The title says it all. I broke down and bought a "next step above entry level" fountain pen. I was going to use "impulsively" as an adverb to modify "bought," but nothing could be further from the truth in this case. Seriously, I must have spent 40+ hours looking at different pens, reading online reviews, adding and subtracting pens from various online vendor shopping carts, talking myself out of it, back into it, and out of it again, etc. I guess you could say that FPAD (fountain pen acquisition disorder) has settled in quite nicely here.
The first picture shows how the Pelikan M205 Blue Demonstrator eye candy is initially revealed to its lucky owner. The presentation is not too shabby (although I'm not really a packaging geek, so meh whatever). The hard shell case and silky taupe colored bed resemble a coffin, with the pen lying in state.
On to the details. This pen has an extra fine nib and it fills via an internal piston mechanism, which is visible through the translucent blue body. As far as I know, this blue demonstrator version is identical in form and function to every other Pelikan M205 pen, regardless of color. Dimensions, specifications, and a number of very good reviews of this pen are available elsewhere on the Internet. In fact, I read this review and this other review before making my purchase, and I thank those writers for their helpful insights.
My quick review and two cents: the pen is smallish and lightweight, but still feels like a high quality instrument; the nib is noticeably broader, wetter, and smoother than the extra fine nib on my Lamy Vista; the nib is more flexible (springy) than the nib on the Vista; the piston filling mechanism is very cool; and I love the design and look of the pen. I'm a sucker for see-through things, and I generally like all things blue, so I really couldn't resist this one.
So . . . here's a picture of the uncapped pen before I filled it with ink:
The end of the piston plunger is clearly visible inside of the body of the pen. Next up is a picture that shows the mama pelican and the baby pelican on the end of the cap. My daughter said "aww, that's so cute" when I showed this to her:
I believe that the clip is designed to emulate a pelican's beak. I've never paid any attention to water fowl rhamphotheca, but it sure does look beakish to me:
I like how you can see the nib and other innards even when the pen is capped. It really does look cool, and I can't believe that I'm actually writing sentences about how nice a pen looks. Yeah, so after staring at the pen and soaking in all of its awesomeness for a few hours, I decided to actually use it! This being my first non-cartridge fountain pen, I must say that I was geeking out a bit about the piston filling experience. Indeed, actuating the piston mechanism and watching the blue ink (of course I used blue) rise into the ink reservoir was something to behold. Well, not nearly as cool as the entry, descent, and landing of the Curiosity earlier this year, but still pretty cool. Here is a picture of the pen all inked up and ready to write:
If you look closely at the nib, you'll see yet another pelican. And the word "Pelikan." The designers at Pelikan are not shy about branding and trademarking.
As I mentioned above, the Pelikan M205 is a very smooth writer even though it has an extra fine nib. This particular extra fine nib is actually broader than what I expected; I prefer the line width of my Lamy Vista extra fine. If Pelikan made an XXF nib, then I think this would be nearly perfect for me. I'll make a follow up post soon, with a writing sample and some comments about the ink I used. In the meantime, I'll be enjoying the writing and piston actuation experiences.