Review: Pelikan Souverän M300 (Green-Striped, Oblique Medium nib)

 

We are once again joined by our guest reviewer, Roz and she contributed her thoughts on this Pelikan pen. She is also our first left-handed reviewer and we are glad to have her persepctive. Thanks very much Roz!

 

Hand Over That Pen, please!

Roz:  Classy and petite! The green, black and gold made me feel fancy just looking at it. I don’t usually seek out gold accents, but this pen makes me question that inclination. Definitely the smallest pen I was ever going to write seriously with, so I’m really looking forward to it!

Katherine: I love the styling of classic Pelikans, and this one is no different. Plus, its adorable! ❤

Pam:  Great things come in small packages so when you make a Pelikan petite, it’s adorable.  My wallet is very lucky that the white tortie did not come in this size.  I don’t normally enjoy the “classic” styling of the Pelikan, but in a small package, it harkens back to the vintage Peter Pan pens.

Franz: Hey! Did someone leave a Pelikan M1000 in the drier, or did it shrink from ink starvation? Harharhar!

Yep, it’s that familiar and elegant green stripe of a Pelikan in their smallest pen ever. They introduced this pocket pen version in 1998 and the green-striped finish is a standard finish as well as a black barrel one. Pelikan also produced a few special edition finishes in the year 2000’s. The M300 is unmistakably a Pelikan Souverän pen.

In the Hand: Pelikan M300 (posted) — from left to right: Franz, Katherine, Pam, and Roz
In the Hand: Pelikan M300 (unposted) — from left to right: Franz, Katherine, Pam, and Roz

 

The Business End

Roz: Springy! Honestly, I had a lot of trouble writing with this nib. I wasn’t expecting the amount of bounce back, so my natural writing pace had a lot of adjusting to do. I also learned (thank you Pam!) that this is an oblique medium nib, maybe my inexperience with this type of nib added to my inconsistent writing.

Katherine: I liked this nib more than I expected. The only other oblique Pelikan nib I’ve written with much was a vintage OB, and that was an unusable angle for me. This one was comfortable, forgiving and surprisingly wet (I’m not sure why I expect small pens to be drier? Not like this one can’t hold a lot of ink…)

Pam:  I find the oblique nib to be too inconsistent for my writing style.  I always feel that I am apply more pressure to the “longer tine,” if that makes sense.  That being said, like all Pelikan nibs, I find the nib to be smooth and enjoyable to write with.  This nib somehow reminds me of an ice skater gliding over the ice on one leg.

Franz: The M300’s 14-carat nib is quite springy and I love it! An oblique nib’s characteristic always seem weird to me at first but I eventually get used to it. It’s just being conscious of turning the pen at the right angle. But yes, this nib’s flow is quite generous and I enjoyed it.

 

Write It Up

Roz: The diameter of the pen being so small, especially because I tend to grip low on the section, made it difficult for me to find a comfy grip position and my hand got tired pretty quickly as a result.

Katherine: This pen is usable for me for quick notes… But not the pinnacle of comfort for longer writing sessions. Overall though, not bad. Much more usable than I expected, but definitely more of an on-the-go pen than a sit-at-my-desk-and-write-about-my-deep-dark-feelings.

Pam:  When I said that this pen reminds me of the Peter Pan pens, it’s likely due to how I see this pen being used.  For quick notes in a pocketbook.  I find the diameter of the pen to be too slim for a prolonged period of time.  I am always fearful of snapping this petite pen with my iron grip.

Franz: At 4.3 inches closed, it’s a small pen. I went into the 20-minute writing session already expecting that my hand wouldn’t be comfortable. And I’m glad I managed my expectations because I did feel fatigued after ten minutes. The section and barrel’s thinness contributed to that fatigue. I only used the pen with the cap posted because unposted, the M300 was almost disappearing in my hand.

