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  1. Pen Pit Stop : Pelikan Souverän M405 Stresemann Welcome to the Pen Pit Stop. Here you will find reviews of pens that already have some mileage on them. More specifically, these reviews are of pens that are in my personal collection, and that have been in use for at least a year. I thought it would be fun to do it this way - no new & shiny pens here, but battered vehicles that have been put to work for at least a year. Let's find out how they have withstood the ravages of time. The fountain pen that makes it to the pit stop today is the "Pelikan M405 Stresemann". Pelikan is one of the best-known European pen-makers, with a long history dating all the way back to 1832 when the company was founded in Hanover, Germany. The brand offers both semi-entry-level pens (like the M200 series) all the way up to their flagship M1000 model. All Pelikan pens adhere to the same classical style, and as such are immediately recognizable. I bought this pen in July 2017. The pen has a stylish business-elegance, with just enough flair in the barrel to avoid being boring-looking. Mine is usually paired with a nice grey ink. Pen Look & FeelThe M405 Stresemann is an elegant pen, with an anthracite-striped barrel and with the cap, section and piston knob done in black resin. The pen's barrel looks quite stunning with eye-catching black/grey pinstripes. It's this pinstripe pattern that gave the pen its name, which is a respectful nod to Gustav Stresemann, who was Secretary of State of the Weimar Republic in the 1920's. Herr Stresemann was well-known for wearing black/grey striped trousers with a black jacket. He would undoubtedly have appreciated this Pelikan pen. The barrel is semi-transparent, making it easy to keep an eye on the ink-level in the pen. Gold would not look good on this black-accented pen, so Pelikan wisely decided to use palladium trimmings (making it an M405 instead of an M400). Pelikan also dropped the tradional two-toned nib, and opted for a monotone rhodium-plated 14C gold nib. All these pieces complement each other quite nicely, making for a very elegant and beautiful pen. Like all Pelikans, the cap unscrews with about three quarters rotation, so it's quickly ready for action. The M400/405 is a smaller pen, but posts easily and securely, giving it a substantial size that is very comfortable to write with, even if you have larger hands. I've got smaller hands myself, and typically use the pen unposted. For me, this M405 is just the right size and weight (i.e. featherweight). The original F-nib on this pen worked perfectly out-of-the-box producing a relatively wet line. A short while ago, I replaced the original nib with an F cursive italic I got from FPnibs.com. This F-CI nib not only performs flawlessly, but effortlessly elevates my writing to a superior level with its elegant and aesthetically pleasing line variation. My first customized nib, and it's truly a game-changer! The pictures above illustrate the size of the M405 Stresemann in comparison with a standard Lamy Safari. The pen is definitely smaller than a Lamy, but still reasonable in size - not so small that it gets uncomfortable (and if you find it too small uncapped, you can simply post it). Pen CharacteristicsBuild Quality : build quality is excellent. The pen looks really polished and refined. The pen also withstands the passing of time without any problem. After two years of use, it looks good as new. The barrel is semi-transparent, making it easy to judge ink level.Weight & Dimensions : about 125 mm when capped - and as such a rather small pen. It's also definitely a featherweight. If you prefer pens with some heft to them, the M400/405 model will not be your thing. Posted - the pen becomes about 150 mm long, and fits even larger hands.Filling System : this is a piston-filler, that holds quite some ink. The piston is made from plastic, but works really well. Pelikan are known for their excellent piston mechanism.Nib & Performance : the M400/405 Souverän pens have gold nibs. This one comes with a rhodium-plated monotone nib, that really suits the aesthetics of the pen. The nib unit can be exchanged quite easily, and is compatible between the M120/M200/M400/M101N models. Being able to change nibs is a significant plus in my book! Price : about 310 EUR, including taxes. Not cheap, but also not too expensive for a gold-nibbed pen. In my opinion you get value for money. ConclusionMy Pelikan Souverän M405 Stresemann is a beautiful classic-looking pen, that manages to stand out from the crowd with its elegant pin-striped barrel. A really nice pen, that I have now complemented with a really nice cursive-italic nib. Add a grey ink, and you are in writer's heaven! So the answer to the question "would I buy this pen again?" is easy: of course I would! No doubt about it.
