Meet The 7 Clear Demonstrators of Pelikan’s Classic Line

Pelikan M2xx Clear DemosAs far as demonstrator fountain pens go, the clear variants are perhaps the purest because they allow the most unobscured visualization of a pen’s inner workings.  With this year’s release of the re-issued M205 Clear Demonstrator, I thought that it was an opportune time to look back at Pelikan’s clear M2xx models and to highlight some of the differences between each.  To date, there have been seven clear demos released in Pelikan’s lower tier Classic line, not including the very similarly styled M481 demo.  These models are characterized by a less ostentatious trim than the Souverän series as well as a slightly less refined finish.  The upside is that you get a great pen for substantially less money than what a Souverän might cost.  While I was working on this article, my wife somewhat incredulously remarked, “You have seven of the same pen?!”  While that may seem to be the case upon first glance, each pen has a unique variation or two that sets it apart and allows for proper identification (though that explanation somehow did not mollify my wife).  Clear demonstrators draw both appreciation and ire for facilitating an unobstructed view of the piston mechanism as well as the ink chamber.  Each fill with a different colored ink can serve to change the pen’s look, keeping the writing experience fresh and exciting.  The trade-off, of course, is that without proper pen maintenance, those colors can persist long after a pen is emptied.  While staining is a real possibility with any demonstrator, it can be all the more apparent in one of the clear demo variants.  Still, proper pen care makes this a relatively small issue and one that shouldn’t bar you from enjoying such a great pen.  


Pelikan's M2xx clear demos

Pelikan’s M2xx clear demos


M200 Clear Demonstrator (old style)
M200/M201 Clear Demonstrator
M200 Clear Demonstrator
M205 Clear Demonstrator
M205 Clear Demonstrator
M250 Clear Demonstrator (old style)
M250 Clear Demonstrator


M200 Clear Demonstrator (old style), Pre-1997

Pelikan M200 Pre-97 Clear Demonstrator Pelikan M200 Pre-97 Clear Demonstrator

The first clear demonstrator to be released in the Classic line came sometime before 1997.  This old style variant has a derby cap top lacking Pelikan’s typical logo design.  Individual pens may differ with either a * or + cap top depending on the different tools used for the injection molding process.  This variant has two cap bands which was standard for the pre-’97 trim style and is not to be confused with the nearly identical single cap band variant which is actually an M481 as noted above.  The furniture is gold-plated and prominently features the iconic pelican’s beak clip.  The cap band is inscribed with “Pelikan Germany” and the nib is made from gold-plated stainless steel (which would have been available in many more sizes than are available today).  A black plastic piston assembly is clearly visualized through the barrel and rounds out the pen’s looks.


M200/M201 Clear Demonstrator, 2000

Pelikan M200/201 Clear Demonstrator Pelikan M200/201 Clear Demonstrator

In contrast to the above, this model embodies Pelikan’s post-1997 styling which did away with the derby cap top and added additional trim.  Instead of a dome, we have a black plastic crown shaped cap top.  The updated furniture consists of a single cap band  inscribed “Pelikan Germany” and a single trim ring at the piston knob.  The cap top depicts Pelikan’s two chick logo situated directly above the pelican’s beak clip.  As is standard with the M200 line, the nib is a gold-plated stainless steel.  The black piston assembly is nearly identical to that of its predecessor.  This particular model was released in 2000 as a limited edition of approximately 3000 pieces for the Japanese market and was officially branded an M201.


M200 Clear Demonstrator, 2012

Pelikan M200 Clear Demonstrator Pelikan M200 Clear Demonstrator

This is a reissue of the 2000 model, coming approximately 12 years after the original, and embodies perhaps the most radical re-styling of Pelikan’s vision for the clear demonstrator concept.  This pen continues to sport the crown cap top but the nut that holds it in place is gold-plated instead of black plastic.  The cap top depicts the one chick logo that has been the standard since 2003.  Like its predecessor, the gold-plated furniture remains unchanged and the cap band again bears the inscription “Pelikan Germany.”  The gold-plated stainless steel nib also persists without any deviation from prior models.  The big difference here that sets this model apart is the piston assembly which is done in a translucent plastic rather than the standard opaque black material making it the stand out of the line and easily identified.


M205 Clear Demonstrator, 2005

Pelikan M205 Clear Demonstrator Pelikan M205 Clear Demonstrator

This model is a dead ringer for the M200 /M201 circa 2000 that was described above.  The furniture is identical with the obvious difference being that it is chromium plated which gives this model it’s sliver colored appearance, a distinguishing feature of Pelikan’s Mx05 lines.  Like the others, the single cap band is inscribed “Pelikan Germany.”  The nib varies slightly in that it is made from stainless steel, devoid of any plating.


