News: M800 Grand Place

Pelikan M800 Grand PlaceDespite all of the rumors swirling about Pelikan’s upcoming 2016 releases, the company is still able to surprise and delight its customers.  In an unexpected announcement today from several well known vendors, Pelikan has proven that it still has a trick or two up its sleeve.  Seemingly out of nowhere comes news of the soon to be released M800 Grand Place.  If this pen has a familiar look, that is because it is very similarly styled to the M620 Grand Place released in 2006 and the more recent M201 Bayou in 2015.  The M800 Grand Place appears to take on features of both pens in a hybrid fashion.  This M800 special edition is named after the world famous market and historical landmark in Brussels, Belgium.  According to Wikipedia, “The Grand Place (pronounced ɡʁɑ̃ plas) or Grote Markt is the central square of Brussels.  It is surrounded by opulent guildhalls, the city’s Town Hall, and the Breadhouse building containing the Museum of the City of Brussels. The square is the most important tourist destination and most memorable landmark in Brussels.”  Also of note, Brussels serves as the headquarters of the European Union.

 

Pelikan M620 Grand Place

M620 Grand Place (2006)

Pelikan M201 Bayou

M201 Bayou (2015)

 

The Grand Place is anticipated for a February 2016 release which would put it out in tandem with the M805 Vibrant Blue.  This pen will be available in the standard nibs sizes of EF, F, M, and B and the nib itself will be made of the standard two-toned 18C-750 gold common on the M800 line.  Some vendors are exclusively offering an extra broad nib variant for those interested in pursuing such an option.  The trim is the standard M8xx gold-plated furniture with two trim rings at the piston knob, two cap bands, and a single trim ring at the section.  The cap top will have the single chick logo plated in 24K gold.  The M800 is 5.5 inches long, 6.5 inches posted, 0.52 inches in diameter, and has a weight of 0.99 ounces.  The ink capacity is 1.35mL.

Pelikan M800 Grand Place

By Paul IJsendoorn (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ijsendoorn/333903083/) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Brussels Grand Place

Pelikan describes the cap and barrel as being made of a high quality resin that is turned and then polished to a high sheen.  The color is that of a deep dark brown swirled with tan and a touch of blue which comes together to stunning effect.  There is no discrete ink window apparent in the promotional photos but I suspect that the barrel will have some translucency to facilitate viewing of the remaining ink level.  There is no word on a matching rollerball or ballpoint pen for this release.  Promotional materials indicate that quantities will be limited and that it will carry an MSRP of $850.  I would expect a street price in the United States of around $675-700.  Interestingly, I have only seen news of this pen from U.S. vendors at present (Goldspot Pens, Classic Fountain Pens, Pen Chalet, Dromgoole’s, Fahrney’s Pens) which might indicate that this is a U.S. focused release or just that news is first breaking amongst vendors in the states.  Packaging will be in the standard G15 gift box.

Pelikan M800 Grand Place

I’m very surprised at this announcement and I wonder how many people might now be second guessing their pre-order of the M805 Vibrant Blue.  Will you be getting one of these Grand Place M800s or hold out to see what Pelikan will come up with next?

 

UPDATE 1/9/16:  It appears that the M800 Grand Place will only be available for release in two countries.  The USA is one of them but the other remains unclear at this time.  It is my understanding though that Germany and the U.K. are not included.

 

55 responses

    • The San Francisco was my favorite amongst the M620 series with the Grand Place coming in second. I could definitely do without the Shanghai though. It would be interesting if Pelikan pursues the whole line-up. In the promotional literature Pelikan writes, “In this new pen series…” It may just be a matter of convention or poor translation but its interesting they used the term ‘series.’ No news yet but it’s very conceivable that we may see other releases of this nature in the future.

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  1. I agree that this is madness… And I’m second guessing the Vibrant Blue pre-order that I put a few days ago! Pelikan is intent on driving me bankrupt.
    But this confusing, since it doesn’t seem a good strategy to release two SE on the same month. To add to the confusion, now some European sellers are saying that the vibrant blue is due in April only.
    Anyway, if this is just a US release I may have to pass, because the price here is way above what I’m willing to pay.