  2. Coming from my home base in California, USA - A new discount from paperinkpen.com: Today through next Wednesday I'm offering 20% Off Regular Pricing on all Pelikan Souveran Fountain Pens in Stock Please use code: fpn20 to receive your discount. Discount is taken during checkout. As always California Residents: We Pay Your Sales Tax! Thanks for peeking in. I look forward to serving you. Dave macaddicted Paper, Ink, Pen is a California based authorized Pelikan reseller. Not responsible for typographic errors. Offer is subject to change without notice. Have a nice day!
  3. Posting yet another Pelikan M400 review Have replicated the content with some more pictures in the blog. Happy reading ! Below is a link to the same: Pelikan Souverän M400 Review BACK IN TIME An 180 year old maker of fountain pens and their paraphernalia, coupled with the fact that your collection is rather incomplete without a Pelikan, was enough to provide momentum for my first purchase. Pelikan had launched its first fountain pen back in 1929. As for me, having already witnessed the writing finesse of a steel nibbed M 205, which I had to trade off, it was time to witness the real 14K Gold nib. And of course, these Swiss-incorporated German pen makers are credited with the genesis of piston filling mechanism with a differential spindle gear. It means that the piston knob is also threaded so that it unscrews a bit when the piston moves outward, thus delivering a greater ink-suction. Hungarian engineer Theodor Kovacs is credited with the invention of the original filling mechanism before selling off the patent to Günther Wagner (the man who established Pelikan) in 1927. The M4XX is usually considered to be a logical next step to M2XX. As with the model numbers, there is a general increase in nib size & specs, in addition to overall dimensions, when you move from M4XX to M1XXX. Brass piston fittings in 8XX/1XXX series, render additional weight. The designs of the striped 400/600/800/1000 are pretty linearly recurring over the entire writing range except for several special editions. 405/605/805/1005s refer to the similar pens with silver accents, plated with noble metals (like Palladium or Rhodium), unless it’s a special or demonstrator model. The other model numbers refer to special/limited editions. One such alluring model is Souverän M 625 with sterling silver fittings (Ag 92.5%). And the green-striped M400 embarks the 1929 classical design with a translucent striped barrel. The logos have changed over the years starting from a mother pelican with four chicks to a one-to-one correspondence from 2003 onwards. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Vna3fc34jL0/Vatxew7iggI/AAAAAAAAE6U/M9MvUK-tuXg/s1600/Pelikan%2BLogos%2Bcopy.jpg PRESENTATION The pen comes in a standard G15 gift box, constituted of thick cardboard with dimensions in the range of 20 X 9 X 5.5 cm, in a top-bottom slider configuration. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nu3raQTSS6Y/VatvZMo7P3I/AAAAAAAAE4Y/EWWtcS-G_kw/s1600/DSC_0669.jpg On opening the box, you would at once notice a white synthetic-leather pouch, secured by a brown strap with a plastic emblem, which mimics a wax seal. The pouch contains your pen and there is a separator holding the warranty and catalogue beneath. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NcoO_QhOUAw/VatvWzNzbiI/AAAAAAAAE4Q/VaJGaHas6dQ/s1600/DSC_0850.jpg DESIGN - THE STRIPED TRANSLUCENCY (6/6) The m400 comes in five standard designs, four striped translucencies - Green, Blue, Red, Tortoiseshell White and one Classical Black with a Green Ink Window, across four different nib widths - EF, F, M and B although a custom grind is offered for a italic nib by some of the authorised sellers. The m405s now come in silver trimmed versions of Striped Blue and Black/Ink Window with monotone rhodiated nibs. Personally, I prefer the earlier two-tone nibs on them. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hU7WdN95RIU/VatvwS--x1I/AAAAAAAAE4w/FW91EVl9p_k/s1600/DSC_0933.jpg A touch would unveil the subtle craftsmanship associated in building the writing instrument. Through its light-weightiness, it apparently belies any effort for transforming thoughts into words. The black and green striped shaft has stood the test of time since the 1950s. The barrel made up of extremely smooth pelikan famed ‘cellulose acetate’ with its diamond cut contours, partially revealing the necessities like the piston end or ink level, while concealing the irrelevant ones. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-H3Z3EPmmOUQ/VatwHE4R95I/AAAAAAAAE44/itQB4A9FSoo/s1600/DSC_4476.jpg Light and dark play differently with the barrels, which dazzles your eyes, rather than the lenses. