Thursday, 10 October 2013

Fifty centime cheapie Pelikano

Big boxes full of cheap pens, mainly ballpoints, sometimes (if I'm lucky) Pilot V-pens or (if I'm not) Diddl or My Little Pony, make my heart sink. It's a sort of fountain-pen Hell, or at least Purgatory. And most of the time I'll sort through the wretched things and there won't be anything at all worth buying. But still, I have a rummage, just in case.

Two Pelikanos for a euro. They still have their stickers on but they'd been in the box long enough that you couldn't describe either of them as mint. Still, at the price!

Plastic clips. I usually don't like plastic clips. Still, these are a sort of frosted transparent plastic, in a nice rounded shape, not the usual opaque flat slab clips you find on cheap pens; and they're one piece with the rather nice tassie, with, of course, the eponymous birdie printed on it. It says 'Pelikano' in simple, lower case oblique letters.

Pelikano. Simplicity itself.
Metal cap. Now that attracted me, because most pens in the cheapie box are just plastic. But this is the real thing, it's nice, very simple, and because it's thin, preserves the simple line of the pen, so there's no big step down from the barrel to the section. It's a push-on not a twist cap, nicely secure.

Red translucent barrel. I can't tell you how nice this is and the photo won't do it justice. It's like looking through an ice-frosted glass at a strawberry daiquiri, only deeper. It has a gently frosted texture, except for one stripe down the side which is clear, and which reflects exactly the width of the clip. This is a detail I didn't notice for weeks. Because of the texturing, the pen is easy to hold, not slippery, and this is accentuated by small ridges on the grip section. (However, deduct points for the fact that the stripe on the barrel and the accompanying design on the section don't quite line up. Perhaps I over-tightened.)
Strange fingerprints or a strobe? Odd, but convenient for the fingers
 A very simple triangular steel nib, a bit like the Lamy Safari, with a quite plain feed. No fiddle faddle, but this doesn't feel cheap; it's functional. And when I started writing, I found this a surprisingly lovely nib to use; a medium, perhaps a little on the fine side of medium, that was utterly boring for a cheap nib - no scratchiness, no dryness, no skipping, nothing to complain about at all. A pure delight. I hadn't expected that!

Apparently Pelikan isn't making this design of Pelikano any more. What a pity; it's a real classic. And for fifty centimes, I cannot imagine a better buy out of the bargain box!

(Well, I can... or at least, I got a better one euro's worth a few days later... but that's another story.)

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