Pelikan M805 Fountain Pen Review

The (relatively) more affordable Pelikan fountain pens have long been a favourite of mine. The M205 is a lovely pen, particularly with the gold nib upgrade. This caused me to long for one of the significantly less affordable models. I was lucky enough to be lent a blue M805 and immediately fell in love with it. Did this love last? Was it going to lead to a long term commitment or was it simply a passing fancy?

Price: £315
Filling method: piston
Barrel options: blue or black (in this silver trim M805 version – green is also an option with the gold trim M800 version)
Nib options: extra-fine, fine, medium or broad
Size: 14cm closed, 17cm posted
Weight: 29g

Pelikan M805 pelican

The Pelikan M805 is fairly substantial-feeling pen. It feels solid and it feels like a pen that’s cost you a few pounds. It’s a good size but it isn’t overly large or overly heavy.

Pelikan M805 in hand

The build quality is extremely high. The blue stripes are surprisingly (and pleasantly) sparkly.

Pelikan M805 blue stripesPelikan M805 blue stripesPelikan M805 blue stripes

The cap screws on to close and pushes on to post, which is does securely.

Pelikan M805 posted

The clip has Pelikan’s distinctive beak shape and is good and strong.

Pelikan M805 beak

It’s a piston filler and the mechanism is smooth. The pen holds a lot of ink and if you hold it up to the light you can just about see how much ink is left, through the transparent gaps between the blue stripes.

The nib is absolutely beautiful to look at and to use. Nibs on M805s are usually completely rhodium plated but my loaner pen has the two-tone nib more commonly found on the M800 series. Pelikan’s swirly nib design is gorgeous. Even more gorgeous is how the nib writes. The flow is good, there’s never the slightest hint of skipping (it would be mortified to know I even mentioned the possibility) and there is only the slightest amount of feedback. There’s just enough bounce and just enough feedback to let you know you’re using a real pen on real paper; but no more.

Pelikan M805 nib

For the first two or three weeks I had this pen I was convinced I needed to find the funds to buy one of my own. It was such a pleasure to write with. And then, well, I found I started picking up other pens more often. It’s an almost perfect pen. It’s incredibly well made and it has a fantastic nib but, for me at least, it has no soul. Objectively: one of the best pens I’ve used. Subjectively: something’s not quite there. I started thinking how great it would be to have this nib in a different pen. I looked at perhaps buying a nib unit and having a barrel made for it but that got very expensive very quickly. I looked at buying a limited edition Pelikan pen, something with a bit more character, but that gets very expensive very quickly too. So I spent my money elsewhere.

I completely understand why people love Pelikan pens so much. I love them too! If I had unlimited funds, I would have several in my collection. I don’t have unlimited funds and so, just as when I had this pen I would usually pick up a different one, when I come to choose what to buy, I think I’m always going to pick a different pen. At least for now.

Pelikan M805 mit Roterfaden

Rob, the very kind gentleman who lent this to me, was insistent that I should keep hold of it for a good amount of time because he was sure the initial euphoria would wear off. He was right and for that I thank him, for his wisdom as well as for his generosity.

But that nib. . .

Pros

Fantastic quality
Excellent piston mechanism
Incredible nib

Cons

Nothing, really, except it connect with my cold, dark soul

Pelikan M805 handwritten review

3 Comments

  1. Great review of this delightful pen. I can’t help but be drawn to the Roterfaden notebook. I would like to see an update on how you’re using it these days and whether it has changed from the time you initially acquired it.

  2. I’m a Pelikan fan but felt the same way about the blue striped pens. For Pelikan soul, I suggest you try the white tortoise (comes in m600 and m400 size) if the colors appeal to you, or the m101n brown tortoise.

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