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1zIiWrL7HGk/VatvusLRveI/AAAAAAAAE4o/NiaxZKgWrxc/s1600/DSC_0852.jpg The striped transparent sleeve gleams in gold with ambient light and these effects proliferate with sunlight. The golden radiance is matched throughout the pen starting from the famed finial and the pelican beak (clip) through the concentric bands in the cap finally converging with the piston rings. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-EEq26h9Fqus/VatwRVg7RXI/AAAAAAAAE5I/5ASN8IgzmoQ/s1600/DSC_4478.jpg The cap feels light and unscrews with a single turn, revealing a dazzling two-tone nib. The grip reveals another knot of glitter, towards the nib end. The transparency does reveal the inside works of its piston mechanism. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QhXbrw5dzfk/VatwqCuW_jI/AAAAAAAAE5Y/ZItAwHF10u8/s1600/DSC_4490.jpg Two concentric golden bands with a gold plated crown embossed with the pelikan logo, adorn the cap with a signature pelican beak-shaped clip (with a face!). The thicker one carries the brand imprint of PELIKAN SOUVERÄN GERMANY. A high degree of polish gives it a gleam which can coax the lustre of the gold plated bands. The logo on the finial is the one embraced by Pelikan post 2003, that of a mother pelican and its chick, gleaming in brushed gold or brushed palladium. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EWRZBi0DzIQ/VatxoHkUjfI/AAAAAAAAE6o/ndvoZNfgceM/s1600/cap.jpg The significance of these bands is that somehow they seem to be intrinsically associated with the design rather than just differentiating the aesthetics. FILLING SYSTEM (6/6) A piston filler with a sturdy knob is embellished with two concentric golden loops. Apart from their enchanting looks, like any other pelikan, it's an easy and hassle-free mechanism. The piston end unscrews with three to four rotations and ink is sucked in, with quite a gush, once the piston is screwed back on. And of course, you can observe the thing in action through the striped windows. A plastic spindle connector in the m4XX/6XX limits weight. M4XX fills upto 1.5 mL of ink. However, given the wet flow of the flock, it does not get a long time to use this 1.5 mL. One thing to note here is that these piston mechanisms are not supposed to be dismantled using a wrench. In case of problems other than lubricating the piston seal, it’s better to send the pen to Pelikan Germany/Country Authorized Service Center. Pelikan does have an excellent customer service. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1HYLPTwAYgo/VatwtaPH9yI/AAAAAAAAE5g/DpFL3AXvjVI/s1600/DSC_4516.jpg NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS* (4/6) The nib/feed section is screw-fit and comes in a standard 14k two-tone design across four stock widths - EF, F, M & B. It has the standard pelikan design with the usual convenience of a screw-fit section. Like all its cousins, the nib is exquisite and efficient. With a standard m4xx feed, the nib-section is an ensemble of efficiency and art. And this two-tone finish does converge with the golden trims in terms of both glitter and glimmer. The tail end specifies the nib-width and composition (14 C, 58.5% Au) of the gold-alloy used. Three arabesques diverge along the shoulders of the nib with two of them converging near the circular breather hole. The third curve runs across the tines towards the shoulders ending with the tail end of the nib, outside of which a golden decor runs along the shoulders across the outer tines, before converging onto the iridium tip. There is of-course the dazzling golden mother-baby pelikan logo, resting above the tail. This one in the picture is an Extra-Fine nib and writes smooth out of the box. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nQtpvzkPJHY/Vatwvj0A2sI/AAAAAAAAE5o/3jkz4DSrx2s/s1600/DSC_4532.jpg A standard black plastic feed (earlier ones had ebonite feeds) with closely spaced fins delivers the amazing ink suction allows a good buffer capacity to hold ink with ambient pressure and temperature fluctuations. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1gNx1gskIPw/Vatw-ST1xWI/AAAAAAAAE50/Owq93Xszcx8/s1600/DSC_4540.jpg *My first green striped M400, had a wet yet scratchy nib. No doubt, it drained my entire emotional elation all of a sudden, when I started writing with it. Upon close inspection with a 20X loupe, I found tines misaligned by a considerable extent. But still due to wet flow, it laid a broader line than a pilot 14k medium nib, concealing most of the scratchiness, unless I wrote a looped ‘r’ or ‘s’. The next day, taking the loupe I did spend two hours, routinely lifting the right tine from the middle with my fingernail to align it with the left, although it kept coming back with amazing flex. An hour and a half later, the loupe showed both the tines to be more or less aligned and yes the scratchiness was almost gone. But the inertia of scratchiness