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Pelikan M200


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Review of my Pelikan M200

So, after lurking around for quite some time, it's time for my first review (please be gentle with me... :blush:)

The Pelikan M200 was my first serious fountain pen, I got it from my mother as a gift when I switched schools. I went to school in Germany, so a fountain pen wasn't that big of a deal, but this black-golden piston filler sure was something different. This was about 22 years ago...

The pen was my workhorse back then and it shows, clip broke off, cap has a few cracks, the barrel has scratches all over it. I dropped it a few months ago and that was the moment I decided to retire it and buy a new one. It arrived today and after a short flush and test it seems to has all the good things which made me love the first one.

Good moment for a review, isn't it?

My scanner isn't working like it should, so it's crappy photos..


  1. Appearance & Design (8/10) - A Timeless Classic
    A Pelikan piston filler in black with golden accents, it won't get any more stereotypical and classy than this. This M200 is nearly the same as my old one. On top of the cap is a small plastic nubbin with the Pelikan logo, then comes the golden clip which is shaped like a pelican bill. At the end of the cap is a golden band with the text "Pelikan Germany".
    The pen itself has a gold-plated nib, engraved with the Pelikan logo, the word "Pelikan" and a letter indicating the size. For the rest it's a simple black barrel with a green, translucent ink window and then the filler knob which is separated from the barrel with a gold band.14259022363_c86de6781b_c.jpg
  2. Construction & Quality (8/10) - It's a Pelikan...
    This pen oozes quality, yeah it's small and light, but still manages to feel solid and like something which can stand some abuse. The barrel and ink window are seamlessly connected, like it's made from one block of the same material. I like the threading of the caps, there are 4 in there. I mean when turning the wrong way, the cap will 'click' 4 times with one turn. So when tightening the cap it always seems to go with the same short motion.
  3. Weight & Dimensions (6/10) - Light & Small
    This is a very small and lightweight pen, similar to a TWSBI mini. I have small hands (at least for a 6.2" guy...) and the pen is just large enough when unposted. Posted it should be ok for most people and because of the lightweight cap it doesn't become top heavy. But for people in search of something substantial this isn't the right pen.
  4. Nib & Performance (8/10) - Wet and Springy (for a steel nib)
    Both my M200's have medium nibs. The 200 has a gold-plated steel nib which has a bit spring to it. Springy-wise it feels similar to my Vanishing Point which has a 18k gold nib. Writing with a bit more pressure gives very slight line variation, but this doesn't feel right to me. The nib is pretty wet, at least with Waterman ink and smoothness is ok. I prefer really smooth nibs like the aforementioned (binderized) Vanishing Point and the Pelikan gives a bit more feedback than what I prefer.14259021173_6896a60670_c.jpg
  5. Filling System & Maintenance (7/10) - A Classic Piston Filler...
    More or less my favourite filling system, the piston filler. Easy to fill, good capacity and for me it's a filling system I associate with quality. It's relatively easy to clean and the nib and feed unit unscrews which I find pretty amazing. The piston mechanism is clicked into the barrel and its not really possible to remove it without damaging the pen, so it's a far cry from the serviceability a TWSBI pen offers.
  6. Cost & Value (7/10) - it's ok-ish....
    I bought this pen for 64,- Euros from ebay, which is ok, but officially this is more like 90,-, which is quite a lot more than a TWSBI 580 or the TWSBI classic. Yeah, it's a Pelikan and everything, but the official retail price is bit much. For me it's worth it, I got more than twenty years of heavy (ab-)use out of the first one... ;)
  7. Conclusion (44/60) - ​A lovely small pen which won't disappoint you
    I think the M200 is a classic, nothing about it is spectacular, but it's more than just the sum of its parts. A steel-nibbed, plastic piston filler shouldn't be much to write home about, but this little guy has never let me down and I still love to pick it up :wub: and write with it, despite the Lamy's, TWSBI's, Pilot's, etc, which I also have available.

I hope this was somewhat helpful and/or a nice read. If you have feedback, questions, criticisms please let me know. Other M200 users are welcome to give their experience.

Edited by Gaslight

What a strange world we live in, where people communicate by text more than ever before, yet the art of proper handwriting is seen as a thing from the past.


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I've been considering an M200 and your review has encouraged me to I think put my money down on one. I've been waiting for a Diplomat esteem that I had ordered a while back from amazon which is yet to turn up. If I manage to get my money rather then another Esteem being sent out I think I will put it down on an M200.

