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  1. After a long & strong fight with the penavarice-devil , I finally gave in and bought a GvFC Intuition. I went with the 'terra' - the red-orang-ish barrel. I have also replicated the content with some additional pictures in my blog as the images are reduced to a small thumbnail after a short-while. Below is a link to the same: Graf von Faber-Castell Intuition Review Here goes a review of the same: The Intuition With a covetous eye on this pen, since the time I had got my FCD Ambition and then an orange coloured Ondoro fountain pen, it indeed required lady luck's blessings, to get this one at a steeply discounted price. I must say, that there was already a strange sense of loss of colours, after I had given both of my orange coloured fountain pens away - Ondoro (mint & boxed) and later the Pelikan m205. And this was an appropriate treatment for my colour blindnesshttp://lh5.ggpht.com/-a-Tba4pAIVk/VPfDFXW0uAI/AAAAAAAAEBE/0lhEVc5hixI/wlEmoticon-rainbow2.png?imgmax=800. Coming to the Faber-Castell Design(FCD) and the rather luxurious Graf von Faber-Castell(GvFC) line of pens, I must say that they have been able to splendidly highlight the art of convergence of design and utility. The Intuition pen comes in six lines of resin-based designs and two(earlier three) lines of wood-based designs. The wooden designs are called Intuition Platino Wood which is an enhanced intuition design altogether, be it the fluted wooden barrel or the platinum plated cap or an extra-large and more exquisitely designed bi-colour nib. And, it naturally places them in a more premium segment http://lh3.ggpht.com/-xbUGfrYQ50k/VPfDGkDN4aI/AAAAAAAAEBM/SJueZw-VO6s/wlEmoticon-surprisedsmile2.png?imgmax=800. All these design lines come with a fountain pen (with 6 to 7 different nib widths), a roller ball, a propelling pencil (0.7mm) and a ballpoint pen. Presentation (6/6) It’s a chamois-coloured gift box with top and bottom wooden linings, which secures itself by a magnetic catch within the two folds. There is the pen resting in a cardboard box within a chamois-coloured linen bag, which carries the Graf Von Faber-Castell name and their coat-of-arms logo. I someway like the linen, bag because of its differentiated appeal, though not from an utilitarian perspective. There is also a warranty leaflet-cum-manual, which states a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects and assures services, in case any need for repair arises. Then, it also illustrates refilling the entire range of GvFC pens and other stationery. http://s25.postimg.org/pcc1oi7n3/Gv_FC_001.jpg Design (6/6) The Intuition range comes in six variants (terra - orange, ivory – off-white/fluted, black - black/fluted/metal cap) with six different nib sizes – EF, F, M, B, OM and OB. Only one of these variants comes with a platinum plated metal cap with a shiny black barrel. Coming back to the pen, once you take it out, it surely looks like a compact enchanting piece of art. A high gloss sheen of the of the barrel and the cap reflects back quite a bit of light. Complementing this sheen, are the dazzling platinum plated trims of the pen. http://s25.postimg.org/u4qwx28mn/Gv_FC_009.jpg On pulling the cap off, you would initially notice the singularity of the barrel, a section sans joints. It’s made out of a single piece of resin, in this case reflecting the colour of earth or ‘terra’, gleaming with an orange smile. At the top end of the barrel, is a twist-metallic crown, which disengages the bi-tone nib section and converter system, from the rest of the body. I just love this element of design! The knob is embossed with the coat-of-arms logo, on the finial. Usually the coat-of-arms logo is used in GvFC pens and FCD pens(Ambition, Ondoro, e-motion) carry the jostling knights logo. Traditionally coat-of-arms is said to represent full-achievement in a heraldic tradition. GvFC has quite a bit of design superiority over the other FCD pens. Towards the nib end, the singular barrel narrows down to a slightly concave section to form a comfortable grip. Despite the glossy and smooth finish, the pen has a subtle but non-slippy grip section. The cap is engraved with GRAF VON FABER – CASTELL, encircling the metallic finial insert which again bears another coat-of-arms logo with its platinum sheen. The cap band says GRAF VON FABER – CASTELL on one side and on the other end it's HANDMADE IN GERMANY. ‘Handmade’ because there are over a hundred steps in the entire manufacturing process of this pen, a majority of which are carried out by hand. The clip on the cap carries the gleam of platinum with a highly efficient and visible spring loaded system. http://s25.postimg.org/xcqcczokv/1_Gv_FC.jpg Filling System (6/6) Once the crown of the barrel is rotated anti-clockwise to disengage the nib & filling system, you would notice a rather classical CC filler system. The nib has a screw fit, and inserts into a metallic sleeve like most of the Faber-Castell fountain pens which I have seen. The nib sleeve has threads which synchronize with threads on the inner barrel, both ending up with an octagonal cross section. The converter has a metallic premium band which friction-fits into the nib section though it does not fit a FCD Ambition section. However, the Ambition converter fits in the Intuition nib section. The converter has a reasonably high capacity of 0.8 – 0.9 mL, and the ink does last for quite a while! I usually have a bias towards piston fillers, but I do appreciate the Faber-Castell converter capacity. http://s25.postimg.org/xgk5t8u27/2_Gv_FC.jpg The nib section carries a six-digit number which denotes the date of manufacture, which I did confirm with the Faber-Castell team. Mine says 011210, which would mean it was manufactured way back on 01-December-2010.http://lh3.ggpht.com/-4LhAicXcVUM/VPfDJ9JciiI/AAAAAAAAEBk/kRvZ6XhRsSM/wlEmoticon-peace%25255B2%25255D.png?imgmax=800 Nib (5/6) – All that matters The 18k bi-tone nib comes in four main widths – EF, F, M & B and two special widths – OM (left) & OB (left). The tail end specifies the nib size and composition (75% Au , 18 ct) of the alloy used. A white rhodium decor occupies the outer tines converging with the iridium tip, while the inner part circumscribing the breather hole gleams golden with engraved stripes. There is a dazzling white coat-of-arms logo resting just above the tail-end. This one is a fine nib and