still carried on the back of my head. Finally, I sent the nib back for a free replacement. The next m40Xs were gliders right out of the box and needed no such effort. But I did hope a better QC from Pelikan. PHYSICS OF IT (5/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING It does give a comfortable feel to write with the pen with the cap posted. The overall capped length is around 12.5 cm. The total weight of m400 has a third of contribution from the cap and it feels very light without posting the cap. The pen does get some heft from the ink inside the barrel. Uncapped Length ~ 12 cm Posted Length ~ 15 cm Nib Leverage ~ 2 cm Overall Weight ~ 16 g (Cap Weight ~ 6 g) Capped, uncapped and posted comparisons with its cousins - m605 and a m805 go below. A m20X with a steel nib shares the same measurements as a m40X. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Szlbwi8JT7U/VatxFBpMP8I/AAAAAAAAE6A/WI3MKqTWTYQ/s1600/DSC_4556.jpg http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MKRvVUnJtLo/VatxdhNisxI/AAAAAAAAE6Q/yAypHzfnwZc/s1600/DSC_4574.jpg http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YpU6_6F8m_M/Vatxb2Ic7tI/AAAAAAAAE6I/jH4ohE7Ic7s/s1600/DSC_4568.jpg ECONOMIC VALUE (5/6) The m400 retails at around USD 300 - 400, though it might be available at lower street prices. I was able to get the pens at a good discounted price in an online action at the bay, however the subsequent custom duty was high. I would not undervalue this rating by much, because in the end, I do consider the pen a workhorse. OVERALL (5.2/6) These 14k nibs have a smooth and wet flow. The nibs have a slight bit of spring and softness in them, without any noticeable line variation. Being extremely wet writers out of the box, the Fine nib puts a line which takes around 40 seconds to dry on MD Paper (for the Extra-Fine one, it takes 30 seconds to dry a line-width falling between a pilot 14K Fine and Medium nib) http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mm5HUakG460/Vatxmjq1lwI/AAAAAAAAE6g/mae0Bmz9FvI/s1600/DSC_4582.jpg Some of the links which I can happily share : Nib Adjustment, Souverän M 625, Patent, Piston mechanisms, Gentleman's Gazette Thank you for going through the review. Hope you liked it. Edit: Modified with Hari's inputs (Comments)
  4. And again an earthly sinful living being gave in to all his desires and bought another enchanting piece of writing instrument. Also replicated the content with additional pictures in my blog, as the images are/will be reduced to a small thumbnail after a short-while by the image hosting service. Happy reading ! Below is a link to the same: The Sterling Pelikan Souverän m625 As you might already know, Pelikan as a company encompasses a rich heritage of 180 years – in manufacturing inks, pens and stationery (177 years to be exact, you can find a bit of history in a previous post and here). In 1929, it released its first transparent Pelikan fountain pen and was credited with the genesis of the piston-filling mechanism, using a differential spindle gear. However, the first of the silvery m625 models does not come until the next 77 years go by . M625 Pelikan launched the Souverän m625 model in 2006, which constituted of a dark blue resin barrel with rest of the visible hardware - i.e cap, piston knob and grip section, carved out of sterling silver (92.5% silver + 7.5% copper giving the required strength while preserving appearance of the noble metal). It was later followed by an aubergine model and a red model with two variations in the cap section. These had a 18k rhodium plated gold nib. Later, they also released a limited batch of m625s with a red barrel and a 14k nib, for the Asian market. The pen comes in a standard G15 gift box, essentially the same packaging as all the other standard souverän models. DESIGN (6/6) It's an amazingly stunning pen encompassed in a standard souverän series design. Closed, the sterling silver cap and the piston knob dazzle with ambient reflections, while the barrel awaits light to bedazzle you. Once exposed to the visible spectrum, a play of light reveals the inside mechanism like a demonstrator. And it's definitely more spectacular to the eyes than it is to the lenses. The barrel is made up of high grade translucent resin and is resistant to scratches in course of normal use. There is also a thin palladium coating on the sterling silver parts to avoid staining of the pen with time. This was confirmed by the Pelikan team. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/m625/pelm625%20002_zpsro9rdxyp.jpg On unscrewing the cap, you will instantly notice a resonance in design with a glittering grip section wholly carved out of sterling silver, along with a rhodium plated nib. So there is either reflection or refraction of ambient light, rendering the m625 with its characteristic trait. The silvery metallic grip is quite comfortable to hold and does not feel slippery, adjoining the barrel with threads for securing the cap. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/m625/pelm625%20004_zpsvyvlrkoy.jpg Twirls engraved around the sterling silver cap run on its surface gleaming with all possible proximate imagery. A few swirls end near the middle, where Ag 925 is etched in between, granting a somewhat finality of trust to the glitter show.The logo on the finial is the one embraced by Pelikan post 2003, that of a mother pelican and a chick, in a brushed silver finish. At the base, imbibed are the words PELIKAN SOUVERÄN GERMANY, which is common across the range of souverän series. The absence of any differential aesthetics in the cap drives the inherent singularity in appearance. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/m625/1-Cap2_zpszdjywgpt.jpg FILLING SYSTEM (6/6) A piston filler with a sterling silver knob surely distinguishes the m625 from other models in the range. Apart from enchanting looks, like any other pelikan, it's an easy and hassle-free mechanism. The piston end unscrews with three to four rotations and ink is sucked in, with quite a gush, once the piston is screwed back on. And of course, you can observe the entire thing in action. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/m625/1-Piston_zpsdurysgvm.jpg NIB (6/6) – ALL THAT MATTERS The dazzling rhodium plated gold nib with an usual iridium tip is tested by hand, and it comes in four main sizes – EF, F, M & B along one special width – BB (extra-broad). Like all its cousins, the nib is exquisite and efficient. With a screw fit mechanism and a standard m6xx feed, the nib-section is an ensemble of efficiency as well as artistry. And this silvery white finish does converge with the sterling silver grip in terms of both glitter and glimmer. The tail end specifies the nib-width and composition (14 C, 58.5% Au) of the gold-alloy used. Three arabesques diverge along the shoulders of the nib with two of them converging near the breather hole. The third arabesque runs across the tines towards the shoulders ending with the tail end of the nib. There is of-course the dazzling white mother-baby pelikan logo, resting above the tail. This one is an extra-fine nib and writes smoothly out of the box. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/m625/pelm625%20011_zpspf1dqnci.jpg PHYSICS OF IT (5/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING It does give a comfortable feel to write with the pen without posting the cap. The overall capped length is around 13.3 cm. The total weight of m625 has a significant contribution from the cap, which is otherwise quite well-balanced. And yes, a substantial cap does make the pen very top-heavy when posted. Uncapped Length ~ 12.4 cm Posted Length ~ 15.4 cm Nib Leverage ~ 2.3 cm Overall Weight ~ 34 g (Cap Weight ~ 17.5 g)http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/m625/pelm625%20013_zpscecl30yk.jpg While not posted, a length of 12.4 cm is quite comfortable for writing because of a thicker girth and a substantial weight, due to the metallic grip and piston-knob sections, although the piston mechanism is made up of plastic rather than brass. (common across m6XXs) http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/m625/pelm625%20014_zpse6jw0uaa.jpg ECONOMIC VALUE (4/6) Although the m625 retails at excess of USD 700, it is available at lower street prices. I was able to get the pen at a good discounted price in an online action at the bay. I would not undervalue the rating by much, because at the end, the m625 seems more of an art rather than science. As isn't it why we all buy, discuss and share experiences with fountain pens? OVERALL (5.4/6) I adore the distinct red translucent design of the m625 which is embraced with the glistening contours of sterling silver. This pen is blessed with a smooth extra-fine (EF) nib which delivers a thin but a very wet line. The line width closely resembles a Pilot 14k-FM nib. For a relatively dry Pelikan Royal Blue ink, it takes around 12-13 seconds to dry. I could not find any line variation with horizontal and vertical strokes for this one. And yes, nib's a nail too, when it comes to flex. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/m625/pelm625%20012_zps8dlyfwz1.jpg Hope you enjoyed the review. Thank you for your time. Best, Sonik
  5. I Like the size and weight of Pelikan M405. I already have a Pelikan M400 but I decided to get M405 as well. I am undecided should I get M405 or M205 upgraded with a gold nib. I heard that the only difference between M205 and M405 is the gold nib. If that is the case I can get M205 with a gold nib for £130. M405 will cost me £180. Are there any other difference apart from the nib, to justify the extra £50?
