2016 In Review: A Look Back At Pelikan’s Line-up

Pelikan Maki-e Spring and Autumn CapAs we embark on a new year, I thought it would be fitting to look back and reminisce about the products that Pelikan brought to market in 2016.  Many of those releases were rumored late in 2015 and most turned out to be true.  That doesn’t mean Pelikan didn’t show up with a few surprises along the way.  Pelikan, like most companies, is not a fan of pre-release spoilers so I doubt we’ll see the treasure trove of leaked models that became available at the end of 2015.  I suspect that the company has since reminded their vendors of their contractual obligation to not leak info of upcoming releases.  While we may not know what the future holds, we can look back and see that the last few years have witnessed a lot of interesting new designs as well as re-releases of fan favorites.  I think Pelikan has overall struck a good balance though the M600 and M1000 lines continue to see the least amount of attention of any of the Souverän models.  While there was a lot to like this past year, not all news was good news.  2016 saw significant price increases in the United States market, well above and beyond the rest of the world and pricing for UK customers rose due to Brexit and the weakening pound against the Dollar and Euro.  The U.S. distributor, Chartpak, reversed previously stated policy and began refusing warranty services to US owners of Pelikan fountain pens purchased from overseas retailers despite those vendors being authorized by Pelikan.  This was most likely done in an attempt to deter people from shopping overseas where Pelikan fountain pens can be purchased at a steep discount.  Read on to get caught up on anything you may have missed this past year.

Pelikan’s 2016 Releases (in order of announcement)

  1. Edelstein Ink Of The Year – Aquamarine

    • The Edelstein inks have been hit and miss over the years but Aquamarine was very well received.  This was the fifth Ink of the Year and the second chosen by Pelikan’s fans.  The shade is beautifully realized and is described by the company as  “neither blue nor green; it’s something in between.”  Aquamarine has been made in a limited run so when supplies are gone, no more will be available.  This has been one of my favorites of the past year so don’t hesitate to pick up some of the remaining stock if you’re at all interested, before it’s too late.  Read More…Edelstein Aquamarine

  2. Pelikan 4001 Dark Green

    • Replacing the old brilliant green, dark green was a bit of a surprise release.  This has all of the usual 4001 properties meaning that it is a dryer ink with consistent performance and is excellent at taming Pelikan’s wet feeds.  This shade of ink tends to lean a bit blue-green to my eye but is still a solid color, if not anything extraordinary.  There is no rush to try this one as it looks to be around for a while as part of the standard line-up.  Read More…Pelikan 4001 Dark Green

  3. M805 Vibrant Blue

    • The Vibrant Blue definitely lives up to its name.  There is a lot of complexity and depth to this pen and it gives off a great luster in decent lighting which pictures have a hard time capturing.  The palladium trim of the x05 line makes for the perfect accent.  The Vibrant Blue complements the previously released M600 Vibrant Green very nicely.  This was one of my favorites this past year when judging based solely upon looks.  I would certainly be interested in seeing Pelikan expand their Vibrant repertoire to other colors.  Read More…Pelikan M805 Vibrant Blue

  4. M800 Grand Place

    • The Grand Place was a surprise announcement and an even more unexpected re-visiting of a finish that had been released twice before (M620 & M201).  I like the M800’s implementation better than that of the M620 but both are great pens.  This was a bit more limited in its distribution but hopefully you had a chance to pick one up.  The blues and browns are very rich and earthy and every pen is unique in its pattern.  This one would be a jewel in any collection.  Read More Here and HerePelikan M800 Grand Place

  5. M120N Green-Black

    • If the M805 Vibrant Blue and M800 Grand Place took the prize for looks, the M120N won on sheer dependability.  A re-envisioning of a classic, this was one of my most enjoyable writing experiences of the year.  It is simply a work-horse pen that never let me down.  Uncapped for several minutes and it never failed to lay down ink on the first try.  While it’s no slouch with its retro look, I can’t say enough about this pen’s dependability.  The only downside was the price which I still feel was well above reasonable asking.  Read More Here and HerePelikan M120N Green-Black

