The release of a new Raden model to follow-up on last year’s Sunrise has been expected but specific details have been lacking. That changed this evening when De Roos gave us a glimpse of a new Raden model from Pelikan via their Instagram page. De Roos is a fountain pen retailer based in Heemstede, Netherlands and has been around since 1953. The pen featured today is the upcoming M800 Royal Gold. It appears that De Roos is the first to break this news. This would be the first Raden release in the M8xx form factor since the Kyokko & Gekko of 2005. It will join the likes of the Kyokko & Gekko (2005), Moonlight (2011), Sunlight (2013), Starlight (2014), and Sunrise (2016). For those unfamiliar with Raden, it is a traditional Japanese decorative craft characterized by finely ground abalone embedded or glued onto laquer-coated surfaces. The inlay glitters in wonderful colors when struck by light. The painstaking process ensures that these are usually limited in number and quite expensive at retail.
Based on the available photo, the Royal Gold will have the standard gold-plated M800 furniture including two trim rings at the piston knob, two trim rings on the cap, and a single trim ring on the section. The cap top is done in 24 karat gold plate and depicts Pelikan’s single chick logo. The standard pelicans beak cap clip completes the cap’s appearance. The piston knob and section are done in black resin with a very dark grey ink-view window sitting just above the section’s cap threads. The Royal Gold will come equipped with a two-toned 18C-750 gold nib. Prior Raden releases, such as last year’s Sunrise, were only available with a medium sized nib so you can likely expect the same here.
What really distinguishes the Royal Gold is the pattern on the barrel and cap. Alternating between verticals of black resin, we see stripes of gold hued Raden which really comes together to create a stunning visual effect. There is definitely a warmth and a richness here that I hope comes through equally as well in real life as it does in the product shots. The gold effect has been achieved by affixing 24 carat gold foil as a background on the mother of pearl stripes. Each pen is signed and numbered using traditional Maki-e techniques and will come in a traditional Japanese gift box which is made of Paulownia wood. The Royal Gold will be limited to just 388 pieces, a fairly standard run for Pelikan’s Raden releases. For comparison, last year’s Sunrise came in at 333 pieces. I’d expect to find this somewhere in the neighborhood of $1500-$2000 at retail based on prior models and where you live. Some overseas vendors are asking €1785 (with VAT) which punches at the top end of that range. I have seen a price of €1475.21 quoted from an overseas vendor for those of us who live in the US. That would be roughly $1607.60. A release date of sometime in June 2017 is anticipated.
I thought that the M1000 Raden Sunrise from 2016 was the best looking Raden that I had personally seen up to that point. After getting a view of the Royal Gold, that opinion is clearly called into question. Serves me right for thinking Pelikan couldn’t best themselves. The company continues to impress with the artistry and design of their releases and I imagine this one will be an easy sell for those who can afford such a luxury item. What are your thoughts on the M800 Royal Gold?
UPDATE 5/1/17: Post updated to reflect additional information and includes additional product photos.