  6. My first review posted on FPN, was of this pen. I wanted to give this pen another look with relatively more experience with other pens. Here is a link to my blog with some more pictures: The Sailor Pro Gear 2 (Sigma) Slim So here goes a rather detailed review. PRELUDE After bidding adieu to my only Sailor fountain pen - a stunning 1911 Profit Standard in Navy Blue colour, dazzling with golden accents with a broad 14k nib, I was constantly missing a Sailor. It was not that there was a dearth of good pens. For all good reasons, I believe that these Sailors are a great piece of workmanship as far as design, build and quality of materials are concerned. However, my romance with Sailor Pens was rather an one-sided affair, as far as their nibs were concerned. Not once but for five consecutive times, I had gone for a return. Thanks Raul & Engeika. With a strong feeling for a sixth luck since it corresponds to my birth number, the urge for a Sailor was getting bolstered with each passing day. And then, giving in to my temptation, I went for the newly launched Pro Gear 2 or Sigma ∑ Series, which kind of fulfilled my criteria of being a Sailor as well as having a two-tone nib. THE SAILOR STORY In 1911, Mr. Kyugoro Sakata, an Engineer from Hiroshima, Japan, was introduced to the fountain pen by friend, who was a British sailor. He was so intrigued by the design and function of a fountain pen that he started a company to craft fountain pens among others. In honour of his British friend, he chose to name the company as Sailor Pen. Henceforth, the Sailor nibs carried an imprint of 1911, the foundation year. Today, the Sailor pens come mostly in a classic cigar design (KOP, 1911) or a tapered cigar cut (Pro Gear), excluding a few like Reglus, Somiko among others. In 2013, Sailor changed the classical Pro Gear design to appeal to modern tastes of the 21st century folks, at least this is what their marketing campaigns said. There was a visible change in design of the clip and the logo on the finial. And I admit, I never could find a connection of Pro Gear ‘Sigma’ with the eighteenth letter of the Greek alphabet. Finally when I asked Sailor, it seemed their intent was to create another luxury segment out of their already successful Pro Gear/ Sapporo Series with an enhanced nib/design. The Sigma nomenclature was originally aimed for the domestic Japanese market. For the international markets, Sailor renamed it as Professional Gear II when Sigma did not gain enough foothold. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--0VIcGpyMHc/VbNiVLxVMcI/AAAAAAAAE9U/7krtTKGLjiQ/s1600/Sigma%2BBrochure.jpg PRESENTATION The pen comes in a beautiful blue gift box, packed with two black cartridges, a converter and a user manual. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bFUnosPl0Sg/VbNhfFQ5AOI/AAAAAAAAE74/OGqZwpvneyM/s1600/DSC_4612.jpg http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-US6RHlmzw08/VbNh3ze_xtI/AAAAAAAAE8I/cfzNjzbD6HU/s1600/DSC_4614.jpg DESIGN - THE TAPERED CIGAR (5/6) The Pro Gear II (or Sigma) Slim comes in two standard designs - Gold Accents and Silver Accents. They also feature corresponding ballpoints and mechanical pencils. The build is remarkably sturdy without addition of weight. It is made up of PMMA resin or Polymethyl Methacrylate which was developed by a group of scientists in 1928. PMMA is easier to mould with heat. It’s actually transparent when synthesised from petroleum and therefore dyes are added to impart colour. Besides, it’s resistant to normal scratches with a hardness of around 4 in Mohs scale. So you would probably need iron or steel to make a bad enough scratch on it. The pen is 0.6 cm longer compared to the Sapporo Slim with an increased taper at either finials. The lustre of the pen is rendered chiefly by nickel-chrome plated accents (it’s not rhodium), though the resin does have a gleam of black shine. A thin layer of chrome plating over bright nickel coat makes the surface resistant to common corrosion by air or water. The rings at either ends along with the clip and cap bands deliver the dazzle. Apart from the thick clip, the pen does have an understated look. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZkQoi8ApkLQ/VbNiAB3SBfI/AAAAAAAAE8Q/ZR-rzuu7enQ/s1600/DSC_4618.jpg The cap feels light and unscrews with two complete turns, revealing a grand two-tone nib. There is a loop of glitter from the metallic threads, which marks a start for the grip section. