With two in a row, this back half of the year certainly has felt a bit heavy with reviews, a testament to some of the recent creativity that we have seen out of Hannover. Up for appraisal today is Pelikan’s newly released M200 Gold-Marbled fountain pen. Prior to now, we’ve only ever had one white pen in the M2xx line-up, the M205 White which was released 10 years ago. That white M205 holds a special place in my heart as it was the first Pelikan fountain pen that I ever purchased, something akin to Scrooge McDuck’s lucky Number One Dime. Of course, it’s hard to look at the new Gold-Marbled model and not see parallels with the M400 Tortoiseshell White. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t think that it takes a huge leap of the imagination to envision someone blurring the lines on the tortoise and blending the colors into something near to what we see on the Gold-Marbled. Regardless, this finish appears unique and worthy of review. The last M2xx not released as part of the Edelstein companion pieces was the Brown-Marbled in 2017. While that one is part of the standard line-up, the Gold-Marbled is meant as a special edition meaning once the supply chain runs dry, these will no longer be available. Read on to find out whether or not Pelikan has the Midas Touch as far as the Gold-Marbled is concerned and see if you should consider making space amongst your flock for this one.
Appearance & Design (9/10) – A cohesive and radiant golden appearance
Pelikan continues to make available their G5 gift packaging which we have seen accompanying pens of the Classic series for years. Unlike the standard packaging however, this one embellishes a few elements to suit the theme. The inner box has a golden cardboard pullout which then reveals the typical faux leather sleeve, this time secured via a gold ribbon. It’s a small thing but it’s nice to see the company applying some thoughtful details to their lower tier models. Once you get past the packaging, the pen really grabs your attention with the pearlescent gold marbling of the barrel. When seen from a distance, the pattern appears to be opaque but once up close and in strong lighting, the barrel is actually fairly translucent to the point where the piston assembly is easily visible. As you rotate the pen, some areas appear more translucent than others. This model really shimmers and catches the light just as you might hope it would. This is all contrasted nicely by the pen’s white resin components which include the cap, piston knob, and section. In terms of the overall appearance, I think that white was the right call for this particular look. Just behind the section is a gold colored ink view window which blends in well and suits the styling. The remainder of this M200’s trim includes a single ring at the piston knob, a single cap band, a crown cap nut, and a beak clip. The cap band is inscribed “Pelikan Germany.” All of the furniture is gold plated and the cap top features Pelikan’s golden one chick logo on a black background. I think that it might have been nice to extend the white resin to include the cap top as well but that’s just me. The nib here is made of gold plated stainless steel and features the company logo and a simple script above that reading “Pelikan.” The look is almost a bit too sterile for this model and I can’t help but want a little more flourish, perhaps something like we’ve seen on the M120 nibs. Taken together, the Gold-Marbled pulls off a largely cohesive and radiant look that is sure to please.
Construction & Quality (10/10) – Nib aside, you’d be hard pressed to tell that this isn’t a Souverän
Pelikan’s Classic line is by nature just a little less refined than the higher end Souverän series though somebody forgot to tell that to the Gold-Marbled. There is a seam running along the section but I had to use a flashlight to visualize it as it is near invisible with regular use. A close inspection of the rest of the pen gives the impression of a carefully constructed piece that leaves no qualms about the high degree of craftsmanship employed. If this one came equipped with a 14-carat nib, you might struggle to distinguish it from a Souverän. In my daily usage, I have not had any issues or obvious concerns. The cap posts very securely when writing and hasn’t come undone on me when in the pocket. The piston movement is smooth and secure and the nib has been trouble free. Overall, a well-built pen that should provide decades of reliable service.
Weight & Dimensions (9/10) – A smaller pen that becomes near perfect when posted
The M2oo Gold-Marbled is the same size as today’s M400 which means that it is a smaller pen. I’ve said many times before, though it bears repeating, that the smaller size is nothing to be dismayed over. The Classic series of pens were made to be posted. Doing so imparts an incredibly comfortable length and balance. That doesn’t mean the pen cannot be used without posting, it just excels when used that way. Officially the Gold-Marbled is approximately 4.92 inches when capped, 5.71 inches posted, and has a diameter of 0.46 inches. It weighs in at a svelte 0.49 ounces. If that sounds too small or light for you, then look to the M6xx Souverän and up for a bit more heft.
