Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: Pelikan M1005 Demonstrator Fountain Pen - Fine

This is a (somewhat) review but mostly a blabfest of how much I am enjoying this Pelikan M1005 Demonstrator with a fine nib. I should warn you: there are a lot of pictures. In fact, this is mostly a pen porn post.
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Hello pretty girl.
This special edition fountain pen is the clear demonstrator version of the Pelikan M1000 Souverän series. The demonstrator shows off Pelikan’s patented differential piston mechanism, originating in 1929. It has been around for quite some time now and has remained a success to this day. Now you can watch (and feel) how very smooth this mechanism is when you are filling your pen with ink.

I knew going into this that I very well could be disappointed by the packaging. Sure enough, I was. I opened up the cardboard box it came in. It was certainly a prettied up version of a cardboard box - more solid, with a clear viewing window through the top, but it’s still just a cardboard box. I have a Graf Von Faber-Castell fountain pen that came in a really nice wooden box, which is what this pen should have come with, given how awesome it is (and its price). However, more importantly, Pelikan did not skimp on making this demonstrator awesome!
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Overall, I love the appearance of the M1005. It has no unnecessary elaborate pieces (such as extra curls or knobs on the clip), and it is well designed with a straightforward, classic shape that will appeal to most.

The barrel is indeed completely clear, achieved by an intensive process that ensures there are no color particles in the production, resulting in a gorgeous, clean, and color-free demonstrator. You can see all the pieces moving, ink levels, and even the little bubbles of air. This pen is a piece of art. Furthermore, it is a monster of a pen. I knew it was going to be big when I ordered it but when I actually got a hold of it and started writing, I was blown away by its size. It is without a doubt the largest pen and nib I’ve ever written with.

As for the piston mechanism - it’s not only cool to watch in action, but it also glides effortlessly. So far, it has not gotten stuck on me, and when I pushed some ink through, it didn’t stick then pop, giving me a giant blob of ink (like what happens with my Noodler’s Ahab, which I know is a completely different pen class, but still).
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Inked with J. Herbin Vert Olive
The whopper of a nib is hand crafted and is 18-karat gold and rhodium plated to give the pen an overall silver and transparent appearance that I think is very attractive. The clip and rings are palladium plated to match the nib. Being such a large and soft nib, it does write bigger and wetter than most fountain pens. I ordered a fine and it writes like the medium nibs found on my other pens. I was aware the nib had some semi-flexing properties so I wanted to go small so when it flexed, it wouldn’t put down lines that were too wide for writing letters and such. Writing with this soft nib is like writing with melting butter - no skipping, no blobbing. You can’t write too fast if you’re flexing because it will draw a lot of ink and you can’t move too quickly when the pen needs that much ink. Patience is key. It is drool-worthy and to die for.
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Inked with J. Herbin Vert Olive
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Nib comparison, top to bottom: Graf Von Faber-Castell Anello Titanium medium, Pelikan M1005 fine
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Nib comparison left to right: Graf Von Faber-Castell Anello Titanium medium, Pelikan M1005 fine
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Nib and body comparison: Pelikan M1005 fine (top), Noodler's Ahab Flex (bottom). Boy, that Ahab is actually pretty big!
Users who prefer nibs that give feedback and write tougher and harder probably won't like this nib. But remember, for a nib to be this creamy, buttery, and velvety smooth, the materials going into it have to be exceptional. It’s a quality product.
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In Leuchtturm 1917 medium notebook with dots (obviously)
In hand, at 34 g, it feels like a solid, heavy pen. The nib feels like it can easily handle a heavy hand. The weight tends towards the back because of the brass piston and when posted, it's even heavier back there. This didn't bother me, even with my average-sized female hands...I think they're average anyway. Everything comes together so well - the cap snugly threads closed, it posts smoothly and reassuringly, and nothing feels loose. Despite its solid feel, I am always cautious. I coddle my pens and try my very hardest to pay attention to what I’m doing with them so I don’t accidentally drop them.
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Top to bottom: Noodler's Ahab Flex, Pelikan M1005, Graf Von Faber-Castell Anello Titanium, Lamy Studio, Lamy Al-Star.
I also realized something that is not significant and I'm sure everyone else already knows this but... have you ever noticed that the clip, when facing you, is the face and bill of a pelican?! This is a genius product move, and one that makes me a sucker for Pelikans more than I am already.
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Do you see the pelican?!
Concerns?

I haven't tried any dark inks yet, but I wonder about inks that may stain. It would be a shame to have this beauty tainted with leftover ink so, unless you are a devoted and accomplished fountain pen cleaner, perhaps stick to lighter inks without iron gall properties! Despite this concern, I am madly in love with this pen and want to put all sorts of inks in it to gaze at.

While many have objected to the limited range of nibs available for this pen, it was not a problem for me because I knew I wanted a rhodium fine nib and not a BB/BBB or stub (which you really could get and replace yourself, it would just not be rhodium... unless you really wanted to pay for some custom work).

Why did I pick this pen?

Well, it’s quite simple. I had no demonstrators in my collection, and for me, once I laid eyes on this pen, I knew it was “the one”. I was taken by its elegant beauty and couldn’t stop picturing how saucy my inks would look in it! Plus, a big nib with semi-flex was too appealing. I love flex nibs.

This beauty is handmade in Germany and there’s only a few left out there so if you want one, don’t hesitate! If you can’t find the nib you want in the rhodium, you can always use the Pelikan M1000 two-tone nibs.

How is this pen improving my life?
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I know. I sound so dramatic. But I'm not kidding, this pen is improving my life. I look forward to having the time to sit at my table, pull out some Rhodia, and writing with tails and curls. I swear, this pen is infused with creativity and when I touch it, it diffuses into my fingers through a concentration gradient. Remember this from science? To achieve equilibrium, things will move from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration? Well, I am the area of low concentration of creativity.

This pen makes me feel inspired to write and it's an absolute joy to write with. The whole experience puts a big, stupid grin on my face. I love holding it, watching the ink in it, shining lights through the ink in the barrel, and seeing what I can create on paper. And then pretending I am awesome.
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Pelican and baby! How cute is that?!
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Slow and steady wins the race!
Other (far better) tidbits to enjoy:
Sidestreaker via FPN
Leigh Reyes
Penandpaperco

Price
Nibs.com - $660.00
World Lux - $615.00
Isellpens.com - $600.00

Overall

This is the first Pelikan I've owned and tried, so please take my praise with a grain of salt. I know demonstrators are not everyone's favorite but remember I am also talking about the pen's performance here! I was able to acquire this pen for $550.00 and I'm really happy with it! It is indeed a costly pen... although by no means the most expensive fountain pen out there. It is a beautiful work of art in a simple and elegant way. It performs very well and given that I am partial to soft nibs because of their ability to flex a little, I am thrilled with the writing experience. Ultimately, as with all fountain pens, whether you are interested in this pen or not comes down to whether or not it is aesthetically appealing to you, and if you enjoy the writing experience. After all, that is what fountain pens are all about!

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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