Pelikan Hubs 2017 – Philadelphia: A Recap

Pelikan Hubs 2017 BannerSeptember 22nd marked the fourth annual Pelikan Hubs event and by all accounts, it looks to have been a tremendous success.  Pelikan reports that there were 145 individual Hubs spread across 43 countries with 3600 registered participants.  That is over 1000 more people than had registered the year prior which is a 38% increase and shows consistent year over year growth.  Sadly, the Mexico City Hub had to be postponed until next month due to the recent earthquake in that region.  All of those Hub participants are reported to be safe but obviously the country is mourning their losses and our thoughts and prayers are with them.  This is the third consecutive year that I was chosen as the Hub master for the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA location.  Our local hub has been held at Sabrina’s Cafe, Goat Hollow, and now, for the second straight year, the Philadelphia Hub returned to Cooperage Wine and Whiskey bar located within the historic Curtis Center.  The staff could not have been more welcoming or accommodating to our group and really helped to make the evening extra special.  I enjoyed a wonderful cask IPA and the food was excellent.  They even showed a genuine interest in our gathering and the pens on display so who knows, we may have a few new converts to this obsession hobby of ours.  The good people at Cooperage once again provided us a great venue in which to hold our event and I still can’t recommend them highly enough if you’re looking for a location for your next function.

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News: M605 White Transparent

Pelikan M605 White Transparent Fountain PenIn addition to the Maki-e Dragonfly, Pelikan’s retail channels also broke news of the M605 White Transparent due out in the second half of next month (October 2017).  News of this model was first announced here at the Perch way back in July and much of what was expected at that time has materialized in the final release version of this new model.  Many will appreciate the fact that the M6xx line is getting some attention as this is the preferred size for many who find an M400 too small and an M800 too large.  Pelikan bills this model as a modern reinterpretation of the classic Souverän.  The official statement reads;

Gracefully with a gentle appearance. That‘s the look of the new Pelikan Souverän M605 White-Transparent. Thanks to its tone-in-tone design it seems to be inconspicuous but it is absolutely not. The bright but not cold white colour shades underline the very modern interpretation of the true classic Souverän.

If you’ve been waiting for Pelikan to release a new M6xx, this might be the one for you.

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News: Maki-e Dragonfly

Pelikan Maki-e Dragonfly Limited EditionEarlier today, Pelikan International gave us a glimpse of their new 2017 Maki-e model.  It was just around this time last year that we learned of the prior release, the Spring & Autumn.  This new release has been given the moniker Dragonfly.  Not many details are available at this time.  Pelikan themselves only state;

This limited edition “Dragonfly” is a masterpiece that combines the craftsmanship of Pelikan Germany based on 179 years of tradition and technology coupled with superior Japanese traditional Maki-e painting techniques. Each fountain pen has the Pelikan logo on the crown, a limited edition number and the artist’s signature drawn in by hand using Maki-e techniques.

While there isn’t much to glean from that excerpt, the picture is a bit more telling.  The double scroll work on the nib clues us into the fact that this is designed off of the M1000 chassis.  The traditional Make-e painting depicts a dragonfly amongst a colorful background which stands out nicely against what appears to be a black pen.

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News: Two Upcoming Fall Releases

Created by Creative_hat - Freepik.comWe saw a lot of great pens released by Pelikan in 2016 and that momentum seems to have been sustained thus far into 2017.  To date, the company has given us the M101N Bright Red, Pelikano Up, M800 Renaissance Brown, M800 Raden Royal Gold, and the M200 Smoky Quartz which is due out next month.  Let’s also not forget the addition of Edelstein Aquamarine to the standard line-up as well as the introduction of the Ink of the Year 2017, Smoky Quartz.  The year is just a little more than half over but several additional new pens are still anticipated before the year’s end.  News of upcoming releases has been much more scarce this year when compared to years prior.  While vendors are taking their contractual obligations much more seriously, word of a new pen always generates excitement throughout the community and gossip can only be contained for so long.  Those on a budget often need to plan for a new pen expenditure so any information can be a big help in mapping out future purchases.  With that in mind, The Pelikan’s Perch is committed to bringing you the latest Pelikan news as it unfolds.  Over the last several months, I have had various, anonymous pen enthusiast approach me to report intelligence of a few upcoming Pelikan fountain pens that they’ve gleaned information about in their travels.  This information comes from all parts of the globe and enough credible information has finally come to light to allow me to confidently bring that news to you.  While I can guarantee you that Pelikan has more in store for 2017 than what’s outlined below, the two upcoming releases detailed here represent a nice chunk of what’s yet to come.  Of course, there have been no definitive announcements from Pelikan or official confirmation therefore the information presented needs to be taken in the context of a credible rumor though I am confident that we will see both of these models materialize.  Additional details will surely be forth coming as we get closer to the anticipated release so stay tuned and enjoy the teaser for now.

