because the piston mechanism still works beautifully !!

I am posting this mainly to ask whether anyone has had the same problem as mine. I am now afraid to buy any of these pens made of fancy stuff which may not tolerate the heat and humidity of an Indian summer. I have bought 3 pens since - all black resin and gold.

Surajit


Ah...humidity. I grew up in southern Ghana where it's humid much of the year round and it's hot hot hot most of the time, except during the harmattan season when things get so dried skin cracks and dust (sand from the Sahara desert) gets into EVERYTHING even when the windows and doors are closed. In the humidity, leather would mold and clothing often have a musty smell to it if they were not properly sun-dried. I don't have experience with using fountain pens in Ghana but I can imagine some pens will have problems there.

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#3 lapis

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 13:10

Well, I bought my geen-black-striated model and it's still well. No joints/seams, no cracks, no leaking.
I doubt that humidity has anything to do with it.
But the Pelikan service is absolutely top notch (IMO).

Mike

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#4 penhound

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 17:20

Living in Central Illinois humidity is a major problem, but probably not as extreme as India. But I will have to confess to inadvertently leaving my twelve pen case in my car on more occasions than I actually like to admit. It has suffered through summer heat which in a closed and locked car can be extreme to freezing temperatures below zero over night or longer. In all the years I have never experienced a problem such as you have described.

I have only had two problems with Pelikan pens. 1) the cap knob that hold the pocket clip on has broken off my very first late 1969-1972 M150. The pen was still usable and I recently sent the pen to Chartpak for Pelikan repair and at no cost to me after all these years received back in my hands a lovely repaired black and green 150. 2) My grandson dropped my newly acquired M625 which landed on the top of the cap on the kitchen floor and the force of the impact split the nib section from the barrel. Chartpak replaced the barrel with no problem.

Personally, I would think that any Pelikan (company not dealer) repair service would replace that blue barrel of your as a manufacturing defect. I would think it doesn't matter where you got the pen or where the paperwork is. The fact you have the pen is enough to warrant a replacement. Send it to the closed authorized Pelikan repair facility! Or at least call them and ask about it.

Happy Day!
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#5 FrankB

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 19:08

I do understand your confidence in German technology, Surajit. Sometimes bad things happen to any commercial product, including FP's, and including German FP's. I have never had any trouble with any of my many Pelikan pens. But, obviously, you did. I think it just might be the luck of the draw. I am sorry to hear of your experience. - But I am glad you have your M-800 in back in good condition.

Even without the paperwork, I would have at least tried to have Pelikan work on the problem. You might have spent as much money on postage as you did for the new barrel, but it would have been worth it, to me, to have Pelikan fix the problem. They probably also would like to have seen the barrel to figure out for themselves why the problem might have happened.

I hope you continue to enjoy your M-800. They are great pens, I think.

#6 gambosen

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 04:16

Thanks to all for the advice. I will try to send my broken barrel to Pelikan just to see if they will replace/repair it. It is certainly a rare manufacturing defect and I still think it might have been caused by the thermal expansion of the brass piston inside the barrel which might have been softened by humidity. That particular summer the temperature in Calcutta passed 40 deg Celsius and it was often more than 80 % humidity and I kept the pen on my car dashboard. I need to decide whether to contact Pelikan representative in India or directly in Germany - after all the pen was bought there. Finally I must add that I am extremely happy with the present black and gold avatar of my M800. Actually I like the ink window in this barrel better.

Edited by gambosen, 21 September 2008 - 04:17.

Surajit

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'Tis made by an inverted Saibi Togee


#7 tt32003

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 09:47

Isn't the Pelikan m800 suppose to have brass barrel with celluloid covering ?
So if there is a leak, that means there is breakage in the brass barrel as well, not only in the celluloid.
I've heard lots of stories about leaking Mont Blanc but this is the first time I've heard about leaking Pelikan.

#8 gambosen

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 10:41

QUOTE (tt32003 @ Sep 21 2008, 03:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Isn't the Pelikan m800 suppose to have brass barrel with celluloid covering ?
So if there is a leak, that means there is breakage in the brass barrel as well, not only in the celluloid.
I've heard lots of stories about leaking Mont Blanc but this is the first time I've heard about leaking Pelikan.


