Sunday, January 1, 2012

Pelikan Demonstrator M1005 - Review

Shortly after obtaining my M1000 (black), I can’t seem to get enough of the excellent writing quality and experienced offered by this flagship model. The semi flexible nib, the built quality and the smoothness of the piston filler makes is up there along with many other great models such as MB149, and some would say even better. 

I knew that eventually I will be finding and excuse to obtain another of the same model. Perhaps with a different barrel design, nib size etc. Before I know it, I found myself back in the same shop, PenGallery and greeted by the same smiley salesperson who was ready to take out any pen for testing. I then noticed that the M1005 was available and was informed that the only available nib at the moment was F nib. I was already very much in loved with the F nib on my M1000 and surely would not mind another one (I’ve tried other sizes , EF, M and B and doesn’t quite agree with them, it’s a personal choice, really).

I’ve seen all the pictures available on the internet, and I can say it looks much better in flesh. I must say it is pleasantly delightful to experience the flagship pen as demonstrator, it feels like a totally different pen and yet has all the great characteristic of this fine writing instrument. In fact, in some view, it is an even better instrument. The nibs of the same size seems smoother, with silver trims (which I love) and the details are sharper, not to mention the wonder of seeing all the innards and observing how it works. Maybe it’s my imagination, but I was convinced to have this as my second 1000 series. 

(Note that this review is built on some of the similar points of my previous review of the M1000, just some adjustment to address to the demonstrator’s quality)

First Impression

The Pelikan M1005 comes in what would be regarded as a the new style of packaging Pelikan pens, but with a cut out clear window, in spirit of the demonstrator. It’s a simple and modest packaging and serves it purpose to give adequate protection to the writing instrument. Inside, the pen is strapped with a transparent plastic strip that secures it to the soft base. Sponges are added in to provide extra protection from lateral impact. Seems like a lot of effort to keep it in one piece. Let’s see if the instrument is equally well put together. 

Appearance and Design 8.5/10

First of all, let me start by saying I am not a fan of demonstrators. The impressive looks and feel of the M1005 is enough to change that. Well, there you go. 

Take an elegant, understated but relatively boring(IMO) and plain looking pen such as the M1000 and turn it into a demonstrator, instantly you have a rather impressive looking writing instrument. Believe me when I say it is several notches above the current M1000 model; by a lot!. It looks like an entirely different pen but very familiar and similar in feel. 

Pelikan nibs though are some of the better writing ones in the market but they are certainly not one of the better looking ones, at least in my opinion. However, a monotone nib of the M1005 looks so much better. After all, I am a fan of silver trims, rhodium or palladium plating. The clear acrylic and silver appearance-plating gives emphasis on its basic form, and provide the opportunity to appreciate the functionality as an aesthetic of its own.

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 can agree to most opinion 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 would normally keep my pens in cases so, that’s not really an issue for me.

Nib Performance 9.0/10 (Fine)

Unlike the standard M1000, where I’ve experienced a lot of problems while testing, the nibs of the M1005 seems perfect OOTB, at least the ones that I have tested. Perhaps the production line for this special edition has extra attention in quality control. This is where it brings the score higher than the standard M1000 production nibs with its higher reliability. As far as performance goes it 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. 

Filing System and Mechanism 8.0/10

The piston filling mechanism is smooth but not as smooth as the standard Pelikan. There’s some minor squeaking noise when turning the piston knob, as if scrubbing on clean clear glass. Nonetheless, the mechanism still functions well and it’s great to see reservoir of the pen being filled up. Cleaning is easy and particularly for a demonstrator, it is crucial to have the writing block removable to clean out all the parts thoroughly.

Cost and Value 7.5/10

There is a premium over the standard M1000 as this is a special edition after all. The M1005 is still at a very good value with a 3 years of warrantee and 4 weeks of nib exchange program. Pelikan service seems to have a good reputation, so there’s some reassurance there of after sales service. 

I was really contemplating over the price tag as it almost double the price of a regular M1000, for aesthetics. Then again, when compared to other brands and range, the M1000 is one of the best value flagship pens around to begin with. Adding a little more to something that gives value and delight seems to worth the extra cost in my opinion. 

Conclusion 8.33/10

In summary when compared to the standard M1000, it is better in almost every aspects in terms of looks and appearance as well as nib quality but somehow it does not have a piston smoothness as the regular M1000. Not to mention the higher price tag on something that has the same functionality as the regular ones may be a deterrent. It may be contributed by the additional manufacturing process that translates into the production cost (but then again Sailor managed to keep their demonstrator and regular pens the same price, hmm). Nonetheless, this is a one time release from Pelikan that should not be overlooked and certainly noteworthy to be in any serious pen collection.

Thank you again for reading, oh and Happy New Year 2012!