Saturday, April 22, 2006

Overview: Pelikan M300, M400

Available in half a dozen different sizes, and a few classic colours, the Pelikan Souverän line of fountain pens is popular and well-regarded.

The M300 and the M400 are very light pens, much lighter than I expected. I don't particularly think *quality* when I pick either one up. The barrels are made from plastic and thin resin. The cap, nib section, and filler-cap are adorned with gold-plated accents. The pens feature a piston-filler mechanism, which is a very nice touch. I don't think the barrel and plastic cap would wear very well over time. The finish seems like it would easily scratch. Careless handling could likely result in some damage to the plastic and celluloid/resin finish. I don't think words like 'sturdy' come anywhere near this pen - I fear I will over-tighten something and hear something split.

The Nib
The pens come standard with a finely engraved, two-toned Rhodium-masked gold nib. My M400 features an Extra Fine 14K nib, and my M300 a F 14K nib. Both are very pleasant, smooth nibs to write with. However, they are thicker than expected.

Whilst I like the Souverän M300 and M400 fountain pens, I am very glad I did not buy them retail in Australia, as upon inspecting them closely, I don't think they are worth the AU asking price. To buy the M400 here in AU, you need to pay $370AU, I paid $195AU online - huge difference. To buy the M300, you need to pay $320AU, I paid $180AU. Each price includes shipping to my door.

Nice pens, but I may take the Pelikan M320 and M450 off my wish list. Don't get me wrong - the Souveräns are well-constructed, finely crafted pens. I personally just prefer something that feels a little more sturdy in the hand.

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