Pelikan m205 Duo

This pen is sold as a highlighter. I used it as a highlighter for a long time but it’s a very wet writer, which leads to smudging and bleed-through on text book paper or similar. If the user keeps that in mind, it’s quite functional as such. It works particularly well on articles printed on high quality paper where the text is already pretty small.

The double broad nib on this pen is way too sweet to be used in a purely functional way, though; it makes a bold, wet line that works very well with shading inks.


Except for the BB nib, this pen is functionally identical to other Pelikan m205s, which are m200s with chrome trim instead of gold trim. These, along with their higher-end sibling the m400, have not changed much since their introduction in the 1980s, themselves being inspired by the 400nn of the 1950s. Because of this, they are sized like the pens of that time–pretty small by modern standards.


Small isn’t always a bad thing, though–the m205 fits quite nicely in a shirt pocket, and Pelikan’s 3/4 twist to remove cap is every bit as quick to deploy as a snap cap pen. This, combined with Pelikan’s no-nonsense piston filling system, makes for a pen that is meant for writing.


Typically, m200s and m205s are not offered with BB nibs; on the other hand, the m205 Duo series is only offered in BB. If the user wants a BB nib on their m205, this is their option. Don’t believe Pelikan’s nonsense about using only Duo highlighter ink in this pen–it’s just a regular m205 with a fat nib.


One of the advantages of Pelikans is their interchangeable nib units–so m200 nibs can be swapped with m200 nibs, m400 and m600 nibs, and even similarly sized vintage nib units. This makes the platform versatile and at least partly customizable.


It’s hard to go wrong with Pelikan, really. The m200 series is around $125 to $150 or so, which is a pretty reasonable price for what the pen is. Cartridge/converter pens with stock JoWo or Bock nibs routinely sell for more than the m200/205 and the 200/205 is a superior pen in both fit, finish, and durabilty compared to other steel-nib piston fillers, so I don’t see price as an issue with this pen. Pelikan’s pricing model sky-rockets once gold nibs are involved, though, but the user is paying for a durable, classy pen with a time-proven design that works. A m200/205 series pen is a great choice for a beginner or as a step-up pen.

Pelikan also routinely releases special edition m200/205 pens to satisfy those with a desire to collect different colors.

I’ve used my Pelikan m205 Duo for three and a half years for both highlighting and writing and it’s held up quite well. I can recommend this family of pens.


  • Good size.
  • Fool-proof piston filler.
  • Fun, juicy BB nib.


  • May be too small for some users.


  • Cap:
    • Screw cap.
    • 3/4 turn to remove.
    • Postable.
  • Nib:
    • Pelikan m205 series steel nib unit, double broad.
    • Other nibs are available and compatible with this pen in numerous nib sizes.
  • Filling System:
    • Piston fill.
    • 1.4mL ink capacity.
  • Body:
    • Demonstrator yellow.
    • Also available:
      • m205 Duo in demonstrator green.
      • m205 in countless finishes.
      • m200 in black, marble green, marble brown, and special edition colors.
  • Length:
    • Capped: 126mm
    • Uncapped: 123mm
    • Posted: 151mm
  • Weight:
    • Total: 15g
    • Pen: 10g
    • Cap: 5g
  • Section Diameter:
    • 9.3-10mm

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I am a fountain pen enthusiast.

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