 

EDC-ness

Roz: At first I was super worried I would lose this pen because of its size. However, the clip on the M300 is really strong and it did great in my carrier. I admit though that for my day to day writing, I did not use the M300 much due to the size of the pen being difficult for me to hold for long periods of time.

Katherine: Great pen for EDC! The clip is strong, the size is perfect and the nib makes notes enjoyable. My only gripe is that the typical Pelikan wetness, paired with a medium nib doesn’t make for the fastest drying notes. That’s easily solved by getting a different nib though. 10/10, would EDC again.

Pam:  In a checkbook, pocket book or a dainty pocket, it’s perfect!  Perhaps it’s the size, but I feel that it’s more fragile than the normal size pens so I wouldn’t throw it into a jeans pockets if you plan on sitting down or putting your keys in the same pocket.

Franz: The M300’s Every Day Carry-ness is what won me over though. Definitely fits in my shirt pocket, and it’s ready to write with only one turn of the cap. It may be too short for my hand unposted but is perfectly usable for a fast signature, jotting down a phone number, or whatever quick note one needs. If I know I’ll use it for more than five words, I’ll post the cap and it does so securely. Unlike Pam’s thoughts, I didn’t find the M300 more fragile than any other pen. Granted, I wouldn’t dare to sit on this pen (or any other pen) but it’s quite durable for everyday usage.

And just like any other Pelikan Souverän, it’s a piston-filled pen and the piston operates very smoothly. As shown in the photo below, you can see through the barrel’s stripes and see the ink level clearly. The smaller barrel definitely means a smaller ink capacity though. And it holds about 50% less ink than an M1000. At 0.7mm, the ink capacity is just like a converter for other pens.

 

Final Grip-ping Impressions

Roz: The M300 is a beautiful pen. I would like to give it another try down the road, maybe when my experience with oblique, springy nibs develops a bit more. ^_^;

Katherine: A great pocket pen! Classy looking, fantastic nib and the perfect size. My only gripe is the price, for $200+, I would likely get a vintage 400 instead (fairly easily found at around $150) and I’d still have a reasonably small pocket pen, but one that can play dual duty as a normal writer as well.

Pam:  Despite my love for pocket sized pens, I would have to say that this pen is an acquired taste given the size.  It’s not as practical as the M200 or M400 in size.  For those with average and larger size hands, it may be a challenge to use for an extended writing session.  For those who love Peter Pan pens or pocket pens, I would highly recommend trying out this pen before committing your wallet to it.

Franz: Clearly, the Pelikan M300 is for people with smaller hands or for people who wants to have an elegant looking pocket pen. Also, it’s a great pen for a Pelikan pen addict (like myself). Have you guessed who owns this pen yet? =) For my large hands, the M300 is a novelty. I love it but I don’t see myself using this pen comfortably on a daily basis. My hand is definitely happier writing with a M800 or M1000.

The M300’s Souverän styling gives it a serious and classic look but it’s tininess makes it a “cute” pen.

 

Pen Comparisons

Closed pens from left to right: Platinum 3776, Franklin-Christoph Pocket 20, Pilot Prera, Sailor Professional Gear Slim, *Pelikan M300*, Kaweco Sport, Lamy 2000. Lamy Safari
Posted pens from left to right: Platinum 3776, Franklin-Christoph Pocket 20, Pilot Prera, Sailor Professional Gear Slim, *Pelikan M300*, Kaweco Sport, Lamy 2000. Lamy Safari
Unposted pens from left to right: Platinum 3776, Franklin-Christoph Pocket 20, Pilot Prera, Sailor Professional Gear Slim, *Pelikan M300*, Kaweco Sport, Lamy 2000. Lamy Safari

 

Pelikan Pen Comparison

Closed pens from left to right: 120, M100, M200, M300, M405, M620, M800 and M1000
Posted pens from left to right: 120, M100, M200, M300, M405, M620, M800 and M1000
Unposted pens from left to right: 120, M100, M200, M300, M405, M620, M800 and M1000

 

Pen Photos (click to enlarge)

No Comments

2017 Pelikan Hub Palo Alto, California Report: Franz

 

 

On Friday September 22, 2017, the Pelikan Hub for Palo Alto was held at the Lathrop Library in Stanford University. The Hub was organized by co-Hubmasters Lawrence C. and Glenn T. and it was definitely well organized. Thank you very much for a terrific event gentlemen!

