Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pelikan M1000 Souveran - Review

Ever since I purchased my first Pelikan, which was a M800, I knew I was opening doors to another chapter in my pen collection and discovering more wonderful writing instruments. The M1000 has been on my list and further reading and research on this particular instrument reaffirms me that this is the right direction to go. 

As with my previous purchases, I have opted to look for shops and to test any Pelikan before buying. I have learnt from previous experience that most Pelikan does not write well OOTB and I wanted to be very sure of the pen that I buy will be as trouble-free as possible. 

This time around, I was around Kuala Lumpur and happen to have the opportunity to swing by Pengallery itself. It was like a visit to a candy store. I had the opportunity to test some of the newest arrivals of other brands as well.

Testing the Pelikan was an interesting experience. From my previous purchase of the M800, I have learnt that a lot of the factory-fresh nibs has problems that may compromise writing experience. In PenGallery, I had an M, F and EF nib before me to test. The EF has a good flow but a tad bit scratchy for my taste while the M nib was a little to wet and bold for my handwriting style, though it was the smoothest of the three. The F nib strikes the right cord with the right amount of flow, feedback and quality of line that is neither too wet or dry for my liking. I knew that at the moment this can be one of my favourite writer! 

First Impression

Wrapped in the new packaging, it's refreshing to see it coming with its own pen sleeves compared to the previous packaging. 

Appearance and Design 7.0/10

Though the design is classic, elegant and understated, personally, I don't think it will take home the award for best looking pen around. However, I do appreciate the simple and classic design of the flat top and simple form and shape of the entire piece. The new logo is a all gold plated emblem which I personally prefer to the older ones. 

Construction and Quality 9.0/10

One of the better built pens around. I can’t help but comparing it to the Montblanc 149 and I agree to most opinions that the M1000 feels a bit more solid compared to the 149. The cap screws in tight in about 1 turn, quick and ready for action. The joints and details are simple and built to last. The whole pen feels tight and well constructed.

Weight and Dimension 8.0/10

I generally have no issues with light or heavy pens as I’m rather flexible in adjusting to different pen size and weight. With the brass parts and its sheer size, though heavier than most pens, I find it rather comfortable to write with. Weight distribution is a little bit towards the piston knob due to the brass components, and for a pen this size, generally it will be more comfortable without the cap being posted on. It is a rather large pen and may not sit well on a shirt pocket due to the weight and size. I normally keep my pens in cases so, that’s not really an issue for me.

Nib Performance 8.5/10 (Fine)

The nib is one of the best I’ve used so far. I have not much experience with flexible nibs and I’ve learnt that this may not be a true flex after all, but to have a nib that can yield to some pressure does gives a whole new writing experience. Without much pressure, it writes just like any other modern stiff nibs but a little pressure applied on it gives it nice variation and add interest to my writing. It does have a little feedback which is what I’m looking for and does not glide too effortlessly, like my other F nib on the 149. 

As mentioned earlier, in my quest to look for the perfect factory nib, I have been going around testing every M1000 I can get my hands on, and this was closest to the ‘perfect’ nib. There is of course no such thing, unless we send it to a nibmeister. After all the objective here is to look for the best factory sample as a benchmark. 

I find that the tines were never always align. Before writing, the left seemed to be slightly lower and when come in contact with paper surface, the tines rubbed against each other producing soft clicking sounds. This would repeat a few times while writing a sentence and gave the impression of loose parts moving in the writing block, thus compromising the ‘quality feel’ of the pen. This was just a minor annoyance and the clicking sound was only audible in a very quiet environment (in fact I did not even hear it in the shop and realized it only when I was using it at home).

I took a chance to fix this myself by apply some light pressure on the top of the split of the nib and slightly to one side to ‘bend’ the right tines slightly down. Now the default position seems to be well align and the sound of the tines hitting each other is a very rare occurrence, if not entirely gone. Constant use for the past few days may also contributed to the correction of the tines. 

Note that all the above does not seem to compromise the writing experience and quality in any way. There are no flow issues, always consistent, neither too wet or dry, and will write instantly even when left out in the open for a while. Pure writing pleasure. 

Filing System and Mechanism 9.0/10

One of the smoothest piston mechanism I’ve ever used, smoother than the MB pens I have. The green window is a little dark and one needs bright background light to really check the level of the ink, but I’m not complaining as I would not want the simple aesthetic to be compromised with a brighter window.

Cost and Value 8.5/10

At less than half the price of its competitor, the 149, the new production M1000 is at a very good value with a 3 years warrantee and 4 weeks nib exchange program. Pelikan service seems to have a good reputation, so there’s some reassurance there of after sales service. What can I say, I’m a happy bird.

Conclusion 8.33/10

The M1000 is a class of its own even when compared to the lesser Souveran series. My 149 F is my most frequent pen in my rotation of FPs and I have a feeling this will help to reduce the mileage of that 149. Highly recommended if you’re into larger series pens.

Thank you again for reading!

Size comparison Between M1000 and MB149

 nib comparison of the flagship pens, almost similar in size 
but with totally different personalities

 Cap design comparison between the 2 giants

While taking these pictures, Mr Grasshopper 
express his curiosity on the new writing instrument 

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