My First “Real” Fountain Pen

Sooo since I talked about the Adler a bit, which was made in West Germany, I decided to post up a fountain pen I own that is also German. Germans must have this thing for making absolutely amazing products… I dunno, maybe it’s just me.

I feel like I should clarify something. I use “real” because my first fountain pen was a lower-end cartridge filler by Cross, which sadly isn’t made in its original form anymore — nor that color. I had two of those and I actually gifted a third to a friend in high school way back when. The first ended up being stolen somehow. The second ended up thinking I enjoyed having ink on my paw so I ended up giving up on it.

Upon that happening, I realized rather quickly that I couldn’t live without a fountain pen. I have been using them since I purchased the first one. Something has always fascinated me about them. Typewriters are the same way… there’s like a mystique about these items.

There’s something about both of these items, that when you shop for them, they encourage you to find something that is fun and matches youThe Fountain Pen Hospital had this little gem in stock:

The box, the presentation box, the pen, and the bottle of ink. That bottle is the same one I've used since I've bought the pens. Goes to show how well these pens distribute ink in an economical but fluid way.

The box, the presentation box, the pen, and the bottle of ink. That bottle is the same one I’ve used since I’ve bought the pens. Goes to show how well these pens distribute ink in an economical but fluid way.

This pen is Pelikan’s M205 Demonstrator (Blue). What does a demonstrator mean? Well, a better example is the Noodler’s Konrad I have. That is what a demonstrator is: you can see every little bit of it.

As you can see, Pelikan employs a "cap within a cap" design which, on the demonstrators, clearly shows how easily ink can get trapped between the layers. The piston is clearly visible within the barrel of the fountain pen as well!

As you can see, Pelikan employs a “cap within a cap” design which, on the demonstrators, clearly shows how easily ink can get trapped between the layers. The piston is clearly visible within the barrel of the fountain pen as well!

It is limited production (not edition) and is no longer made. I’ve had two of these… The first, of course, was stolen somehow — which is a story unto its own. I was lucky enough to find a second one online. But I ignore that loss and say I’ve had the pen for at least 6 years since they are essentially the same pen — one just had a different fineness (XF v F).

The nib. Though it might be obvious, the "F" stands for Fine. The original one I had was an XF. These nibs can be screwed out and are interchangeable with all M205 compatible nibs.

The nib. Though it might be obvious, the “F” stands for Fine. The original one I had was an XF. These nibs can be screwed out and are interchangeable with all M205 compatible nibs.

This pen was my introduction to what a fountain pen “should” be like: Immortal styling, an inspiration to write with, and fun to look at and hold. It is a piston filler, which means it can only be filled from bottled ink and has a generous capacity. The nib is smooth and has just enough give to allow comfortable, springy writing. With a thinner barrel, it’s an ideal pocket pen — but that thinner barrel also means that over long writing periods your hand can tend to cramp.

But even with the handicap of potential cramping, this pen easily takes the cake for sheer volume of pages written with it. I’ve not restricted myself to just that bottle of Pelikan ink either… Through Goulet Pen’s Ink Drop, I’ve sampled probably a 50+ inks with this pen alone as this is my baseline for piston-filler compatibility. It works well with even the more intense inks that say “Do not leave in fountain pens” like J Herbin’s 1670 Anniversary Rouge Hematite. I ended up leaving this pen filled with this ink over a period of over a month with no ill effects to any component!

With all these glowing reviews, I have to sadly report that it is due for a check up with a nibmeister. It’s put away in the pen case until then. But strangely even though it does need some TLC, I always turn to it in times of need. When all other pens fail to inspire, I need but to ink this one up not half-way and words flow onto the page as quickly as the hand scribe them.

As always, thanks for reading! Have a great day and be safe out there. 🙂

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10 thoughts on “My First “Real” Fountain Pen

  1. My favourite brand! I have a few of them. My M800 has a temperamental nib (in Broad Bold, no less) that cuts out ink flow whenever I write an upper-case letter ‘C’. I’ll have to attend to that sometime. But first, I may have to get a M600 with a Fine nib.
    Congratulations on a fine pen.

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    • That /is/ temperamental! I’ve… I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a broad bold nib cutting out. Usually those nibs are mega wet, yeah? I’ve never used them myself so, just going off of assumption. It’s interesting too that it’s only the ‘C’…

      Some of the M800-styled pens are drool worthy! The new M600 that’s “Vibrant Green” and SE is worth checking out if you want something special. It looks like the pen is made from green marble. So pretty…

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      • The ‘C’ problem might have something to do with how I hold the pen, but I’d be surprised if that were the case. Doesn’t affect any other letter. The M800 is a nice pen, but it can be a little unwieldy for long documents after a while. It’s a heavy pen. Thank God I didn’t get the M1000! I think the 600 would be the ideal size.

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      • Wow, that’s good to know! I’ve gotten to like larger pens because they’re easier on the paw, but for whatever reason the idea never crossed my mind that they could be too heavy. Kind of makes me wonder if at that point they’re mainly designed for status symbols and/or collections.

        And I’d have to agree that it’s a good thing you didn’t get the M1000!

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  2. Check out an eBay seller named “printhardcopy”. He shows all the models lying next to each other next to a ruler. This gives a great indication of the length of each pen. I’ve bought almost all of my Pelikans from him.
    Regarding the M800, I use it with the cap unposted to lighten the writing experience. If you have largish hands, then the M800 is something like a Mont Blanc 149 in size. But don’t quote me on that. I have never seen the two of them side by side.

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    • printhardcopy… got it! 🙂

      I’m still waiting for the day I can buy a Mont Blanc and there’s a few that hold my interest, but the cost is also prohibitive in some cases. Sooner or later though.

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      • Mont Blancs are nice writers, but yes, the prices are obscene for what they are. Although, a 146 Classique is a nice pen. Like you say, sooner or later. Maybe we need to sock away 20 bucks a week for a year. How hard can that be?

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      • You know… that’s a brilliant idea: payment installments on fountain pens. We should get a letter going that’s some kind of petition to the big pen makers that reads something like:

        “We fountain pen users wish to buy your pens but the initial cost of investment is simply too great. Your pens are admired through out the world and people want them. But we suggest you implement an incremental pay system where the purchaser may pay you $X amount each week, two weeks, monthly, or quarterly. You may charge a slight increase to the price for this, as it is logical (but please, no more than 10-12%… the inconvenience cannot be /that/ great). This would encourage us, the pen collectors and users of the world, to purchase your pens more readily as it would be easier for us to do so — and thus increasing your revenues. Thank you.”

        I like it, haha! I’m down with paying a bi-weekly or monthly price to pay off a pen. It’s like a credit card, only better.

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