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Pelikan M400 Brown Vs White Tortoiseshell



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While Pelikan does a lot of special editions, there are relatively less number of special editions of M400 fountain pens except for sterling-silver variations, which are now all discontinued. You have only two widely available options if you want special M400 fountain pens; M400 White Tortoiseshell and M400 Brown Tortoiseshell. I just want to give comparison between them.

 

 

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1. Tortoiseshell material

 

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Two materials are totally different from each other. The brown tortoiseshell is a striated mixture of brown, grey, and black while the white tortoiseshell is that of yellow, green, and orange. The brown one looks more classic, but less translucent. You can easily see the internal piston mechanism of the white tortoiseshell, but you can't do in the case of the brown one. I prefer the white tortoiseshell to the brown one.

 

 

 

2. Cap, grip section, and the piston knob material.

 

 

Cap, grip section, and the piston knob of the brown one looks black, but not exactly. It is actually a very dark brown resin to match color of the brown tortoiseshell material. Otherwise, the white one is made of white resin. It's not ivory, but just white.

 

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Staining can be an issue when you use white fountain pen. You can see the residual ink after filling it with ink bottle, and it is not easy to remove them especially if the residue is on the cap thread and boundary between the nib unit and the grip section. I had ink residue when I firstly filled the pen with Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki. I left the residue for a few days, and tried to clean it after emptying the pen. I could remove them after several times of using wet tissue and clean water, and it remained no staining. But I can't be sure that the ink staining will not happen in long-term usage.

 

 

 

3. Trim color

 

 

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Both have gold trims, but color of them are different. One in the brown tortoiseshell pen is more saturated. It reminds me the gold trim of modern Parker Duofold. The deep gold trim makes the pen look more classic with the dark brown resin body and brown tortoiseshell material. Otherwise, gold trim of the white tortoiseshell pen looks more like white-gold-ish. It looks like the gold trim of MB Meisterstuecks. With white resin and light tortoiseshell material, it makes the pen look more fancy and bright. I think both trim colors are well chosen.

 

 

 

4. Others

 

 

Both are modern Pelikan M400 with latest-style M400 two-tone 14C gold nib and one-tone logo at the cap finial. The MSRP of them are the same, but more retailers are selling white tortoiseshell version a bit less expensive than the brown version.

 

 

 

Thank you for reading and please leave some comments on them.

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  • iruciperi

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Honeybadgers

the staining is really the only reason keeping me from one of these beauties.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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the staining is really the only reason keeping me from one of these beauties.

 

Yeah. I've been always filling it using syringe. Fortunately unscrewing Pelikan's nib unit is not hard as others'.

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Lemony Cricket

I'm quite familiar with these birds but have enjoyed your take on them nonetheless -- I appreciate the detailed comparison!

 

The staining of the white tortoise really saddens me, especially as in my mind the perfect combination is with some fuchsia pink ink, which is usually a bit more prone to staining.

 

... I swear, this is not just an excuse for the M450 Vermeil/Tortoise :-)

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I'm quite familiar with these birds but have enjoyed your take on them nonetheless -- I appreciate the detailed comparison!

 

The staining of the white tortoise really saddens me, especially as in my mind the perfect combination is with some fuchsia pink ink, which is usually a bit more prone to staining.

 

... I swear, this is not just an excuse for the M450 Vermeil/Tortoise :-)

 

It's surprising to see someone making excuse for purchasing M450 other than me! My M450 is being shipped. I'm considering to interchange the piston knob and cap made of vermeil to those of normal black M400 made of resin to make it my new EDC. I think the pen - normal black M400 with light tortoiseshell material - would be a perfect EDC for me.

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Lemony Cricket

Iruciperi, that's an interesting idea I haven't thought of! You should definitely share it with us if you go ahead with it. I'm curious to see how it will turn out.

 

Thread carefully, though. The M400 piston isn't made to disassemble, and while it is possible to do it, it's also very risky. I don't know if the piston on the M450 is assembled the same way, but in case it is, you'd be doubling the risk. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.

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Iruciperi, that's an interesting idea I haven't thought of! You should definitely share it with us if you go ahead with it. I'm curious to see how it will turn out.

 

Thread carefully, though. The M400 piston isn't made to disassemble, and while it is possible to do it, it's also very risky. I don't know if the piston on the M450 is assembled the same way, but in case it is, you'd be doubling the risk. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.

 

 

Oh, actually I thought M400 piston mechanism is assembled in the same way that that of M1000 is assembled. I did some research and it seems it's not true. I firstly should do some experiments on the normal black M400, and decide whether disassemble M450 or not. I will definitely share with you in this forum if I do the disassembly and interchange the parts.

 

Thank you for your comment.

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Iruciperi, that's an interesting idea I haven't thought of! You should definitely share it with us if you go ahead with it. I'm curious to see how it will turn out.

 

Thread carefully, though. The M400 piston isn't made to disassemble, and while it is possible to do it, it's also very risky. I don't know if the piston on the M450 is assembled the same way, but in case it is, you'd be doubling the risk. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.

 

I think I can remove the piston knob not detaching the piston mechanism from the barrel based on the Youtube video in the link below: (from 5:10)

 

 

If I can hold the piston mechanism when it is stretched with some thin flyer, and turn the piston knob, it looks like the piston knob only will be disassembled. I should do some experiment.