As far as I can see it does not have a brass barrel - but it has a brass piston mechanism. The barrel is celluloid or resin. In the black version the whole thing is just one seamless tube, in the striped version it seems to be a piece of celluloid which is rolled up to form a cylinder. It is the seam on this cylinder which came unstuck. The brass piston still functions !!

I was also surprised by this event and blamed it on the weather!!
Surajit

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'Tis made by an inverted Saibi Togee


#9 tt32003

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 13:03

QUOTE (gambosen @ Sep 21 2008, 06:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (tt32003 @ Sep 21 2008, 03:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Isn't the Pelikan m800 suppose to have brass barrel with celluloid covering ?
So if there is a leak, that means there is breakage in the brass barrel as well, not only in the celluloid.
I've heard lots of stories about leaking Mont Blanc but this is the first time I've heard about leaking Pelikan.


As far as I can see it does not have a brass barrel - but it has a brass piston mechanism. The barrel is celluloid or resin. In the black version the whole thing is just one seamless tube, in the striped version it seems to be a piece of celluloid which is rolled up to form a cylinder. It is the seam on this cylinder which came unstuck. The brass piston still functions !!

I was also surprised by this event and blamed it on the weather!!


Now you got me worried.
I'm from Singapore and the weather here is even more humid than India.
And i just bougt 2 M400, one M650, one 250 and one 150 in the last 2 months. My 2 M400s are green and blue stripe ones.
Really hope nothing will happen.
So far I haven't heared anyone here complain about leaking Pelikans so just keeping my fingers crossed.

Edited by tt32003, 21 September 2008 - 13:04.


#10 gambosen

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 05:14

QUOTE (tt32003 @ Sep 21 2008, 06:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (gambosen @ Sep 21 2008, 06:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (tt32003 @ Sep 21 2008, 03:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Isn't the Pelikan m800 suppose to have brass barrel with celluloid covering ?
So if there is a leak, that means there is breakage in the brass barrel as well, not only in the celluloid.
I've heard lots of stories about leaking Mont Blanc but this is the first time I've heard about leaking Pelikan.


As far as I can see it does not have a brass barrel - but it has a brass piston mechanism. The barrel is celluloid or resin. In the black version the whole thing is just one seamless tube, in the striped version it seems to be a piece of celluloid which is rolled up to form a cylinder. It is the seam on this cylinder which came unstuck. The brass piston still functions !!

I was also surprised by this event and blamed it on the weather!!


Now you got me worried.
I'm from Singapore and the weather here is even more humid than India.
And i just bougt 2 M400, one M650, one 250 and one 150 in the last 2 months. My 2 M400s are green and blue stripe ones.
Really hope nothing will happen.
So far I haven't heared anyone here complain about leaking Pelikans so just keeping my fingers crossed.


I think ... IMHO ... and I am not an expert ... part of the problem was the brass piston so if you are not talking of a M800 or M1000 then you are probably quite safe. Also the full black and gold M800 is working fine - it is already one summer old and I dont foresee this problem at all. I just will not buy a striped M800 or M1000 ever - though I may eventually end up buying a black and gold M1000 (unless I decide to spend all my money on those gorgeous ebonite ED fillers from India).

Surajit

....This is a line no one can see
'Tis made by an inverted Saibi Togee


#11 tt32003

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 14:17

QUOTE (gambosen @ Sep 22 2008, 01:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (tt32003 @ Sep 21 2008, 06:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (gambosen @ Sep 21 2008, 06:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (tt32003 @ Sep 21 2008, 03:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Isn't the Pelikan m800 suppose to have brass barrel with celluloid covering ?
So if there is a leak, that means there is breakage in the brass barrel as well, not only in the celluloid.
I've heard lots of stories about leaking Mont Blanc but this is the first time I've heard about leaking Pelikan.


As far as I can see it does not have a brass barrel - but it has a brass piston mechanism. The barrel is celluloid or resin. In the black version the whole thing is just one seamless tube, in the striped version it seems to be a piece of celluloid which is rolled up to form a cylinder. It is the seam on this cylinder which came unstuck. The brass piston still functions !!

I was also surprised by this event and blamed it on the weather!!