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    • I’m not sure of the strategy on this one. It does seem odd that it would come at the same time as the Vibrant Blue. Pelikan’s own postings denote the February release of the Vibrant Blue so I’m not sure why some are saying April. Certainly could be delays not yet made widely known. I agree that if it is only from US retailers it will likely be more cost prohibitive than other, more widely available releases.

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      • You are spot on when you say it could be delays. I contacted La Couronne du Comte and that is the reason they have the Vibrant Blue for April now, but they still hope to have some of the pre-orders in February.
        As for the Grand Place, they had the same information Wim (below) obtained: the announcement in Europe is pending some final decisions on pricing and it is expected to happen soon.
        Oh, well, that settles it: there goes my money again. Then I start thinking: I have the Bayou, will get the M800 grand Place… it seems I need to find me a good M620… Pelikan sure knows how to take my money.

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  2. Hi Joshua,

    Thanks for this!

    The M6xx line-up provides Pelikan with a variety of colour options that could be used for the M800 Series – I wholeheartedly agree with Dan on the San Francisco colour! A Niagara Fall colour would also do well, I expect.

    Cheers!
    Mike

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    • I think the I like the black piston knob and section on the M800 more than the copper version of the M620. For some reason, the M800 has a more striking appearance to me. I guess I like that bit of contrast. I wouldn’t want to see the whole M620 line re-visited but there are a few select pieces that I wouldn’t mind seeing.

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      • As best I can tell from the photos, the color scheme of the new M800 version is more like that of the M201, which has some darker brown mixed in to go better with the cap and piston knob. On the original M620 version, the darkest color in the swirl is more of a caramel, which matches better with the copper section and knob. Preference of one over the other is a matter of taste, but I think the M620 Grand Place is one of the most beautiful Pelikans ever made, and I felt very fortunate to find one last year at the Dallas show.

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        • I completely agree with your observations. The M620 Grand Place is beautiful. I’d have to see the two side by side in real life to accurately say which may have the sharper appearance. The bottom line is that they are both very beautiful pens and each unique in their own way despite the similiarities.

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      • I agree 100% with not repeating the entire Cities or Wonders of the Earth series – cherry pick and update a few of them. I would also think that they should continue to revisit and update some of their classic vintage models, like the recent red tortoiseshell that I found stunning! Besides, it’s fun to suggest and speculate!

        Regardless, there will be more pens produced than I can buy!

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  3. Dear Joshua, as you know I’m a collector of Pelikan fountain pens. So this information is surprisingly. Do you know this SE will be available in Europe as well? During the last year we have seen that a lot of SE were only available in the US. Would be nice if also the other 2006 city releases (Chicago, Shang Hai ) will be available back again in M800 version.

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    • Since the news was fresh yesterday, I expect that we’ll hear more in the next days to weeks. I’ll be keeping an eye out for announcements from overseas vendors. It wouldn’t surprise me if it is a US based release but I have no solid information one way or the other on that. Just circumstantial evidence in that all of the announcements that I saw were from US vendors. Literature has previously indicated that the US is one of Pelikan’s biggest markets, at least it was at one point.

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  4. I’ll wait for the Vibrant Blue. This one does absolutely nothing for me, which is a good thing because my wallet is already light enough. I don’t know, maybe if I see it in person I’ll change my mind, but I hope not.

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    • I’m sure neither pen will suffer a lack of sales. My wallet has resigned itself to the pain and misery that comes with me being a fan of Pelikan fountain pens as well as having a lack of impulse control😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I got a reply of my retailer that this pen will be available for Benelux and Italian Market (Europe only). Market price usual M 800 +/- 470 Euro (for this SE not exactly known yet). Time of issue is not clear yet. Issue of M805 Vibrant Blue will be February as stated (have made a reservation for this SE as well).

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  6. It’s a gorgeous pen but if Pelikan starts ploughing out half a dozen M200s, M600s and M800s a year. Interest in collecting Pelikan pens will decline among less opulent pen collectors.

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    • I do wonder about their overall business plan. I’m all for new releases but they do seem to be coming at an accelerated pace. As a user/collector, I find it difficult to keep up and start to question whether it’s worth the efforts. How many pens does one person need after all? I imagine the market will saturate at some point but I don’t believe they are there yet.