  6. M205 Transparent Blue

    • Another re-release, the new transparent blue improved on the original’s aesthetics with the addition of metal trim around the cap top.  Nothing fancy but a very dependable pen from Pelikan’s more affordable Classic line worth looking into if you don’t mind demonstrators.  Read More…Pelikan M205 Transparent Blue Demonstrator

  7. M1000 Raden Sunrise

    • With only 333 of these pens made, not too many out there will get to experience the beauty of this one,  My first Raden, the Sunrise needs to be seen in person to be truly appreciated.  It has a unique look that is certainly polarizing amongst fans.  Great deals were out there pre-release making this one of the more affordable Radens in recent memory.  Read More…Pelikan M1000 Raden Sunrise

  8. M205 Aquamarine

    • Over the last few years, Pelikan has taken to releasing a complementary demonstrator to go along with the Edelstein Ink of the Year.  The Amethyst (2015) was a very nice pen but is blown away by the Aquamarine in my opinion.  Pelikan got the shade and the frosting just right on this  demonstrator.  Sold individually or with the ink, there is a lot to like with this one.  Read More…Pelikan M205 Aquamarine

  9. M400 Tortoiseshell Brown

    • Tortoiseshell releases always attract a lot of fan interest and the M400 is no exception.  A nice complement to the M800 from a few years prior, the M400 packs a ton of appeal backed by a very dependable nib and feed.  A near perfect balance when posted, this tortoiseshell makes an excellent buy if you don’t mind a more standard sized pen.  Read More Here and HerePelikan M400 Tortoiseshell Brown

  10. M205 Blue Marbled

    • There have been several blue marbled releases over the years going back to the 1980s.  This finish is a re-release of sorts and is the first blue marbled variant to have the chromium trim of the x05 line.  The two go very well together.  This finish is a bit different from prior releases as the material has been altered to have a much deeper luster, similar to that of the green marbled model released in 2015.  Read More…Pelikan M205 Blue-Marbled

  11. The Statue of Zeus

    • The Seven Wonders of the World series had not seen an update since 2009 and was conspicuously missing The Statue of Zeus as well as The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.  Pelikan brought us one step closer to completing the series with the announcement of Zeus. Surprisingly, this model is based on of the M400 chassis which seems an odd choice, particularly compared with the other models in the series.  The release date on this one has been pushed back to March 2017 due to a “material defect” that Pelikan is working to remedy.  Read More…Pelikan The Statue of Zeus

  12. Maki-e Spring & Autumn

    • Maki-e releases are always special due to the artistry that goes into them.  This pen shows a thematic patchwork employing multiple techniques.  Limited to only 111 pens, the Spring & Autumn commands a hefty price tag.  This one is a “must see” in person to truly appreciate as pictures fall short of conveying the workmanship and beauty of this pen.  Read More…Pelikan Maki-e Spring & Autumn

  13. M405 Stresemann

    • The M805 Stresemann was well received when it came out and now we have a companion piece in the smaller M4xx form factor.  You might think the absence of color would make this a more bland release to be easily passed over but the anthracite binde has a subdued beauty to it.  When the barrel catches the light, it really shows off the complexity of the material.  Read More…Pelikan M405 Stresemann

  14. The Collector’s Box

    • Long delayed due to issues with manufacturing, the Collectors’ Box finally became available late last year.  It is a very well-built storage/display case for 24 pens that is marred only by its high price tag, particularly given the materials that it is made from.  Still, it delivers a very upscale appearance in a rather small form factor.  I have come to love this box as a storage solution.  Read More Here and HerePelikan Collectors' Box


Whew, 2016 was busy with two new inks and eleven new fountain pens.  Stay tuned to The Pelikan’s Perch in 2017 for all of your Pelikan news.  I will continue to report on all things Pelikan along with lots of original content for which I have many ideas.  Let me know in the comments below what you’d like to see in 2017, both from Pelikan as well as my site.  I’m always open to suggestion.  If there is a particular topic you’d like to see addressed, I’ll certainly try my best to accommodate.  For what its worth, my wish for the new year would be to see some more attention paid to the M600 and M1000 lines as these seem to be the most neglected models in Pelikan’s line-up.

