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.
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).
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:
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.
But enough attempted history, on to the pen itself.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.