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.
A really good article, I owe this M1000 black edition, really remarkable. Also I love Mont Blanc (John Lennon edition and the M 149). personally I prefer the Pelikan M 1000, due to the fact it fits better during writing. Of course MB 149 and Pelikan M1000 are both world class, however MB maybe is better known (of Marketing side) but if you love Pelikan, the M 1000 will embrace you. I collect fountain pens and write with all different types of Pelikcan ( M200 up to M 1000), all of them are great in their segment. The absolute flagship is the M 1000, the size of the fountain pen and the size of the nib are really impressive. In my opinion that’s also the reason why all Maki – e are based on this model. Would be nice if several varieties as shown in M200 up to M800 (see what to expect in 2016) would be available for M 1000 as well.
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I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. I agree that it would be nice to see a new M1000 released in the near future. Hopefully 2016 will surprise us.
I’ve just bought my second M1000. I already had a black one. But as I love this pen so much, that I wanted the green striped version as well. I now have a M200, M800 and two M1000. Slowly but surely, my flock is growing.
Sounds like you have a nice flock there. An M600 would round it out very nicely. Enjoy your pens.
A great review. I own a M805 Demonstrator but now want a M1000. Just rather try before I buy which isn’t easy I guess. I especially want to try a few nibs before committing.
Unfortunately, the lack of brick & mortars these days makes trying before you buy difficult. I was lucky to be able to try one out at Fountain Pen Hospital in New York. The nibs are wonderful but definitely not for everyone. If you do buy new, Pelikan does offer a 30 day nib exchange if you’re unsatisfied
As Joshua already said, the M1000 is really a beauty and big. It has to compete with Mont Blanc 149, Sailor King of Pens or Visconti Homo Sapiens Crystal. All of them are oversized, I like to write them un-posted, otherwise it seems that the fountain pens will be unbalanced. Personally I like the M 800 due to the fact they are a little bit smaller and fitting better. Anyhow this M 1000 is a real eye catcher with a huge size. The most I like the big nib, it is much bigger (longer) than the nib of eg. MB 149. This M 1000 can compete with all above competitors, also a nice pen for a nice price. It writes as being in heaven
The M1000’s nib may be its strongest advantage against those other great oversized pens that you list.
I have just newly own a Pelikan M1000 (Black). Today, a friend of mine picked it up and tried to unscrew the barrel of the pen as she usually does for a normal cartridge fountain pen. apparently, she could not unscrew it but right after that it has some ink leaking form the barrel, where I hold it to write. i tried to screw tighter and clean it off the remaining ink.I am afraid it continue to leak. What can I do for the leaking? Can I unscrew the barrel from the nib section and put on some glue to stop it form leaking?
Many thanks for your help
I replied to your email but thought that I would post similar thought here for the future reference of others.
The issues could be one of two things;
1) The easy answer is that the nib came loose and is leaking ink. Make sure the nib is secure in the section by gently rotating it clockwise.
2) The second possibility is that the barrel separated from the section. These are glued together and can come apart if mishandled (such as inappropriately applying torque at this joint). The pens are sturdy but this can be a weak point. If that seam is what’s leaking, there is little you can safely do to repair it yourself. If the pen is purchased new, you could seek warranty support. Pen repair professionals such as Ron Zorn can also fix this. If you search on FPN, there have been some threads about this as it relates to M600 and M800 pens. Different pens but with the same construction.
3) Finally, there could be a crack at that interface between the barrel and the section. Take a close look with a flash light and see if you can see anything that looks like a crack.
Very nice review and summation. Frankly I was blissfully unaware of the cap’s 2012 logo change. I’ve owned my Green striped M000 with an OBB nib since September 1998. I’m partial to bigger sized pens with 3 Waterman Le Man 100 variants on hand as well (Black/Gold, Opera, and light Briarwood). They sport OB and ST nibs. Sadly both Pelikan and Waterman have discontinued their oblique and stub nib availability. I mention this because I feel it important for prospective buyers to know.