32 responses

  1. Great post, Joshua. I’m very pleased with what Pelikan released in 2016. Like you, I’d prefer to see more attention given to the M1000. And how ’bout a White Tortoise M800???


    • Thanks! A White Tortoise M800 would definitely end up in my collection. Pelikan has been re-visiting old finishes over the past few years so I won’t write anything off.


  2. Joshua. Great year end wrap up. I really enjoyed this. I think you meant “complementary” not “complimentary” in the discussion in 8. of the M205 Aquamarine. I was only at the Philadelphia show today, Sunday – so I am sorry I missed you yesterday.


    • Thanks for the correction. I reread my post an obsessive number to times before publishing but the eyes get tired after a while. Family obligations and work meant that Saturday was the only window I had for the show so definitely sorry to have missed you as well. It was nice to reconnect with some familiar faces and I got to meet Mike from Inkdependence! which was awesome.


  3. Great summary! My wish list includes an M600 tortoiseshell brown and an M650. While I’m asking the impossible, I sure would like to see Pelikan go back to offering springy nibs on the entire line, like on the M1000, and OM, OB, and OBB nibs.


    • Thanks! I think that an M600 brown tortoise is on a lot of wish lists and would be a sure sell out. I’d take some more inspired nib choices over any pen release though. Alas, I do think that is wishing for the impossible but it’s nice to dream.


  4. Dear Joshua. I really enjoyed this post. It is a great year end review. I think you meant “complementary” not “complimentary” in Section 8 Aquamarine M205. I was only at the Philadelphia show on Sunday so I am sorry I missed you yesterday. Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks Joshua for this absolutely excellent and beautiful summary of the good Pelikan year of 2016! Yes, the retail price of the M120N was a bit on the high side, but for me this pen “sings” and is a workhorse with a retro understated elegance. (But on the other hand, a M400 brown tortoise wouldn’t hurt me much…)
    Best regards for this year!



  6. Dear Joshua, yes it was an absolute great year. The collectors were spoiled with new things, so the next question will be what’s in for this year? I have heard a lot of new things are on the table, are you familiar with this? Can you already tell us some nice things?


    • I’m afraid that I don’t have enough details to share. As soon as I have any concrete details, I’ll certainly pass them along. I’m excited for what 2017 is going to bring though.


  7. Thank you very much Joshua for your wonderful summary throughout 2016! Can’t wait to read your great reviews in this year. Meanwhile, I should start saving up money for the lovely birds that are on their way.


    • You’re welcome Jeffrey. Glad that you enjoyed. I think saving up is a good idea because I anticipate some good stuff to come down the line this year. Stay tuned as more info comes out.


  8. Wonderful summary, Joshua.
    For 2017 I would love to see a M1005 Stresemann and a M800 white tortoise. I would really like to see them bring back the very elegant Mxx50 & Mx50 line and more expressive nibs. Something tells me none of my wishes will come true (just as well, they left me broke already 🙂 ). Isn’t 2017 the end of a 7 year cicle, when they’re supposed to tweak a little with the design? (Like the changes in the cap top).


    • I could see an M800 White Tortoise making its way into my collection. I also think the Vermeil caps of the Mx50 lines are very nice. I doubt we’ll see either but hopefully whatever the company comes up with will be just as satisfying.


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  10. Joshua,
    Has Chartpak taken a position on Pelikans sold through Massdrop? There have been lots of Pelikans there recently.



    • It has been my understanding that Chartpak will NOT provide nib exchange or warranty services to pens bought through Massdrop. That’s one of the tradeoffs. I can’t confirm this from first hand experience but this is what I’ve heard from a few sources in the past.


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