News: The Statue of Zeus Limited Edition

Pelikan The Statue of Zeus Limited EditionPelikan launched their “Seven Wonders of the World” series back in 2004 with the intent of designing seven pens, each as an homage to their respective ‘Wonder.’  These models represent some of the more interesting and artistic designs ever put out by the company, even if they are not always the most practical.  Many different lists of wonders have been compiled over the ages.  Pelikan appears to be riffing off of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World first put forth by Philo of Byzantium.  Other writers on the topic include the historian Herodotus, the scholar Callimachus of Cyrene, and Antipater of Sidon.  These lists chronicled “must see” attractions for Hellenic tourists, much like our guidebooks might do today.  Like all but one of the described wonders, much of their ancient writings have not survived the ages except as references in other works.  Classically, the Seven Wonders were;  The Great Pyramid of Giza (2004), The Colossus of Rhodes (2005), The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (2006), The Lighthouse of Alexandria (2007), The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (2009), The Statue of Zeus at Olympia (2016),  and The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.  In modern times, only the Great Pyramid of Giza still exists.  To date, Pelikan has released five out of seven pens in the series (actual release dates noted above in parentheses) leaving us awaiting Zeus and the Mausoleum.  It has been seven years since we were given the Hanging Gardens of Babylon leading some to question whether we would see the series finished.  Today, several European vendors have given us a glimpse at the penultimate release in the series, The Statue of Zeus.

Pelikan The Statue of Zeus Limited Edition Packaging

The Statue of Zeus packaging with specially labeled ink bottle


A 19th century illustration by Quatremère de Quincy of what the Statue of Zeus may have looked like

A 19th century illustration by Quatremère de Quincy of what the Statue of Zeus may have looked like

Made by the Greek sculptor Phidias around 435 BC, the Statue of Zeus was reported to depict a giant seated figure measuring 43 feet tall.  It was located at Olympia, Greece and erected in the Temple of Zeus.  The statue was embellished with ebony, ivory, gold and precious stones but, unfortunately, it was destroyed during the 5th century AD.  The Statue of Zeus fountain pen will be a limited edition of just 300 pieces.  Surprisingly, it appears to be based on the M700 Toledo which would make it the same size as an M400.  The European MSRP is reported to be around €1930 or $2172.  Those shopping from outside of the European Union can expect to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $1797, excluding VAT.  Each pen will come in a unique box with a specially labeled bottle of ink.  This limited edition appears to be targeted for a mid-October release.  The pen itself depicts a motif of Zeus done in 925-sterling silver.  The decorative elements are then 18K rose gold-plated after which they are covered with a clear coat.  The resin of the piston knob, section, and cap are done in white and there is an anthracite colored ink window.  It appears that the furniture and nib will also have a rose gold appearance and incorporate the standard trim of the modern Souverän series.  One vendor is listing nib sizes of EF, F, M, and B.

Pelikan The Statue of Zeus Limited Edition

The Statue of Zeus fountain pen (click to enlarge)


Pelikan Seven Wonders of the World Series

Left to right; The Pyramids of Giza (2004), The Colossus of Rhodes (2005), The Temple of Artemis (2006,) The Lighthouse of Alexandria (2007), The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (2009)


The Seven Wonders of the World series has come under criticism in the past as being overpriced and favoring artistry over practicality of design.  Personally, none of the previously released pens have ever appealed to me, even after viewing them in person.  The Statue of Zeus is the first that has gotten my attention, perhaps because it is not so radically styled as the other pens in the series.  It reminds me of the Genesis of the Olympiad released so many years ago which I greatly enjoy.  If I were a man of means, I could certainly see Zeus findings his way into the flock.  What do you think about this new release?  What are your thoughts on the Seven Wonders series in general?  I look forward to reading your comments below.

