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Pelikan M805 Ocean Swirl: Some Thoughts


BeckonRay
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The M805 Ocean Swirl is a stunning yet controversial 2017 Special Edition from Pelikan.

 

While my initial view was ambivalent, in actual use, the pen has moved into the same vaunted category as the understated, equally variable, City Series San Francisco. I was fortunate enough to see seven copies among the local DC/MD stores and two additional copies from Pen friends; 9 in total. Particular thanks goes to Pen Boutique for helping me land mine.

 

Pattern and Color Distribution: Some posts seem to hint that some pen copies may have "nearly" 100% blue-green and others verging on total black. Not what I saw and may be due to range in perception. All 9 copies had clear bands of fluorescent blue-green swirls alternating with darker bands of shimmering deep blue-black occurring in approximate quarters as a constant. None of them were nearly one color, and certainly not pitch black (see a true black pen comparison side-by-side below). Granted, as a matter of degree, two copies leaned toward the darker side a tad more, but most were ~50/50 distribution, or close.

 

The fluorescent bands are striking when light hits them and depending on the warmth there is a bit of green peaking through, but to me its a blue-leaning teal or brilliant turquoise in most instances (Yama Dori calls!).

 

post-10173-0-72322600-1516745869_thumb.jpg

 

post-10173-0-83646000-1516745803_thumb.jpgpost-10173-0-97774500-1516745817_thumb.jpg

 

 

Pattern Alignment: Much has been made of the alignment or the lack there of between the fluorescent and darker bands in some copies. This is true. Not all the pens had aligned-patterns, but most seemed to have at least one vibrant band that aligned upon choosing the right cap-thread. I am sure there are some cap/body combos out there that do not align at all, along any thread. If this is important, seeing pens in person, or getting pics may help, but unaligned patterns look quite nice to my eye when in actual use. My copy does align, but when misaligned purposefully, the darker cap still looks elegant to me (pic below). YMMV.

 

post-10173-0-91489400-1516746087_thumb.jpg

 

Work-appropriateness: almost black, but not quite

My Ocean swirl saw more use simply because it was not a pen that immediately attracted attention, but still had a subdued elegance about it. In conservative settings, pulling out even a marginally showy pen, may go without comment but not without notice. This pen is work appropriate. In comparison, the Burnt Orange frequently invites comment (lovely nonetheless).

post-10173-0-86954400-1516748490_thumb.jpg

 

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

post-10173-0-27605200-1516748549_thumb.jpg

post-10173-0-80238200-1516748569_thumb.jpg

 

Two's Company:

Here's the Ocean Swirl next to the somewhat showy Burnt Orange

post-10173-0-58592400-1516748923_thumb.jpg

 

Nib:

I chose a Fine nib. Luckily, it turned out to be a true fine, not "Pelikan- Fine".

post-10173-0-67385900-1516749139_thumb.jpg

 

My take on it: The color pattern is truly beautiful and unique. The pattern alignment issue can't be helped unless there is a way to nail down each body to a specific cap all the way through the supply chain and retail counters: fairly a tall order once it leaves the Pelikan factory given the number of hands that may handle them. Also when misaligned, the black cap contrast actually looks ok to me in actual use, YMMV. There are scores of pens out there that cover the whole pen with a single mosaic pattern from countless manufacturers including Pelikan (M620 Chicago anyone?). What's novel in that? This is more of a brave choice from Pelikan that is fairly subtle and renders a different look from one lighted room to another. Yet I doubt they will ever try this again. Cheers!

 

 

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Thanks for providing some perspective to what is in my humble opinion a pretty silly non-controversy. But I am not the one ponying up the $500 or whatever it is depending on where one purchases it. For me the M8xx pens are to big and heavy for me, and out of my budget. But I love the pattern.

 

I think Pelikan hit the nail on the head with this one. Obviously just one man's opinion. And everyone has their own. Love your photos.

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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I love the look of the lighter region of this pen but dislike that they didn't carry the pattern all the way around.

PAKMAN

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Thank you for your considered review. I have mine inked at present, finding that I notice the pattern more than the darkness, although for some reason I tend to see the cap as more black and the pen invariably as patterned. Very pleased I decided to buy.

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Thanks for providing some perspective to what is in my humble opinion a pretty silly non-controversy. But I am not the one ponying up the $500 or whatever it is depending on where one purchases it. For me the M8xx pens are to big and heavy for me, and out of my budget. But I love the pattern.

 

I think Pelikan hit the nail on the head with this one. Obviously just one man's opinion. And everyone has their own. Love your photos.

Thank you :) Yes, M605 in similar swirls would look great. They made the M800 Grand Place in a similar 6xx model, so who knows.

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I love the look of the lighter region of this pen but dislike that they didn't carry the pattern all the way around.

My suspicion is this is just how the material is. The full body fluorescent would be beautiful too.

