Pelikan M200 and Sailor Sapporo – two excellent pens

If someone would ask me to recommend a good fountain pen that wouldn’t cost a fortune but last a lifetime, two pens would come to my mind: Pelikan M200 and Sailor Sapporo, (also called Professional Gear Slim).



You can never go wrong with a Pelikan M200, F nib, or a Sailor Sapporo, M nib, as a first serious fountain pen! Period.


Here on this first picture you see the two models together. Mine are black, but remember there are a lot of colors to choose from, especially with the Sapporos.

My two Sailor Sapporos and my Pelikan M200 together

First a disclaimer:

  • The opinions expressed in this post are my own, and based on my own observations.
  • I’m not affiliated with any pen manufacturer or seller.

Pelikan and Sailor are two of the most respected pen-makers in the world. No one would disagree with that. The Pelikan pens are made in Hannover, Germany and the Sailor pens in Hiroshima, Japan. The hallmark for Pelikan is the piston filling system that is used in Pelikan pens from 1929 and the Sailor pens are famous for the quality and performance of their nibs.

Both pens are the entry-level pens in their series of “fine writing”. The emphasis is on what they are made for, writing, and not on “bling” and flair.

Both pens have a shirt-pocket friendly size.

Both pens have very good and sturdy clips.

Pelikan M200

The Pelikan has a more cylindrical shape.

Pelikan M200 Clip

The Pelikan clip has the shape of the beak of a Pelican.

Pelikan M200 Nib and ink-window

The nib is made of steel. Here you can see the ink level and get a hint of its big ink capacity.

One big feature with Pelikan is that the nib and feeder is in one unit and could easily be exchanged by the user. You can buy nib-units separately!

Sailor Sapporo (Sailor Professional Gear Slim)

Not so good picture but the Sailor’s body is somewhat wider and has a slight torpedo shape.

Sailor 14 K Gold nib

The famous Sailor gold nib. On this model it is 14 K Gold. It writes like a dream.

I’m currently using the M200 on the go as I’ve found the Sapporo’s ink capacity too low so I had in fact to carry two Sappororos.

Sailor Sapporo, showing converter

The Sailor nibs are generally, out of the box, better than the Pelikan nibs. Wet and smooth and with controlled ink flow. But Pelikan nibs can, with or without adjustment, be just as good as a Sailor nib.

19 responses

  1. hello sir, gaurav here from india… both amazing pens,,, i have just bought a sailor saporro as reserve since i realised i must have one extra pen with me in case one falls or is lost ,,, i recently bought saporro ivory white 14kt for 140usd from engeika on ebay,, its under shipping,,, also my sailor 1911 large is sent for repair now….\
    i have a decimo but i am not using it, want to see it, its bold nib… i dont like any pen after sailor..


  2. Thanks for the review. am completely satisfied with my Pelikan M200, also black. I find it to be very reliable and smooth and it frequently travels with me. Though I should consider a Sailor with their famous nibs when I next purchase a pen, I am so sold on Pelikan that my next purchase will likely be a 600. Enjoy your pens!


    • Thank you Mrs. Duffy!

      Yes, both the Pelikan M200-M1000 and Sailors PG & 1911 are all wonderful pens.

      I’m considering buying a green-striped M400 from Rick Propas some day in the future…



  3. Hi Lennart: I just bought the blue Pelikan M205 demonstrator for about 95 USD after reading your post. About 20 years ago I bought three Tropen Scholar for a few dollars each and have had been using them intermittenly. Found the nibs are very smooth compared to the Parker 45s in my possession. Unfortunately two of them developed cracks on the barrel after a few years. To my surprise the Tropen nibs can fit my newly acquired Pelikan ! The German made Tropen is available from the Pen Exchange, a Taiwanese company. Is it correct that the Sailor Scholar is posted by screwing on the cap ? Thanks for your great and informative post.


    • Thank you KB Chan for your kind and informative comment!

      I didn’t know about the Tropen pens and the possibility to use Tropen nibs in a M200 body.
      If you like your Tropen nibs very much you can buy M200 bodies separately from .

      The ordinary Sapporo has a normal friction fit posting, but on the Sapporo mini you screw in the cap to post it. (you can see a red Sapporo mini in this article:

      The mini Sapporo is normally a cartridge fill only, but if you buy it from ebay seller “engeika” he will supply a custom made converter to fit in!

      Good Luck and hope to hear from you again.


      PS: Do you have a connection to Taiwan?


  4. Thanks for the response. I just learnt the Tropen body is available in Malaysia where I live. Malaysia is, I think, a fountain pen paradise. Tropen pens are very fine except for the not so great overall construction but then shouldn’t complain as they were so cheap. The pens tend to crack at the transparent green ink window – this I also learnt from a few users here. Ah… didn’t know I was looking at the Sapporo mini instead of the standard. My next pen will probably be the Sailor Sapporo but the one with the conical (pointed) end. Then maybe get Tropen bodies for the two cannibalized nibs. The same shop here also has Parker 45 nibs at about 15 USD each but don’t think I am tempted to refit the 45s which I had used from 1968. No, I have no connection to Taiwan


    • Hi Sitaram,
      Thank you for your comment!
      Pelikan M205 is a very good choice but remember that the Pelikan nibs runs much wider than the Sailor nibs with the same nominal width. A Sailor M nib is somewhere between a Pelikan EF and F.


      PS: Do you have any pictures of your pens to show us?


  5. hi sir
    great review and i recently bought pelikan m 200 in an offer in india

    great writing experience and weightless body. as well as weight management outstand while writing posted or un posted i do not know about sailor pen, they are costlier in india waiting for an offer.
    do u recommend any sailor pen at affordable prices and models


  6. Hi Sir,

    I am confused between Pelikan M205 and Sailor 1911. kindly guide. Also i am not sure if I will actually buy an original version in India. Kindly share your thoughts,


    • Hello from Sweden.
      The advice is dependent on a lot of different factors:
      Is the pen going to be on a desk at home all the time, or is going to follow you on hot buses all day?
      What about nib width, narrow or broad? Can you use ink bottles all the time or do you want to use cartridges sometimes? Etc…
      Please tell me more.


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