M205 Clear Demonstrator, 2018

Pelikan M205 Clear Demonstrator Pelikan M205 Clear Demonstrator

This is the newest kid on the block having been released just this year and coming about 13 years after the original.  The crown cap top remains intact except it now features a chromium plated nut instead of the former model’s black plastic.  The single chick logo adorns the top of the cap and the single cap band reads “Pelikan Germany.”  There is also a single trim ring at the piston knob.  Unlike the re-issue of the M200, Pelikan opted to go with a black piston assembly making it more closely resemble the original.  The nib here remains the standard unplated stainless steel.  If you look closely at the piston knob, you will see that it subtly varies from the other models depicted here.


M250 Clear Demonstrator (old style), Pre-1997

Pelikan M250 Clear Demonstrator Pelikan M250 Clear Demonstrator

This old style variant proudly wears the derby cap top sans a Pelikan logo with either a + or * configuration.  Two cap bands, inscribed “Pelikan Germany,” and a beak clip are the only furniture to adorn this model.  The nib is done in a 14C-585 monotone gold, the big distinguishing factor between the M200 and M250 lines.  The black piston assembly completes the look of this clear demo. 


M250 Clear Demonstrator, 2000

Pelikan M250 Clear Demonstrator Pelikan M250 Clear Demonstrator

This model is the last on our tour and is basically the same as the M200/M201 which was released around the same time.  The big distinguishing factor between the two is that this model came equipped with a monotone 14C-585 nib.  It was reportedly produced as a special edition release for the Levenger company.  The crown cap top is all plastic and depicts Pelikan’s two chick logo.  The gold-plated furniture includes a single cap band inscribed “Pelikan Germany,” a single trim ring at the piston knob, and the pelican’s beak clip.  The piston assembly remains the standard black plastic.


M2xx clear demonstrator cap tops

M2xx clear demonstrator cap tops


Pelikan M200 and M205 clear demonstrators

Panel A: M200 clear demos from 2000 (left) and 2012 (right). Note the differences in cap tops and piston assemblies. Panel B: M205 clear demos from 2005 (left) and 2018 (right). Note the difference in cap tops and piston knobs.


Each model depicted above has its subtle differences as you hopefully now can see.  If you have the clear demo M205 from 2005, purchasing the 2018 model doesn’t bring much in the way of new features to the table.  If you missed out on any of the earlier releases, it’s definitely worth checking out should you have an itch for a clear demonstrator.  For my money, I like the old style demonstrators with the derby cap tops, particularly the M250, though these are quite difficult to come by these days.  Do you have a favorite amongst this septet of fountain pens?

11 responses

  1. Joshua, your PPerch writings are so informative! I know this takes a lot of time, research, and thought for you to provide this. I really do appreciate being able to receive this via your mailing list.

    Brian R. Bennett


    • Thank you for stopping by and leaving the kind words. They are much appreciated. The posts are a lot of work but I love doing it and really strive to put out accurate and interesting info. Part of the delay between post right now is that I’m working on some seriously research intensive articles about some really obscure Pelikan topics. It still amazes me what Pelikan themselves might not know about past products that they have put out.


  2. Fantástico Blog sobre la marca Pelikan. Genial!! enhorabuena
    Soy nuevo con las plumas estilograficas. solo tengo 3 pelikan… 1 M400 W. verde. 1 M150 viejo estilo. 1 M400 tortuga 90s
    Me acabo de pedir la Pelikan M205 de 2018. Esperando a que me llegue
    Esta sera mi primera demonstrator.
    La tinta manchara la resina con el tiempo?
    muchas gracias y saludos desde Malaga España
    ————————————————————–google traductor
    Fantastic blog about the Pelikan brand. Cool!! Congratulations
    I’m new with style pens. I only have 3 pelikan … 1 M400 W. green. 1 M150 old style. 1 M400 turtle 90s
    I just ordered the Pelikan M205 2018. Waiting for me to arrive
    This will be my first demonstrator.
    Will the ink stain the resin over time?
    thank you very much and greetings from Malaga Spain

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I’m glad that you like the blog. Sounds like you have 3 nice Pelikans. Highly saturated inks can stain the resin but this is usually not a major issue provided you exercise good pen etiquette. Clean your pen regularly and don’t let inks sit. Be selective with your ink selections. It’s not something that I would worry about on a day to day basis.


  3. Pingback: Video Review: Pelikan M205 Demonstrator (Special Edition 2018) - Scrively - note taking & writing

  4. I have a Pelikan demonstrator, almost certainly an M2xx, that’s quite tinted (not clear, more like smokey, but transparent) with gold trim. I can’t seem to find any discussion of it anywhere; I’ve had it at least 10 years. Help?


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