Why is this nib “rare”? It’s been about a year or two since Pelikan has discontinued nibs larger than broad. In the past, they used to have special nib sizes such as oblique broad (OB), double broad (BB) and triple broad (3B). Now, they have discontinued them and are down to extra-fine (EF), fine (F), medium (M), and broad (B). Isn’t it a disadvantage for Pelikan, as there is one less selling point to attract their customers to buy their pens, precisely because of their wide range of nib choices?
Anyway, sometimes we don’t agree with the decisions that companies make, and while I don’t agree that the big nibs – especially the obliques – should be discontinued, I did not rush out to get one for myself. I don’t know what I was thinking. However, Mike, a nice friend of mine, has lent me his OB nib which flew to Singapore all the way from Europe, and stayed with me for a good many months before I actually came down to reviewing it.
I put it onto an M1000 body for the purpose of this review.
The Pelikan Souverän series of fountain pens is one representing the premium pens in their fountain pen range. As the numbers go up in the Mxxx series, the size of the pens increase too. The M1000 is the biggest of the M series – it’s really huge and starting to get into the “oversized” pens range.
A little more about the M1000 pen before I talk about the nib: I initially did not like the green striped body design, but after discovering that it has a semi-transparent look, I was fascinated immediately. The M1000 is a piston filler, and when screwing and unscrewing the end of the pen, you can vaguely see the piston moving back and forth through the stripes of the barrel. This could potentially also allow you to see the amount of ink that is left inside the pen.
First impressions: the nib is huge! I’ve seen a couple of big nibs, but this is long and has two tones in the nib, which I like very much. The Pelikan logo and the edge of the nib are golden, while the remaining parts of the nib are silver. In fact, the nib itself is an 18K gold nib with matching rhodium (silver) parts. There are also pretty engravings on the nib surface. Overall the nib itself gave a very pleasant first impression – it looks solid and well-made.
Zooming in onto the nib itself, you can see that this is an oblique nib because of the slant angle that the nib is cut at. The word “oblique” itself means “at a slant”. This is like a modified italic nib, which produces line variations as you write. For oblique nibs, it can slant either to the left or to the right. The one on this Pelikan nib unit has a left oblique. Some may call it a left-foot oblique, and the reason is because it slants in the same direction as the toes of your left foot! The left oblique is a more common type of oblique. If it slants in the other direction, it’s either called a right oblique or a reverse oblique.
As a lefty with moderate to rather serious hooked wrist writing, I do appreciate oblique nibs, but I am not used to using them, due to lack of conditioning. I do have a tendency to adapt to the pen, rather than making the pen adapt to me. When I tried out this left oblique nib, I liked it. The writing experience was very smooth with little to no feedback. The nib was springy, almost semi-flex (but I did not try to see how far it could flex).
Here’s a writing sample:
I used J. Herbin Perle Noire, which tends to be my go-to ink for reviews as I am familiar with it. In combination with the Pelikan oblique, the ink comes out of the pen very wet. I did not have to be afraid of finding the “sweet spot” for best ink flow and writing experience, but this nib surely gave an interesting one. Due to its size, the tines of the nib are springy, so when you apply more pressure to the nib, they do open up a little. At this point though, a lot of ink flows out and even the best paper may show some feathering.
You can see in the photo above that the Perle Noire is very saturated coming out of this nib. The huge amount of ink flow is nice, but for a lefty like me, not great for everyday use, as it would take a longer time to dry, and therefore cause smudging when my hand moves across the page (I’m an overwriter).
Besides the ink flow, the nib does squeak a little when I write. I seem to experience this when writing with Pelikans. This phenomenon is called “singing”, and it supposedly happens when the nib has been polished until it’s super smooth, and with certain nib-ink combinations, the friction on the page causes the nib to “squeak” or “sing”. Some like this, but I don’t. I prefer a smooth nib with a matt, dull feel on paper. Do you like singing nibs?
With all the above said, I suppose I’ll use this nib more for signing, than for everyday writing.
Do you have one of those discontinued Pelikan nibs? Do you think Pelikan should not have discontinued them?