Pelikan M-1000 Fountain Pen Review


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.

$300 is a lot of money. You can buy an Xbox 360 for $300 or hire a
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.
I loved the style, however, so I researched the larger Pelikan fountain
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.

Clearly knowing that I wanted either the Pelikan M-800 or M-1000 I went
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.
So which one to choose? I tried out the feel of the Pelikan M-800 at a
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.
Monday afternoon I rushed home, opened the layers of protective packing
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.
The Pelikan M-1000 is a piston feed only. It only takes ink from a
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.
The medium point Pelikan Nib writes a very wet and thick line. It is
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 in our lives where we no longer want to compromise.
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.
If cost is ever a consideration in your decision to buy a Pelikan
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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15 thoughts on “Pelikan M-1000 Fountain Pen Review

  1. Great review, though I think there is more to the price issue – this fountain pen will easily outlast a hundred $3 office supply store disposable pens. The choice of inks (including your own blends) is virtually unlimited. It’s both functional and beautiful. In fact, I was surprised at the price mentioned – I thought this famous pen would be much more.

    Though there is an immediate investment that may make some hesitate, I think a fountain pen (and this review is of a high end pen) can lay claim to being economical over time.

  2. I enjoyed your review of the Pelikan-1000. I have seen very little reference to Pelikan pens on this site. I adore the Pelikan line and have been using them for many, many years, having started with a humble 150. I now own several Pelikan’s and love each one of them for their unique qualities. The 1000 is a bit large for my petite hands, but I love the way it writes. I went for the bold nib in this pen and let me tell you, if you think the line is big and wet in the medium nib, you ought to see the bold nibs off spring of words. It may be bold and wet, but when dried there is a wonderful crisp line that is to be envied.

    If you love your Pelikan pens, there is another line of pens I find even better than the Pelikan’s. I now mark Pelikan’s #2 on my list. #1 being Sailor Pens. I avoided them for years and have found that I made a major mistake. Last year at the Chicago Pen Show I had the opportunity to try them out at the distributors tables. I went home with a 1911 with an extra fine nib and was in love with the pen. I still am in love with the pen. I just finished my Morning Pages with it. Since then I have purchased the Naganata-Togi pen. A wonderful ribbed pattern on the body with the Togi nib. It is a medium to bold nib on the normal writing side of the nib that can be flipped over to write on the back side of the nib in a very nice fine line. You get the best or two nibs in one. Fabulous pen and well worth every penny of $500.

    I am a pen collector and have been using fountain pens since the mid sixties and I would say to you that if you are only going to have one fountain pen, be willing to pay a higher price and get yourself one of these pens. Pelikan or Sailor and I think you will be happy for life with either.

    Happy writing!

  3. Mike, your experience reminded my of my own — I returned a Pelikan 800 after I found myself so aware of its value that I couldn’t use it with any ease. I ended up buying an 800 all over again and have been writing with it for almost 8 years. Pelikans, quite simply, rule. Most pen people will tell you that they’re far superior to Mont Blancs, whose “precious resin” — plastic — easily cracks.

    I agree with Chris — a fountain pen really can be economical in the long run. My 800 has cost me, at most, roughly $40 a year (including ink), far less than a year’s supply of rollerballs or gel pens.

  4. Michael, that was my comment about the economy of fountain pens.

    Here, the comments appear above the poster’s name, though the horizontal rules in the layout seem to suggest the opposite.

  5. “a fountain pen really can be economical in the long run.”

    Not true, for the price of a single Pelikan M800 you can buy several lifetime supplies of disposable Bic ballpoints.

    I have an M200 myself, best pen I’ve ever used, worth the extra money over the Bics.

  6. I love old or well-crafted foutain pens. I’d far rather use my Parker 51 (21st Birthday present, long ago) or my old lever-action Osmiroid (beautiful red marbled barrel with a gold and iridium nib) or even my older 1920’s Swan School Pen (beautiful to write with, when sitting and writing smoothly and fast, but boy does it flow with modern ink).

    But I keep coming back to my cheap Parker Jotter Fountain Pen. It didn’t cost a fortune (about AUD$20 with a filler), and I put Waterman’s Florida Blue into it, which flows like a gel pen. It’s a “flighter”, with a brushed steel barrel.

    But – how many of you need a thick and a thin nib? A good thick nib for This-Is-Me type of writing, and a thin point for writing small & fine diary notes or going between the lines on tight spaces?

    I use the normal flat nib of my Parker Jotter for good solid writing and note-taking, and turn the nib upside down for fine thin-nib writing. It works a treat. For sheer practicality, none of my favourite oldies and expensives stay in my pocket as long as the Parker Jotter Fountain Pen.

    Sometimes your favourite pens, like old and trustworthy friends, become apparent in spite of yourself.

  7. I have both Pelikan M1000 and M800 and both are just great! The M1000 is in OB nib and the M800 in F nib, so I got it covered all the jobs for a fountain pen! Also, my Mont Blanc Meisterstuck 146 has a M nib, so, together with my other 3 fountain pens I have a large variety of writting tools. But the M1000 is near my heart…

  8. There is a saying in Europe: “Instead of buying a Mont Blanc, buy a Pelikan instead and with the money you saved you can take your friends to dinner.”

    Nice sentiments on the Pelikan M1000. I have over the last 7 or so years collected numerous new and vintage pens. In the new side, Pelikan has a special place in my heart. I have 2 of the 200’s, a 400, a 605, an 800 and a 1000 series from Pelikan. in a way I feel I am building something akin to a set of matched golf clubs. I will eventually look for a 250, a 300 and a 150 to have all of the Souvreign sizes. I also have a plastic Go / M75 and a vintage 140 from Rick Propas and all of these pelikans are just top notch for their type and price.

  9. I just lost a Pelikan M200 the other day and have since thought about the wisdom of carrying around even a US$60 pen in my pocket. Now I am putting my Pilot VP at risk in my shirt pocket every day. I miss the large ink capacity of the Pelikan.

  10. I have 2 M200 and 2 M600 Pelikan fountain pens. One of the best pens out there; highly reccomended if you decide on a new pen, an not a vintage one.

    As for the price, you can put that pen to paper for the rest of your life and have no problem with some basic care and maintenance (flushing). This is a workhorse, and it should outlive the most optimistic user.

  11. hi, there is lot of useful and interesting information shared. I own a sailor 1911 burgundy colored fountain pen.It is a good pen but i find the grip uncomfortable compared to say a montblanc meisterstuck which also i own. I have found the sheaffer nibs to be extremely comfortable to put on paper and are the most uniformly writing pens,especially the PFM range.

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