One of Pelikan’s defining features is the iconic beak clip which has been around since the end of the second World War. If you have ever had occasion to look at the underside of a post-1997 production Souverän clip, you might have noticed a single word conspicuously struck into the material; “metal.” This can be found on the M/R/K/D 3xx, 4xx, 6xx, 8xx, and 10xx models. While the meaning behind the stamp may appear enigmatic at first, the truth of the matter is actually rather simple. Rest assured, this does not indicate a forgery of any kind. While Pelikan offers no official statement to explain this, the supposed meaning is well documented, particularly amongst those who work with precious metals and the hallmarks that go along with them. Across the world’s markets, there are regulations governing how precious and plated base metals are identified. When there is a base metal that is manufactured or processed to simulate the appearance of precious metal and whose alloy contains less than a specified karat fineness, the law mandates that a marking shall be applied to acknowledge the presence of a base metal. Different regions may vary in the fineness of gold that stipulates such a marking. The statue is that whenever practical, the word ‘metal’ or the name of the metal should be struck on the base metal part(s).
Every so often, someone asks how I manage my collection. I thought that it might benefit the community at large to share my solution and do a review of sorts. This will be one of the few post that you find on this site that has nothing to do with Pelikan. When you get your first pen, you have no need for spreadsheets. Often times, it’s not long before you add a second pen and then a third. Before you know it, you have a collection and a desire to keep a better accounting of it. I think that it is important for any collector to have a record of past purchases with detailed accounts of those transactions. We’ve all been in a position of having to figure out the best way to do this. Initially I used Microsoft Word in conjunction with Excel. This was a very workable solution in the early days but as my collection grew, I felt that this method lacked flexibility. It became harder and harder to keep track of the variables that I was interested in and data began to become the enemy rather than an asset. I decided to search the web and see what other solutions might be out there. I didn’t expect to find something geared for the fountain pen enthusiast but was hoping to at least find a solution that could be retrofitted to that purpose. I wanted an option that wasn’t too expensive, provided flexibility, and would allow me to have a bird’s eye view of my collection by being easily searchable. In that quest, I found Recollector, a piece of software designed for the collector of just about anything.
Vendors have finally put to rest speculation over this year’s rumored M400 Tortoiseshell Brown by announcing Pelikan’s plans for a September 2016 release. This has been a much anticipated addition to the line-up and I’m certain supplies aren’t likely to last long. While this announcement had been anticipated since the end of last year, Pelikan continues to show that it can still keep a few secrets. In a surprise move, we were also given news of an M205 Blue Marbled fountain pen for release around the same time. This marks the materialization of nearly all of the models that were expected for 2016 though I presume that the company may have one or two more surprises still in store for us before the year ends.
Pelikan’s announcement of the M120N in January came as somewhat of a surprise. The retro release marked the revival of a popular 1950’s school pen, the predecessor of the Pelikano. Like the original that debuted in 1955, this version keeps the same green-black color scheme and gold-plated stainless steel nib but comes in a larger size and with the added flourish of a unique nib engraving. What was even more surprising than the pen itself was the price tag attached to it. Still, these seem to have found their target audience and I have heard anecdotes that sales have been good. Pelikan expected to very quickly sell out of this special edition release. I couldn’t resist picking one of these up and after thoroughly putting the pen through its paces, I felt that a review was in order. Read on to see how this model stacks up to the original 120 from over 60 years ago.
While a month later than last year, Pelikan has finally announced their 2016 Hubs locations and have begun the process of notifying attendees and the location’s chosen hub masters. Many of the cities listed should be familiar, having hosted past events, but there are several new comers this year as well. A small hiccup resulted in a conspicuously absent London, United Kingdom but this was quickly rectified today. Each year, the Pelikan Hubs project has grown. Pelikan Hubs 2015 included 72 cities spanning 29 countries with approximately 1400 participants, a 56% growth over the event’s first year. Year three proves to be even bigger in scope and participation. While final numbers are subject to change, we are currently looking at 111 cities spanning 38 countries with 2116+ registered participants as of the time of this post. That is a 51% increase in the number of participants over last year. This year’s gathering will take place on September 16, 2016 at 6:30pm local time. Pelikan really stepped up their efforts last year to improve upon the previous hub event so I anticipate some neat things in store for attendees but details have yet to be announced. Even though locations and hub masters have been chosen, online applications will continue to be accepted through July 30th for those interested in participating (a link to register can be found at the bottom of this post). You’d better hurry though as there are only three days left to register at the time of this post. Attendance is by application only so even if you are unsure, I would urge you to submit an online application to secure your place. Please do the same for any friend/spouse/pen loving stranger that you intend to bring with you. For those of you who cannot attend, don’t forget to follow along via the hashtag #pelikanhubs on social media.
Last year Pelikan gave us news of a special Collectors’ Box that was to be released to house our pen collections. The chest was to be compact yet hold up to 24 pens including the largest of birds, the M1000. I’ve been patiently waiting for these to become available so that I might review one but also to help with my ongoing storage needs. It’s not often that you find a handsome solution which can house 24 pens with a foot print of only 9.8 in W x 8.3 in D x 5.3 in H. To recap what we are expecting, the box is reported to be made of medium density fiberboard (MDF), a high-grade composite material made from recycled wood fibers and resin that is more stable than solid wood and stands up better to changes in heat and humidity. The frame is then covered with a wooden paper which is protected by a layer of clear lacquer. The trays (3 trays holding 8 pens each) are covered with a cream-colored faux leather. The top of the box is made from 4mm thick safety glass to allow visualization of the top drawer of pens and the bottom has rubber feet to ensure that the box won’t mar the surface that it’s placed upon. The Pelikan logo that is printed on the front also adorns the upper right corner on the back side of the box. It has been some time since the original announcement and you may just be wondering why we have yet to see these released.
I’ve been expecting news of an M205 Aquamarine fountain pen to officially break for a few weeks now. It was mid-June of last year when we learned of the M205 Amethyst and I expected Pelikan to keep a similar timeframe for this year’s product announcement and release. The M205 Aquamarine marks the second special edition model designed to mirror the color of the limited edition Edelstein Ink of the Year. Pelikan Taiwan announced via their Facebook page the debut of this new Classic Series demonstrator. Mum is still the word from Pelikan International but I expect a global announcement with more details soon. It shouldn’t take long for this pen to show up for pre-order via the usual retail channels. Aside from the photos shown here, translation of the sparse accompanying text indicates that release is intended for sometime in August.
Pelikan’s M915 Hunting was a limited edition of just 3000 numbered pieces released in 1994. This was back in the early days of Pelikan’s limited edition releases, officially only preceded by the Blue Ocean (1993). This model was aimed at the community of hunters. The pen sports a sterling silver barrel overlay done in the Toledo style and portrays a classic motif. The scene is dominated by the depiction of a stag held at bay by two hunting dogs. As you pan around the barrel, you see representations of classic game animals such as pheasants, quail, wood grouse, and ducks taking flight. There is even a scene of a fox slinking away. This entire landscape is set within an oak-leaf border. The cap and piston knob are done in a shade of hunter green with a green lacquer used to fill in the areas between the engravings on the overlay. The nib is the standard two-toned 18C-750 gold seen on the M8xx line. All of this comes together to stunning effect when seen in person, regardless of what your stance on the sport of hunting is. Unfortunately, there are concerns about the durability of this finish that I wanted to share in case you own or have occasion to come across one of these.