Hubmaster Lawrence speaking at the beginning. The person to his left was Hubmaster Glenn.

Our group had a mixture of members of the San Francisco Bay Pen Posse, and also members of the Stanford Pen Club. It was a nice gathering and I was happy to meet new people interested in the hobby. As we introduced ourselves around the room, I found that there were people into pens for about a month and up to about 40 years so it was an eclectic group and a lot of people shared their experiences and knowledge.

Speaking of knowledge, we were very lucky to have Pelikan pen expert, Rick Propas aka The PENguin, a part of our hub. He had talked about the history of the Pelikan pen company, the first model Pelikan 100, and the evolution of the Pelikan pen models. He showed a few rare, or one-off pens that are in his collection.

Rick Propas attends a few pen shows in the United States. He sells pens at pen shows, and also via his website: www.thePENguinpen.com

Rick Propas starting his talk about Pelikan history
Rick Propas and his Pelikan collection brought to the hub

I broadcasted an Instagram Live video and also uploaded to my YouTube account. Rick imparted a lot of information and I am very thankful he had taken the time to do so.

 

Rick showed his grail pen, the Pelikan 75th Anniversary. I got a chance to photograph this fabulous pen that evening.

Show and Tell: Pelikan 75th Anniversary. Those yellow stripes are very different and distinct.
Show and Tell: The nib of the Pelikan 75th Anniversary is very unique. The “75” engraving was fantastic as well.

 

Lawrence and Glenn were given Edelstein ink bottles by Pelikan and they made it available for participants to take ink sample vials of. Here’s some of the bottles emptied out.

 

A big thank you to Pelikan for once again hosting the Pelikan Hubs around the world and providing an avenue for people to meet and learn about fountain pens and Pelikan pens! Also, we appreciate the generous gift of the Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz ink bottle for each registered participant. I love this ink!

I have been attending the Pelikan Hubs since it started in 2014 and hope that this annual event continues to occur successfully. See you next year!

A flock of Pelikan pens that came out for the Pelikan Hub

 

2 Comments

Review: Pelikan M200, B Architect

pelikan-m200-cafe-creme-8

Hand Over That Pen, please!

Katherine: Woohoo! I love the size of the Pelikan M200/400s — and this one is no exception! I love the shades of brown paired with the gold. However, I actually think it looks richer in photos than it does in person. When I started looking at more expensive pens, the Cafe Creme was high on my list. However, I saw it in person at Aesthetic Bay in Singapore and found that it didn’t live up to my hopes and dreams, so I never purchased one. That being said, it’s all relative — I just happen to prefer the uneven striations of vintage 400s.

Pam: The Pelikan M200 in review is actually Franz’s pen with a custom architect grind from Dan Smith.  I really enjoy the warm tones of the pen as it is a standout from my usual black and grey pens.  The cream and brown is simple but rich in color.  The brown has a good red undertone that compliments the yellow gold well. My favorite part of the pen is the ink window! A trademark of Pelikan is their twist on the classic fountain pen with great materials and color designs.  A great example of that for me is the Pelikan M400 White Tortoise.  The Café Crème is no exception.

Franz: Aww yeah, a Pelikan pen finally for review! People who know me are aware of my fascination/obsession with this pen brand. Anyway, moving on with the review, the Pelikan M200 model is considered an entry-level model into the world of Pelikan pens. It is very lightweight and a compact size. Pelikan pens are noted for its reliable piston-filling mechanism and this M200 definitely one of them. There’s just something about filling a pen from a bottle with a piston. Yes, fountain pens with a converter is filled with the same action but it has a different overall feel. But maybe it’s just me.