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Review: M800 Raden Royal Gold (2017)

Pelikan M800 Raden Royal GoldFountain pens have been around since at least the 17th century and it stands to reason that the earliest variants likely adhered to the 20th century modernist architecture principle form follows function.  This principle contends that the shape of an object should be based upon its intended purpose.  I wonder how much time elapsed before pens started being embellished with unique styling and artistic sensibilities.  There are some pens that are incredibly plain and while they may excel at what they do, they fail to ignite the senses.  Others are so ornate and overblown that their artistry interferes with their function making for an all but useless show piece.  Some pens are able to straddle the line between the two extremes and that is where Pelikan’s M800 Raden Royal Gold falls.  With gold and black stripes reminiscent of a honey bee, the golden Raden finish married to the tried and true M800 chassis has resulted in an exceptional fine writing instrument, the likes of which haven’t been seen since a much more basic implementation on the now discontinued P3110 Ductus.  Of course that is just my opinion but I hope to convince you of the same.  The biggest argument against the design that I’ve heard is that this model has such a preponderance of gold that it makes for an overly ostentatious appearance (translation: too “blingy”).  I can see why someone might feel that way but let me assure you that the use of gold here behind the mother of pearl overlay is not at all gratuitous.  I always struggle with the utility of reviewing a pen made in such limited quantities and priced at such a luxury market price point.  With only 388 people destined to enjoy the Raden Royal Gold, I decided to write this review in order to share the beauty and craftsmanship of this unique release with those who will never have the pleasure of owning this exquisite fine writing instrument.

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News: Pelikan Hubs 2017 Locations

Pelikan’s Hub locations for 2017 are now available on their website.  The data doesn’t reveal any big surprises and many of the same cities that we’ve seen in the past have again emerged as Hub locations.  Others are absent, making room for a few new venues.  Based on the available data, the fourth annual Hubs event continues to show steady growth.  Each year has seen the inclusion of more countries, more cities, and significantly more participants when compared with the year prior.  Based on the available data from Pelikan’s Hubs website (as of 7/7/17), this year’s event will span 131 cities spread out amongst 39 countries with 2999+ participants.  Thus far, that represents roughly a 42% increase in attendance with time still left to register.  For those not yet aware, this year’s gathering will take place on Friday, September 22, 2017 at 6:30pm local time.  No details have been announced yet but prior years have included some excellent Pelikan swag for participants.  Even though the locations are set, online applications for Hub Masters are being accepted until July 12th and general applications will remain open through July 17th.  That means time is quickly running out if you want to be included in this year’s festivities.  Attendance is by application only so even if you are unsure of your availability, I would urge you to submit an online application to secure your place and do the same for any friend/spouse/pen loving stranger that you intend to bring with you.  Registration forms can be found here.  If you cannot attend, you can easily follow along with the world-wide festivities via the hashtag #pelikanhubs on the various social media sites.

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News: M200 Smoky Quartz Special Edition Demonstrator

M200 Smoky Quartz Fountain PenWhile not officially rumored, an announcement has been expected from Pelikan regarding a new fountain pen from their Classic line in the same color as this year’s Edelstein Ink of the Year, Smoky Quartz.  This model would follow a pattern established by two prior releases emulating a limited edition Edelstein ink, Amethyst (2015) and Aquamarine (2016).  Of note, both of those models were designated as part of the M205 line which is characterized by chromium plated furniture which is silver in color.  Fritz-Schimpf, an awesome retailer based out of Germany, has given us our first look at the much anticipated Smoky Quartz demonstrator.  While the release has been expected, I did not anticipate that it would be part of the M200 line-up, distinguished by its gold-plated furniture.  It shouldn’t take long now for this pen to show up for pre-order via your preferred retailer.  Consistent with past timelines, expect the M200 Smoky Quartz to be available sometime in August.

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News: Pelikan TintenTurm

Pelikan moved its administration and production space to Hannover on the Podbielskistraße in the year 1906.  By 1973, that facility was no longer adequate and could not be further expanded to meet the company’s needs.  Production was moved to the Peine-Vöhrum plant, 24 miles east of Hannover, where it remains today.  The administrative offices would linger at the Podbielskistraße facility for another 30 years, until March 17, 2003 at which time the company moved to its current office building on the Werftstrasse in Hanover.  The historic former location has since become the Sheraton Hannover Pelikan Hotel where visitors can still enjoy many reminders of Pelikan’s heritage from their almost 100 year occupation of the site.  The company’s impact has been so lasting, the area has become known as the Pelikan district and the hotel now sits at its center.  On March 29, 2017 Pelikan had a homecoming of sorts when they returned to their former facilities with the opening of The Pelikan TintenTurm.  With over 10o guest in attendance, the opening illustrated just how much of an impact the company has had over its extensive history.  The TintenTurm resides in over 7000 sq ft of refurbished space that now hosts the company’s archive, a museum, and a retail outlet.

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