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  7. yes indeed my retailer confirmed the postponed introduction of the vibrant blue, will be April of this year. The expected release of the Grand Place is foreseen for February, an exact date is not available yet. So collectors will be surprised with 2 excellent SE within 2 months.

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    • One of my usual, well known, go-to retailers in Germany indicates to me that they are not planning to get the Grand Place at this time. I’ve never had a problem with them getting releases previously. They are under the impression that the Grand Place is a USA only release. While not definitive, it is an interesting piece of circumstantial evidence.

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  8. The Pelikan business plan is an interesting issue in light of these acceleratie releases. What botters me is the obvious desire to maximize profit while at the same time balancing between pricing, features and standardization as well as trying to maintain the “Souverän” imago. For me the limited nib options and the absence of an ink window on several new models greatly influences my desire to obtain any of the new models in a negatieve way. Pelikan should make up their mind, to either live up to the meaning of the word “Souverän” or go the budget route. Regarding current prices, customers should expect more than what is being offered. In the premium segment I as a customer should have options, imagine buying a Mercedes or BMW or Rolls without an options list, or just three colors to choose from.

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    • I have to agree with you there Marc. I think a good chunk of the recent releases in the Souveran line are lacking the standard features that most users desire in the line. This is perhaps the 6th release this year lacking an ink window? including the M2XX releases for Fahrney’s and FPH. (Someone please correct me if that number is wrong). Now that I think on it, the last release where we could get an ink level was the M205 Amethyst and before that the Cafe Creme. Really what’s different about these new releases other than the lack of an ink window, limited nib selection and a ‘limited’ run of a new resin?

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      • You have to be careful when distinguishing between an ink view window and a way to visualize the remaining ink level. An ink view window is a discrete portion of the barrel that is designed to allow for visualization of the remaining ink level. We see this on the Cafe Creme and the most recent release, the M200 green marbled re-issue. It can also be seen in most of Pelikan’s striped models, the M600 Pink being a notable exception. Though many of the recent releases lack an dedicated window, they still provide a way to view the remaining ink level. The M201 Bayou, M201 Neptune Blue, and M201 Mars Red lack that discrete ink window but the barrel is transluscent to allow for visualization of the remaining ink level when held up to a light source. The same is true of the M600 Vibrant Green. I expect the same to be true of the Grand Place and the Vibrant Blue though I cannot confirm that at this time. The only recent releases that I can definitely say are completely without an ink view mechanism is the M800 Burnt Orange and the M600 Pink.

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        • Joshua,
          Indeed a very valid point is made by you. And I do see where I misspoke about ink level/window. Although these new releases lack the ink window and do indeed still offer the ability to observe the ink level. My point, which I realise I didn’t clearly make once read through my own comment, is that if I have to hold up to a light source a pen I have just shelled out $600+ for I’d be mildly miffed. I don’t feel that having to hold a pen up to a light is a very discreet way to observe an ink level. Especially in board room situation. I am sure that Pelikan did more than extensive market research before any of these launches and they wouldn’t have done so lightly. I think if a Pelikan pen is to warrant the Souveran badge, it should at least have the features we’ve come to expect of the name. I still think they’re stunning pens and if I had the spare cash I’d have every single one of them. But with the frequency of release and missing window. I’ll have to miss a few. Joshua I love this website, I can actually have a legitimate discussion without becoming embroiled in ‘keyboard courage’ drama.🙂

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      • The Bayou from FPH is translucent, thus you can check the ink level without any trouble. Even though I can’t be 100 % sure, since I don’t have them, I believe the same is true for the M2xx from Fahrney’s. As far as I remember, the only release from 2015 that one could not check the ink level was the Burnt Orange. It seems that it is still unknown if the Vibrant blue will be translucent or not.

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  9. I have spoken to Pelikan and they have told us that this pen will only be available in 2 countries. They have not told us which ones, but the UK is not one of them. We will not be able to get hold of any. I have updated our http://www.pelikanpens.co.uk website to say this and will change it if there is any other update.

