My newest pen, the Pelikan Souverän M805 Stresemann Anthracite, wrote itself dry of Montblanc Bordeaux ink. Montblanc Bordeaux is my favorite ink and the Stresemann is destined to remain one of my favorite pens even after the new pen smell wears off. I loved the combination and it almost lived up to my high expectations. Despite this I cleaned it out rather than immediately refill it with more Bordeaux. Since it’s a new pen I want to give another ink a try. I’ll let it dry out overnight and fill it with another favorite ink, R&K Blau-Schwarz LE.
I did say “almost lived up to my high expectations”. I loved this pen at first sight (in pictures) and then had to wait. My expectations grew as I waited and as is typical for me, when I have high expectations every fault, real or perceived jumps out at me.
I did have a few skips along the way, but always when I let the pen rotate from a proper position. Still, some other nibs have been more forgiving and this nib seems to have a smallish sweet spot. This makes the pen a less than perfect choice for me when I’m taking notes. On the other hand, I really like using it so I continued to use it for note taking. For writing at my desk, with proper form, the pen is skip free.
Still, something about the nib just feels off to me. It’s not actually bad or even something I can point to. I bought it from Classic Fountain Pens which tunes the pens before shipping, so I could probably get a misaligned nib re-tuned. But it’s not misaligned. Sometimes it just doesn’t feel exactly right and I was expecting exactly right. That’s one reason I want to try a different ink.
This is a bit like complaining about winning a million dollars and then complaining about paying taxes on the free money. The pen isn’t free, so maybe not the best analogy, but it is a excellent pen as it stands today. If it still seems off the next time I go to a pen show I’ll bring it along to have a nibmeister look at it. Even though this is an extra fine nib maybe the part that feels off to me is I want more of a Japanese extra fine in width.
I filled the pen on the day I got it, March 14th. Writing it dry in less than 3 weeks is pretty good for me these days and makes it obvious I used the pen a lot compared to the others. It’s a piston filler with a relatively large capacity (about 1.3 ml compared to a short cartridge of .75 ml and .5 ml in most converters).
Cleaning the ink from the pen was easy enough, although since I’ll be inking it up nearly right away I didn’t fight to get every last trace of Bordeaux out of the pen. I would have needed more time if I was putting the pen in storage. The nib unit is removable but that’s not something I like to do for a routine cleaning so I simply filled and emptied the pen over and over with a few “thermometer shakes” mixed in (for those of you who remember “analog” mercury thermometers).
Montblanc Bordeaux hasn’t left the rotation. When this pen went dry I filled a vintage Parker Vacumatic Maxima (c. 1942) with Bordeaux.
The photos have been published before, but here they are again.