There are few brands that I drool over more than Pelikan. So it was very exciting when I received this pen in the mail from Rolfe at Missing-Pen.de. First, I have to say, if you are looking for a Pelikan, I can not recommend Missing Pen enough. Rolfe is a joy to work with and his service is prompt and thorough. I was also treated with some of his store exclusive Diamine Ink "Racing Green" More on that later.
I have had this pen long enough now to get my thoughts together about it. I would have posted sooner, but we have had a lot going on. I guess the first thing to answer is "Why the M805 in Blue?" I can not afford a M1000 at this point, and I was nearly about to go for the M800 in red several years ago when I first started looking at getting one of these, but the blue just.... strikes my fancy.
My understanding is that the Pelican with its Baby has often been used as a symbol of Christianity because the Pelican will pierce it's own chest and feed its young blood if food is in short supply, which can be referenced to Christ, having His side pierced for all of us. For more reading on that: The Symbolism of the Pelican.
Engraving on the front of a Catholic Alter
I don't know if that was the intention of Pelikan, but I like the idea that it was. There are plenty of luxury fountain pen companies, so the idea that one might be a bit more noble, impresses me. I may just be coming up with excuses to like Pelikan more, but I think it's nice to be able to put my finger on some of the intangibles.... and I already like the brand.
And, seriously, there are plenty of reasons to like the brand. I enjoy all the details. The motif of the pelican moves on to the clip where the eye and bill are represented. That slight swoop at the end makes it a very functional clip too.
The pattern is also very interesting. I like the Stresemann pattern. It is different and interesting. There are very small imperfections in some of the blue strips, but I like it, it makes mine unique. The Pelikan website has a better explanation of the history of the man behind the pattern:
The foreign minister of the Weimar Republic, Gustav Stresemann (1879- 1929), was honored with the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1926: Together with his French colleague Aristide Briand, he was acknowleged for his reconciliatory work between the nations after World War I. Besides his impressive political career, Stresemann also became famous for the creation of a new kind of suit that was still sufficiently formal for official presentations and yet comfortable enough for his work at the office. Stresemann liked to wear suits with thin stripes, and, as life sometimes goes, a legend developed … and suddenly, people called the striped fountain pens from Pelikan -- that were just then starting their global tour of success around the world -- by the name of "Stresemann“.Both the suits and the pens still carry that name to this day.
Being part of the Souverän series of pens, the 805 has a piston filling system. The differential screw piston filler is really one of the things that made Pelikan famous.
Pelikan’s fountain pen was revolutionary in the sense that it had a piston mechanism that consisted of differential threads. This mechanism was invented by the Hungarian engineer Theodor Kovács and filed in 1921 and patented in 1923. Using two threads with different telescope thread leads, the piston moves much faster than with a single thread. This not only allowed for a quicker charging by simply turning a knob, but it also increased the capacity considerably. On top of that, the use of cork prevented the fountain pen from leaking. Pelikan bought the patent for this invention in 1927 from Kovács since he failed to create a working fountain pen with his Croatian business partners. Pelikan later substituted the cork with plastic as seen below, because cork dries out over time and decreases in volume, causing the fountain pen to leak.
That is a beautiful nib. I realize I am gushing about this pen, so it may be surprising that I had a small, short lived disappointment. I am not sure if mine just needed some break in time, or it had slight baby's bottom, or what, but I did have some skipping and hard starts until I had ran about 2 fills through it. I have heard that Pelikans sometimes need breaking in, so I was not too stressed... but I still think it should have written perfect out of the gate.
Other than that small hiccup, it has been a wonderful nib. It is a European Medium. I have found it true to my idea of medium. It is, of course, wider than a Pilot, or Sailor, etc. It does not really seem any wider than my Montblanc M, or my Lamy M.
It is an 18k gold nib, plated with rhodium. It is not a particularly soft nib, but it certainly is not a nail. It's nice.
I have other German pens, but these three are my German Knights. If I put the Lamy 2000 right next to the Montblanc 149 they would seem in more stark comparison; the Pelikan M805 is a nice balance between the two.
I do realize it would be more appropriate to compare the Pelikan M805 to the Montblanc 146, but I don't have a MB 146, I DO have a MB 149. I really want a Pelikan M1000 now, but it will have to wait, besides the M805 is really the perfect size for daily use. The two companies have a history together, too. There was even a time that Pelikan made the ink for Montblanc and Montblanc made the nibs for Pelikan.
This is not my best handwriting, but someone had commented that the Pelikan sizes run a bit broad compared to others. I can agree with this.
As I was taking the pictures for this post, my 7 year old reminded me that we had gotten TWO new pens. It is true, I also purchased a new pen for my wife. Neon Coral Lamy Safari, the limited edition color for 2014.
In conclusion, I am smitten. I love the pen. I love the nib, the size, the color, the whole brand. If you have ever been on the fence about Pelikan... come on in, the water is fine. I can also recommend Rolfe Thiel with Missing-Pen (http://stores.ebay.com/missing-pen) He is a joy to work with, has excellent service, and phenomenal prices.
My expectations have been exceeded, and that is a rarity. I am not often blown away.