A supreme ruler or monarch is known as a sovereign or Souverän in the German language. This moniker was given to Pelikan’s higher end pen lines when the M400 was introduced in 1982 and it persist to this day. In a kingdom there can be only one ruler. In the kingdom of Pelikan fountain pens, that ruler is indisputably the M1000. Pelikan’s M1000 was first introduced in 1997 making it senior to only the M3xx line launched the following year. It is the largest of Pelikan’s fountain pens. It was likely designed to take on the similarly sized Montblanc Meisterstück 149. At launch, the all black and green striped models were available as well as an M1050 which is characterized by a cap done in the vermeil style. We have seen a few other variants over time but aside from several special editions built off of this chassis, the M1xxx platform has seen the fewest releases of any model in the line. Perhaps that owes to the premium price this pen commands or the limited market for such a large pen. Whatever the reason, what it lacks in variety, it makes up for in elegance. While larger than its siblings, the traditional and unmistakable green striped barrel stands out as an understated reminder of who manufactured this pen. The soul of the M1000, however, lies in the nib. This nib, perhaps by virtue of its sheer size, has more character than any of Pelikan’s other modern offerings and makes for a very enjoyable writing experience. I had the good fortune to be provided one of these pens by Pelikan for the purpose of this review. The pen was provided on loan and will be returned, albeit rather reluctantly. As per usual, this article was not subject to any corporate censorship. I always strive to remain impartial and objective but I leave it to you to draw your own conclusions. The M1000 is a treat to use and should be a serious consideration for anyone who favors large pens and/or soft and expressive nibs.
Appearance & Design (10/10) – A classic design with a very upscale aesthetic
The M1000 has perhaps the fewest available finishes of any line in the Souverän series. That said, the green striped variant is an iconic classic, instantly recognizable as a Pelikan. The finish really stands out nicely on such a large pen. The M1000 comes with Pelikan’s standard gift packaging, much of which will be vendor specific. Regardless of the packaging provided, the presentation makes for a great gift giving option. This pen really is a size above the rest and will dwarf even the M8xx line in your collection. That said, this giant is surprisingly easy to wield. The finish is polished nicely and without any obvious seams. You’ll see variations in the barrel amongst different examples of the same model owing to the nature of the manufacturing process of the striped barrels. This adds a bit of unique character to each pen. The M1000 is equipped with the standard Souverän trim including two trim rings at the piston knob, a single trim ring at the section, and two cap bands. Pre-2010 pens will have a painted one or two chick logo and post-2010 pens will have the now standard gold-plated cap top. The cap band is inscribed “Pelikan Souverän Germany.” As is the case with most of the striped pens, there is translucency between the stripes which allows for an easy viewing of the remaining ink in the barrel. I have always found this to be a very creative and classy way to implement such a handy feature. The ink view is one of those small but well thought out refinements that makes me really appreciate the brand.
Construction & Quality (10/10) – The workmanship cannot be faulted
I have no qualms about this pen’s construction. The M1000 exudes quality. All of the pieces fit together precisely and securely. There are no mould lines on the section. The piston travel is very smooth and the piston knob secures tightly against the barrel once retracted. The nib is massive and my example arrived perfectly aligned and very smooth out of the box. The cap can be removed with just a slight turn to facilitate quick writing but not so much so that I experienced issues with it coming undone in my pocket. The cap posts securely to the back of the pen but, given the size of this behemoth, you likely won’t find it comfortable or well-balanced that way. I’m a die hard poster but this is the one pen that I find comfortable and well-balanced when writing un-posted. The pen also has a nice bit of heft thanks to a brass piston mechanism (only available on M8xx and M1xxx pens). The cap seems to invariably deposit faint marks on the barrel where it rest (and where it posts if you choose to do so) that appear unavoidable with regular use. They do polish out easily and certainly don’t mar the appearance of the pen. Even with daily use, the M1000 conveys a sense of being able to provide faithful service for decades to come.
