Pelikan M150 – F nib – 1988 Edition

14 11 2013
This scan is the only one I've been able to just about 100% color correct accurately. Which means it will probably never happen again, and look completely abnormal on every other screen on the face of the planet

This scan is the only one I’ve been able to just about 100% color correct accurately. Which means it will probably never happen again, and look completely abnormal on every other screen on the face of the planet

When it comes to the pen display case at my local pen store, I’ve always got my eagle eyes on, carefully examining the case every visit to see if anything new has shown up. Where these mystery pens come from is not my concern—mine is to navigate the financial dance that will allow me to take the pen home. And thus, I brought home this strange, old Pelikan M150.

Hello 1980s product packaging design!

Hello 1980s product packaging design!

I have to start with the box, my first identifying clue. “M150/481 F”—and what do the other numbers (“915 181”) mean?—plus the pen’s color listed in four languages (German, Italian, English, and French).

Why is the word for guarantee in French?

Why is the word for guarantee in French?

Inside the paper box, a nice plastic case. Inside the case, (besides the pen), the “Pelikan Garantie” in seven languages, with picture guides for use of Pelikan writing instruments and nib types, and an extra bit:

I am going to guess that was written with a Sharpie marker, fine tip.

I am going to guess that was written with a Sharpie marker, fine tip.

An almost illegibly-smudged stamp, and a handwritten date, both of which also seem to be French. What is the significance of the date? Was it when the pen was made? When it arrived in some shopowner’s stock? I’m a pen user, not a detective, but I think it’s probably safe to hazard that this pen hails from the same year that I do. Remember West Germany? So does my pen.

At the absolute least, even if the date means absolutely nothing, the origin of this pen can be dated to some time within the existence of the country of West Germany. French involvement is also safely suspected.

At the absolute least, even if the date means absolutely nothing, the origin of this pen can be dated to some time within the existence of the country of West Germany. French involvement is also heavily suspected.

But enough attempted history, on to the pen itself.

True classic

True classic, no other word for it

Normally I go for silver accents, but I like the gold and black. It’s classic. The pen has a small, compact body, comparable to the Pilot Prera, but thinner.

The contrast! Modern vs classic! European vs Japanese! So different, and yet so alike!

The contrast! Modern vs classic! European vs Japanese! So different, and yet so alike!

Posted, the M150 is a little longer, but for me it’s still a comfortable enough size that I can easily write with it unposted. Or write with it posted. Both are good.

Even though there is ink in there, it's safe to say that unlike many of the ones I'm seeing on eBay, this one does NOT have a green ink window

Even though there is ink in there, it’s safe to say that unlike many of the ones I’m seeing on eBay, this one does NOT have a green ink window

The M150 is piston-filled, and has a perfect little ink window that you don’t even really notice until the ink is low.

 The F stands for FANCY

The F stands for FANCY

The nib is gold-plated stainless steel, European fine, with a surprising amount of flex to it (not that I can make any use of the flex, as I am a chronic flex failure). Still, I’m pretty sure most stainless steel nibs I encounter are of the zero-flex persuasion, whereas this little guy is like “FLEX? SURE! LET’S DO IT!” The nib also unscrews from the body for easy customization.

Maybe the F actually stands for flex, not fine. Or maybe the world was different back then. Ok, the world was definitely different back then, but you know what I mean.

Maybe the F actually stands for flex, not fine. Or maybe the world was different back then. Ok, the world was definitely different back then, but you know what I mean.

I will note that when the pen came into my possession, there was some kind of pockmark-like pitting on the nib, along the slit, that I don’t think is supposed to be there.

I assure you, that is not ink. If only I had a jeweler's microscope so I could really get a good look at it.

I assure you, that is not ink. If only I had a jeweler’s microscope so I could really get a good look at it.

That said, I don’t think it’s had any impact on performance. This pen writes beautifully, right away, every time. The flow is excellent, even when I try flexy writing it doesn’t skip out, nor is it too juicy when I go back to writing normally. The nib is more of a tactile feel, not slippery-skating, but rather the satisfying feel of the pen on the page. Never scratchy (except maybe when held perfectly perpendicular to the page while writing, that does feel a bit weird on the nib), there’s just that hard-to-capture feeling of WRITING. I love it. And the pen itself feels great to hold, floating weightlessly and timelessly in my hand, waiting to cast my spell of words on blank pages.

IT'S A PELICAN BEAK DO YOU SEE IT I NEVER REALIZED UNTIL I WAS LOOKING UP SOME STUFF ABOUT PELIKAN TODAY AHAHA VERY CLEVER

IT’S A PELICAN BEAK DO YOU SEE IT I NEVER REALIZED UNTIL I WAS LOOKING UP SOME STUFF ABOUT PELIKAN TODAY AHAHA VERY CLEVER

Where to get one, I’m not sure. Pen shows? eBay? Wave your hands around at the sky and hope one falls off a passing plane? All I know is I love mine.

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8 responses

15 11 2013
Syed Ali (pepsiplease69)

Oxblood is a gorgeous ink. I need to get me a bottle once i run out of my red dragon.

17 11 2013
SlackwareDude

Try using a brash sheet to get rid of that goo in the slit.

17 11 2013
No Pen Intended

I did, it’s not goo. It’s like an indent in the nib

22 11 2013
John the Monkey

Very nice!

Another old Pelikan worth keeping an eye out for is the P470 “Steno” – I was very lucky to get one for around £20, and they have an interesting fine flexible nib that can be a lot of fun. Doesn’t look as classy as your M150 though :)

22 11 2013
No Pen Intended

I think I have one of those!!! I got mine for about $20, no box just the pen. Still need to review it!

25 01 2014
Zait Jerusalem Olive Wood Fountain Pen | No Pen Intended

[…] semi-flex fine nib is a lot like the nib on my old Pelikan M150 in terms of both fineness and flex. It makes for a great everyday writing pen (I find fine nibs […]

11 02 2014
ZPIII Zait Jerusalem Olive Wood Ballpoint Pen | No Pen Intended

[…] would be required to fix it. Pictured: Zait Olive Wood Ballpoint, Zait Olive Wood Fountain Pen, Pelikan M150, Parker Rollerball, Sheaffer Taranis, Pilot Vanishing Point, Pilot Prera, Kaweco […]

6 10 2014
Pelikan M205 Traditional Cremeweiss Body with Italic Nib | No Pen Intended

[…] logo on the top of the cap. It’s printed-on sparkle, compared to the inlaid pattern on my 1988 M150. But I’m quibbling. As to the art deco-ness of the top of the cap, my feelings aren’t […]

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