Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Pelikan 800 history

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    East Coast of US
    Posts
    154
    Thanks
    154
    Thanked 203 Times in 71 Posts
    Rep Power
    4

    Default Pelikan 800 history

    Good morning Pelikan authorities,

    Having studied several brands & models in much more depth than the Pelikan 800, I have some questions about it. It is one of my favorite current models. Have read Rick Propas' piece in the Stylus on background and early history of the 800.

    My first 800 is the traditional green & black and its band is marked with "W. - Germany". It presently has a two-chick 18C medium nib. I have spare 800 nibs and have switched nibs occasionally on them. Would it have come with a 14C nib or 18C when I purchased it around 25 or more years ago? I still have its original box and brochure showing the 8 nib options, but the brochure text doesn't specify 14C or 18C.

    Also, I have read here and elsewhere, that this particular era 800 is quite appealing. What do the experts here think it's worth in trade? For eg, I have occasionally traded a pair of new 149s for a much older one. Have also worked it the other way & traded an older 149 for two newer ones. I'm curious about how much people like this era 800. This is not a sales pitch, honestly, but an attempt to gain information. If my question about a two for one trade is way off base, please attribute it to ignorance rather than greed.

    Thanks for your indulgence & information.

    Have a good day.

    Best wishes,

    Barry

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Barry B. Gabay For This Useful Post:

    BlkWhiteFilmPix (August 16th, 2020), penwash (September 30th, 2021)

  3. #2
    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Carlisle, Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    4,059
    Thanks
    1,049
    Thanked 4,757 Times in 2,021 Posts
    Rep Power
    15

    Default Re: Pelikan 800 history

    Barry, I wish I could help you, but I always stuck with M4xx/M2xx/M7xx/M1xxN size Pelikans over the years.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to FredRydr For This Useful Post:

    Barry B. Gabay (August 11th, 2020)

  5. #3
    Senior Member guyy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Brooklyn NY
    Posts
    775
    Thanks
    381
    Thanked 598 Times in 340 Posts
    Rep Power
    5

    Default Re: Pelikan 800 history

    The very earliest m800s came with 14c nibs, were marked W Germany, had a gold disc on the piston knob, and the pelican on the cap top was cut out of the gold rather than the other way around.

    The nibs on the early pens are better than those on the newer pens, especially the nibs from the Bock era, which were terrible. Still, they’re nothing to get excited about, especially if you’ve used vintage German pens. They are smooth. They’re supposed to be “springy”. I never noticed. Nevertheless, the 14c M800 nibs may still be in demand for spencerian customization. The 14c nibs alone go for a pretty penny.

    As for value, it depends on the 149. In general, i much prefer the nibs and ebonite feeds on the 149, at least those up to the 1990s. The 149 has the additional advantage of coming without a corrodible section trim ring. I definitely wouldn’t give you 2 149s for a first year M800 unless they were of recent vintage & in somewhat rough shape. I personally wouldn’t care to have 2 newer M800s for a 149 though one could probably flip the two M800s for a total more than the 149 would sell for.

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to guyy For This Useful Post:

    Barry B. Gabay (August 11th, 2020), BlkWhiteFilmPix (August 16th, 2020)

  7. #4
    Senior Member carlos.q's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    On a hill in Puerto Rico
    Posts
    1,492
    Thanks
    1,705
    Thanked 1,360 Times in 628 Posts
    Rep Power
    10

    Default Re: Pelikan 800 history

    I am by no means an expert so for all things Pelikan my first resource is Dominic's excellent site:
    https://www.pelikan-collectibles.com...sis/index.html

    The 14c models were made for the first years of production (1987-). Later models (1990-) had 18c nibs. Another interesting feature is that earlier 18c nibs and those with the PF or EN marks are usually softer than modern one chick 18c nibs.

    Many people find that pens from this era are more appealing as the nibs are softer and a lot more pleasant to write with. I agree completely.

    As far as cost is concerned I have seen Pentooling.com sell a 14c model for $600. I bought mine for quite a bit less.

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to carlos.q For This Useful Post:

    Barry B. Gabay (August 11th, 2020), BlkWhiteFilmPix (August 16th, 2020)

  9. #5
    Senior Member guyy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Brooklyn NY
    Posts
    775
    Thanks
    381
    Thanked 598 Times in 340 Posts
    Rep Power
    5

    Default Re: Pelikan 800 history

    I have used the fabled PF & EN nibs. They were just like any other Pelikan m800 nib: smooth when adjusted properly, yet bland. And when you get down to it, why would a customs mark affect the quality of the writing experience?

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to guyy For This Useful Post:

    Barry B. Gabay (August 11th, 2020)

  11. #6
    Senior Member carlos.q's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    On a hill in Puerto Rico
    Posts
    1,492
    Thanks
    1,705
    Thanked 1,360 Times in 628 Posts
    Rep Power
    10

    Default Re: Pelikan 800 history

    Quote Originally Posted by guyy View Post
    I have used the fabled PF & EN nibs. They were just like any other Pelikan m800 nib: smooth when adjusted properly, yet bland. And when you get down to it, why would a customs mark affect the quality of the writing experience?
    I really don't have an explanation, it's just the way the cookie crumbles. I will admit that I have a limited experience with M800 nibs, these are, from older to newer:

    M800 14c, two chicks, West Germany
    M800 18c, two chicks, West Germany, PF nib
    M805 18c, two chicks, Germany
    M805 18c, one chick, Germany

    The first two are very nice and soft with some line variation. In my experience I can't say they are like any other M800 nibs as I find them to be very different. The third is just nice, but not as soft as the first two. The newest one was a nail and I promptly got rid of it. Not because I don't like nails, its just I liked the older ones a lot better.

