I want to like this pen, I really do, I even put it as the header graphic of my blog here. But right now I don’t. The big 1000 was one of two grail pens for my collection. My other, a Nakaya Long Cigar, has arrived and it is everything I hoped for but that’s for another blog post. I got my big Pelikan over a month ago when I was still checking the nibs.com website everyday hoping to see a new stock of Nakayas arriving. I had sold several pens and received an Amazon Gift Card as a gift so my toy budget was relatively well funded at the time. I was shopping Amazon and found my 1000 at a price that seemed too good to be true. I called the dealer and they were honest and up front with me. I called Chartpak and the dealer I was looking at was an authorized dealer so no warranty issues (good thing!) so with very little fresh cash out of my pocket I ordered the medium nib with great anticipation.
Great service from the online dealer and I received it a few days later. Inked it up and although a smooth experience I got hard starts, missing first strokes of letters and an occassional click from the tines hitting when I would write. If I didn’t have bad luck I would have no luck at all. I had read all the stories of sub-standard nibs out of the box on a large percentage of Pelikans. For a $600 writing instrument I think ANY percentage of bad out the box is LARGE.
I contacted Chartpak and they were very nice giving me instructions on sending it back and explaining how they swap nibs for free. With insurance it was just over $9 to ship it back. I was disappointed but felt good I would get it back right. 2 weeks, feeling like eternity, went by and my pen was back. After seeing my writing sample Chartpak changed me to a Fine nib which I told them was ok if they found a Fine that was smoother than any of the mediums they had on hand. I inked it up and it wrote wonderfully! No clicking, complete letters every time WOW just like I had hoped for originally. I was even starting to play with that flexy nib to make cool line variations. I do wish the story ended here.
A week letter after finishing up a nice thank you card to a relative I Iooked down at a couple of splotches of ink on my finger where I gripped the pen. No big deal I got a little too close to the feed right? Cleaned everything up and couple hours later same thing AND a glob of ink rinsed from the cap this time. Cleaned, flushed and left overnight hoping, though I don’t know what I was thinking that a flush could have to do with a leak but I guess I was desperate.
Next day I got some more leakage though not as bad, still quite annoying so I cooled a bit and fired off an email to Chartpak. To which they responded that it could be a loose replacement nib or a hairline crack in the body. They told me to send it back up (USPS $9) but not to send to the regular repair send it marked as a RUSH…silly me thinking that might be a different level of service. I requested Chartpak swap my pen back to a medium nib but they were out of stock at the time so I was OK with the FINE, it was just a bit too fine for me. 2 weeks later I received a call from Chartpak saying they found some leakage so they replaced the barrel and swapped the nib to a Medium that had just come in. As promised it shipped the Friday at the end of week 2 via 2nd day air. I anxiously awaited the second attempt.
In the meantime I had ordered some Pelikan Black ink in ther normal line and their premium Edelstein line just to see how it would react in a Pelikan pen. I assumed it would be a good combination. My pen made it back and I once again anxiously ripped it open, inked it up with the Edelstein ink and took to paper. A gusher of a medium nib. I’m all for wet and juicy but this was over the top. Smooth and no clicking sound but I noticed skipping and missing first strokes right away. I started to perspire as I felt quite defeated. I relaxed and thought maybe with that huge nib and the shallow vials of sample ink maybe I didn’t get a good fill and the nib was starving. I rinsed, flushed and tried a full bottle of ink to be sure and get a good fill. Even following the Pelikan instructions for a proper fill.
Back to my Rhodia dot pad and just as bad performance, I am crushed. No emails this time. I tore out the page from my first writing sample with half drawn letters and I shipped the pen back once again to Pelikan. Fortunately, and I will say nice touch by Chartpak, they set aside the fine nib I liked so much in case I didn’t like this medium so I’m glad I can be reasonably sure I will get that exact fine nib back which was a real joy.
It left today via USPS, which I have now paid $30 to ship my pen 3 times. The count down to July 19 begins.
I really do want to love this pen, It fits good in my hand, I love its size and the smoothness of its piston. The good news is my Nakaya is in and I’m having fun playing with it so I hope the 2 weeks go by quickly.
You have any stories about a higher end pen that disappointed?
Remember: Write something nice…