Pelikan M205 (the Illustrious) Fountain Pen - F Nib

Light up the torches folks, because based on the hype around this pen we may have to burn someone at the stake once you've finished reading.  That person would be a certain pen blogger; me.

There has been a lot of talk about the Pelikan M205 being amazing, smooth, and an all-around great pen.  The brand recognition is there, the styling is classic and beautiful, and it holds overall clout in the community.  

I do love the design of it and would consider it my first "classic" styled pen with the solid barrel colors and metal trims.  It is elegant and feels like it is built well.  It is lightweight, but feels sturdy enough, although not incredibly durable.  It isn't built for that, so is expected.

I really enjoy the Pelikan logo of the parent and child swimming while looking at each other.  It is one of those logos that makes you feel good.  The logo is on the tip of the cap and is stamped on with a silvery ink.  I wager over time with heavy use it may start to come off. 

There are some seams in the pen, particularly in the grip section where you can see where the two halves of the plastic/acrylic where molded together.  Not entirely a turn off, but not entirely fancy in my opinion based on my expectations. 

Seam in grip slightly visible

The M205 is a piston filler with a cool smokey ink reservoir window built in seamlessly with the barrel.  Very cool, particularly with a bright colored ink I bet. 

I was extremely excited to try the M205 for myself to see if it would be a good fit and one that would find heavy rotation.  My first experience with a lovely red M205 that I bought from my local Scottsdale Pen is currently in the shop for a nib warranty issue that started from the first day I inked it up.  That may let you know how things are panning out for me with this pen... The warranty company had questions of whether I inked it up right, what ink I was using, etc.  I filled it initially with Pelikan brand Edelstein Topaz ink (my first experience with it) as the pen manufacturer suggests, but still had issues with the pen not writing as it should or nearly at all.  Probably just a nib issue and we'll get it taken care of, right?  So off to East coast it went for repairs and is still out there somewhere getting worked on. 

My hopes were still high, and upon hearing of Pen Chalet's sponsorship of the Pen Addict Podcast and a great deal on the M205 from their site (+10% off...) I decided to bite on another one.  The white looked stunning, so I picked it up for a great price and helped support Pen Chalet who is a local company to me here in Arizona as well as my friends Myke and Brad.  All was good.

Upon receipt of the new white M205 I immediately inked it up this time with some Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki of which I was very familiar and felt safe with.  Upon writing on some Tomoe River paper just to give it the very best possible outcome, it wrote...better.  While the nib was actually writing consistently this time, my vertical lines and initial letter starts were sometimes a bit sketchy and I've often had to rewrite the lines to get ink on the page.  To keep the pen flowing smoothly I had to write with the nib a bit tilted to the right side.  Sorry Pelikan, strike 2 in my book.

Granted, the nib is a steel one, but I honestly have great success with steel on a variety of other pens of a perceived "lesser caliber" than the M205.  My Lamy Safaris, Kaweco AL Sport (sub M nib size), Karas Kustoms Ink, and my TWSBIs all write much better and more smoothly than the M205.  I could upgrade to a gold nib as several people do, but to add an additional $200 to this pen makes me uneasy.

With a retail price of $195 ( I did not pay this for either of mine), I guess I would just expect more from it.  One snafu with a nib I could understand and work through, but seemingly two in a row is a bit more than a coincidence.  Maybe it writes the way it is supposed to now, but isn't really to my style?  All I know is that I've done better personally with a pen a third of the price.

Are your torches lit yet?... Has someone piled up the wood for the fire?...

As said before, the pen is beautiful and very stylish, but my first impressions have not been the greatest which is a bit disappointing.  I'm not upset that I bought it and will continue to use the M205 in hopes that it will eventually adjust to my writing style, but we'll see.  Also, when the red one returns back from the shop I'll put it in the rotation to see if the experience has improved.  I anticipate a follow up post to the M205 sometime in the future to discuss if things have changed for me.