Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 369

Here's a Pelikan 'ilo' fountain pen (model P475 M) I recently acquired after spotting it on eBay while looking for Pelikan school pens. I wasn't aware of this particular model, so I looked it up on the excellent website and saw that it was released in 2020 (export models were released in early 2021). I liked the way it looked, so I bought it and waited patiently for it to arrive...

From Pelikan's official website:

"Joy is one of the most beautiful feelings.

When you are completely on your own or when you are with other people, then it’s joy. When body and mind feel light, it’s joy.

We developed the Pelikan ilo for this distinctive feeling. True to the motto "inkredible joy", our fountain pen supports frequent writers and all those who want to become one.

Every essay, every love letter, and every notebook entry becomes an experience with the Pelikan ilo."

( ~ please click on images to enlarge ~ )

I got mine for  €23.14 EUR (€19.40 + €3.74 shipping), which is around $31 CAD, from an Italian eBay seller (eeemarket) who shipped it from the Netherlands. The seller sent it via trackable PostNL mail and it arrived, safe and sound, in a small Pelikan-branded cardboard box made for the 'ilo' model -- simple, yet effective packaging that's environmentally-friendly and biodegradable (yay!)

The 'ilo' is a German-made, lightweight, plastic fountain pen that weighs about 12 grams (with no cartridge in it). The pen comes in four colours (black, white, blue and red), each with a different grip section colour combination. Mine is the "red" model, but it's really a dark fuchsia colour, as you can (hopefully) see in my photos. The pen takes international cartridges and came supplied with one long international cartridge that holds 1.4ml of Pelikan Royal Blue ink.

Some quick measurements - pen's capped length: 5.25 inches, uncapped (nib tip to barrel end) length : 4.75 inches, posted length: 5.75 inches. The pen posts well, and given how light and well-balanced it is, I always use it posted.

The pen was designed for use by students, who require a pen that's comfortable to hold and won't tire the hand during long writing sessions (Pelikan also claims their "...soft-touch grip zone relieves pressure to the middle finger" 🤣). It is very comfortable to hold, and it's probably one of the most comfortable fountain pens I've used because of the design of its triangular grip and the silky-smooth material of which it's made. All in all, a very pleasant writing experience.

The nib is made of stainless steel and has no breather hole, but it has the Pelikan logo engraved/stamped on it. The nib is deeply embedded in the section, so you can't see the nib width marked on it (mine is a Medium). Because of this, the nib looks a lot shorter than it really is, but it's the same type of nib that's on most of the other modern-era Pelikan school pens (although all the ones I own lack the Pelikan logo on their nibs...Interesting 🤨...). 

I own several different Pelikan school pen models, so I knew what kind of writing experience to expect with this particular nib, and I was not disappointed - it's a very smooth writer. I did find mention of a Fine-nibbed version of the 'ilo'-- model P475 F -- on Pelikan's German site, but I haven't been able to find it for sale online (or any mention of it anywhere, except for their website).

The ink window is very conspicuous, so it's easy to tell if you're running low on ink ---very useful for students.

I love the dimpled texture of the pen - it looks cool and it's an interesting contrast to the über-smooth texture of the rubber grip section...

The clip is an odd bird as it seems to be made entirely out of plastic --no metal in it that I can detect -- and it doesn't clip well onto fabrics (it clips onto paper well enough). To be fair, the pen was marketed towards students, so I don't think it was really designed to clip onto shirt or suit pockets. One of the things Pelikan mentions about the cap is that it has "rollaway protection". That's true--it doesn't roll off even surfaces -- but don't all pens with clips have that feature?? (maybe I'm missing something lol).

(my apologies for the poor photo!)

The top of the cap (above) is adorned with a decorative inset - a small, light pink plastic medallion with the current Pelikan logo (adult pelican and chick) on it. I like the use of light pink in the finial, grip section and on the underside of the clip -- the contrast with the darker pink is visually appealing and makes the pen stand out in a sea of student pen competitors (it's actually what drew me to this model).

(Note: to see a super- enlarged image, left-click on the image to enlarge it, then right-click & select "open image in new tab", then left-click again)

 Regarding that small pictograph of the two hands on the back of the box (above) - that signifies that the pen is equally suitable for both right-and left-handed users (the company even mentions this on page 4 of their 2021 International Catalog); I love their close attention to detail!

Although it's marketed towards younger users, the Pelikan 'ilo' is a cool-looking fountain pen with modern styling. If you're looking for a well-built, lightweight fountain pen that's very comfortable to hold and use for long writing sessions, this might be the pen for you. Personally, I much prefer its looks to that of the current iteration of the Pelikano student pen; I really wish they'd redesign it (keeping fingers crossed!).

(photos & review by Maja)

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