A litter bit of background. I have a Lamy 2000, M205 and other pens, but these are the main workhorses for me. So I am going to make comparison to them when reviewing the M800.
I got the demo because a variety of reasons. I always want to look at the construction of a M800 and compare it to Lamy 2000 (L2k). Overall the M800 demo is is a very solid pen.
First let's talk about the cap. It has four parts, the inner cap, outer cap, retainer ring and clip. The inner cap, outer cap, and clip are the same design as M205 and the retainer ring is metal. The retainer ring and inner cap thread together to lock the clip and outer cap. Because the Pelikan logo is directional, unlike MB, for example, there is a notch on the outer cap to index the location of the clip. For M205, the construction of the notch is not as good, as there will be a bit of "play" for movement possible with the clip upon trying to move it hard (despite threading the retainer ring with a medium force), whereas the the clip and notch work together better with the M800. Outer clip has same threading as M 205 (four grooves). Inner cap is not as transparent as M205 though, anybody can confirm the slight translucent appearance? Compare with L2k, the L2k cap has more sub parts, and I would said is more robust.
Let's move to the nib unit, which consist of the nib feed and the retainer sleeve which thread to the section. The nib is medium point and I am surprised at how firm the nib is! Not much flex, but a solid nib. It is also set very well and symmetrical. (For M205, I have to reset it). There are two small notches on the sleeve (similar to 146) but I can unscrew the nib unit by using finger alone, (still my most reliable tool), Despite the gigantic difference in size, L2k, which has a smaller nib and has a name for wet flow, is indeed more wet and has better flow out of the box. I suspect for M800, due to the big nib, it will be better 5, 10 years down the road.
The section appear to be two pieces with the half inch front section friction fit to the back half. The gap traps ink for M205, but not on M800 so far.
Pump unit! smooth, very smooth, like butta! Is it due to the brass part? Notice there is only one brass part, the rest of the piston mechanism is plastic. Yet it is much smoother than L2k and M205. Given the construction, I do not think the brass will necessarily contribute to the longevity of the pen, but it does balance out the pen when uncapped. The brass is reverse threaded to the back section of the pen, opening the blind cap a little bit and it is obvious that one can use a special tool to service it. (If I did not get a demo, I would not have know, now if I get a non demo M800, I know how to open it) Compare with M205 (which is friction fit ), the pump is certainly better. I did not open it, because it is a labeled version and I fear that I may not be able to get it back aligned.
Overall, the only part that may wear down is the plastic seal for the piston, anybody know if it is rubber or silicone and if one can get a replacement? I like to store parts up front.
To conclude, this is my first higher end pen (price wise ) and given the balance of value between each components, it is indeed a well made pen. Compare with 146, I do not know which will be viewed as better constructed?
Edited by fmp, 16 December 2008 - 22:50.