Falling In Love With An Old Friend


Acquiring new pens is a rarity here. So repairing old ones and pairing them with well-suited inks adds a freshness to my rotation. A few weeks ago, the Pilot Preras became winners. Then last night I took my own advice and attempted to rescue another pen.

This time it was an old friend, the early 1990’s blue marble Pelikan M200 that has long suffered from a stuck piston. As a result of that affliction, this poor pen has endured years of neglect. Screwing up some courage, I unscrewed the original extra-fine nib, wiggled the knob with a gentle rocking motion, and was surprised to find that the piston now moved freely. The extra-fine nib did not fit my current preference, but an unattached Binder modified stub would do. So I fitted the nib and pen together creating a lovely Pelikan stub.

To help the piston glide in the chamber, its inaugural fill is Noodler’s Blue Eel, a lubricating ink. On Apica 6A10 paper, the nib has proven a smooth writer that lays down a satisfyingly wide line. Leafing through my ink notes, I found four additional inks that would be compatible with the barrel: Noodler’s Navy, Noodler’s 54th Mass., Diamine Prussian Blue, and Iroshizuku tsuki-yo. J. Herbin Perle Noire or Noodler’s Black would be good in it, too. It’s going to be fun finding another perfect match or two.

A word of caution is in order. I was willing to further damage the Pelikan and send it off to hospital if my efforts proved disastrous. For a pen that was receiving no use, it was worth a try. Worst case would have been a relatively easy repair for someone who knows their stuff. I do have a pot of a proper piston lubricant should that have been needed. So compared to other repairs, this situation presented an acceptable risk.

Making minor adjustments to the Preras and the Pel has been very effective. I have three “new” pens to love and it isn’t even Valentines Day yet. What a great start to a new year!

Pelikan Pens History


  1. Sounds like you need to put some silicone grease in there.


    • Indeed, and I do have a small pot of it. I wanted to see how much benefit eel ink would be before using silicone grease. Even if it doesn’t do wonders for the piston, the ink makes the nib move incredibly well over paper of all grades. Time to order another color or two. Have you tried it?


  2. Dear Inkophile,

    I have a Prera with a fine nib that scratches a lot. No matter what ink you use. Please, tell me where I can get a spare medium nib for it. My previous Prera worked very nice. Do you think if I contact the Pilot Pen Co. in Japan they can send me a spare nib?

    Thank you,

    J. Alcantara
    Brasilia, Brazil


    • Scratchy nibs are no fun and can be caused by several things including misaligned tines or an uneven tip. The repair forum at Fountain Pen Network will have the information necessary to diagnose the problem. Perhaps it will be something simple that you can remedy easily.

      I have no information about the Pilot Pen Company related to swapping defective nibs. If there is a distributor in Brazil, it might be useful to contact them first to find out your options.

      The Prera is a nice pen and I hope you find an easy solution to its scratchiness.


      • Thank you Inkophile and keep up this excellent website!!!


    • I hear the Pilot Metropolitan and Pilot Penmanship have the same nib that will swap into the Prera. I just don’t know how readily available those are in Brazil


      • Wouldn’t it be terrific if Pilot were to offer a set of the three nibs, fine, medium and italic? Profitable for them and convenient for us. Are you listening, Pilot Pens?


        • The Pilot Plumix also has a nib that will fit the Prera. The pens are around $8. Buy one and swap the nib. I was given a Prera for Christmas and simply love it. I use Noodler’s 54th Mass ink in mine and it is a smooth, reliable writer.


          • Exactly. I wrote about the Plumix nib on the Prera pens a couple of weeks ago.


            • Ah cool. 🙂 I think the Plumix is the best option since it is the least expensive of the choices to do the exchange with. I’ve notice that most of the places that offer do so with the medium italic nib which you can’t always get with the other offerings.


  3. Great article. I love restoring old things to breath new life into them. I love the repair AND the finished product. The 200 series was always a bit short for me but mine wrote great. Enjoy.


  4. Thanks, Inkophile; thanks Bob M. I will try to get a new nib for it. Thanks indeed for your inputs.

    J. Alcantara


  5. […] Falling in love with an old friend (via Inkophile) […]


  6. That is a lovely Pelikan. I’m glad to learn you were able to bring it back into service. 🙂


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