Pelikan 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.
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.
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.