Monday, June 1, 2015

The Sterling Pelikan Souverän m625

As you might already know, Pelikan as a company encompasses a rich heritage of 180 years – in manufacturing inks, pens and stationery (177 years to be exact, you can find a bit of history in a previous post ). In 1929, it released its first transparent Pelikan fountain pen  and was credited with the genesis of the piston-filling mechanism, using a differential spindle gear. However, the first of the silvery m625 models does not come until the next 77 years go by. 


Pelikan launched the Souverän m625 model in 2006, which constituted of a dark blue resin barrel with rest of the visible hardware - i.e cap, piston knob and grip section, carved out of sterling silver (92.5% silver + 7.5% copper giving the required strength while preserving appearance of the noble metal). It was later followed by an aubergine model and a red model with two variations in the cap section. These had a 18k rhodium plated gold nib. Later, they also released a limited batch of m625s with a red barrel and a 14k nib, for the Asian market.

The pen comes in a standard G15 gift box, essentially the same packaging as all the other standard souverän models.

DESIGN (6/6)

It's an amazingly stunning pen encompassed in a standard souverän series design. Closed, the sterling silver cap and the piston knob dazzle with ambient reflections, while the barrel awaits light to bedazzle you.

Once exposed to the visible spectrum, a play of light reveals the inside mechanisms like a demonstrator. And it's definitely more spectacular to the eyes than it is to the lenses.
The barrel is made up of high grade translucent resin and is resistant to scratches in course of normal use. There is also a thin palladium coating on the sterling silver parts to avoid staining of the pen with time. This was confirmed by the Pelikan team.
On unscrewing the cap, you will instantly notice a resonance in design with a glittering grip section wholly carved out of sterling silver, along with a rhodium plated nib. So there is either reflection or refraction of ambient light, rendering the m625 with its characteristic trait. The silvery metallic grip is quite comfortable to hold and does not feel slippery, and it adjoins the barrel with threads for securing the cap.
Twirls engraved around the sterling silver cap run on its surface gleaming with all possible proximate imagery.  A few swirls end near the middle, where Ag 925 is etched in between, granting a somewhat finality of trust to the glitter show.The logo on the finial is the one embraced by Pelikan post 2003, that of a mother pelican and a chick,   in a brushed palladium finish. At the base, imbibed are the words PELIKAN SOUVERÄN GERMANY, which is common across the range of souverän series. The absence of any differential aesthetics in the cap drives the inherent singularity in appearance.


A piston filler with a sterling silver knob surely distinguishes the m625 from other models in the range. Apart from enchanting looks, like any other pelikan, it's an easy and hassle-free mechanism. 
The piston end unscrews with three to four rotations and ink is sucked in, with quite a gush, once the piston is screwed back on. And of course, you can observe the entire thing in action.


The dazzling rhodium plated gold nib with an usual iridium tip is tested by hand, and it comes in four main sizes – EF, F, M & B along one special width – BB (extra-broad). Like all its cousins, the nib is exquisite and efficient. With a screw fit mechanism and a standard m6xx feed, the nib-section is an ensemble of efficiency as well as artistry. And this silvery white finish does converge with the sterling silver grip in terms of both glitter and glimmer. 

The tail end specifies the nib-width and composition (14 C, 58.5% Au) of the gold-alloy used. Three arabesques diverge along the shoulders of the nib with two of them converging near the breather hole. The third arabesque runs across the tines towards the shoulders ending with the tail end of the nib. There is of-course the dazzling white mother-baby pelikan logo, resting above the tail. This one is an extra-fine nib and writes smoothly out of the box.
A black plastic feed (earlier ones had ebonite feeds) with closely spaced fins allows a good buffer capacity to hold ink with ambient pressure and temperature fluctuations.


It does give a comfortable feel to write with the pen without posting the cap. The overall capped length is around 13.3 cm. The total weight of m625 has a significant contribution from the cap, which is otherwise quite well-balanced. And yes, a substantial cap does make the pen very top-heavy if posted.

  • Uncapped Length ~ 12.4 cm
  • Posted Length ~ 15.4 cm
  • Nib Leverage ~ 2.3 cm
  • Overall Weight ~ 34 g (Cap Weight ~ 17.5 g)

While not posted, a length of 12.4 cm is quite comfortable for writing because of a thicker girth and a substantial weight, mostly due to the metallic grip and piston-knob sections, eventhough the piston mechanism is made up of plastic rather than brass. (common across m6XXs)


Although the m625 retails at excess of USD 700, it is available at lower street prices. I was able to get the pen at a good discounted price in an online action at the bay. I would not undervalue the rating by much, because in the end, the m625 seems more of an art rather than science. As isn't it why all of us buy, discuss and share experiences with fountain pens all the time ?

OVERALL (5.4/6)

I adore the distinct red translucent design of the m625 which is embraced with the glistening contours of sterling silver. This pen is blessed with a smooth extra-fine (EF) nib which delivers a thin but a very wet line. The line width closely resembles a Pilot 14k-FM nib. For a relatively dry Pelikan Royal Blue ink, it takes around 12-13 seconds to dry. I could not find any line variation with horizontal and vertical strokes for this one. And yes, nib's a nail too when it comes to flex.
Thank you for your time. You can find some more pen and paraphernalia reviews here.

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