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  10. Pingback: Sunday Notes – January 10, 2016 | Fountain Pen Quest

  11. Hello Joshua,
    It would indeed be great if the barrel has some degree of translucency in order to determine the ink level, I hope that will be true. Then to add a reintroduction of a broader choice of nibs (to include vintage characteristics) would definitely pull me back in and reconsider buying. Pelikan will have to decide to either produce top of the line fountain pens in the Souverän line or drastically lower prices. While a choice of newer and limited designs and materials is appealing it should be a negligible factor regarding the retail price, other factors play an important role to make the Pelikan pens great (just take a look at the vintage models)

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  12. And again I forgot to thank you for the great Website!
    I greatly enjoy it and always look forward to the next article, I learn new things from all of them!

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      • Price of Pelikan M800 Grand Place is well known. Close to 600 euro. More expensive than regular M 800 fountain pens. A nice present for a nice price.

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        • The Grand Place is going for about $680 here in the States on average. Thats not far off from what other special edition M800s command. The Burnt Orange for instance was $676. That $680 is exactly 20% off of the MSRP of $850 which is the usual going street price for Pelikans in general. I’m not seeing much of a premium being charged beyond that.

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          • You’re right about the US vendors, Joshua. But in Europe, there appears to be a premium. One retailer is asking €599 for the Grand Place, vs €490 for the Burnt Orange and Vibrant Blue. Another retailer is asking €539 for the Grand Place, vs €490 for the Burnt Orange and €432 for the Vibrant Blue.

            I think this is what Wim was referring to.

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          • It’s not surprising that vendors would take advantage of the limited nature of this realease, especially one that is likely to be in demand. I did not intend to contradict Wim, just provide perspective from the US whose prices are usually greater than overseas in general. Thanks for sharing those prices Andy. Most helpful.

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  13. Today I got my Pelikan Grand Place, in reality it is much more beautiful than on paper. My retailer was telling me only 500 pieces world wide will be available. Really Special Edition.

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    • I received mine yesterday and I agree that it is much more beautiful in person. I have not heard any talk quoting a number of available pieces but a number like 500 would not surprise me. Enjoy your new pen!

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      • My french retailer told me that, in europe, only 80 pieces where available. This is consistent with 500 pieces worldwide. I’m really glad to have one in my collection because, in real, it’s far beautiful than on pictures.
        But on the other hand, the launch of to many special edition can have a reverse effect in the future moreover if they are M800 based. A M1000 tortoise should be fantastic!

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        • I’m not surprised to hear about the limited nature of the pen. Everyone that I know who has seen it agrees that pictures do not do it justice. Enjoy your Grand Place!

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  14. My Grand Place is shipping from Classic Fountain Pens sometime this week. I opted for the Extra Broad nib without really knowing how it compares to the BB or BBB nibs. I guess I coulda/shoulda asked CFP but am wondering if you happen to know. I love your blog, btw, you’ve managed to organize a huge amount of info in the few years you’ve been doing this. It’s also very well-written.

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    • Thank you very much for your kind words about the site Rob. I really appreciate it and am glad that you have found my content useful. I only have one of Mr. Mottishaw’s nibs and that is an M600 broad ground to a stub. I assume the extra broad would be similar to a BB and as such, I would anticipate a consistent, broad line width without too much variation. I don’t have any frame of reference to suggest what you might expect though. Congrats on the Grand Place and enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Patrick at CFP confirmed that the extra broad is the new name for the BB. Also, he mentioned the BBB is no longer an option with M800 series pens. I ordered the stub customization in order to have some line variation.

    Btw, can you recommend a good 4-pen or 6-pen leather case that will accommodate M600 through M1000 sizes? Thank you.

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    • I don’t carry my pens in that way so I am not well acquainted with larger pen cases. I hear that the Visconti Dreamtouch is nice but it’s pricey. The Franklin-Christoph Penvelope may also be a good choice.

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    • If I may weigh in here. I’ll agree with you Joshua, the Penvelope from Franklin Cristoph is a stellar case. However in the 6+format it’s rather large, Perhaps any of the myriad of pen rolls that are coming out might be useful.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. This M 800 Grand Place is even that special that it is not mentioned in the official site of Pelikan themselves (Pelikan Writing Instruments), also this edition is sold out world wide.

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