 

Pelikan's online says "unique material" : https://www.pelikan.com/pulse/Pulsar/en_US_INTL.FWI.displayShop.252583./souver%C3%A4n-805-ocean-swirl

 

Doesn't say what they do for Ren. Brown etc, outright "acrylic", though it very much looks like acrylic to me.

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I tend to see the cap as more black and the pen invariably as patterned. Very pleased I decided to buy.

In some lighting, angles, it can pass for black, yup...until Mr. Hyde-side shows up. :)

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My suspicion is this is just how the material is. The full body fluorescent would be beautiful too.

 

Pelikan's online says "unique material" : https://www.pelikan.com/pulse/Pulsar/en_US_INTL.FWI.displayShop.252583./souver%C3%A4n-805-ocean-swirl

 

Doesn't say what they do for Ren. Brown etc, outright "acrylic", though it very much looks like acrylic to me.

 

I agree. MIne has alternating bands of light, beautiful swirls, and much darker, not quite black. It would have been in my opinion if the dark areas were much lighter so as to show some of the swirl or burl pattern better.

 

That just got me thinking, I wish they would make one in a full redwood burl pattern and color

Edited by jkingrph

Regards

 

Jeff

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I agree. MIne has alternating bands of light, beautiful swirls, and much darker, not quite black. It would have been in my opinion if the dark areas were much lighter so as to show some of the swirl or burl pattern better.

 

That just got me thinking, I wish they would make one in a full redwood burl pattern and color

Might just happen. They usually go down the color wheel once they start. Next M80x SE, if I were to totally speculate, could be green- or red-based as they have maxed out on brown. Also, the next Ink of the year seems "avocado green" to me and that eventually shows up on the larger SE down the road in addition to the smaller demonstrater versions short term.

Edited by BeckonRay
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Might just happen. They usually go down the color wheel once they start. Next M80x SE, if I were to totally speculate, could be green- or red-based as they have maxed out on brown. Also, the next Ink of the year seems "avocado green" to me and that eventually shows up on the larger SE down the road in addition to the smaller demonstrater versions short term.

 

An M805 Avocado Swirl SE? hmmmm.... might actually work. Solid pattern like Ren Brown though :P

"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." -Pablo Picasso


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Yikes! Hopefully not Avocado swirl. They already did iridescent mosaic green all through in M620 Berlin model. Based on Pelikan's picture, the upcoming green ink (Olivine) looks similar to many other brand's "Avocados" including Private Reserve's Avocado.

Edited by BeckonRay
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This pen did not immediately grab my attention like my M805 Rennisance. It was only when I started looking for a blue M800 that the colors and the silver hardware grabbed my attention big time. Ordered one w/ medium nib from Rolf at Missing-Pen two days ago. Where the Rennisance is a bit flashy , this is nicely semi professional looking.. Looking forward to inking mine up and also using it with the M800 silver nib in fine I bought for it and my M805 Stresseman.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@OP: Thanks for this honest review of this pen. Yours was the first post that made me realize that the beautiful swirl always pictured isn’t a true 360 pattern and probably saved me from heartache if I had ordered one... I’d be disappointed if that pattern wasn’t “up” while writing and my OCD would be screaming if they didn’t line up when capping the pen.

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By the way: For those that love iridescent swirl patterns, consider Edison. I have one in Persimmon Swirl and it is absolutely stunning from all angles. Easily the most beautiful pen in my collection.

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I’d be disappointed if that pattern wasn’t “up” while writing and my OCD would be screaming if they didn’t line up when capping the pen.

 

I can actually relate to the OCD. Unless you can choose the copy you like, perhaps this is not a pen for OCD folks. In fairness, the pattern alignment situation is similar to the more expensive "Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight" (and many others) where some reviews pass the lack of alignment in the Yukari Nightline almost as a "feature" and suggest it is intentionally meant not to align ;). *Ahem!*. What's excusable for one brand/model cannot be viewed as an issue for a different pen with similar cap/body pattern alignment aspects. Even among Pelikans, M620 San Francisco for example, some caps are significantly "off" in pattern-match and tone, from the bodies. Yet, M620 SF is highly prized and "good" copies are difficult to come by.

 

It all comes down to how something is presented by the manufacturer as it sets the bar for buyer's expectations: Pelikan and many online retailers generally did a poor job earlier of "representing" the Ocean Swirl in the pictures and promotion. Some have since made an effort to be more explicit. IMHO, the criticisms reflect on the company's/ retailer's promotion strategy, not the writing instrument itself.

 

The pen is still an understated stunner.

Edited by BeckonRay
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I have an S T Dupont which features a gold leaf horse in chinese lacquer. It has a push cap rather than threaded so whether the horse prances or stands in various states of unfortunate disassembly depends entirely on your obsessiveness. :)

 

As mentioned above in relation to the M805, I am fairly easy about these things. I like a bit of asymmetry.

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