The Café Crème is a beautiful finish and for a guy addicted to coffee, it seemed like a perfect pen to get. Being an M200, it is fitted with gold-plated clip, cap ring, and steel nib. As what Pam has said, the gold trim fits the finish very nicely.

 

In the Hand: Pelikan M200 (posted) — from left to right: Katherine, Pam, and Franz
In the Hand: Pelikan M200 (unposted) — from left to right: Katherine, Pam, and Franz

 

The Business End

Katherine: M200 nibs in general? Fantastic steel nibs — smooth, wet while still having a hint of springiness, avoiding the designation of “nail” in my book. But this grind? Not my cup of tea. I can write with it, but I don’t enjoy it. I tend to write in cursive and it makes my letters look weirdly… tall. But, to be fair, I’m not a big fan of broad stubs or CIs either — so ymmv. 🙂 If I were to purchase a M200 I’d steer clear of a Broad (too broad) and consider a CI grind to add some flair.

Pam: The architect grind is wonderful for me.  It pretty much becomes a “stub” for me since I typically hold the pen at a 90 degree angle.  I love using the architect grind in my journal entries when I want my writing to be short and chubby looking, or as other would say “blocky.”  Nib is not too wet so shading comes through with certain inks and it’s smooth on Tomoe River paper and Midori paper.  Cheap printer paper absorbs way too much of the ink which leads to feathering and non-crisp letters.  Feedback is minimal and as usual, Dan Smith did a wonderful job.  From my experience with Pelikans, the modern nibs tend to be quite wide and wet.  I had an EF that wrote more like a M. I haven’t met a Pelikan nib that was scratchy or too dry.  Granted, I am not Franz.  He is our Pelikan expert amongst this triad.

Franz: Pelikan expert? Me? For real? Nope, not at all! I am merely a fan of their pens. A Pelikan pen addict if you will.

As I’ve mentioned above, the M200 is sold with stainless steel nibs and generally, they are smooth and juicy. There is also a little bit of bounce to it but not something that one would use for flex writing. For this specific pen, I asked Dan Smith to do something fun with the broad nib and he recommended to do an architect grind. I agreed since I’ve never had an architect/hebrew grind on any of my nibs before.

This grind is actually very cool as it sort of is a reverse italic. Instead of the usual thin cross-strokes, and thick down-strokes of an italic, it was the other way around. I primarily write in cursive, and sometimes print/block letters at work. I find the architect nib more suitable to write in print letters which made it look better. I didn’t really like how my cursive writing looked with it. I think it’s a matter of taste. I still recommend everyone to try an architect nib because you never know if you’ll love it or just like it.

pelikan-m200-cafe-creme-7

 

Franz’s writing sample of the Pelikan M200 broad architect nib on a Rhodia Weekly Planner
Franz’s writing sample of the Pelikan M200 broad architect nib on a Rhodia Weekly Planner

 

Write It Up 

Katherine: The pen itself is very comfortable for me, and I prefer it uncapped. I love this size of pen and find it very comfortable for long writing and drawing sessions. I love this size so much that I own three Pelikans in this size, two vintage 400s and one 400NN. However, as previously mentioned, the grind on this pen drives me up the wall — so this isn’t my top pick for journaling. A stock nib or, perhaps, a CI on something less broad would be very compelling though!

Pam:  The M200 is light and effortless to write with.  As a “pocket size” pen of the Pelikan line, it’s a great size for me.  It’s about the length of the Franklin-Christoph Model 45 and Franklin-Christoph Model Pocket 20.  I can see this pen being too narrow for someone with average or larger size hands.I had no issues journaling with this pen and the “chubby” writing always gives me a bit of amusement.