Weight & Dimensions (9/10) – A hefty pen that won’t be a good fit for everyone
Pelikan likes to boast about the Souverän line’s available range of sizes. The M1000 is in the ‘big & tall’ section, coming in at a respectable extra-large. Sized similarly to Montblanc’s Meisterstück 149, the M1000 can almost seem too big for daily carry at times. Indeed, there are circumstances where it may be better relegated to desk duty. The M1000 is 5.79 inches closed and 6.89 inches if posted. It has a 0.56 inch diameter and weighs in at a respectable 1.14 ounces. Despite its large size, the ink capacity is similar to that of the M8xx line at 1.35mLs. While much is made about the size and weight of this pen, it is not at all uncomfortable in my experience. My hands find comfort in any of the pens of the Souverän line which has been both a blessing and a curse. Un-posted, the M1000 is very comfortable to write with, even for long writing sessions. Any concerns I initially had about size were quickly washed away by a generous flow of ink as I’ll discuss below. My biggest issue with this pen does relate to its size. My pens are always carried in a shirt pocket. I don’t routinely use cases as I don’t trust myself to be separated from my pens (I’m not willing to open myself up to loss). I’m about 50/50 on the pockets of my button down shirts being able to accommodate the length of the M1000. Many pockets come in as too shallow which doesn’t allow the pen to seat reassuringly. Not a deal breaker but something to consider if that is your preferred method of carry. It is for this reason that the M1000 sometimes seems better suited to the desk than a shirt pocket.
Nib & Performance (9/10) – Likely the best of Pelikan’s modern line-up
The M1000 can be safely identified as having the best nib of any of Pelikan’s modern line-up. I’m not usually predisposed to making sweeping statements but I feel confident enough to do so here. The nib is massive and I think it is the sheer size of it that allows for a bit more character to shine through. The nib is very springy and will require a softer touch than some of the other, stiffer modern nibs seen today. It puts down a very generous and wet line of ink. If that doesn’t suit your taste, you may want to consider a drier ink (such as Pelikan’s 4001 line) or look to another manufacturer. If you have a nice ink that shades, this is the nib to do it justice and bring out those subtleties. When you buy Pelikan, you get wide and wet nibs and the M1000 embodies that characterization. I find that the nib sizes runs wider than designated so you may be better off choosing a nib one or sometimes two sizes below what you’d be comfortable with to avoid an overly broad writing experience. If you do get a nib that is not to your taste, Pelikan does have a 30 day nib exchange free of charge provided that the pen was bought new from an authorized retailer. If you look at the scroll work on the M1000’s nib, you will see that it has two lines running in parallel, a tell-tale feature when trying to identify an M1000 in pictures. The other nibs of the Souverän series have singles lines, an interesting piece of Pelikan minutia.
Filling System & Maintenance (10/10) – A glass smooth piston
Pelikan’s pistons are highly regarded and for good reason. It is a precision mechanism that works as advertised every time. The piston travel is smooth and confident. You get a near full fill with little effort. This is a piston filler only so you will need a bottle of ink to fill it. The pen isn’t too big to fit in an accessory such as the Visconti Traveling Inkpot if you like to fill your pens that way while out and about. Required maintenance is minimal and usually only consist of the occasional lubing of the piston (perhaps once every three years) depending on usage patterns. This can be accomplished by a user removable nib which allows for nib swapping and can also facilitate easy cleaning. The M1000 is one of just a few Souveräns that have a threaded piston assembly with left-handed threads to allow for removal of the whole assembly. That said, while the pen can be disassembled, there is usually no reason to do so and I do not recommend this as part of routine maintenance due to the complex nature of the piston assembly.
Cost & Value (8/10) – An expensive pen but one that is built to last
I’ve long contended that a pen is only worth what someone may be willing to pay for it. The M1000 has an MSRP of 570 € or $632.59 at the time of this post. It can be found for sale frequently between $475 and $550. The pen’s quality and build are certainly beyond reproach and the oversized nature of the pen will appeal to many. I think the value of this pen lies predominantly in the nib. It is the most expressive and enjoyable of just about any of Pelikan’s stock modern offerings. That alone may justify the price of admission for many. If you are not averse to large pens, I think the M1000 is one that definitely needs to be considered a must-have for any collection.
Conclusion – At least a ‘must try’ once in your pen life if not a ‘must have’
M1000 Green Striped: 56/60 or 93%
The M1000 is a wonderful pen that’s both a joy to write with and to gaze upon. It has a very classic and refined appearance that is appropriate for any environment that you may choose to take it. You have to delve back into the 1950’s and 60’s to find nibs that outshine those of the M1000. Its large size in no way is a detriment to the comfort of the pen. The only quibbles are with regards to its portability but that is a subjective thing and should be expected from any pen of this size. Do yourself a favor and try one of these beauties out a least once. It’s well worth it in my opinion.
A Look At The Pelikan M1000 Green Striped Fountain Pen
Pelikan M1000 Green Striped Writing Sample
*The pen utilized for this review was provided to me on loan from Pelikan for the purpose of this review. It was promptly returned once this article was published. I received no monetary compensation for this review and there was no corporate censorship of any kind. The opinions expressed in this article are my own.