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kr9Yq30MIX0/VbNiGHhrxzI/AAAAAAAAE8Y/tFoU4g4VxzY/s1600/DSC_4622.jpg The cap band carries an imprint of SAILOR JAPAN FOUNDED 1911 and has a thin loop just above it for the pure aesthetics part. The finial carries a distinct anchor logo within a dome of transparent acrylic. A much-debated anchor embedded inside its tension-fit clip, has also got wider proportions in terms of size when compared to the earlier clip. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2P2X8vubO7Q/VbNg-kdqP7I/AAAAAAAAE7Y/cEupnOlxGRQ/s1600/Cap.jpg FILLING SYSTEM (4/6) As a CC filler, the supplied convertor is limited by a volume of 0.6 mL. It does give an advantage to frequent ink-swappers or you can use cartridges. The barrel unscrews from the grip section with eight turns with an usual metallic thread section on the grip. The resin barrel is directly threaded on its insides. The nib and the font part of the grip have to be completely immersed inside ink to get a proper suction. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8zVSLm1vzYY/VbNiUCZl3_I/AAAAAAAAE9c/F8j-R5rj3NA/s1600/DSC_4624.jpg NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (5/6) The nib/feed section is friction-fit and comes in a 14k two-tone design across three stock widths - F, M & B. Sailor does make absolute stunners here. The silver accented one carries a rhodium coated nib adorned with a band of gold and it's vice versa for the gold-accented one. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eDnHWBZk1PI/VbNiU_aJ5bI/AAAAAAAAE9Q/yNUP0jVtOek/s1600/DSC_4691.jpg The tail end carries the brand imprint of Sailor with the traditional elongated S and the nib-composition (14 C, 58.5% Au) rests above it. 1911 and the Anchor logo are embossed above, towards the circular breather hole. A band of golden decor runs in between the body and its shoulders which enhances the decor. The size H-M (Hard Medium) is imprinted on one of the faceted shoulders. The nib lays a wet and fine line, writing quite smoothly for its sweet-spot. While writing, it does produce a distinct sound when the iridium tip touches the paper. A slight rotation changes the tip angle and makes it toothy. Between, I have never seen any Soft nibs from Sailor. (S-M or S-F) http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DjmsHGg92o0/VbNiMvWel7I/AAAAAAAAE8g/JkibXWoh5wY/s1600/DSC_4682.jpg A standard black plastic feed with closely spaced fins allows a buffer capacity of ink and even with the cap open for a while, it does not take any effort to lay a nice wet line. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sHwdlXpT-U0/VbNiRWQUdXI/AAAAAAAAE8o/IWexwzrqkt8/s1600/DSC_4690.jpg PHYSICS OF IT (5/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING The cap needs to be posted, else the pen seems to lack both length and heft. The grip section is about 1 cm thick and provides a decent level of comfort, while writing. Uncapped Length ~ 11.3 cm Posted Length ~ 14.5 cm Nib Leverage ~ 2 cm Overall Weight ~ 17 g (Cap Weight ~ 7 g) Capped, uncapped and posted comparisons with a pelikan m405 run below for your reference. A pelikan m4xx is apparently shorter than the PG2 Slim, but only when capped. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0QdmKdFql1s/VbNhFf_WRHI/AAAAAAAAE7g/8PiK0Fi_is8/s1600/DSC_4598.jpg Uncapped or posted the m4xx is a good 0.5 cm longer than the PG2 Slim. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wAdXxCvzFx0/VbNhY1uSSGI/AAAAAAAAE7w/wNMxU6M9Mu0/s1600/DSC_4602.jpg http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-v-1wPUxCGRQ/VbNhjpiIjYI/AAAAAAAAE8A/Th2qsyapUHc/s1600/DSC_4606.jpg ECONOMIC VALUE (6/6) The Pro Gear Slim retails at around US$ 200, though it might be available at lower street prices. I was able to get the pen at around $ 145 from Engeika’s Indian arm. I feel that it’s a good value for money pen. OVERALL (5/6) This stunning 14k nib is smooth at a normal angles with a pretty wet flow. There is no noticeable line variation between the horizontal & vertical strokes. A slight rotation changing the tip angle makes it feel toothy and a little more change makes it scratchy. The nib is a H-M (Hard Medium) nib and is like a nail. There is a slight bit of spring and an absence of any perceptible softness with this nib. Even being a wet writer out of the box, the Sailor Medium nib puts a line which takes around 15 seconds to dry on MD Paper. Ink used was Sailor Sky High. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CzLlyEaY4_k/VbNhJBdp0pI/AAAAAAAAE7o/yW3ca4Z77u4/s1600/DSC_4594.jpg REFERENCES Sailor History PMMA Resin Hardness Scale Thank you for going through the review.
