Pelikan M215 fountain pen review14 April 2014
The Pelikan M215 is an amazing pen. It is virtually faultless.
It is a piston-filling pen that holds a good amount of ink. The piston mechanism is smooth and has the feel of precision engineering. There is not wiggle or wobble and it glides in the most luxurious way. There is a window just above the section so you can check how much ink is left. This window is dark and blends in nicely with the rest of the barrel. It does make it necessary to hold the pen up to the light to check on the ink.
I love the design. Classy but not flashy. The lacquer is smooth and very shiny and the rings give the barrel a bit of interest.
There is a metal core that gives the pen some weight, adding to the feeling of quality. The pen is a good length – fairly short but comfortable in the hand even unposted.
The cap screws on. It posts in a completely conventional and serviceable manner. The clip has the wonderfully subtle Pelikan beak design and is good and firm.
Before even writing a single word, this pen shouts quality. But I haven’t got to the best part yet.
I couldn’t decide whether to get this pen with a gold nib or a steel nib. In the end, my wallet decided for me and I bought a fine steel nib. Every now and then it false-starts, just the tiniest amount, only on very smooth paper. and only very occasionally. Not enough to be anywhere near a problem (for me) but I feel I need to mention it. Despite that…
This is one of the best nibs I have ever used. It is so smooth. It flexes a little. It does your writing for you. It is beautiful.
If someone was looking for just one pen then this is the pen I would currently recommend.
I don’t know if I have ever read a review this positive. Please stop tempting my finances to plummet even further.
You need this pen!
great review Ian, I think this is clearly one of your favourite pens.
P.S. Hope the wedding went well!
Yes it is currently in my top 2! (Can’t decide if it’s no. 1 or no. 2 though…)
What’s the other contender?
I think at the time I wrote this the other contender was the Platinum #3776 Sai but now the Franklin-Christoph M02 is fighting it out too!
Great review of a really lovely pen. It may be worth saying that one of the great things about Pelikan fountain pens is that the nibs (of the M200/205, M215, M400/405 and M600/605 pens) can all be swapped, as they will all screw into the respective barrels of these pens. This does not apply with the M800/805 and M1000/1005 pens, as these barrels are a different size. This means that you can buy a barrel you like and then change the size or material of the nib as you like at some point in the future. Some of the gold nibs go through the range from EF to BBB, so there is no end of choice. This is a great advantage as you are not stuck with one nib size forever, but could be bad news for your bank balance. I see that Cult Pens sells the nibs on its website.
Thanks for pointing that out Chandon. Pelikan Pens is another good UK source of nibs (and pens) and I once wrote about a custom grind they did for me.
I have an m215 and a Lamy Persona. Both have broad, gold nibs, each is a pleasure to use. But I also have some Chinese pens (Haolilai, Duke, and Hero among others) which, at a fraction of the cost, are equally pleasurable to use.
Just found your site this evening Ian, and I have to say this is a class place to visit. All the pens and inks I’m interested in are here. I’m torn between an M205 and 215 purely because I can’t bring myself to love the rings on the 215 – but they must be the same nib surely?
And a hat tip to Dave above – Duke pens and nibs (always medium) are famously smooth, wet writers for under £20 even for their best stuff, and as a ‘hidden gem’ – I can recommend Picasso pens, also from China. Both are like writing with coloured butter.
Not often I bookmark a pen site Mr Hedley, but I’ve just hit the button on this one! Thanks for taking the time to put it together for us all.
Thanks Jeff! Glad you like it here. Yes the 205 and 215 have the same nibs. I think the 215 also has a brass inner barrel which the 205 lacks, giving it some extra weight.
Hi, thanks for the review. Does this pen really have an ink window? I see conflicting reports in some forums. Many thanks!
It does, yes.