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Pelikan 200 (Translucent series)

Pelikan 200s in translucent red, amber, green, and blue, 2002-2004

You might think of the the Pelikan M200 as the less ostentatious sibling of the M400; the two pens are the same size and shape, but the 200 makes do with less gold trim, a less opulent cast synthetic plastic (rather than hand-worked natural resin), and a plated steel point. It also sells for far less than half of the M400's price (it lists for $55 and can frequently be had for a bit less).

None of this, however, means that the 200 has to be boring. In 2002, Pelikan began issuing the model 200 in translucent colors to complement the traditional black, green-marble, and blue-marble finishes. The translucent M200s join a number of other Pelikans that have gotten the "demonstrator" treatment, starting with the model 800 "Blue Ocean" back in the late 1980s, and they should also answer any remaining complaints that Pelikans aren't very colorful.

The new pens are currently available in red, green, blue, amber, and anthracite (gray). the lightest and most transparent of which is probably the amber. The fun of these pens is that you can see all the works, including Pelikan's excellent piston-fill mechanism; this system gives the pen a very large ink capacity for its size, and the translucency of the barrel gives you plenty of warning before the ink runs out. The point is smooth and relatively rigid, and comes in a wide range of nib sizes. The price makes it possible to amass a themed mini-collection on the cheap; you could buy all five for less than the cost of an M1000, and have enough change left to get a few bottles of matching ink.

The set is complete: Pelikan 200 in Anthracite.

For a bit more money (about twice the money, actually), you could buy the M250, which is essentially the M200 with a gold point; however, the M250 doesn't come in all the exciting new colors, and is within a steak dinner or so of the price of the more prestigious Souverän series M400. You needn't feel downcast, however, if you can't swing the purchase of one of these more expensive models; the M200's general trim configuration echoes that of the original (1950s) model 400, so you can think of it as a nostalgic reissue if you like.

Although the M200 is a piston filler (no cartridges allowed), its point can be removed for easy cleaning. In fact, you can buy replacement points in various nib grades and swap them out whenever you feel like a change of pace. You can even fit gold points from the M250 and M400 series into this pen (these solid 14k points do cost more money, though).

The Verdict

A very practical pen that nevertheless attracts comments with its fanciful appearance. Plus, it's a Pelikan.

Maker Pelikan
Origin Germany
Production Current
Type Piston fill
Point Gold-plated steel
Construction Translucent molded plastic barrel and cap, with gold-plated trim.