There are many fountain pen users who hold the opinion that German made fountain pens are amongst the best in the world. And many in this group further believe that Pelikan manufactures the best German fountain pens. I count myself as one of them. What made me a Pelikan convert is a recent purchase of the Pelikan Souveran M805 which I bought at a very good price from Pengallery. (After exhaustive comparison shopping on the internet I have found that Pengallery offers one of the most competitive prices for Pelikan pens.)
The M805 is a wonderful example of excellent German craftsmanship in fine writing instruments. The first thing that you will notice about the pen is its size. It measures 14.2 cm long with cap on and measures 16 cm with the cap posted. The M805 is a big pen clearly designed to impress. Even then it is only the second largest pen in Pelikan’s Souveran range with the top honours belonging to the M1000 model. The pen is surprisingly light for its size, weighting in at only 28.5gms, hence there is less tendency for hand fatigue with lengthy writing sessions. The relatively light weight can be attributed to Pelikan’s use of high quality resin for the pen barrel, section and cap. I tend to use the pen with the cap posted and the balance is perfect for me.
The cap is of the threaded design which is definitely a plus for me because I can avoid the messy ink splatter that comes with the removing the snap on caps on certain makes of pens. Also it is said that threaded caps tend to cut down on the evaporation rate of the ink hence there is less tendency for the ink to dry out. I have not personally verified this claim but it does sound logical.
The M805 comes with a hand crafted 18K solid gold nib. The nib is dual toned and is beautifully engraved. The nib on my pen is a medium tip. It is extremely smooth with excellent ink flow. The nib always starts immediately upon touching paper and does not skip. One feature of the Pelikan system is that the nibs are designed to be user changeable. That means I can easily purchase a Broad nib or a Fine nib and swap it with the existing one for a whole new user experience.
The M805 comes with silver trims, unlike its sibling the M800 which has gold trims. I chose the M805 because the silver trims are more understated and less “showy”, thus more suitable for my personal daily use.
One feature which I truly appreciate about the M805 is the filler system which is Pelikan’s trademark differential piston filling system. It is puzzling to find large sized fountain pens which are equipped with the cartridge/converter system which totally fails to take advantage of the barrel volume for ink storage. All the pens in the Pelikan Souveran range comes equipped with piston fillers which enhances the capacities of the ink reservoirs. For a large pen like the M805, this feature really differentiates it from the rest of the pack. I find that with the M805, despite heavy usage, I don’t have to fill it up every other day. The pen barrel is also equipped with a transparent ink window which allows me to see when the ink is running low. This is a really thoughtful feature which is no longer seen on the other pens equipped with cartridge/converter systems.
I tend to use this pen with the Pelikan 4001 fountain pen inks which come in wide variety of colours. The 4001 inks are made from a truly time tested formula and are really excellent inks. The only drawback is that like all traditional fountain pen inks, the 4001 inks are not waterproof. For that feature you will have to check out Noodler’s inks from the USA.
In conclusion to this review, I would like to say that the Pelikan Souveran M805 fountain pen is an extremely well designed pen of the best German pedigree. Despite its impressive good looks, it is truly a great piece of writing instrument which provides excellent value for money.