Nib & Performance (8/10) – A dependable writer but just a bit too plain looking
The Gold-Marbled can be equipped with Pelikan’s standard assortment of nib widths which includes EF, F, M, and B. As I mentioned above, this nib looks just a little too plain when juxtaposed with the rest of the pen but is no different from that of any other M2xx model. The gold plated stainless steel is by no means flexible but does have a satisfying bit of spring. My example, a stock nib in bold width, came well aligned out of the box. The bold nib lays down a generous line of ink and the feed really resists drying out but the width does not feel like a true bold to me. Judge for yourself in the writing sample below but the width feels more like what I would expect from a medium. Width aside, there were certainly no issues with hard starts or skips in my case. Of course there will be some individual variation and your experience may vary. The nib does lack meaningful character but it performs its job well and doesn’t get in the way of the writing experience.
Filling System & Maintenance (9/10) – Easy to maintain but white resin can be prone to staining
Pelikan’s standard differential piston filling mechanism is included here which makes for easy filling and maintenance. Piston travel is smooth and the pen fills easily from a bottle of ink. The assembly on Pelikan’s lower tier models is not user removable but that is seldom ever an issue and should not be held against it. The nib easily unscrews which serves to facilitate maintenance of the piston, easy cleaning, and any nib exchanges/repairs. This remains a boon to the end user and allows the Gold-Marbled to be, overall, very low maintenance. The only thing that I can see as a potential issue would be with regards to staining of the white resin. I think that with proper ink selection and pen maintenance, this can be easily avoided but it is something to be aware of. I personally have not had staining issues with my white resin Pelikan pens but I am cautious in their use so your mileage might vary.
Cost & Value (7/10) – The U.S. market continues to be burdened with ever higher pricing
The M200 Gold-Marbled has a U.S. MSRP of $255 which translates to an average U.S. retail price of $204. Sadly, I find that pricing patently absurd for a pen with a stainless steel nib. The similarly fashioned M205 Star Ruby from just a few months prior retailed for $168. Taking into account the gold plating and difference in materials, this still seems like a tough pill to swallow. That is particularly true when you can pick these up for as little as €84.03 (~$92.62) excluding the VAT from vendors based in the European Union. Despite the lack of domestic warranty support that comes from shopping for Pelikan abroad, the savings here cannot be overlooked. For around $30 more than what is being asked domestically, you can get an M400 Tortoiseshell White Souverän from abroad. One of the reasons that I started my collection with the Classic line was their affordability and it was a go to recommendation of mine for people looking to get into the brand. Prices like these that blur the line between Classic and Souverän make it a challenge to support our hard working domestic vendors and are a barrier to getting people started with the company’s modern products. The Gold-Marbled is a great pen with classic lines and an interesting finish that I would not hesitate to recommend provided you can find it at the right price.
Conclusion – A beautiful gold marbled finish with a price tag worthy of King Midas himself
M200 Gold-Marbled: 52/60 or 86.7%
The M200 Gold-Marbled is a fresh and welcome addition to Pelikan’s Classic line. I’m really enjoying how Pelikan is bringing some more unique and less staid finishes to the series. I hope they continue in this creative direction. The gold marbling is nearly translucent and has a wonderful depth and pearlessence. Pelikan’s new golden child is really only crippled by its excessively high pricing in the U.S. market. Sadly, this situation seems to be without remedy for the time being. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this one provided you can secure it at a reasonable price.
- The gold marbled barrel has an amazing depth and really stands out
- The feed does an amazing job of resisting drying out and the nib has a pleasant bit of spring
- The pen takes on a near perfect size and balance when posted
- The white resin components can be more prone to stains and the nib looks a bit plain
- The barrel doesn’t have a uniform appearance as some areas are more translucent than others
- The price of the pen in the U.S. market is obnoxious
A Look At The Pelikan M200 Gold-Marbled
Pelikan M200 Gold-Marbled Writing Sample
*The pen utilized for this review is my own from my personal collection and therefore the opinions expressed are also mine and free of any undue influence.