Franz: I wrote with this pen posted for fifteen minutes of journaling and I found it to be okay. As usual, I grip the pen above the section threads by the ink window and I got a bit more girth to hold and the length was pretty okay. Even with the cap, I found this pen to be a bit too light for me though. I did write with the pen unposted for the last five minutes and that was not comfy for me at all.

 

EDC-ness

Katherine: I enjoyed using this pen as an EDC — it has a clip, uncaps easily and is a good size for either my notebook’s loops or just sandwiching in my notebook as I run around.

Pam:  The pen is very light and with a screw on cap, it’s a great EDC pen in a “controlled setting.”  Maybe it’s the fact that I recently lost a fountain pen at work, but I can see myself losing this pen within my white coat or not realizing that I don’t have it in my pocket because it’s so light.  Pelikans aren’t super robust pens and dropping a Pelikan can damage the binde/body.  I would recommend keeping your birdies clipped in a jacket or shirt pocket rather than pant pockets (no keys!) or tucked safely into a pen case.

Franz: The Pelikan M200’s size is actually a great pen for everyday use. At work, I found it to be a good pen to bring with me and in my shirt pocket. The pen uncaps with one full twist and is quite convenient for quick notes, or signatures. A quick comment about this nib, having a broad architect nib on it was borderline too thick for the copy paper used at the office. But if it were a medium nib with a round, architect, or cursive italic grind, it would’ve been just right.

 

Final Grip-ping Impressions

Katherine: Even if this particular pen isn’t the one for me, I love the M200 line. The size is perfect, they hold a ton of ink and the nibs are solid. However, if you’re willing to do a little hunting, for the money, I much prefer vintage 400/NN Pelikans. They’re cheaper (easily $100-$150) and often have more interesting nibs (I have both a semi flex fine and a semi flex OB). But, for those less patient with eBay and forum trawling, the M200s are solid pens that look great!

Pam:  The greatest compliment I can give a pen is to purchase one.  In this particularly case, as the Café Crème hits so many sweet spots for me with the architect grind, beautiful brown and cream material (did I mention the ink window?) , and well sized for my pixie hands, I currently have this pen on “layaway” from Franz.  In exchange for permanently borrowing the Café Crème, I will “chip in” to Franz’s next pen fund…

Franz: The Pelikan M200 is principally a great pen to have and to write with. Pelikan has issued the M200 in their Classic line with different standard, or special edition finishes since it was introduced in 1985. So if the Café Crème is not your cup of coffee (tea), there are a number of choices available. As I said in the beginning of this review, the M200 is an entry-level pen for the brand and I recommend this to anyone interested in getting a Pelikan pen.

In my opinion, it’s a great size for users with small to medium sized hands. For people with larger sized, or bear paws similar to me, I’d say to try it out first. It may turn out to be a good fit or you might want to go to a larger size like the M600, M800, or even the M1000. Because I am a self-proclaimed Pelikan pen addict, I hope that my review of this pen comes off fair and as unbiased as possible.

 

Pen Comparisons

Closed pens from left to right: Edison Beaumont, Parker 75, Franklin-Christoph Model 20, Pilot Vanishing Point, *Pelikan M200*, Lamy 2000, Pelikan M805, and Lamy Safari
Posted pens from left to right: Edison Beaumont, Parker 75, Franklin-Christoph Model 20, Pilot Vanishing Point, *Pelikan M200*, Lamy 2000, Pelikan M805, and Lamy Safari
Unposted pens from left to right: Edison Beaumont, Parker 75, Franklin-Christoph Model 20, Pilot Vanishing Point, *Pelikan M200*, Lamy 2000, Pelikan M805, and Lamy Safari
Pelikan pens from left to right: M200 Café Crème, M400 Tortoiseshell-White, M620 San Francisco, M805 Vibrant Blue, and M1005 Demonstrator

 

Pen Photos (click to enlarge)

2 Comments