Pelikan M205 – a classic

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Pelikan is one of the few companies manufacturing fountain pens known to a lot of people outside our little fountain pen aficionados world. Even folks whose knowledge of the fountain pens is limited to the direction in which to point the nib, had a chance to hear about Pelican and maybe even see one with their own eyes.

 

This is because the company promotes its products very skillfully and sensitively and applied reasonable segmentation to their portfolio: school articles, youth writing, premium products. I have a feeling that most fountain pen makers know little about their customers and aren’t really interested in understanding market and their consumers needs (even companies as Lamy – take a look at limiting access to bottled ink because they don’t know there’s interest in them in Europe, Lamy being surprised by amazing success of Dark Lilac color etc). Pelikan is active in social media, initiates a great event allowing company’s meet fans to meet (Pelican HUB), organizes competitions allowing consumers to choose next Ink of the year color. to sympathizers of the brand to choose the color the next ink series Edelstein.  I believe only TWSBI tries to engage consumers in such a way, but they work on much smaller scale.

Of course, there’s nothing perfect in the world. Pelican doesn’t offer too many innovations. They don’t experiment with the neebs (where’s titanium? where’s flex?). It seems their development strategy is based on the customers ready to pay a lot of money for new color variants of old models. Can you blame them? Probably not. They deserve their position on the market.

Pelikan M205

M205 is, basically, the Pelikan M200 without golden accents. Not everyone likes golden trim and Pelican decided that it is worth to offer an alternative for such individuals. Thank you Pelican. I appreciate it. I would never buy one of your GT pens because I sincerily dislike golden accents (with small exception made for amber Pilot Namiki 823). Anyway Pelikan M200 was introduced on the market in 1985. The pen went through some changes over the years, but remains faithful to the tradition and its design remains almost unchanged.

Impressions / observations

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Pelican M205 is elegant pen. The same can be said about packaging – a hard box inside a white Pelikan sleeve. Inside the box we’ll find the cream false leather pouch with plastic seals that hold the pen. Underneath the bed Pelikan placed warranty booklet. While it’s not the best box I’ve ever seen I think it’s well done and quite classy. As for the pen itself, well,  I’ve never been the biggest fan of Pelikan pens design. I like to try new things, which is why I bought this pen. A lot of people are impressed with it, so I thought that it would be reasonable to check it myself. After some time of Rusing M205 I can see a lot of the strengths of this model, but its appearance still doesn’t convince me. I find it rather boring.
The pen is quite small and light, which isn’t bad, especially when you write fast and for a longer time. Chrome-plated elements (ring, clip, end tags) blend nicely with black body.

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Te Pelikan logo on the top of the cap is hard to miss. While I really like animals and animal motives I never really liked Pelikan logo. It didnt change. This one is printed with some silver coating and depicts two Pelikans, maybe mother a child, maybe not. I wonder whether the logo stays intact in heavily used pens or if it fades with time? Anyone care to share their experience?

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The traditional pelican’s beak clip is strong and works well, it has a nice swoop at the business end, and it’s very easy to clip the pen to a case, pocket, bag, whatever comes to your mind.

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Another feature of the Pelikan M205 is the translucent ink window just beyond the threads in the body of the pen. The smoke colored window looks really nice on black and glossy barrel. In my opinion it does enhance the look of the pen and is functional.

I don’t think Pelikan M205 can be used as every day pocket pen – I may be wrong but the material doesn’t make impression of being veryresistant. I guess Kaweco Al – Sport can be sure it won’t last the place in my pocket.

Nib

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Steel medium sized nib gives some feedback but I was lucky – it feels really smooth. I remember that when I bought Pelikan M406 I needed to change the nib three times before I received fully working one (one had babuy-botton, second was misaligned and scratchy). In theory it shoul be on the broader side of medium but it’s not really my experience. It’s rather fine medium nib. The flow is great and I enjoy wet line.

Filling System

Inking up the pen couldn’t be simpler— turn the piston knob counterclockwise to push the internal piston in, dip the nib in a bottle of ink, and then turn the piston knob clockwise to pull the piston back and ink into the pen. What to do when you have a sample or there’s not much ink left in the bottle? Use syringe :)

The piston mechanism is smooth and works perfectly well. It can contain around 1,4 ml of ink.

Summary

Pelican M205 is not really a cheap pen – in Poland it costs around 110 dollars. It offers quite a lot – good ergonomics, piston filling system, proven design. On the other hand, I don’t think that this birdie is much better than much cheaper TWSBI 580. Personally, I prefer to write with TWSBI, mainly because it’s larger and more comfortable for me. Also it’s reasonable to rememeber that it’s possible to buy Pilot CH 92 for this price (maybe 10 – 15 $ more) and compared to Pilot, Pelikan feels cheap.
Basically it’s good pen but I’m not in love with the design and the section this “lip” around the section near the nib annoys me – I usually hold pens very close to the nib. The price is too high. This pen isn’t, in my opinion worth, it’s regular price. Maybe if I really loved the design I would say something else, but for me this design isn’t particularly thrilling.

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2 thoughts on “Pelikan M205 – a classic

  1. Excellent review as always. I agree with you, the M200/205 is outrageously overpriced for what you get, and it does somehow feel slightly cheap and flimsy. I recently bought an original 400 from the 1950s for the same price, which isn’t that hard to do. Night and day…the vintage 400 is light, but feels very robust and is perfectly balanced.

    I don’t understand why one would choose this modern version over vintage, when prices are nearly identical. The vintage Pelikans were so well made that it’s very rare you find one that doesn’t work-maybe only a new seal is needed.

    I was very tempted by the café-crème M200, but just couldn’t bring myself to spend C$200 on it.

    Like

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