With the first half of 2020 almost behind us, you may have noticed a relative dearth of new fountain pens releases coming out of Hannover. This is likely in no small part due to the turmoil that has engulfed the world as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. Thus far, we have come to see just three new models brought to the market in 2o2o. These include the M200 Pastel-Green, the M1000 Raden Green Ray, and let us not forget the more limited release of the M800 Chinese Demonstrator. While we anticipate some fresh new models for the second half of the year, I thought that it might be worthwhile to take a look at what we already have in hand. Announced at the end of last year and released in late March, the M200 Pastel-Green is an interesting new member of Pelikan’s Classic line-up. The company has really embraced an array of pastel colors married to white resin accents over the last few years. That said, the Pastel-Green is now just the third pen from the M2xx series to utilize white resin, following closely on the heels of 2019’s M200 Gold-Marbled. At the risk of deluding myself, I’d like to think that perhaps someone at Pelikan is listening as it appears that some of the features that I critiqued in my Gold-Marbled review were addressed with this release. The reason that I chose to review this one today is for the uniqueness of the finish which is somewhat different from prior releases. The Pastel-Green is a special edition meaning that it will only be around for a limited time so read on to find out whether or not it’s just the trick to brighten up this otherwise bleak Spring.
Appearance & Design (9/10) – The white resin cap now sports a much improved cap top
The Pastel-Green comes in Pelikan’s standard G5 gift packaging which includes a lime green cardboard pullout and a faux leather sleeve secured with a lime green ribbon. This is consistent with other recent releases which incorporated thematically appropriate packaging. The first two features which grab you upon visualizing the pen are the light green barrel and the white cap top. The barrel has a very light and airy appearance replete with green marbled swirls and is translucent with a fair degree of chatoyance. The first third of the barrel darkens in an interesting way once filled with ink. The pastel green coloring is nicely offset by the pen’s white resin components which include the cap, piston knob, and section. At first, I felt that the chosen shade of green was a bit too light but it has grown on me with use. If you do still find this one too light, there is always the Green-Marbled which has a much darker appearance and black resin accents. Behind the section is a clear transparent ink view window which lacks any tint and matches the overall scheme well. The look of the Pastel-Green is rounded out by a single trim ring at the piston knob, a single cap band, a crown cap nut, and the traditional beak clip. The cap band bears the inscription “Pelikan Germany” and all of the furniture is gold plated. The cap top displays Pelikan’s one chick logo done in gold on top of a white background. That was one of my biggest stylistic gripes with the Gold-Marbled. If you’ll recall, that pen utilized a white resin cap with a black cap top which seemed out of place and poorly thought out. The nib is made from stainless steel plated in gold and displays the company logo along with the nib size.
Construction & Quality (9/10) – A well-built pen easily suited to everyday use with some care
Pelikan continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to quality and I can find no major qualms with the fit and finish of the Pastel-Green. If you look very closely, you can find a seam running along either side of the section. Usually polished out on the Souverän line, the seams here are hardly noticeable. The plating is without imperfection and the resin components marry with the gold trim seamlessly. Past attempts at white resin caps from Pelikan were problematic when first introduced as they were prone to cracking. This issue appears to have been resolved long ago with more recent releases faring better though only time will tell. The cap stays secure when the pen is closed and posts very securely should you prefer to write with a posted pen. Putting aside the inherent risk of staining that I will detail further below, the Pastel-Green seems like it will hold up well with daily use.
Weight & Dimensions (9/10) – Posted perfection in a small, portable package
The M200 Pastel-Green is a smaller pen by today’s standards which means that it won’t suit everyone’s taste. That’s not to say that it’s an exceptionally small pen and if you like to post your pens, you are in for a treat. Like most pens in the M2xx and M4xx line-ups, the Pastel-Green becomes perfectly balanced when posted and is very comfortable in the hand. It does lack significant heft which makes it a poor choice if you like a weightier pen. I find the size perfect for pocket carry which is how I travel with my pens. The M200 measures 4.92 inches when capped, 5.71 inches posted, has a diameter of 0.46 inches, and weighs 0.49 ounces. It will hold about 1.20mL of ink with a full fill.
