Sometimes an eBay trawl can bring up surprising things…
This guy had forgotten to state the model of the Pelikan in his auction, and his photos had no other object to compare the size against. However, buried deep down in the wall-of-text description was “18-carat nib”, and Pelikan does not make M400-sized 18k nibs, so… I jumped. For £206 including shipping this beauty was mine.
The pen arrived in wonderful condition, as promised, and I was struck by how grey it was: it was not warm and not cool, just grey. To me this is the definition of neutral grey, sitting right in the middle, and so in the ensuing months I have only ever used greyscale inks in it.
The single-chick Pelikan logo on the cap finial is nicely done in a glossy/matt texture, and the clip looks incredibly sleek compared to its gold-coloured M800 counterparts, simply because of the colour (or lack thereof). The silver furniture gives the pen the -5 last digit.
Similarly, the nib is a beautifully monochrome piece of art. The M8xx is the largest-sized Pelikan nib with single-line scrollwork, clearly seen in the picture below. It almost seems like it’s more reflective than other pens, again due to the sheer desaturation of the pen.
It’s quite a large pen, and the brass piston adds a lot of weight compared to the M6xx pens, which have plastic piston assemblies. This causes pens of this size and upward (especially the flagship M10xx) to be end-weighted, though in my case, the piston rests wonderfully in between thumb and index knuckles. Compared to the M620s I have, this pen requires much less pressure — and the M620s already don’t need much at all! Writing under its own weight, I can get very fine lines with the Stresemann, maybe even finer than a Western extra-fine.
Despite its larger size and higher gold content, it is a firmer nib than the M4xx/6xx nibs. Mine writes like a real fine (instead of a “Pelikan fine”) and has a smooth response, though you can definitely feel it on less-smooth paper, like the Fabriano EcoQua I do my reviews on. That said, here we go:
To round off this review, here is a size comparison of the Pelikans I own…
The flock, end 2016! L to R: M320 Ruby Red M (2010 LE), M100 Stormtrooper M (1980s), M205 Amethyst EF (2015 LE), 400NN Brown Tortoise DF/manifold nib (1950s), M620 Piccadilly Circus F (2006 LE), M620 Grand Place (2006 LE), Stola III/P16 M (2015), M805 Stresemann (2015). #fountainpens #pelikan #birdsofafeather #flock #familyportrait #limitededition #m100 #m205 #m320 #400nn #m620 #m805 #p16 #stormtrooper #amethyst #rubyred #browntortoise #piccadillycircus #grandplace #anthracite #stresemann #stola