News: The Pelikano Up

Pelikan Pelikano Up in ChampagnePelikan’s first foray into the school pen market was the 120 released in the mid 1950’s.  Prior to that, their focus had been on writing implements designed almost exclusively for adults.  After five years of experience in that market, Pelikan began production of the first Pelikano model which was launched on March 22, 1960.  The Pelikano’s design was based on lessons learned from the 120 as well as the feedback they received from teachers.  The model line is now 57 years old and it shows no signs of slowing down.  The Pelikano has undergone many design changes over its nearly six decades in addition to spawning other products such as the Pelikano Junior.  The most recent version of the Pelikano has been the P480, first released in 2010 as a significant redesign to the prior P460 and updated again in 2015.  The current P480 has an opaque rather than transparent grip and an ink view window on its barrel, distinguishing it from its predecessor.  Pelikan appears to be adding an upgraded version of the Pelikano to the line-up.  Made from better materials and with a more adult design, their newest creation has been dubbed the Pelikano Up fountain pen.

Pelikan Pelikano Up in Champagne and AnthraciteThe Pelikano Up was first teased yesterday on the company’s Facebook and Instagram pages.  The tagline reads, “Upgrade your handwriting.”  This new pen looks to incorporate higher quality materials into the existing form factor while still remaining affordable.  Gone is the plastic of the current P480 and, in its place, the Up will feature an aluminum cap and body along with a metal clip.  Carried over will be the soft grip zone on the section and the ink view window on the barrel.  “Pelikano Up” is inscribed along the length of the barrel and the cap top features the modern one chick company logo.  Like the current generation, the Up will be available in right and left-handed versions with un-plated, iridium tipped stainless steel nibs.  The current models have A, F, M, and L nibs so it would not be unreasonable to expect the same nibs sizes for the Up.  Colors upon launch will include Champagne and Anthracite.  Of course, both pens will be cartridge only models.  As far as when these may come to market, the only time frame that Pelikan has announced is “coming soon.”  Pricing is not entirely clear but from some what I’ve seen, these will look to sell for about €8-10 more than the standard P480, a reasonable mark-up for what you’re getting.  I like the look of the Up which seems poised to go against the likes of the Lamy Al-Star.  What are your thoughts?

Pelikan Pelikano Up in Anthracite

Pelikano Up Packaging

Pelikano Up packaging


Pelikan Pelikano P480 and Up side by side

Left: Current P480 redesign in place since 2015. Right: Pelikano Up for 2017 release (pictures not to scale).

23 responses

    • An ‘A'(Anfänger) nib is a beginner’s nib that is stiff with rounded tipping for beginning writers. The L nib as far as I understand it is designed for left handed writers.


  1. Great post Joshua. I also keep a nice flock of Pelikano’s so was excited to see this upgrade model announced. Have one in the anthracite finish on order from Seitz and plan to do a mini review on FPN once it arrives.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always enjoy finding good value pens that write well and so I will look out for one of these. The shape of the nib, ink window and the faceted grip section plus having the name on the barrel all look very AL-starey but I presume that this is purely a coincidence! I wonder, does the cap post comfortably? Finally, the “Upgrade your handwriting” on the box could seem a little presumptuous and patronising, but then these are meant to be for school students and the assumption is that most people would aspire to have a pen that is better than the one they had before. Thanks for the great review.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I start my day writing , literally, every day. I rise from sleep, go to the bathroom and then weigh myself and take my BP and pulse, … and then I record these observations and any notation about my health or fitness in a small journal I keep in the medicine cabinet. The pen of choice for this duty is a Pelikano, and older 1070’s version. It always starts, always writes and never skips, it just does it’s job as expected … everyday.

    This a little but embarassing because I have quite a number of Pelkans in my collection, all more upscale and more expensive, but this little blue and chrome pens is the one that gets to meet with paper every day. It cold be said that I don’t need all those fancy pens, this is the one that I need.

    If this new and improved model lives up to the standard than I would consider it a bargain, but I have a couple of these pens from different eras and I have no need or interest in adding another to my collection.

    I wish the company would focus their attention on the pen I am waiting for, a M600 Tortoise.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Seems to me they definitely want a piece of the Lamy Al-Star market. Will be interesting to see how that plays out. It sort of makes me think of how Instagram recently copied a lot of Snapchat’s features.


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  6. I’m a lefty and I’m very pleased to see another option. I’m saving up for the Sailor 1911, but until then…Also, it’s much nicer looking for an adult writer to carry. Please let me know when you have them,


  7. Thanks for the post (and your whole website, which is fabulous, btw 🙂

    I have a P480 and it’s a great little writer but I think they did well to change that God-awful clip and upgrade the body to metal, so I’ll definitely be buying a Pelikano Up.


  8. Thank you for this! You said it is cartridge only. Does it take international cartridges? I was excited about this pen until I realized it won’t take a converter which is all I prefer to use these days.


    • Hello. When I said “cartridge only,” I was simply indicating that it’s not a piston filler. The UP will take a standard converter. Pelikan’s take one long or two short standard international cartridges or a converter. Pelikan’s C499 converter or a Schmidt converter seem to work the best in my experience.


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