In praise of the crazy Pelikan Italic Broad

Fountain pens are tools, but they should also be fun. And there’s nothing more fun than laying down a Sharpie-sized wet line with crisp line variation too.

I was getting bored and frustrated with the EF nib in my Ocean Swirl. As beautiful as the pen is, I wasn’t using it much. I plan to get the nib sorted by a nibmeister at the next pen show, but in the meantime I took advantage of the easily swappable nib units and ordered Pelikan’s special IB nib — the italic broad.


And here is the business end in all its glory.


At £190 for the nib unit only (a premium over other 800-sized nibs, which you can find for around 150) it’s not a cheap experiment. But I’ve come to enjoy larger nibs… in fact, I’m waiting for my Montblanc Geometry to return from Hamburg with a BB installed.


The IB was introduced back in 2010 and is a bi-tone nib intended for the M800, rather than the full rhodium nibs you get with the M805 series. I happen to really like the mix of silver and gold colours, so I’m happy as Larry.


I ordered mine from Cult Pens, and I specifically asked them to visually inspect and write-test the nib before sending it. I’ve had bad luck with Pelikan nib QC before. This one is perfect. Once you find the right angle, it writes smoothly and lays down a wet line.


It also looks fantastic.


The line is somewhere around 1.3 mm on Archies Calligraphy paper with Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo. 1.3mm is big (especially compared to the Montblanc EF in the photos) but not unusable. I wouldn’t journal or take detailed notes with it, but I’d certainly write more than just headings and Christmas cards.

A practical way to spend the best part of 200 quid? No. But this crazy nib has made me fall in love with my Ocean Swirl all over again.

13 thoughts on “In praise of the crazy Pelikan Italic Broad

  1. When I bit the bullet and got an M800 after Christmas I went for the IB nib but confirmed I could exchange it if it didn’t suit. I love it too, the pen’s only had Herbin Lie de Thé in it but the shading is amazing. Being italic it has a sweet spot but on it the nib is smooth and wet with a lovely crisp line variation. Hope you continue to enjoy it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I got the 400 tortoise that came with an IB nib and like you, I love Pelikan’s touch with these big broad wet nibs. But mine has an intriguing aspect to it: it squeaks happily as it writes. Not scratching – squeaking!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: State of the collection: March 2019 | UK fountain pens

  4. Pingback: They’re back! | UK fountain pens

  5. Anthony, can you recall back into the dim and distant past to when you had a Platinum 3776 with the music nib, how did that compare to the Pelikan IB? I’m seriously considering a Nakaya but cannot decide what nib to go for, all the only discussion is focused on custom grinds from but I’m looking to buy from Iguanasell as they offer a deposit option. Music nib might match the Long Cigar’s size but I feel a (boring old) medium would get a lot more use. Thanks.


    • I can probably dig up a writing sample, but what I remember is that the music nib was about the same line width as the IB, but it’s definitely not as wet, and it really preferred writing perpendicular to the page (which I understand is what music nibs are meant to do). I don’t remember it feeling particularly crisp. I would probably recommend the medium!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, I thought it was closer to a 1.1 mm maybe 1.3 vs the IB 1.5 mm. Yeah if it puts down line as thick as the IB then that’s too broad. How you getting on with the CI F/M nib?


  6. Pingback: State of the collection: August 2019 | UK fountain pens

  7. Pingback: State of the collection: October 2019. Fit to burst | UK fountain pens

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s