writes quite smoothly with a 'minutely minute' hint of feedback when I use relatively drier inks. It lays down a wet albeit fine line, which will be covered in the last section of this review. With a rather curved shoulder, the nib does portray an apparently smaller size even if it’s quite similar to the size of the relatively flat Ambition nib. [minus 1] http://s25.postimg.org/yhkeidb1r/Gv_FC_008_wb.jpg Below is a comparison to the FCD Ambition (non-premium) sections. You can check the differences between the two converters, the Intuition has got some metallic embellishment. They do use a similar feed. http://s25.postimg.org/fnylldctr/3_Gv_FC2.jpg Physics of it (4/6) – relatively speaking With a cylindrical body of 1.2 cm diameter, it does give a comfortable feel without adding too much weight. The capped length of 12.5 cm is quite similar to a Pelikan m400. In short, it is quite a compact pen when compared to an MB146 or even a thinner Ambition, for that matter. And a compact pen, can have its advantages along with some disadvantages. The weight of this pen has a significant contribution from the resin cap. http://s25.postimg.org/93vtf0ysv/Gv_FC_017.jpg Uncapped Length ~ 12 cm Posted Length ~ 15 cm Nib Leverage ~ 2 cm Overall Weight ~ 29.4 g Uncapped, it’s quite similar to the m400 but slightly shorter than the Ambition. The loss of weight and length is somehwat balanced by the wider grip section, if not completely. http://s25.postimg.org/g9nkhh7vz/Gv_FC_018.jpg Alternatively, you can post it and it’s similar to a posted m400 with a slightly top-heavy configuration. However, I feel comfortable to use it both posted and unposted, although I never have shared the same feeling with Ambition. http://s25.postimg.org/hant6lovj/Gv_FC_019.jpg Economic Value(5/6) Although pen retails around USD 600, it is available at a street price of around USD 430. With end of season clearance sale, I was able to get the pen at a good discounted price (around 50%). Overall (5.3/6)I feel loved by the design and exquisite appeal of this pen on an overall scale, whenever I write with it. No skipping or hard starts right from the beginning, it was quite smooth out of the box. With a stiff nib, it delivers a wet (not broad) line, with the fine nib. The line width closely resembles a Japanese FM nib. For a pelikan 4001 brilliant green ink, it takes around 12-13 seconds to dry up. You may not notice any line variation with horizontal and vertical strokes for this one. http://s25.postimg.org/bp1e2jo6n/Gv_FC_020.jpg It was fun reviewing the intuition. Hope you enjoyed reading it. Thank you for your time. Awaiting your feedback on the intuition... Best, Sonik
  2. Pen Pit Stop : Pelikan Souverän M400 White Tortoise 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 enters the pit stop today is the "Pelikan M400 White Tortoise". 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 a broad range of fountain pens, from the semi-entry-level 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 January 2017, and it was my first "expensive" pen (after the Lamy Safari and AL-star). This pen simply enthralled me with its beauty, and I had been oogling it for some time. I finally caved, and decided to get it as a New Year's gift to myself ;-) Pen Look & FeelThe M400 White Tortoise is simply a beautiful pen, with gold accents that nicely complement the white body. But the true beauty of this pen comes from the "binde", which is just stunning with breathtaking yellow-gold-orange-honey stripes. The whole fountain pen radiates class and elegance, from the detailed engraving of a mother pelican & chick on the cap's finial, to the beautiful two-toned golden nib. True pen-candy ! I had some initial fears that the white resin of the pen would acquire ink-stains - after all, this is a piston-filler that you stick into the ink bottle. But that doesn't seem to be a problem. Of course, I respect my pens and make sure to wipe them clean after filling them from the bottle. After more than two years of use, my M400 looks good as new - and I intend to keep it that way. Like all Pelikans, the cap unscrews with about three quarters rotation, so it's quickly ready for action. The M400 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, the M400 is just the right size and weight (i.e. featherweight). If you like larger and heavier pens, this model will not be for you - in that case you should probably look at the M800 pens (which are larger and also heavier due to the metal used for their piston construction). The gold nib on my pen is an M-size, which writes really wet, and looks more like a broad. This is typical for Pelikan nibs, which tend to be a size larger than their designation. The modern nibs are often referred to as nails, but that doesn't really bother me. Having no hands-on experience with vintage flex & semi-flex nibs, I just don't know better ;-) The pictures above illustrate the size of the M400 White Tortoise in comparison with a standard Lamy AL-star. 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. Of course - because of the white colour - you should take extra care, and wipe off excess ink after filling. 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 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 generally known for their excellent piston mechanism.Nib & Performance : the M400 Souverän pens have gold nibs. The one on my White Tortoise is a beautiful two-toned M-nib, that is a wet writer. You should be aware that Pelikan nibs are typically a size larger than their designation. My M-nib definitely writes like a broad. I quite like that you can buy the Pelikan nibs separately. If you accidentally damage your nib, you can simply buy a new one. I also like that the nib units are interchangeable between the M120/M200/M400/M101N models. Price : about 280 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 M400 White Tortoise is a true beauty with tons of elegance. I can still stare for minutes at the reflection of light in the binde. Truly amazing. I truly loved the pen the day I unboxed it, and it's still one of my favourites today. So the answer to the question "would I buy this pen again?" is easy: of course I would! Without hesitation!
  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. Is anyone picking up one of these? If I didn't already have the M600, I would definitely grab one

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