Correction 9/27/16: Post updated to reflect that Zeus is actually based off of the M400 chassis, a very surprising design decision, which means that this will be a smaller pen than many of Pelikan’s other limited edition releases.
Update 1/14/17: On 12/22/16, Pelikan announced via their FaceBook page that The Statue of Zeus will be delayed until March of 2017 due to manufacturing issues.  Their statement is as follows; “During the final assembly of the Limited Edition The Statue of Zeus we realized a material defect on one part which makes it necessary to reproduce this part before finalizing the assembly.  For this reason, we are sorry to announce that the launch of LE The Statue of Zeus will be postponed to March 2017.  Keep your positive anticipation, it will be worth it! We are also looking forward with you to the 6th world wonder 😉. We hope for your understanding, your Pelikan team

15 responses

  1. If I were a woman of means, I would certainly consider putting Zeus in my collection. I, too, favor the classic design. For this reason, the Colossus of Rhodes also appeals to me. It is fairly classic in its design as well. The other pens of the series don’t particularly appeal to me. They appear a little contrived to my eye. But I’m sure there are some fans of even these unusual-looking pens. To each his (or her) own, right?

    The Zeus pen also appeals to me because of the updated rose gold furniture, which is beautiful and really seems to suit the subject. I think it definitely enhances the overall mood and tone of the pen. So, if I had the money, I’d definitely scoop up Zeus and add him to my collection. And maybe the Colossus of Rhodes as well, just so they could keep each other company.


  2. Re: The Seven Wonders. The only point I see is hardly artistic value. It is a money-maker from collectors, some perhaps looking for resale.

    I am much happier buying work of local artists and supporting the opera and lIbrary. I like Pelikans that are representative of the people and the times.


    • When I see these for sale, I often see them go unsold. The prices are high and I think the appeal is low. I’m not sure that there has been a great demand to date outside of the most dedicated of collectors. I do think the Zeus is the first in the series that has the potential to generate a much broader mass appeal.


  3. I updated my post today to reflect that Zeus will actually be based off of the M700 chassis which is an M400 sized pen. I’m very surprised to learn that a limited edition like this would be released in such a small form factor. I love the M400 (carrying the 2016 Tortoiseshell Brown right now) but would have liked to have seen this awesome design in an M800 sized pen. Also, there just seems to be something disrespectful about putting a king of gods into such a small form factor. The actual statue towered inside the Temple of Zeus, reaching nearly to the ceiling. It was an awe inspiring sight by the accounts of the time. I have to admit that I’m having a much harder time justifying the price tag for a pen of this size. Certainly seems like they are gunning for the collector. I expect street pricing is likely to be 1400-1600 Euros.


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  5. Wow! I learned something. All along I thought the M700 was on the M600 frame. I pulled out some M700/M710s and M625 City series. Lo and behold the M700s are certainly smaller than the M600s, just the same size as the M400! Imagine that!

    Now I am all the more disappointed in the Zeus 😦


    • Glad to have been able to teach something to such a well versed collector. The puny Zeus is a horrible disappointment for me. I’m going to end up skipping this one largely because of that.


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  7. These are now shipping in the USA
    I ordered two. Presold one and have one for stock Rarity of only 300 is a plus


    • It’s a very nice pen. If they weren’t M400/700 sized, I would’ve bought one. I think this should have been done off of an M800/900 chassis. That would have been perfection. Good luck selling the rest of your stock.


  8. For me, I would actually quite enjoy owning them as they are a departure from typical pen designs. Much like the wonders they are inspired by, the entire point is that they are feats of design not typically approached elsewhere. They’re not within my means at the moment but if they were I would absolutely love to have a Temple of Artemis, Great Pyramids, Lighthouse of Alexandria, Colossus of Rhodes, and Hanging Gardens. The places themselves I find personally inspiring so to me having the pens would be something very cool. Again, not within my price range or much of anyone’s, but there is something moving about the striving for achievement, to do the seemingly impossible which is a very real component of the human spirit. In our country we have the Golden Gate Bridge, Statue of Liberty, the Bell X-1, the Mercury and Apollo space capsules, etc. to compare. We should want to connect with more things like that. In fact, the gardens I built (imperfectly, but functional) in my backyard were somewhat inspired by the story of the Hanging Gardens.


    • I agree that they are neat pieces that are nice tie ins with amazing inspirational achievements. The prohibitive pricing and somewhat clunky design keeps me from embracing the bulk of the them though I am interested to see how they approach the last wonder to complete the set. I do like my Zeus very much.


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