Edited by iruciperi
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Lemony Cricket

I think I might be much more squeamish than you -- I just can't get over this guy wondering whether he broke the piston (right around 5:10) :unsure:

 

If you've already set your mind on it, have you considered starting with an M200? The piston should be assembled the same way, so it should offer the same practice, but at least stakes would be lower.

 

Although, I must say, the easiest option would be to send the pen(s) to a professional -- this might in the end also make sense from a financial standpoint.

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I think I might be much more squeamish than you -- I just can't get over this guy wondering whether he broke the piston (right around 5:10) :unsure:

 

If you've already set your mind on it, have you considered starting with an M200? The piston should be assembled the same way, so it should offer the same practice, but at least stakes would be lower.

 

Although, I must say, the easiest option would be to send the pen(s) to a professional -- this might in the end also make sense from a financial standpoint.

 

Yes, he may break the piston, but I'm looking at the structure of the piston mechanism he pulled out. The part that is snap-fitted to the barrel looks like the outermost one. So I guess I can hold it without pulling all the piston mechanism and screw-out the piston knob only.

 

I'm also considering that option. I ordered a piston mechanism part on Ebay, and looking for cheap preowned M200 pen.

 

For the option, I think so too. But because I live in Korea, and most professionals live in the US or Europe, the shipping only costs more than preowned M200. So I should try M200 before going to the professionals. If I find it is too risky to do the job for M450, I will definitely contact to professionals.

 

Thank you for your suggestion.

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I recently chose between these two versions. I ended up getting the brown tortoise. The white one does look beautiful. I’m happy with the brown tortoise, and it insisted on a Cafe Creme for a partner. Luckily I found one for sale.

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The white tortoise is gorgeous, but like others I'd be too concerned about staining to get one. I have the brown with an IB nib, and it's a favorite.

"Oh deer."

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I recently chose between these two versions. I ended up getting the brown tortoise. The white one does look beautiful. I’m happy with the brown tortoise, and it insisted on a Cafe Creme for a partner. Luckily I found one for sale.

 

Congrats for getting good pens. I think the Cafe Creme M200 is one of the most gorgeous M200 SE, and it matches M400 Brown Tortoise very well!

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The white tortoise is gorgeous, but like others I'd be too concerned about staining to get one. I have the brown with an IB nib, and it's a favorite.

 

Actually it's my very first experience of using white pens. Up to now it has no problem as I'm filling it using syringe after removing the nib unit from the pen. It's so sad because Pelikan's piston mechanism is one of the most wonderful parts of Pelikan pens. I'm not using the greatest piston mechanism on this pen.

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Well done comparison of the two pens. I’m very hard on pens and watches. For that reason I’ve come close to buying the white one several times and held back in the end. It’s a beautiful pen but would most likely end up in the pen case and not get much use under my roof.

On the other hand, I have the brown in all sizes and a vintage version as well.

Thanks again. Great job.

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Actually it's my very first experience of using white pens. Up to now it has no problem as I'm filling it using syringe after removing the nib unit from the pen. It's so sad because Pelikan's piston mechanism is one of the most wonderful parts of Pelikan pens. I'm not using the greatest piston mechanism on this pen.

 

Very grateful to see the comparison when I consider buying the white. I have the brown and love it. Thought I'd get the white for its companion. But the staining and ink in the thread... :(

 

Using syringe will take care of the issue, but like you said, will miss out the piston usage.

 

Thanks for the nice comparison!

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Very grateful to see the comparison when I consider buying the white. I have the brown and love it. Thought I'd get the white for its companion. But the staining and ink in the thread... :(

 

Using syringe will take care of the issue, but like you said, will miss out the piston usage.

 

Thanks for the nice comparison!

 

Yeah, but fortunately, screwing/unscrewing nib unit of the Pelikans is very delightful. It's not as stubborn as other pens of mine, such as OMAS or Visconti. Thread between the nib unit and grip section is extremely well built. It's supersmooth and never leaks.

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Well done comparison of the two pens. I’m very hard on pens and watches. For that reason I’ve come close to buying the white one several times and held back in the end. It’s a beautiful pen but would most likely end up in the pen case and not get much use under my roof.

On the other hand, I have the brown in all sizes and a vintage version as well.

Thanks again. Great job.

 

Thank you for reading. The combination of white resin and light tortoiseshell is perfect. I consider myself as a pen user, not a collector, but the white tortoiseshell M400 is definitely worth to be collected.

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  • 1 month later...

Congrats for getting good pens. I think the Cafe Creme M200 is one of the most gorgeous M200 SE, and it matches M400 Brown Tortoise very well!

They do make good companions. The brown tortoise is vintage from circa 1954 (guess from sargetalon), so it has a nice M gold nib. I got the Cafe Creme an italic nib, but it didn’t always write on first stroke. A pen club member said it has a baby bottom. Drats! That is over $50, and probably counting if I have to get it fixed by those magical nibmeisters.

 

The Cafe Creme truly is gorgeous. Too bad I waited so long to get it. But I’m glad I finally decided to buy one before they were all gone (or at too high prices on eBay).

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  • 4 months later...

Well, the white tortoise never really left my thoughts for good. A search found a very good price on amazon.com. So guess what happened?

 

Yes, I bought it.

 

Oh, and I tried the italic nib on the Cafe Creme with a different ink, and it writes well.

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