1) First impressions
This pen has convinced me on two points, yet still valid for me: the high quality of all level Pelikan products and the incredible versatility of the piston filling system and its low cost compared to the cartridges. Then I was attracted by this pen because of three features: the brand that was not still tested at the time, its cost and the filling system. Unfortunately it was not so easy to find it because dealers in my city don’t sell it because it is an entry-level model. So I bought it online after reading several positive comments on FPN. The soft cardboard carton box, with the traditional hard cardboard box inside, had all the original Pelikan symbols and the booklet contained in addition to the warranty instructions, even the pen loading and maintenance instructions.
2) Aesthetics and finishing
Although it’s the basic modern model of Pelikan piston filling pens, the quality of this pen, talking about assembly and finishing, is absolute. The pen is glossy black with gold plated trims and exists only in this coloring. Observing closely the pen it doesn’t have any imperfection either in body, in cap and even in the nib, as to emphasize that Pelikan has the same attention to quality both for the cheaper and for the most expensive models, which price is due to their design, construction materials and limited edition production. I was certainly impressed by the pen even considering the online photos of the pen that have never been great, perhaps for the fact that was not convenient to take spectacular photos of a cheap model.
3) Design, size and weight
The pen is completely in black smooth diamond polished acrylic. It has a classic cylindrical shape with slightly curved ends and the cap tip has the traditional golden pelican. The clip is shaped like a pelican beak with eyes at the beginning, like in all Pelikan pens. The pen is very thin and small-medium lenght, so it is perfect for carriage being pocket-size. Its lengths are: 120 mm capped, 116 mm uncapped, 142 mm posted and 53.5 mm the cap alone. The diameters are: 12.5 mm of the cap, 11 mm of the body and 9 mm of the grip. Finally, the weight of the pen is gr. 12.5, that for someone it may seem low, but you get used easily to it.
4) Nib design and performance
The small steel nib is gold plated with a length of 18.5 mm and wingspan of 6 mm. The stroke is Medium, chosen because it is more common. I was expecting an everyday easy writing and it was. Compared to other medium is actually a real medium, and it runs very well on any kind of paper even though at the beginning it was a little scratching. The ink flow is steady and regular enough to allow quite long pauses without risking to let dry the ink and without inundate the paper, creating transparency effects. The feed system is in plastic with horizontal strips, a classic of Pelikan pens. The nib is screwable and replaceable and this results in a considerable easy maintenance of the pen.
I am very pleased with the nib quality and this has prompted me to medium and high level models.
5) Filling System
The pen has a classic piston filling system, with the mechanism and components in plastic and a semitransparent green window for assessing the ink level when it is out of the end. It has no reserve system but with the small nib and the smooth plastic grip, it’s easy to refill it even “on-the-go” with the Stipula Netto Netto inkwell or with the Visconti Travelling Inkpot. Considering the classic three drops the pen can hold as much ink that in an everyday use it does not last long but it allows an easy transport.
6) Cost / Value
I bought the pen on March 13rd, 2006 from http://www.eprice.it at the price of € 39.32, which in fact was the suggested customer list price from Pelikan. Recently I have taken the same as a gift for my aunt in Cagliari at Cartoleria Dettori at the price of € 40.00. Apart from the not updated prices of the city dealer, its value should be slightly increased but not so much as it’s just an entry-level. For my pen, the warranty is no longer valid, because it was for 3 years.
7) Overall opinion and conclusions
The FPN reviews well described the merits of the pen and I also agree saying that the paid price is good and you realize it only with an everyday use of the pen. From what I understand, it is the evolution of the M481 that I bought later but I consider that less beautiful than M150.
If you are looking for a pen, small and handy, pocket-sized, with no frills, of good quality, this pen is for you but only if you love the piston filling system.
Whereas my full experience with Pelikan, at present I would buy at least a M300, but this remains my first real Pelikan.