This Just In: Pelikan M815 Metal Striped SE

When the Pelikan Souverän M815 Metal Striped Special Edition was announced in mid–2018, I was immediately drawn to it. At the time, I had the M805 Stresemann, and the two pens are very similar. I’m not a Pelikan collector, so I couldn’t justify having both pens, especially since the M815 had a street price of $680 ($850 MSRP) here in the US. I also didn’t see the point of selling the Stresemann to buy the M815 Metal Striped, so I promptly forgot about the new M815.

I ended up selling off my M805 Stresemann during my fountain pen sell-off of 2019, although it wasn’t with the intent of replacing it with the M815. In fact, the M815 had completely fallen off my radar. Then I visited the Classic Fountain Pens Website (nibs.com), and their front page announced a $429 price for the M815. While that’s certainly not inexpensive, it’s less than 1/2 the MSRP and over 35% off typical retail. So, it was back on my radar.

I spent a week mulling it over and sleeping on it, then I decided to pull the trigger. Classic Fountain Pens (CFP) had the lowest price I found, including Amazon sellers. I’ve purchased fountain pens from CFP before, so they are a seller I trust, and buying from them was a no-brainer. CFP checks and tunes the nib before shipping. I asked for a light to medium ink flow using light to medium pressure.

Photo of the Pelikan M815 Metal Striped Presentation Box

The pen arrived in a unique presentation box, although nothing elaborate or expensive. The cardboard box is attractively printed with colors and a design that complements the pen. The pen floats in the box at an angle.

The pens aesthetic is one I like a lot. The palladium plating doesn’t scream bling, and complements the black resin to provide a beautiful overall look for the pen. While the Stresemann has been gone for a few months, my impression is the M815 is slightly brighter than the Stresemann, and I like it better. The overall design is one I consider standard for Pelikan M8xx fountain pens. The furniture is all palladium plated. There are two cap bands, the thicker one is engraved “Pelikan Souverän Germany.” There are another two trim rings at the piston knob. The cap is all black resin, except for the furniture. The cap finial has the Pelikan logo, and the clip is the typical beak design.

(Click any image to open gallery)

The M815 Striped Metal has a dark grey ink window above the section, which sets its design apart from the Stresemann. I worried the ink window would break up the design and bother me. The reality is that once there’s ink in the pen, especially a dark ink, the color just blends right in and I don’t notice it at all. When the pen is capped, the ink window isn’t visible at all.

The nib is rhodium-plated 18k gold with Pelikan’s standard engraving. I picked a fine nib. The nib seems a bit wide for a fine nib. Still, it is a western fine, and not too egregious. Which is unlike the factory EF nib on my earlier Stresemann, which had asperations of being a broad nib until I had it ground down to a correct extra fine size.

I picked Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black as the first ink for the pen. I like blue-blacks, and Pelikan Blue-Black is an ink I haven’t used in a long time. Somehow, I purchased a second bottle despite barely touching the original bottle of ink, so I need to use it. As expected, the piston movement was smooth, and it was easy to fill the pen.

Photo of the Pelikan M815 with a bottle of Pelikan blue-black ink

The M8xx form factor fits comfortably in my hand. The cap can be posted, but I don’t post my pens. While some people complain about fatigue with larger or heavier pens, I’m the exact opposite. The weight and size of the M815 allow me to use a loose grip and write with just the weight of the pen on the paper, no added pressure needed. For light or thin pens, my subconscious brain sends signals to grip the pen tighter, which causes fatigue. That’s a long-winded way of saying that the Pelikan M815 Striped Metal is comfortable in my hand, and it feels like I can write forever. As it is, I found myself having to get up and stretch my legs long before I needed to rest my hand. In comparison – I bought a much lighter and slightly thinner pen at the same time, and I certainly feel fatigued during the writing session.

I’m glad I added the Pelikan Souverän M815 Metal Striped Special Edition. It’s still on the first fill of ink, and it still has that new pen glow, so it’s too soon to know if it’s a Core Pen, Hanger-on, or one that should be added to the sale queue. But my initial reaction is that it will become a core pen.

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