Pelikan M120 Iconic Blue Special Edition, M415 14K Fine, inked with Noodler's 54th Massachusetts

I am happy to see this simple blue pen back in the rotation. It was my cheapest purchase of 2018, and my delight with it way outweighs its cost.

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This nib arrived in my collection for Christmas 2010 with the Pelikan M415 Tortoiseshell Brown has just clocked up eight years in my possession. It is a lovely wet writing European fine nib - set that way by the vendor Richard Binder.

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Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts is very nice blue-black ink that leans to the black side. Unlike quite a few of my Noodler’s blue-blacks, this one doesn’t seem to feather. I get some good shading from the wet fine nib and some very faint red sheen on the heavy sections.

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Pen additions to my collection - 2018

I added ten more pens to my collection in 2018, an increase of one from 2017’s nine.

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The continuation of Pelikan’s white M600 special edition series, this time in Turquoise was the first purchase of the year.

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I don’t usually collect the M200 series of pens, but a silver trimmed clear demonstrator was too nice to pass up; so my second addition was the M205 Demonstrator SE.

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My third addition for the year was love at first sight purchase. The M120 Iconic Blue Special Edition so attracted me by its simplicity and shape.

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After getting the Iconic Blue and being a completist, I had to seek out the first of the M120 release pens. So my fourth new addition was the first that was not a 2018 release - the M120 Green/Black Special Edition.

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The M320 Jade Green SE was the last of the M300 pens I needed for the set. This pen is the closest I have had to a grail pen as they are scarce. I bought this one from Japan at an extravagant price to become my fifth pen purchase for the year.

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The M815 Metal Striped SE was a bolt from the blue as there were no previous rumours about this pen before it was officially released. I am so on the train of striped pens so this one becomes my sixth addition of the year.

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This pen was a spare of the moment, FOMO, completest extravagance. I had gotten the Royal Gold LE in 2017 for my milestone (50th) birthday, but I had no such excuse this year. I got a call from my local pen shop to say that there were only two of this model coming to Australia via the distributor and one had already been spoken for, they needed an answer. I said yes to the M805 Royal Platinum Raden LE working on the theory that it was easier to beg forgiveness from my wife than ask for permission to spend a sizeable amount of cash on another pen. (I was in her bad books for weeks).

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My eighth addition for the year was the M800 Stone Garden SE - a nice pen.

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The very bright and sunny M600 Vibrant Orange SE become the ninth purchase for the year. I am in love with this pen but was slightly disappointed that it wasn’t closer in colour to my M320 Orange Marbled.

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My tenth (and last) pen for the year arrived less than three hours ago at 2 pm on the 31st December 2018 - the M805 Dark Blue. This pen was an eBay purchase to add to the M605 Dark Blue I already have in my collection, and I have an M405 version in transit from Germany to complete the set.

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So that’s the year in pen purchases for me: seven 2018 release pens, one new 2016 release pen and two older pens sourced on the secondary market.

My favourite - It is hard to go past the M805 Royal Platinum Raden LE, the “silver” of the platinum allows for a superb display of rainbow of colours from the raden. Second place is a tie between the M320 Jade Green and the M600 Vibrant Orange, both are so bright and “happy”. Least favourite - M800 Stone Garden.

Pelikan M120 Iconic Blue Special Edition, M101N 14K Medium, inked with Diamine Blue Black

Due to quirk of my new pen rotation selection system the M120 Iconic Blue SE makes its second appearance a good five weeks before it previously would. I am not complaining as I am quite taken with the minimal look of this pen.

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Bought with the first M101N this nib has been in my collection for over five years now. I really like the look of these retro nibs and it goes well with minimal look of the M120 pen.

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Ink number 17 into my collection, I have had this ink for 7⅔ year now. It has always shaded well on any paper but use with 52gsm Tomoe River allows it to show what a huge red sheener it is. This is one of my favourite blue black inks and I feel sad I only use it every 2½ years.

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Pelikan M120 Iconic Blue Special Edition, M101N 14K Extra Fine, inked with Montblanc Emerald

I resisted the temptation to add another Pelikan model to my collecting scope for almost two years. I did so well but immediately failed when I saw images of this pen, the M120 Iconic Blue Special Edition. It is the second release in the M120 range, the first being a Black cap with green body version released in early 2016. (I have one of those on the way to me at the moment as well). The original M120 peens were sold between 1955-1965 and were classed as a 'school pen'. What really grabbed me was the minimal look of this pen with no blind cap bands and the lack of bling about the pelikan symbol in the cap top. This pen is slightly longer than a M200 when capped and is exactly the same length uncapped. It is a very light pen being all plastic. 

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The M120 came with a very nice looking gold plated steel fine nib. I have made arbitrary decision not to use steel nibs in my pens so this nib will be sold off at some stage. I intend to pair this pen with my range of M101N, M250 and M400 single tone gold nibs. First up for this pen then is my M101N 14K Extra Fine nib that came with my Bright Red SE. It unlike most of my modern nibs writes with a line width that does reflect its stated size.

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On the same day as buying the pen I picked up two new release Montblanc inks. The first of these is the simply named Emerald. It is their ink colour of the year and comes in there recently enlarged 50ml square bottles. 

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Swabbed on 52gsm Tomoe River paper. Not that impressed.

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A serviceable but ultimately underwhelming ink colour, probably not helped by an extra fine nib. I can't say I am a fan. 

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