The Pelikan M805 demonstrator was released in 2015, following the release of the 1005 earlier. Pelikan, a German pen company based in Hanover, has been in operation since 1838. Pelikan is not only known for its beautiful high end fountain pens, but also produces daily stationery, office and art materials for the wider community. Pelikan fountain pens are also well known for having invested the differential piston filler in fountain pens in 1929, allowing for a larger ink capacity in the fountain pen.
History lesson over, I first saw a demonstrator Pelikan in a few by Gourmetpens of the M1005 that had been released earlier. I recall thinking that it was ridiculous spending that much money on a plastic fountain pen – not having had that much experience in fountain pens at the time. As you can see from this review, I have clearly changed my mind.
As my experience in fountain pens grew and having purchased my first TWSBI, I realised how handy and attractive the demonstrator was. There was nothing better to do in my many meetings than to twirl a demonstrator and watch the ink slush around (I have some very boring meetings!). It was not only entertaining but practical – it was easy to determine when I needed to bring a back up pen because my existing pen would run out of ink.
So by the time the Pelikan M805 came out, I was well and truly down the demonstrator rabbit hole and eating my initial words about demonstrators. It came at an opportune time as well – I had finished my Masters degree in 2015 and I was looking for a present to myself to celebrate the achievement. The Pelikan M805 easily won that contest.
The M800 size is the second largest pen in the Pelikan Souveran family and sits between the M600 and the M1000. This size also sport brass internals (the smaller pens I believe have plastic internals) and you can clearly see these in the M805 demonstrator. The last difference is that the larger pens (M800 and M1000) have 18kt nibs, as opposed to the standard 14kt in the M600 and M400, although some special editions in the smaller sizes may have 18kt nibs as well.
M600 is my size of choice, but the M800 isn’t so large that its unwieldly for me. Its noticeably heavier but still comfortable for me to use and its longer length means that I don’t post it – although I have no problems with that, I’m paranoid that I’ll split the cap in these more expensive pens by posting. Being a larger pen, the ink capacity of the M805 is about 1.7mL, compared to the 1.3mL available in the M600 size. They’re both pretty big and a fill will last for quite a while in either pen.
Now for the nib. The nibs that came with my M600’s all wrote well out of the box. They are all smooth and wet with large, forgiving sweet spots. The M805 on the other hand, which I purchased from a retailer that adjusts the flow and checks the nib prior to shipping, came a little bit dry…The sweet spot is quite small on the pen and very low down meaning that I need to hold the pen quite a way down the barrel to hit it. Once you get to the sweet spot, its easy to accidentally rotate out of it, so I really need to concentrate on how I’m holding the pen and how I’m writing with it to make sure I don’t move my hand around too much.
The nib can be unscrewed from the pen body for cleaning, which makes it easy, but because it’s a demonstrator, ink can stain the plastic – particularly where the nib screws into place. I asked Pelikan and the retailer about this issue and they recommended that I use Pelikan branded inks to resolve the issue. I own Amethyst, Aquamarine, Topaz and Tanzanite and in my experience, all 4 inks caused this problem.
Although I love the look of this pen, I don’t quite love the practicality of it or the writing experience quite as much. I prefer the M600’s that I own which have all been reliable writers. I did wonder whether it was because the M600 nibs were made of 14kt gold rather than 18kt, but the fine nib on my M600 is actually 18kt, so I don’t think that can be it. If I can get it to a nibmeister to tune the nib so that it’s a little less sensitive to writing position, I think it would be a lot more enjoyable to use.
Have you used a Pelikan before? Which is your favourite size?
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