    I really don't understand what the custom marks have to do with this difference, but it seems that these marks were only used during a certain period of Pelikan's history when they made some extraordinary nibs. I have other Pelikans with PF or EN nibs (M250, Old Style M600 and M700) and they are among the best in my small collection.

    Maybe some other Geeks can chime in with their experience?

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to carlos.q For This Useful Post:

    Barry B. Gabay (August 11th, 2020)

  13. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    8
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: Pelikan 800 history

    Quote Originally Posted by guyy View Post
    The very earliest m800s came with 14c nibs, were marked W Germany, had a gold disc on the piston knob, and the pelican on the cap top was cut out of the gold rather than the other way around.
    .
    I don’t have M800 but a couple of green stripe R800s with the gold discs on knob and cap. One just say Germany & the other W. Germany.

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to jrxcities For This Useful Post:

    Barry B. Gabay (August 11th, 2020)

  15. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    East Coast of US
    Posts
    154
    Thanks
    154
    Thanked 203 Times in 71 Posts
    Rep Power
    4

    Default Re: Pelikan 800 history

    Thank you everyone. I genuinely appreciate the clear details you all have provided. According to the specs, mine is the very earliest 800 barrel & cap but has an 18C nib.

    Thanks to guyy. My 149 trade description was just by way of analogy. I wondered if 800 fans are as nuts about older 800s as 149 fans (myself included) are about older 149 models. The point someone made is germane here: old 800s are much younger than old 149s. Thank you, guyy, for your interesting analysis.

    Thanks to carlos.q. Thank you for the clear details about nib analysis.

  16. #9
    Senior Member guyy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Brooklyn NY
    Posts
    775
    Thanks
    381
    Thanked 598 Times in 340 Posts
    Rep Power
    5

    Default Re: Pelikan 800 history

    Thank you Barry for starting an interesting conversation. It’s always a pleasure to see your posts.

    I know that Rick Propas likes the early version best, as do some other old timers. My sense is that these days there is more interest in the limited and special editions, such as the tortoise pens.

    The 14c nib units have at least a 100% premium over the current production nib units, in other words, 2 new for one 14c. The rest of the pen probably doesn’t command as much of a premium. Just considering the ordinary green stripe versions, my guess is there’s a premium of around 66% to 100% on the early models.

  17. The Following User Says Thank You to guyy For This Useful Post:

    Barry B. Gabay (February 24th, 2021)

  18. #10
    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    8,104
    Thanks
    4,273
    Thanked 7,324 Times in 2,907 Posts
    Rep Power
    18

    Default Re: Pelikan 800 history

    I've heard many people say that as far as Pelikan pens go the early ones had better nibs than the modern ones. This is presumably because they were more flexible and the more modern ones are much firmer (some say nails). I've never seen a "standard" Pelikan pen with an 18ct nib although it was my understanding that 18ct nibs were sometimes used on special or limited editions. In that respect they are like Montblanc pens because they tend to have 18ct nibs on their LE pens too.

    People can and do buy nibs to exchange with the nibs in their Pelikan pens as it's such a simple thing to swap them over, so technically anyone could buy an 18ct nib and put it in any M800 pen. It wouldn't be cheap though.

    I remember once sending off a new standard Montblanc 146 for a nib exchange within it's initial free exchange period. It was returned with an 18ct nib. Maybe that was the first one the technician picked up out of the box, and he just fitted it. So it's also possible that might sometimes happen with new pens coming out of the factory.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

  19. The Following User Says Thank You to Chrissy For This Useful Post:

    Barry B. Gabay (August 17th, 2020)

  20. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    107
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 41 Times in 23 Posts
    Rep Power
    1

    Default Re: Pelikan 800 history

    """"The nibs on the early pens are better than those on the newer pens, especially the nibs from the Bock era, which were terrible.""""

    Bock made exactly what Pelikan ordered fat, blobby and stiffer nibs......when Pelikan took the nibs back In-House @ 2010, the only change made was the 1000 was no longer semi-flex as Bock made it, but regular flex.
    Same complaints same lousy ball point user nibs.
    A reason why I buy almost always except for my 605 and 1005, buy vintage or semi-vintage Pelikan pens....outside the great 200's still tear dropped shaped nibs....have bought a bunch of them.

    I have a chart somewhere....that shows nib widths back in the day (somewhere in the 80-90's). Back when Pelikan was thinner than Parker and Sheaffer.
    In that time the 400/600 & 200 were one width....the 800 was narrower between normal Pelikan and Waterman.
    Pelikan be it the 400/600/200 or the 800 had the thinnest EF of all three of the Big Boys........including Waterman** (who back in the old days was noted for skinny nibs)

    How Times change.

    ** My late '80's early 90's Waterman Mann 200 F is as narrow as my Pelikan marbled brown 200 EF. There use to be big flame wars about the narrow Waterman nibbed pens vs Pelikan some 13-10 years ago........................then came the real skinny Japanese nibs and that war died.
    Last edited by BoBo Olson; September 30th, 2021 at 03:18 PM.

  21. The Following User Says Thank You to BoBo Olson For This Useful Post:

    Barry Gabay (October 5th, 2021)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •