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View Full Version : Pelikan M640 Niagara Falls



Jeph
May 22nd, 2015, 02:26 PM
I love Pelikans, and the blue/silver color combination of a pen is one of my favorites. I did not have any reservations going out of my price comfort zone to buy this pen. Now that I have it, however, I am disappointed.

I do like the looks, even if the non-traditional clip throws me a little bit it is still a great looking pen. I can see the flowing water representation of the finish. I like the colors.

The size is nice also but I did not feel the extra dimensions. Capped, the size is about half way in between an M600 and the M800. Posted follows the same pattern. Unposted the M640 is just slightly longer than the M600. It uses the normal M600/M605 nib. The section is just a tiny bit longer than the M600, by about the width of the trim ring at the end of the section. The section diameter is the same as the M600. The barrel flares in the middle and tapers at the ends, with the thickest part of the barrel even larger in diameter than the M800. The cap is also near M800 diameter instead of the M600 size. The cap is also much shorter than the M600 cap, but it obtains most of the extra length by having the threads shallower in the cap and posting shallower as well.

As is has a metal barrel, the M640 is about twice as heavy as the M600, 1.2 oz. compared to 0.6 oz. The balance is still good and it does not feel heavy although it clearly has more weight.

The medium nib performed flawlessly and true to a modern Pelikan medium so no functional or visual complaints there.

But the heavier weight brings us to the unforgivable sin. The barrel is metal with several layers of lacquer to make up the design. But that also means that there is no ink window or striations to judge ink level. The extra size does not really translate to any level of additional comfort. And that length and large diameter barrel do not translate into greater ink capacity. The maximum theoretical barrel capacity (not counting the feed) is only 1.0 ml. Plus, even though I almost exclusively use EF nibs I compromised to get this pen and got the M width. I should not have done that. I can get it ground or grind it myself but with the lack of the ink window I just canít justify putting any more money into the pen. Yes it is great looking, but I canít get past my hang-ups to justify that much money for a pen I donít love.

Pictures because that is the important part, with comparison with an M600 and M800

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ransky
May 22nd, 2015, 04:49 PM
I've always loved this pen from afar, but alas its been bid up too high. Funny how the companion pens in the collection don't seem to command the same price. I travel very rarely, but made a special trip with my wife and youngest son to New York. We visited the falls in early April when they were still frozen - a spectacular sight. The pen reminds me. Thanks for the candid and thorough review.

kaisnowbird
May 22nd, 2015, 06:00 PM
It's a handsome pen, but I totally understand your disappointment.
Piston filler without an ink window was the reason I eventually sold my Visconti Homo Sapiens Steel. Comes to think of it, it's also why I gave up on vacumatic fill Parker 51.

KBeezie
May 25th, 2015, 08:41 AM
I have the Mount Everest version :

http://pens.kbeezie.com/content/public/upload/m640barrel_0_o.jpg (http://pens.kbeezie.com/post/pelikan-m640-mount-everest/)

Oddly the lack of ink window hasn't really bothered me, but i was taken back by it at first. Even if they were to do an actual 'window' of sort around the pen in 3/4 parts to allow for the body to remain metal all the way up to the section would be nice. But alas they didn't. There's been a couple pens I've had that are not C/C but do have an ink window, but the ink windows in a lot of them tend to be pretty useless to gauge how much you have left as you only really see it when you're out of ink, which by then you're seeing it with the nib anyways (Lamy 2K for example).

The Niagara Falls one isn't as flashy from your pictures, but it certainly has a sort of artistic charm to it's style, simple and elegant.

I don't have the M600, but I do have an M805, and seems the M640 is about 3 grams heavier. In my own comparison (after I got the M805), they're about what yours show, but I think your lower viewing angle probably makes the difference harder to see.

These were just shots I took to show a friend, so not table top studio style, but I tried to keep a straight-down viewing angle.

http://i.imgur.com/czGy7tr.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/L2TQv7S.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/zoSR7Rv.jpg

(and speaking of ink windows, it seems that the one on my Desert Springs Limited edition Divina is not common to the whole Divina line).

southpaw52
May 25th, 2015, 09:40 AM
Gorgeous looking pens.