Pelikan Group GmbH (Germany) was the first company that introduced the differentiated piston mechanism to the world in 1929. This technique is used in fountain pens to this date, while the design and technical details of the pens have been developed over time.
This review describes the Pelikan M400, a model that was launched in 1950. Its green-striped body is a world-known symbol of the company. In the 80s, the pen was called “Souverän” but became more popular due to its nickname “Stresemann” because the State Secretary was famous for his striped suits.
Pelikan M400 Fountain Pen Highlights
There are several types of fountain pens in the Pelikan lineup. Before describing the M400 in detail, read the most important information about this writing instrument.
Appearance and Design Features
The Souverän fountain pen is for people who love classics. All the components fit together with precision, and it feels solid in hand. The grip section is thin and short and more comfortable for smaller hands.
The striped barrel is made of cellulose acetate, while the cap, piston knob, and grip section are made of resin. The end of the cap is accented with 2 golden rings. The finial and the clip, which is shaped like a pelican’s beak, are also made of gold.
The production of the sleeve is very work-intensive. According to the special branded recipe, the raw material undergoes multiple manufacturing steps until it gets a striped appearance.
This is one of the smallest pens in the Pelikan’s current lineup. Still, most users don’t consider it small since its size is the same as in other vintage pens of this brand. If you do think it is small, you can post a cap to extend the length of the pen. In fact, the cap can easily be removed, but it never comes loose in the pocket.
The writing instrument is comfortable for extended writing sessions and causes no fatigue and discomfort. It features excellent balance even when posted. In addition, it is lightweight, and this may not be suited to everyone’s taste. This feature makes the pen very portable. It sits comfortably in your shirt pocket without poking through it like other longer and heavier models.
In some cases, the plating of the trim ring may corrode over time after contact with the ink. This may happen in rare cases due to improper handling of the pen. Since the M400 is backed by a 3-year warranty, you can get a free exchange of the writing tool during this period.
The nib of the pen features awesome decorative scrollwork and the brand logo. Made of 14 karat/585 gold, it is very soft at writing. It is two-toned and comes with the rhodium-plated decor and the iconic pelican design.
When you buy an expensive pen, you expect much from this writing instrument.
With the M400, you get good quality control. The pen writes very finely, and the nib gives delicious feedback. You will have nothing but luck with it. Though the nib doesn’t provide additional flex, users can get some line variation if they add a little pressure.
This model comes with a fine nib (according to the German classification), but it writes more like a traditional medium one. The ink flow is perfect, without skips and hard start.
Filling System of Pen
The M400 comes with a piston filling mechanism and has a big ink capacity. Its writing quality is tested by hand. The piston is very smooth and ensures hassle-free use and filling.
The filling system is beyond reproach, and the pen is simple to fill up. The piston knob adheres tightly to the barrel when it is not in use, and the pen fills completely in one piston stroke. In order to fill the M400, twist the turning knob and push the plunger down. After that, twist it back.
This fountain pen features a transparent resin barrel and opaque stripes. This allows users to monitor the level of ink in the pen if you look at it against the light.
With this nib, you’ll get a good amount of ink on the page. The model is able to hold 1.3 ml of ink. This is a decent volume, given the small size of the pen. Paired with good ink, the pen offers magical writing results.
Also, it is compatible with the nibs of various sizes (EF, F, M, and B). The nib can easily be removed in case you need to clean and maintain the writing instrument. This makes its replacement and repair facile.
Pros and Cons
This quality fountain pen has a flawless finish and fit, but some users indicate some points they would like to improve.
- The nibs are interchanged with most vintage Pelikan pens and compatible with other nib sizes
- Perfect nib feedback
- Smooth writing
- The amount of ink can be viewed
- Arrives nicely packaged
- Unbeatable balance
- A classic model that will retain its value in future
- Released in a limited edition
- Its small size and little weight are not comfortable for some users (for those with large hands or with arthritis)
- It is hard to claim a warranty on pens purchased abroad
- A high price
Difference Between Pelikan M200 vs M400 Fountain Pens
These two models are designed with similar dimensions and weight. WoWPencils has found the main differences between the M200 and M400.
|Form of the nib||Broad||Fine|
|Type of the nib material||Stainless steel with gold plating||Gold|
|Design||Green marbled||Green striped|
|Ink capacity||1.5 ml||1.3 ml|
The Pelikan M400 is not the cheapest fountain pen, but its iconic striped finish is too hard to say no. You can both enjoy its effortless writing and have the pleasure of looking at it.
The model is quite compact and can be kept in a pocket. Users who like larger writing tools can extend the length of the pen by posting a cap.
If you are on a tight budget but strive for this pen, explore the Internet to find hot commodities on the secondary market (Amazon, eBay, and others). After you get this model, you will understand that this pen has multiple features to stand out against other writing tools that you own.