The Pelikan Revival

Pelikan M150/481 advertised under the Revival line

Pelikan Revival M150/481 Green Black. The Italian text details instructions for filling the pen. Photo courtesy of Cristina (a.k.a. catanai on eBay Italy)


If you frequent the Pelikan forum over at The Fountain Pen Network, you may have noticed a thread from last month asking about the Pelikan Revival series.  The paucity of authoritative answers demonstrated just how little is actually known about the topic making it the perfect fodder for a post.  Pelikan has accumulated many such stories that have fallen into obscurity over the past 180 years.  Before continuing, I have to give special thanks to two long standing Italian retailers and their staff who aided my research on this topic;  Marco of Novelli and Vito of Casa della Stilografica.  If you frequent the secondary market, you may encounter Pelikan pens identified as Pelikan Revival.  This is particularly the case when looking at pens that hail from Italy.  What is so special about the Revival line you ask?  Read on because the truth of the matter may just surprise you.

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Update: Pelikan Collectors’ Box v2.0

Pelikan Collectors' Box Updated for 2018Pelikan first announced their Collectors’ Box, a compact pen chest built to house up to 24 pens, three years ago with expected availability around April of  2015.  Production was repeatedly delayed due to manufacturing issues.  By late 2016, the boxes were finally making their way into retail channels.  You can see my review of that original box here.  Unfortunately, that stock was short lived and these again became scarce.  As of December 2017, Pelikan announced fresh availability which appears to be more widely distributed and reliable.  A close inspection has revealed that this new box is not the same as the original issue.  The differences are significant enough that I wanted to provide an update on just what has changed between the two versions.  

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News: M120 Iconic Blue Special Edition

Pelikan M120 Iconic Blue Fountain PenWhile not a quite a Pelikan, it looks like the bluebird of happiness may have just landed for some.  Hannover may have gotten off to a late start but they are wasting no time in giving us a few rapid fire releases.  Just forty-eight hours after news of the M600 Turquoise-White broke, we now get our first glimpse of the upcoming M120 Iconic Blue.  This is a follow-up to the M120 Green-Black which was re-issued back in early 2016.  Both of these models draw their design from the tried and true lineage of the original 120 that was made from 1955-1965.  While many similarities exists between old and new, these modern versions certainly stand out on their own and make for excellent and dependable writers that are true to their school pen roots.  Availability is anticipated for some time in March of this year alongside the M600 Turquoise-White.

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News: M600 Turquoise-White

M600 Turquoise-White fountain penToday is Saint Valentine’s day and Pelikan has chosen to celebrate the occasion by sending a love letter of sorts to their fans.  Retailers across the globe broke news of Pelikan’s first release of 2018, the M600 Turquoise-White.  The announcement comes somewhat later than anticipated and heralds the second M6xx release in the last several months, following on the heels of the M605 White-Transparent which came out at the end of last year.  You’ll notice that it is styled and packaged very similarly to that model as well as the M600 Pink that pioneered this look back in 2015.  This newest release is expected to hit retail shelves sometime around mid-March but I wouldn’t count on this one hanging around for too long.  Pelikan’s turquoise beauty will serve to kick off what promises to be an exciting 180th anniversary season of new releases. 

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A Look At The M805 Ocean Swirl

Pelikan M805 Ocean Swirl

The two faces of the M805 Ocean Swirl

When I wrote my review of the M605 White Transparent, I indicated that the pre-release product photography didn’t quite portray the actual pen very accurately.  Rather than a cool white colored resin, the photos depicted a warmer, more ivory leaning cast.  I wanted to expound upon this because it seemed to be a recurring theme at the end of last year that confounded several would-be customers.  It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words and perhaps nowhere is that more true than when selling some form of goods.  Pelikan’s product photography has always been somewhat hit or miss but the actual merchandise has usually turned out to be better than advertised.  It may seem trivial, harping on the less than true pictographic portrayal of a fountain pen but, for many, those pre-release photos are the only visuals available prior to making a decision to purchase.  Far too many consumers lack access to brick and mortar stores or any other opportunity to see a real world example of a pen prior to committing to buy.  For some limited edition models, waiting for real world photos may mean missing the pre-order period which can equate to extra money spent or a missed opportunity all together.  This is why true to life photos are important for any company selling a product.  The M805 Ocean Swirl was subject to one of the most perplexing depictions in some time and therefore I thought that it was worth taking a closer look.

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News: Pelikan’s European Price Increase

Pelikan M800 bindes; Green, Blue, Red, AnthraciteRumors began to circulate late last year that Pelikan was considering increasing their European prices.  It was unclear at the time as to what such an increase would look like but details have steadily emerged from the European Union over the last few weeks.  It is well known that European pricing has long been cheaper than that of the USA and some other regions.  US consumers have been able to save hundreds of dollars by shopping from overseas vendors.  Pelikan broke routine and caused some consternation regarding the direction of their US pricing strategy when they reduced the US MSRP for their last two releases.  The M605 White-Transparent and the M805 Ocean Swirl were priced well below what prior, comparable models commanded.  The strategy that Pelikan seemed to be working towards was to level the playing field across the globe.  Select Pelikan products from many overseas vendors are about to see a rise in cost.  Unfortunately, these newly announced price increases come at the same time as the company’s 180th anniversary which will be marked by the release of many new special and limited edition pens.  While this would usually be cause for celebration amongst enthusiast, the price increases could certainly dampen enthusiasm for the new products.

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News: Ink of the Year 2018 – Olivine

Pelikan Olivine Edelstein Ink of the Year 2018The 2018 Edelstein Ink of the Year has long been anticipated and Pelikan took the opportunity today via their social media accounts to make the official announcement.   You may recall that Pelikan ran a social media contest back in 2016 which allowed fans the opportunity to choose this year’s limited edition color.  Over 1,200 suggestions were submitted per the company but Johannes from Cologne was ultimately declared the winner of that contest with an olive-green colored entry.  That ink now takes on the official moniker of Olivine in keeping with their gem stone themed line of colors (not to be confused with the Monteverde ink of the same name).  This release follows the brown tinted Smoky Quartz from the 2017 limited edition run.  It will be the fifteenth addition to the Edelstein line-up, a line that is currently composed of nine regular production inks.  It joins the likes of Turmaline, Amber, Garnet, Amethyst, Aquamarine, and Smoky Quartz as the seventh Ink of the Year.

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Why Pelikan?

Pelikan M200 Marbled Fountain Pens

Marbled variants of Pelikan’s M2xx series from 1985-2017


The early days of 2018 have provided me some time for introspection (there is not much else you can do when in the midst of a bomb cyclone).  There has been a lot to reflect upon personally, professionally, and globally.  This past year’s world events alone have been quite tumultuous, leaving the future seemingly more uncertain than ever.  Trying to turn to lighter fare, one thing that has been on the forefront of my mind recently is a question that I’ve been asked several times over the past few months.  That question can be summed up in two words; “Why Pelikan?”  In over three years of blogging here at the Perch, I can’t believe that I haven’t addressed this sooner.  It’s true that there are many great manufacturers out there who have produced a countless number of awesome and desirable fountain pens.  What then does Pelikan have that puts it above all of the other brands in my mind and how informed am I to even make that type of declaration?  I hope to share with you my experiences before Pelikan and why I chose to dedicate myself to just that brand of fountain pen.  I thought this would make for excellent fodder for the first post of the year.  All I can say up front is that Pelikan pens have some indescribable quality, a character and a discipline, that makes owning and using them a joy that transcends the sum of their parts.  By the end of this article, I hope to be able to impart upon you just a little sense of that magic.

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