Thursday, July 21, 2016

Review: Pelikan M120 Green & Black Fountain Pen @couronneducomte

This cute little special edition Pelikan was sent for review by La Couronne du Comte! Pelikan says this has the ultimate retro look. The first Pelikan M120 was launched in 1955, and it had the same material for the nib as on this modern version: gold-plated, stainless steel. The original form of the pen remains the same.
Review Pelikan M120 Green & Black Fountain Pen @couronneducomte 4
Review Pelikan M120 Green & Black Fountain Pen @couronneducomte 16

ABOUT

Body Material: Resin
Trim: Gold plated
Length (capped): 129.8 mm/5.11"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 120.5 mm/4.74"
Length (posted): 153.3 mm/6.03"
Barrel Diameter: 11.7 mm/0.46"
Section Diameter: 9.1 - 9.9 mm/0.36" - 0.39"
Nib material: Gold-plated steel
Weight (all): 14 g
Weight (cap): 4 g
Weight (body): 10 g
Fill type: Piston-filler
Cap: Screw on
Posts: Yes, friction
Price: € 189,00
Where to buy: La Couronne du Comte
La Couronne du Comte Banner
DISCOUNT CODE for 10% off: GOURMETPENS

PACKAGING
Review Pelikan M120 Green & Black Fountain Pen @couronneducomte 1
The M120 is presented in a special historical gift box. The box is large but quite light, and is decorated with old style Pelikan script and colors. I love how it looks, and then I wonder why this box looks even nicer than the standard gift box of the Souverän series.

Inside, the pen and bottle of ink is secured in a satiny bed. I love when ink is included with a pen, and yes, maybe I'm a sucker, but it makes the experience more fun for me. I think Pelikan should have included their new 4001 Dunkel Grün ink instead, which would have been a great match for the green on the pen. Instead, it comes with Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue/Königsblau.
Review Pelikan M120 Green & Black Fountain Pen @couronneducomte 2
Although the packaging is a bit large and slightly excessive, I do understand that it's trying to recreate the original Pelikan, and since it comes with a large bottle of ink, it needs the extra space. It's very pretty presentation.
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APPEARANCE

The M120 is a small (not tiny), quite cute pen - think a size similar to the 400NN/Souverän M400/M2XX series. The cap and barrel are round, and both ends are rounded off points. The finial has a modern, glossy Pelikan logo engraved in a matte ring of black resin. It is not very obvious, and it blends in to the black cap. The clip is attached externally by a ring around the cap. The trim is gold plated and complements the green and black plastic nicely. The clip is shaped like a pelican's bill, sitting close to the cap, and angling slightly upwards at the end. The center band is engraved with Pelikan and Germany.
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The section is fairly short, round, smooth, black resin, and it tapers slightly towards the nib, ending in a flared ridge. The back of the section has threads right before the large, clear green ink window. The barrel is a solid dark green resin, seamless with the ink window. The end of the barrel has a black resin piston turning knob.
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The pen is well put together - no large gaps, clean transitions, and no sharp edges sticking out. I have a soft spot for Pelikan, so this design and shape appeals to me. The green and black color scheme is very simple and while some may find it boring (especially if you compare it to some of Pelikan's other pens), it's also very classic Pelikan. This is meant to look like that original M120 school pen.

NIB & PERFORMANCE

This gold plated steel nib is an extra fine. It is a removable nib unit, and the nib is a bright yellow gold (plating). It has a single slit and a round breather hole. It is engraved with a special curly engraving that was found on a Pelikan price list from 1889. It is also engraved with a modern Pelikan logo, and the nib size (EF).
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Review Pelikan M120 Green & Black Fountain Pen @couronneducomte 11
I flushed the pen with some dilute dish soap, and rinsed it thoroughly with water before inking it. I always do this for new pens now, regardless of their price. Is this necessary? Some pens need it, so I just make it a routine. The nib performs very well, and I find it very enjoyable to write with. It is not super smooth, being an extra fine, but is not scratchy either - just a little bit of feedback that comes with being an extra fine. As an extra fine, it is not a gusher but ink flow is quite adequate and appropriate for the nib size - a little on the dry side for me, but that's easy to adjust. Drying times are pretty quick, it does not skip, it does not hard start, and it keeps up well with fast writing and longer writing sessions - no drying out.
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With normal writing, the nib is a tidy little Western extra fine, but it also offers a little bit of line variation, which is one of my favorite things about Pelikan's steel nibs. It's not soft, but with some mild to moderate pressure, you can add some character to your writing. This can easily be used as an every day writer with this performance and with the piston mechanism.
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The piston operates smoothly out of the box. Thumbs up!

IN HAND

The clip is nice and springy, with a convenient and useful amount of tension. It's operable one handed but snug enough to hold the pen in place. The angled end makes it easy to slide on and off your papers, pockets, and pouches easily.

The section is quite small and I find the threads a little sharp to the touch. The section picks up grease/oils easily and if it weren't for the shape keeping my grip in place, I would be bothered by the slippery feeling it gets. My fingers just barely clear the section threads and if I shift my grip at all, I notice the sharp feeling. If you have larger hands, your grip will likely be too big for the small section. Still usable, but you will feel the threads.
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Fortunately, the pen is quite light so just a light grip is needed to use it. Unposted, the pen is light, not too long, and well balanced. The cap can be posted by friction, and it sits quite snugly and securely. I love using this posted, because the length and weight are super comfortable, and the balance is spot on for me.
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Although it looks small, it's not a tiny pen, not a pocket pen. It's just on the smaller side, and it posts perfectly, so it can be quite usable.

PROS & CONS
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OVERALL
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Cute pen. I really like Pelikan pens and I have reviewed quite a few of them (and I have more in my pen case waiting to be reviewed). This is the first M120 I have ever used, and I like it. It has nice packaging, a bottle of ink, it's easy to maintain yourself, easy to clean, and the steel nib is a little springy and perfectly tuned. I do think it's a little expensive, although it becomes much more attractive to purchase it outside of the EU (with 10% off). However, if you are a collector, if you love green/black, or want to give someone a solid, reliable pen, this is pretty decent.

I received this pen free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. There are no affiliate links in this review.

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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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