Now you got me worried.
I'm from Singapore and the weather here is even more humid than India.
And i just bougt 2 M400, one M650, one 250 and one 150 in the last 2 months. My 2 M400s are green and blue stripe ones.
Really hope nothing will happen.
So far I haven't heared anyone here complain about leaking Pelikans so just keeping my fingers crossed.


I think ... IMHO ... and I am not an expert ... part of the problem was the brass piston so if you are not talking of a M800 or M1000 then you are probably quite safe. Also the full black and gold M800 is working fine - it is already one summer old and I dont foresee this problem at all. I just will not buy a striped M800 or M1000 ever - though I may eventually end up buying a black and gold M1000 (unless I decide to spend all my money on those gorgeous ebonite ED fillers from India).


Metal expands more than celluloid in a hot environment ?
Hence causing a crack ?
How's that for a theory ?
Possible ?

#12 acesfulldc

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 20:04

I must second (or third) the recommendation to send your cracked barrel back to Pelikan for repair. I have only dealt with their service agent in the U.S. (Chartpak), but have to imagine that their other service agents will be equally as good. Just send in the pen, with a note of what is wrong, your contact information, and instructions for where to return it when it is fixed and they should have it back to you, good as new, in no time at all. They have yet to ask me for proof of purchase or any other type of paperwork before performing a repair.

Good luck!
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#13 Rick Propas

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 23:56

I have no official connection with Pelikan and am not an apologist for them, but if I read the poster's description correctly, he left the pen on a car dashboard under glass in summer with an temperature exceeding 40 degrees celsius (105 fahrenheit) and probably far in excess of that inside the car.

And this is a manufacturing defect?

#14 gambosen

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 01:39

QUOTE (Rick Propas @ Sep 23 2008, 05:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have no official connection with Pelikan and am not an apologist for them, but if I read the poster's description correctly, he left the pen on a car dashboard under glass in summer with an temperature exceeding 40 degrees celsius (105 fahrenheit) and probably far in excess of that inside the car.

And this is a manufacturing defect?


Dear Rick, yes it is true. That is why I dont want to call this a simple manufacturing defect straight away. But.. But I assumed that a Pelikan M800 was somehow indestructible!! unsure.gif Since car dashboards, a Pelikan M800, 40 deg C (105 deg F) temperatures and also maybe even stupidity like mine are, perhaps, not really that uncommon rolleyes.gif, I wondered whether such a combination had happened elsewhere in the world before - hence the post. It seems, after all, it was really a singular event. I will be much more careful with my pens now... promise !!

Edit: Just read this post by Alexei on this forum. My destroyed M800 black and blue barrel had a thin and faint but visible line starting just from below the end of the black section to the golden bands of the piston knob. The crack is, of course, on this line. I did not think much of this when I bought it -- assuming this as a natural seam and not a "laceration". Now I wonder. The black barrel, I repeat, has no such line/seam/joint/whatever - also I bought the black barrel directly from Pelikan while the blue and black barrel was bought from a discount website.

Edited by gambosen, 23 September 2008 - 03:29.

Surajit

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'Tis made by an inverted Saibi Togee


#15 KCat

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 17:16

QUOTE (gambosen @ Sep 22 2008, 08:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Dear Rick, yes it is true. That is why I dont want to call this a simple manufacturing defect straight away. But.. But I assumed that a Pelikan M800 was somehow indestructible!! unsure.gif Since car dashboards, a Pelikan M800, 40 deg C (105 deg F) temperatures and also maybe even stupidity like mine are, perhaps, not really that uncommon rolleyes.gif, I wondered whether such a combination had happened elsewhere in the world before - hence the post. It seems, after all, it was really a singular event. I will be much more careful with my pens now... promise !!


They're great pens. They're sturdy pens. But not indestructible. Live in SE Texas myself where temps regularly get near 100F and a car temp can soar to 150F. I never leave any pen, not even my brass-barreled VPs in a car in the heat. Heck, don't do it when it gets "cold" here either. smile.gif Most materials just don't handle expansion and contraction very well. Mix materials (brass + plastic) and I can imagine it being worse. I wonder what would happen if I were to leave a Pel on the dashboard on a summer day, then get in, crank on the AC and let it sit near the vent. I bet I'd have a whole new interior. smile.gif Not gonna test that theory, though.

It's possible that one Pel might survive such heat just fine while another would not just based on very slight differences. But also possible that most pens would not like that heat much at all.

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