Let me get this out of the way quickly. There is no justification for a $300
pen. Even if it’s a $500 list pen you got from Malaysia for $300, it’s still a
$300 pen and $300 for a pen in the days where a Sakura Gelly Roll can be had for
a buck is pure madness. Yet knowing this, I risked hard earned cash with a
moderately risky purchase on Ebay for a Pelikan M-1000 fountain pen.
driver in Thailand for a whole year. What would lead a sane man to spend this
much money on a pen? Two weeks ago I went to Harrod’s in London and drooled
over their cases of nice pens. I tried out a few after giving the patient
salesman my criteria for the perfect fountain pen. A perfect fountain pen, I
explained, must include three basic criteria: It has to be big, it has to have a
gold nib, and it has to only take ink from a bottle. The salesman dipped a
Pelikan M-800 into a crystal ink well and handed it over. I scratched a few
lines, feeling the smooth nib flow over the page and quickly handed it back.
Three hundred pounds is too much for a pen. I ended up going with a much more
affordable but far smaller Pelikan M-200. It had a piston-only fill very similar
to my Lamy 2000, but the pen is small and only has a gold plated steel nib. I
cheaped out and by the time I got back to the states, I wished I hadn’t.
pens. I read reviews by Pen Hero and Glenn’s Pen Page about the Pelikan M-800
and M-1000 fountain pens. Reviews often compared it to the elite Mont Blanc
Meisterstuck 149 – a large and powerful pen of the cultural elite.
to Ebay and did some searches. A couple of companies kept popping up, both
selling Pelikan fountain pens for far cheaper than list and both selling from
Malaysia. Warning flags went up but I did the research anyway. Both companies
were legitamite pen companies with real store fronts. Both came up in searches
on Google Groups with positive results. Apparently, a close proximity with a
distributor or a headquarters lets them sell the pens for far under list and
they have done so for many years.
local Paradise Pen. It was a good size but not exactly HUGE. Rather than risk
the buyers remorse of buying the smaller of the two, I decided to go all out and
get the top of the line Pelikan M-1000. The service from The Pen Gallery was
excellent. It was a little tricky to pay them and inform them of the nib size
but once that was out of the way it shipped in three days from Malaysia to
Virginia. The total price of the pen was $292. The same pen sells for $439 from
Fountain Pen Hospital.
in the car and soon beheld the behemoth Pelikan M-1000 pen. It was beautiful.
Some might find this pen too big, but I found it to be exactly the sort of pen I
wanted. It is a large classic fountain pen with a huge 18ct two-toned gold nib.
The body is shiny black plastic with a small green window near the nib to show
when ink runs low.
bottle, there are no cartridges or converters. While more modern pen enthusiasts
might consider this a draw back, I consider it a benefit. The pen’s construction
is simple and elegant. I loaded the Pelikan M-1000 with my newly purchased
Visconti Traveling Ink Pot. This ink well probably deserves an entire review for
itself but in short, it loaded the Pelikan M-1000 perfectly and to capacity. I
hear the Pelikan M-1000 holds an enormous amount of ink but I have yet to run
out of ink while writing so it is hard to say for sure.
much closer to a broad nib than a traditional medium nib. It is slightly bigger
than the Lamy 2000 medium and about the same size as a Parker Vanishing Point
broad nib. It’s a good thing the Pelikan M-1000 holds so much ink; with a line
that wet, you go through ink quickly. Pelikan offers a free nib exchange to a
different size. I can’t decide yet if a fine point would be better than a
medium. The medium is very broad but it is very smooth. It is also unique among
my pens. I don’t want something that will write the same way as my Lamy 2000 or
my Pilot Vanishing Point.
Two nights ago I finished writing a 4000 word short
story called "23" using just the Pelikan M-1000 and a Moleskine large lined
notebook in a Renaissance Art traditional large Moleskine cover. I used
Noodler’s black ink in the Pelikan. I found that writing small caused small
letters to turn into big blots while writing a little larger created thick bold
letters that were easily read. If you write large, the medium nib is the nib for
you. Any smaller and a fine point will probably be preferred.
There are times where we want the best product offered. Were we into cars or
home audio or computers, the price we would pay for the best product offered
would be into the tens or even hundreds of thousands. With a pen, however, we
can have the best for $300. The Pelikan M-1000 is the best non-special-edition
pen I have ever used. It is Pelikan’s top of the line pen and it meets all of my
criteria for a fine writing instrument. It is traditional, it writes well, the
construction is simple and sturdy, it feels great, and it’s big. Part of me
wishes the medium nib was a tad smaller but another part likes the bold line for
a bold pen.
M-1000, don’t buy one. There are many great pens like the Lamy 2000, the Pelikan
M-400, or the Pilot Vanishing Point that write very well for about half to a
third of the price of a M-1000. If you seek the pen of the Gods, however, look
no further than Pelikan M-1000.
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