  7. Hello. I am currently struggling between two choices. My budget would allow me to purchase one of these two pens: Pelikan M405 (blue stripes with rhodium trims) or Pilot Heritage 912 (FA nib). For the moment I own three Pilots already: Justus 95 (FM nib), Custom 823 (F nib) and a matte black VP (F nib) (with two Platinum 3776 and three Lamy). I’ve never seen nor tried a Pelikan before, so I’m very curious about it, which is the main reason why I’m considering the 405. From the photos the silver trim with blue stripes looks quite marvellous, although I don’t know whether it would be really as beautiful in my hands. The piston filler is another attraction as well, I've never had a piston filler pen. The 405’s size is a bit too small for my taste, and I am not ready to spend more on a 605 or 805. As for the nib, it is said the Pelikan nibs don’t always have the same behaviour, and that the quality varies from one another. I am accustomed to Japanese finer nibs, so I’m not sure whether I will like Pelikan’s nib. About the Pilot 912, I very much like to try the (semi-)flex FA nib (also found on 742 and 743). I’d like to write with a bit line variations and sometimes try some Copperplate (totally novice here). I have a Justus 95, but it’s an FM nib so the hairlines are not really fine enough, and it’s said the FA nib will offer a little more flex. I quite like the look of 912, especially the rhodium finish. (The reason why I would not consider a 742 (albeit the same price) is that I don’t really like the ‘gold/black’ decoration, and that it looks basically the same as my 823.) So 912 looks nice enough for me and its size is ideal. So what do you think? Same say that the Pelikans are not exciting enough. Shall I go and try a new brand and a new filling system (piston) for me, or should I stay in the camp of Pilot and go for the seemingly attractive FA nib? Both have pretty much the same price here in China, the 405 costing about 8 dollars more. Any idea or suggestion is welcomed! To sum up a bit: Pelikan M405: Pros: looks nice, piston filler, a new brand for me Cons: a bit too small, not sure about nibs Pilot 912: Pros: ideal size, looks nice too, FA nib for line variations Cons: yet another Pilot
  8. jtadcock

    My First Pelikan

    I received my first Pelikan today, a blue M405 with a fine nib. The pen is absolutely wonderful and I love it completely. The deal I got was quite good (well under $200 brand new) and I bet I’ll be getting more in the future. The pen writes exceptionally well, much better than my other two “real” fountain pens, a fine Lamy Safari and a Noodler’s Ahab. So smooth! So incredibly smooth! I love it! Now… I have to find a way to adapt my writing requirements and habits to better facilitate the use of this fine writing instrument. The fine nib writes a very pleasing medium-fine line on my good paper products… Rhodia and Clairefontaine. At work, however, it is a different story. The lines are quite wide and the ink bleeds more than it does with my Lamy on the cheap lowest-bidder copier paper we have to use where I work. I’ve put Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue in the new M405 (Pelikan ink in a Pelikan pen! I know it is silly, but I’m a bit OCD about things like that!). Based on reading through various threads here and on other sites, I know that 4001 is a “dryer” ink and can help to tame the wet feed in the Pelikans. If I’m still not satisfied with the ink behavior on the cheap paper at work after this fill of 4001 is gone, I’ll try some Salix… that is the only other ink I know of that might be a bit dryer--and the IG ink will most likely perform better on the cheap paper. The Safari really disliked the Salix for some reason… the feed was very, very dry, especially on downstrokes. It was so bad the pen was basically unusable. Any tips and/or tricks to help get my lovely new pen working better in a less than ideal environment? Or any new Pelikan stories or experience? I love this little beauty!

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