Prior to today, I had mistakenly thought that the M201 Bayou exclusive that recently sold out from Fountain Pen Hospital was to be a one off type of release. Imagine my surprise then upon awakening this morning to an email from Fahrney’s Pens out of Washington D.C. announcing not one but two new M201 fountain pens exclusive to their establishment. We now have the M201 Neptune Blue and Mars Red. Like the Bayou, each pen will be limited to just 100 pieces. The Neptune is described as having, “swirling, cosmic cloud-like patterns” while the Mars is “marbled with dark tones like a luminous nova in deep space.” The cap, section, and piston knob will be solid black for both pens. Interestingly, the trim will vary with the Neptune seeing silver-colored furniture while the Mars will have gold-colored furniture. The nibs will be stainless steel available in sizes EF, F, M, B, and Italic. Like the Bayou, the barrels will have some translucency to allow for viewing the remaining ink level in the pen.
Today’s announcement was unexpected but Fahrney’s description gives us a little insight into the genesis behind it and why we might be seeing these short odd runs of M2xx pens. To quote the text directly;
One of the fun things about working at Fahrney’s is those days when one of our vendor partners comes in with a pocketful of one-of-a-kind resin samples and says, “Would you like to have an exclusive”? Generally the response is a resounding “Yes”!
Based on that description then, Pelikan seems to be shopping around resin samples and offering established vendors an opportunity at an exclusive. Fahrney’s Pens has been a well-known retailer in the D.C. area for 85 years now and has an excellent reputation. It would make sense that these might be samples since the production runs have been limited to just 100 pieces each.
The M201 Neptune Blue will be sure to cause issues for pen collectors in the future as its chromium trim would traditionally have classified it as an M205. The only other M200 that was released with chromium trim was the Deutsche Telekom special edition released in 1994. Now it appears the Neptune will share the same exact furniture of an M205 but carry the M201 designation. The Mars Red will have the standard gold furniture of the M2xx line and include a crown cap top that has an all-black colored trim, just like the Bayou. We again have an italic nib option but this is limited to a non-plated finish only. Given that fact, if you’re interested in the italic nib, it would seem best suited to the Neptune Blue model.
The list price for the M201 Neptune and Mars is $200 and Fahrney’s Pens is offering them at $170 each for nib sizes EF, F, M, and B. If you want an italic medium on either pen, the price will jump to $182. This is not significantly different from the company’s standard M200 retail pricing. These pens are listed as in stock and appear to be ready to ship. The Bayou sold out in just three weeks so if you are really interested in one of these, I would encourage you not to wait. I’m not sure what Pelikan is up to here or how many more of these releases we can expect. I would like to get a closer look at these pens as I haven’t quite been able to make up my mind about the finishes just from the provided pictures. If you missed out on the Bayou and are looking for something different from Pelikan’s Classic line, this may be your second chance. What this will serve to do is make it very hard in the future for collectors to complete a collection of M2xx pens. Click the link below to be taken directly to Fahrney’s Pens website.