|WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW|
|Model||M600 White Tortoise, M205 DUO Highlighter|
|Nib Material||14K for M600, Steel for M205|
|Nib Sizes||EF,F,M,B,BB for M600; BB only for M205|
|Dimensions (mm)||M600 Length:153; M205 Length:125|
|Weight (gm)||M600:17.6; M205:14|
|Ink Capacity (mL)||M600:2; M205: 1.5|
|Price||M600 MSRP $475, Street ~$380; M205 MSRP $150, Street ~$120|
I’ve been meaning to do a hands-on with the Pelikan M600 White Tortoise for some time now and since I had the M205 DUO sitting next to it I thought I’d throw it in as well. I’ve been in love with the color scheme of the White Tortoise since I first saw it on the M400, but knew that pen was too small for me. I had hoped the larger size of the M600 would be enough for me. As far as the story behind the M205 DUO, well, I love that eye-searing yellow plastic and who wouldn’t want a BB nib to turn into a juicy stub? I also had enough credit at Pear Tree Pens to cover 90% of the cost of the pen, so that helped.
To kind of convey just how much influence the white tortoise color scheme had over me, without having ever touched a M600 sized pen before, I had it imported from Germany about a week or so before it was available in the States. I was helpless. A complete loss of self control. Surely I’m not alone in having been in that position?
I really have no complaints about the quality of construction or attention to detail on either pen. The M205 DUO, or any M200 sized pen with a steel nib, is a good value and I couldn’t care less that it doesn’t have a gold nib. I can’t tell the difference between the two and the savings by going with steel makes it more than worth it.
The M600 on the other hand, isn’t something you buy because you’re getting a lot more writing instrument for the money. The M600 offers a 14K gold nib with a beautiful two tone finish. It’s slightly larger than the M205 and is strikingly beautiful. But what you’re really pay for is that gold nib and exclusivity. The M600 White Tortoise is a limited production pen and Pelikan is charging you for it.
In daily use, both pens performed flawlessly. The piston mechanism is one of the best on the market. While I tend to prefer Delta’s ratcheting piston, it’s hard to argue with the feel and capacity of Pelikan’s pistons. I’m also a big fan of their clips. Not only do they look like a pelican’s beak, they’re also easy to clip with one hand and provide enough tension to keep the pen where you put it.
Their writing performance was also top-notch. I purchased both pens with the intent of turning them into stubs. I had Mike Masuyama grind the M600 at the 2012 Chicago Pen Show and I did the M205 myself. Even before the nibs were ground the performance from each were just what you would expect from a company like Pelikan. I only ever experienced consistent, slightly wet flow from both pens with a smoothness that you can only get from BB nibs. I did notice that the 14K nib in the M600 was slightly more “springy” than the steel nib in the M205. You could get a tiny bit of line variation if you pushed it, but it’s not a reason I would buy this pen for and trying to flex it is definitely not something I would recommend doing.
So with all the praise I’ve been giving these two you pens you might be shocked to find out that I sold both of them. The mistake I made, and this is a very personal preference, was that I should have got the M600 in a Fine nib that would suite it better to my style of writing on a daily basis (cursive). I’ll have to reserve the BB stub for the M1000. Ultimately, it came down to the two pens just being too small for me. I had to post both pens whenever I used them otherwise they were just way to small and light.
I have acquired a M805 and for me, this is the smallest Pelikan that I’ll ever own. It really makes me want to get a M1000 even more so than before. The bottom line is this: you’re going to get the same quality and performance from any of the M series pens, it just all depends on what size will suite you the best. I think the M200 series is one of the best values for a fountain pen and ranks a very close second to the Lamy 2000. You definitely won’t be disappointed by the M600 but at a street price of $380 your options really open up, so do a bit of shopping around before you settle on this one.