A few international vendors such as Germany’s Fritz Schimpf and Italy’s Casa della Stilografica gave us notice today of a new M200 soon to be added to Pelikan’s Classic line-up. Dubbed the M200 Brown Marbled, this new model is intended as a standard addition to the line-up rather than a special edition piece. This news comes just as the M605 White-Transparent is starting to ship and ahead of the M805 Ocean Swirl’s release. The upcoming M200’s availability is slated for late November. Like the Green and Blue Marbled variants available today, the barrel of the Brown Marbled will have a pearlescent appearance allowing the varying shades of brown to really shine in the light. The Classic line is Pelikan’s lower tier offering that is intended as a more affordable yet still elegant alternative to the higher end Souverän range. These models are only lacking in a little polish and some extra furniture but do not skimp on the writing experience. One thing that is shared between the lines is Pelikan’s excellent piston filling mechanism. The Classic line was last updated just a few months ago with the release of the M200 Smoky Quartz.
An M200 pen is essentially the same size as the higher end M400. They have a total length of 4.92 inches capped and a weight of 0.49 ounces. When posted, they take on an extremely comfortable size and balance. The cap, section, and piston knob are done in what Pelikan calls precious resin. The available product shots make it hard to tell for sure but they appear to either be done in a standard black or a very dark brown. The cap features the long standard pelican’s beak clip with a single cap band at the lip. The cap top has the company’s single chick logo and the crown finial is done in plastic instead of the metal that we’ve seen on some of the special edition releases. The section lacks any trim and sits just below a transparent brown ink window. The body of the pen features a marbled pattern with various hues of brown highlighted by a pearlescent sheen. This appearance is the same as what we’ve seen with the more recent re-releases of the M200 Green Marbled and the M205 Blue Marbled. The design is completed by a piston knob adorned with a single trim ring. All of the pen’s furniture is gold-plated. The nib is done in gold-plated stainless steel which is standard amongst the M200 line. The available nib sizes will be EF, F, M, and B. In addition to the fountain pen, a matching ballpoint will also be available.
Domestic pricing for US customers is not yet available. Looking at a comparable model, the re-introduced Green Marbled variant carries an MSRP of $180. Given the recently reduced pricing of the upcoming M605 and M805, I’m interested to see what the M200 will retail for and if the trend of lower prices on new pens continues. We do know that overseas MSRP is €105 (~$121.75) with a retail pricing for EU customers of €85 (~$98.56) including VAT. If I do my math right, that means domestic purchasers looking overseas should be able to get a great deal on this one at €70.59 (~$81.85 plus shipping) when subtracting the VAT. If US pricing is the same as the prior M200 releases, than the wares of overseas vendors will continue to be quite attractive to US buyers.
I have a great affection for the Classic series as some of the most uniquely colored and interesting models in Pelikan’s line-up hail from this line. What disappoints me is that Pelikan has decided to release yet another brown model. In the last two years, we have had the M800 Grand Place, M400 Tortoiseshell Brown, M800 Renaissance Brown, and the M200 Smoky Quartz. That doesn’t even include some of the other brown releases in recent memory. If brown is your thing, you may indeed be at the height of your glory. I envision the Classic line as an opportunity for the company to have some fun and release something fresh. With all of the browns already out there, this model seems to lack innovation and overall feels stale and uninspired. Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh here. Can any company consistently live up to expectations and be as innovative as we’d like them to be? I’m sure that this model will sell well on its own merits but hopefully we’ll see more of a creative effort out of Hannover in the future. What are your thoughts on the M200 Brown Marbled? The marbled variants have been around since the 1980s and haven’t seen a new color in all that time. How do you think this model stacks up against the long standing Green, Blue, and even Gray Marbled models? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.