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I adore my m200 for the reasons you mention - the classic, understated design, the smooth piston, and the springy, excellent nib. The short size and light weight make it perfect for the shirt pocket; the clip design ensures that it rides very low and secure.

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This is my most favorite sized Pelikan. Great review. Thanks!

PELIKAN - Too many birds in the flock to count. My pen chest has proven to be a most fertile breeding ground.


THE PELIKAN'S PERCH - A growing reference site for all things Pelikan

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Thanks for the review. Someone just gifted me with what I *think* is an M200 (it's about the same dimensions as my 400, but doesn't have a 14k nib) and it appears to have never seen ink (as in "super-minty"). I've been trying to get info about it (appears to be a "corporate gift" pen, according to the woman I've been corresponding with at Pelikan). My friend got it for *free* and knows I like pens (and that I was all excited about the 400 Brown Tortoise I got on Ebay a couple of months ago). Looking forward to getting it flushed out (in case there are any manufacturing oils or such) and giving it a spin, but I want to try and get more information first (plus, I currently have a few too many pens in rotation... :blush:).

Trying to decide what ink should go in it first. There's a part of me -- the arch traditionalist -- who is pushing for Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black; but the artist in me is considering the Pelikan Fount India I picked up awhile back; while the "do it on a dare" part is going for some crazy ink that I haven't tried yet (the barrel is the green marbled, so maybe something a little on the "wacky" color side like De Atramentis Gold...).

Mine is also an M nib -- how do you like the nib on yours?

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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Great review on a great pen. Mine is over a decade old and has been in my shirt pocket or my briefcase for all of that time. It's suffered a lot of abuse and still performs. For anyone wondering where to start with fountain pens it is right here.

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Thanks for this thorough and thoughtful review of a great pen.


The only thing I would disagree here is about the lack of serviceablity of the M200 compared to the TWSBI. I am not sure if the Pelikan piston filler system would be as robust and trouble free as most of them are if they allowed you to take it apart like with the TWSBI or Noodlers pens.

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Thanks for this thorough and thoughtful review of a great pen.


The only thing I would disagree here is about the lack of serviceablity of the M200 compared to the TWSBI. I am not sure if the Pelikan piston filler system would be as robust and trouble free as most of them are if they allowed you to take it apart like with the TWSBI or Noodlers pens.


Old Pelikans (at least some models) and modern high-numbered Souveran pens are completely serviceable.

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Penchalet.com has had these on sale for awhile for $97.00. That's a steal compared to the normal price I see online. I've not had good experienced with other German brands Lamy and Kaweco so I'm always leary of getting a Pelikan (especially with the cost). But at $97.00 it's very tempting.

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Congratulations Gaslight for your new pen. According to your review, you are faithful to a model of a pen that you used in school (it is my case with the Parker 45, a much more modest pen). I own a M200 since about 20 years ago and use it periodically, never had a problem with it. The piston filler is very reliable, I lubricate it with silicone grease every 4 to 5 years. If you like smoooooth nibs, please try a Faber Castell Basic or Loom, less money for the pen and absolutely smooth steel nib, but C/C filler.

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    • A Smug Dill
      @Texas42 Thank you. I myself have recently had the experience of cleaning out a Wing Sung 699, in which the iron-gall ink has been sitting for six months. No damage to the metal piston rod (whereas, in a Wing Sung 3013 vacuum-filler, it would have been corroded, turned green, and contaminated the ink in mere weeks), but there was a ring of colour at the far end of the barrel that wouldn't budge, and I found it impossible to unscrew the filling mechanism to clean the interior wall of the ink rese
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      Dang. You are a great friend!   One comment as a relative newcomer would be within the cleaning section: issues/differences in cleaning vacuum filler, piston filler in addition to cartridge/converter. I just cleaned out my Pilot 823 and while it wasn't particularly difficult I was a little paranoid about the drops of water that I could not get out. Perhaps this is something you are already including.   Anyway, great project and very thoughtful of you. I know it's a project fo
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      Thanks for your input! Yes, not putting wood in the list of body materials warranting a mention was an oversight. I love pens with wooden bodies, but my main concern, or chagrin, is that I have not come across a wooden-bodied pen with a wooden cap that seals well. Actually, there is one, but it isn't really wood per se: the Pilot Custom Kaede's maple body is resin impregnated. All other wooden pens I have can dry out while capped and undisturbed; that includes several Platinum #3776 models.
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