Nib & Performance (8/10) – A reliable writer that’s superb at resisting drying out
The Pastel-Green can be outfitted with a nib in one of four standard widths including EF, F, M, and B. Of course, the pen will also accept a gold nib from the M4xx line if you’re looking for an upgrade. The stock nib is very simply styled, lacking the flourish found on the nibs from the Souverän series. Still, it does not look out of place on the Pastel-Green and serves its purpose well. I purchased mine in a fine width which came well aligned out of the box and writes pretty true to its designation. I have not had any issues with skipping or hard starts and, despite being a fine, it writes smoothly and without any significant tooth. There is no flex and the nib lacks character but there is a welcome bit of spring that comes with the writing experience. The feed also is very good at resisting drying out either when capped and awaiting the next writing session or uncapped between sentences. The M200 nib just works making it a reliable writer.
Filling System & Maintenance (8/10) – An easy to fill pen with an ever present risk of staining
The differential piston filling mechanism included with the Pastel-Green is no different than any of the other models recently reviewed. That means that the tasks of filling and maintenance are easily accomplished. The piston travels smoothly along the length of the barrel and the pen fills to near capacity with a single stroke of the piston. The nib can be easily unscrewed in order to facilitate infrequent lubrication of the piston assembly as well as making the task of deep cleaning a little easier. The piston assembly cannot be removed without risking serious damage but this is next to never necessary anyhow. Of course, the white resin will be more prone to staining which is a concern that could certainly impact your decision to purchase. This can usually be mitigated with good pen hygiene and the careful selection of ink. Also, the clear ink view window may be more prone to staining than some of the darker or tinted variants out there. Maintenance remains easily accomplished by the end user with only the staining issue to keep in mind.
Cost & Value (6/10) – A poor value in the U.S. market but serious savings can be found abroad
The M200 Pastel-Green comes in at the exact same price point as last year’s Gold-Marbled. That means a U.S. MSRP of $255 with a retail price of $204. I continue to find that type of pricing well above what a pen with a stainless steel nib should be going for, regardless of its other merits. I simply cannot justify purchasing this pen at that rate. To be brutally honest, it is my humble opinion that the value just isn’t there. Value is a subjective thing though so I leave it to you to draw your own conclusions. The best prices continue to come from overseas where the Pastel-Green can be had for €86.05 (~$94.21) excluding the VAT. That seems to be a much more reasonable ask for this piston filler, even with factoring in the lack of domestic warranty support that comes from shopping Pelikan abroad. It’s an ongoing disservice to domestic retailers that have to compete in such skewed global markets. If you like the airy, light green look and don’t mind white resin, then you would do well with this one, particularly if you can get it for around $100 or so. The return on investment starts falling off sharply at higher price points.
Conclusion – A light and airy pastel finish married to Pelikan quality and dependability
M200 Pastel-Green: 49/60 or 81.6%
The M200 Patel-Green continues the company’s recent infatuation with whites and pastels. It is certainly one of the brighter pens in the M2xx series but the shade of green may not be to everyone’s liking. Despite the inherent risk of staining, the Pastel-Green should serve as a reliable daily writer. Like the Gold-Marbled, this one is also crippled by excessively high pricing in the U.S., a malady for which I see no end in sight. Still, better deals are out there and a keen shopper can score decent savings. I wouldn’t shy away from this one if you can get it at a more reasonable price.
- The cap top now matches the rest of the pen, a big improvement over the Gold-Marbled
- The cap post securely and the nib has a satisfying springiness
- The white resin components and clear ink view window will be at risk for staining
- Pricing in the U.S. market remains exorbitant for a pen equipped with a stainless steel nib
A Look At The Pelikan M200 Pastel-Green
Pelikan M200 Pastel-Green 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.