To celebrate National Stationery Week here in the UK…
My ancestry is 50% German, which may explain why I’m such a fan of German products. I drive a VW Beetle GSR and am knee-deep in Lamy pens, but only recently dipped my toe in the Pelikan pool. Though I’m still in the shallow end of that pool, so far I’m solidly impressed.
When I think of Pelikan fountain pens, I naturally picture the classic Souverän line, but my recent test-drive of the Pelikan Pura fountain pen has updated that perception. The Pura is a pen that combines both highly polished and matte anodized aluminum. It’s a cool contemporary look that’s sleek and clean and modern.
I’m not usually one to talk about a pen’s packaging, but in the case of the Pura, I’ll make an exception. The box is constructed to open like a little drawer, which then reveals a ribbon-tied leather (or faux leather) envelope. It’s a great presentation, and makes every use of the pen feel a bit like a special occasion.
Though it’s made of aluminum, the Pura is weightier than you might think. Weighing 35g, it feels substantial and well-balanced, with a heft that conveys quality. The snap cap posts deeply and securely, with an audible “click,” on what looks like (but isn’t) a blind-cap on the end of the pen. I’ve been using the pen both posted and unposted, and while the cap does add more weight to the back of the pen, the balance is not significantly affected. Tolerances are tight so there are no gaps, wiggly parts, or rattles. Everything looks and feels very well-made and solid.
The pen’s clip is sleek and NOT shaped like a pelican’s bill, like you’ll find on other Pelikan pens. The Pura’s low-profile, polished aluminum clip fits nearly flush against the matte black cap, but is still springy enough to be useful for pocket or pen case carry.
If you’re fingerprint-averse, this may not be the pen for you as the highly polished metal of the grip section is prone to picking up fingerprints and smudges. So far I haven’t found the metal section to be particularly slippery, but your experience may differ depending on the climate and sweatiness of your hands. I periodically wipe the section with a microfiber cloth and the good-as-new look is quickly restored.
Many Pelikan fountain pens are piston-fillers, but the Pura is a cartridge/converter pen. The converter is not included, but is available separately. I’ve been using the included extra-long blue Pelikan cartridge, but look forward to acquiring a converter so that I can explore bottled ink options.
Branding on the pen is understated and simple. The words “PELIKAN” and “GERMANY” are printed on the edge of the cap, while a very subtle rendition of the Pelikan logo is found on the cap’s end. The same small logo, of a mama pelican and her chick, is featured on the pen’s steel nib.
The EF steel nib on my Pura lays down a precise line that’s a touch on the dry side on Rhodia and Clairfontaine papers but just perfect on papers that are less fountain pen friendly (think Moleskine and Field Notes notebooks). The nib performs without a stutter or skip each and every time, and the EF line is consistent and crisp. It’s not a buttery smooth nib— there is a bit of feedback— but is in no way scratchy. Very fine and very reliable, this is a nib that you can count on.
The price for the Pelikan Pura fountain pen is very reasonable (£51.88/$88.04 USD) considering the nicely appointed packaging, the pen’s top-notch fit and finish, and Pelikan’s long-standing reputation for quality. This is a pen that makes an impressive gift— whether it’s for a loved one, friend, or colleague— OR for yourself.
If you’re looking to wade a little deeper into the Pelikan pool, the Pura’s contemporary good looks coupled with Pelikan’s time-honored reputation in the fountain pen world make this a pen that’s worth a look. Great pen. Great price. Great company.
That’s a combination that’s tough to beat.
-Happily reviewed by Mary Collis