Thanks for your comment and inadvertently pointing out a typo of mine. It was 2010, not 2012 when Pelikan went with the gold and palladium plated cap tops on the Souverän lines.
Came across your writings when I was researching for Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black ink for my M1000 /w OM nib. The M1000 is a wet writer to begin, and with the OM nib it is a problem when I have to write on copy paper. I bought this pen around 2000/2001 and over the years, it seems to be putting out more and more ink.
I have 2 questions and I’m hoping you can share your thoughts on it.
1. How much of the nib needs to be below ink level in the bottle before it starts to suck air up?
2. Any inkwell (other than the expensive Visconti Traveling Inkpot) suitable for this large nib? I’ve been been topping up from a 2nd bottle to keep the level up… something like the TWSBI Ink Bottle with the cone insert.
Enjoy your posts. Keep writing.
Thanks ~ Ghee Lip
Hello and thanks for stopping by. The M1000 may be one of the wettest writers in the flock. To address your questions; 1) The nib should be fully submerged in the ink. I usually fill with the section just touching the ink surface. If any of the nib is exposed above the ink level, it will suck air. 2) I don’t use inkwells routinely so I don’t have a vast experience to share. I have recently started using the Ink Miser Ink-Shot Inkwell for filling pens. It works well but I haven’t tried it on an M1000 nib yet though. Check it out at; https://www.gouletpens.com/ink-miser-ink-shot-inkwell-clear/p/IM-11003. Hope that helps answer your questions.
Thank you. I will find out about the Ink Miser Ink-Shot Inkwell to see if it wil work with the M1000.
Just tested and confirmed. The Ink Shot accommodates the M1000 without any issue.
This issue came up in a discussion with a friend who owns a number of different makes of piston fillers. He commented that when some bottles get quite low filling becomes problematic. Further that the Pelikan has an advantage as the feed/nib assembly can be unscrewed and the 2ml (M1000) ink chamber could be filled with either an eyedropper or industrial syringe. Mind you I have never tried this but it sure sounds plausable.
Decided to do some searching about this problem and came across a technique called feed saturation to fill a piston pen: http://blog.gouletpens.com/2011/04/feed-saturation-pen-filling-method.html.
Again no experience with this but at least it wouldn’t require the unscrewing of the Pelikan feed/nib assembly.
Thanks Bob. I have done this before, and unfortunately, I have also cause a crack in the barrel, and it was an expensive replacement.
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The nib and feed can be removed and the pen filled this with a syringe but each time this is done can invite some unintended consequences. I wouldn’t make it a regular habit of filling and, like the feed saturation method, it requires going through a bit of extra hassle making the filling of the pen more difficult than it needs to be. Decanting into something like the Ink Shot works well. I just tested and confirmed that the Ink Shot can easily accommodate an M1000. A very well spent $6.00.
I was just thinking of the same. Left a note with Ink Miser to find out about fit for the M1000. Also asked them about the Ink Miser Intra-Bottle inkwell as well, as I do have several bottles of Noodle’s Ink.
Seems like this is an interesting topic for your next writing.
Thanks Joshua and Bob/Baldi.
Interesting. As previously mentioned I’ve owned my M1000 OBB since 1998. During all those years I think I’ve only unscrewed the nib/feed assembly 3 times. So with these cautions (and Ghee’s unfortunate experience with a cracked barrel) it certainly looks like that won’t be a refilling method for me in the future. 🙂
And as an aside extremely low levels of bottled ink were invariably used up only with converter pens in years past. Never with my M1000. That plus the brands were all in nicely designed bottles (e.g. Waterman, Montblanc, Pelikan, Sheaffer, etc.). Only more recently have I acquired inks with bottles that left much to be desired regarding pen filling (e.g. Herbin, Noodlers, Seitz-Kreuznach “hip flask”, Diamine, etc.).
And I agree with Ghee that this subject of ink bottle design issues and Pelikan pen refilling would make an ideal blog topic.