News: The Spirit of 1838 Limited Edition

Pelikan Spirit of 1838 Limited Edition Fountain PenThe chemist Carl Hornemann founded a paint and ink company near Hanover, Germany in 1832.  This would serve as the foundation for what we know today as Pelikan.  The date of the company’s official founding is regarded as April 28th, 1838 because that was the occasion of their very first price list.  All of the company’s anniversaries are based off of that date meaning that 2018 marks the 180th anniversary of the brand.  To honor the affair, Pelikan is releasing a very limited edition fountain pen called the Spirit of 1838.  We get our first glimpse of this new model thanks to the German retailer Fritz-Schimpf.  You may recall similar releases in the past such as the M750 and M760 which honored the 150th anniversary in 1988.  We also saw the M101N Jubilee Pen in 2013 which was a run of just 238 pens marking the company’s 175th anniversary.  Now the Spirit of 1838 follows a similar vein, being released in an edition of just 180 pens.


Pelikan M750 Fountain Pen

Pelikan M760 Fountain Pen

M750 and M760 – 1988 – 150th Anniversary


Pelikan M101N Jubilee Pen

M101N Jubilee Pen – 2013 – 175th Anniversary


The Spirit of 1838 will be a limited edition fountain pen based on the M1000 chassis.  The pelican beak clip, fittings, and barrel will be made of sterling silver meaning this M1000 will be heavier than the standard edition models.  The body of the pen is Pelikan Spirit of 1838 Limited Edition Fountain Pensculpted with longitudinal lines along its length.   To commemorate the anniversary, the engraving “180 Years Pelikan 1838 – 2018” is applied to the barrel.  Near the piston knob, the stamp Ag 925 indicates the silver content.  The usual Souverän furniture is included here including a single trim ring on the section, two trim rings on the piston knob, and two cap bands.  Behind the cap threads on the section sits a smoke colored ink window.  The end of the piston knob is engraved with the edition number and the cap top depicts the standard single chick logo embellished with three diamonds along the nest.  These are meant to represent trust, reliability, and production in Germany.  The nib will be a rhodium plated 18C-750 gold with a special engraving just for the anniversary.


Pelikan Spirit of 1838 Limited Edition Fountain Pen

Left: The limited edition cap top depicting a diamond encrusted nest representing truth, reliability, and German production. Right: The end of the piston knob engraved with the limited edition number.


If the above sounds appealing, you’d better not wait too long to order since only 180 of these limited edition pens will be up for grabs.  Availability is anticipated for the end of April.  Due to the exclusivity of the release, you can expect to pay a hefty fee.  Early pricing is around €3,000 (~$3,700) for customers in the EU.  For those of us who reside in the USA, we can subtract the 19% VAT.  While this is a nice looking pen, I think that the price and exclusivity will keep it out of reach for the large majority of us.  Still, it’s not hard to admire this silver behemoth.

Pelikan Spirit of 1838 Limited Edition Fountain Pen

Spirit of 1838 – 2018 – 180th Anniversary

27 responses

  1. Beautiful, but it would be too big for my hands anyway. Thanks for the report, though. It does seem to be a suitable commemoration of the big anniversary.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like this one is getting a lot of negative comments and I have to say that I can understand where they are coming from. To share my personal views of this pen, I like the black and silver combo and I like the lines engraved on the barrel. Not a surprise that they would pick their flagship model as the anniversary pen. I think the text along the barrel really cheapens the look and the nib could have been better executed. I think the pen is the epitome of conservative German sensibilities. I was hoping for more from a company that has given us a lot of nice releases in the last few years. The price tag here seems also way our of proportion for what you’re getting. As far as commemorative pens go, Pelikan’s 75 year Anniversary pen (1929-2004) was much more eye catching. I will happily pass on this one and save my money for some of the other releases in the pipeline. That said, I’m sure that these will sell out to die hard collectors but I hope Pelikan is not tone deaf to their fan base’s reaction.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Joshua,
      I celebrate the 180 years of the individual spirit of Pelikan no matter what they put out as a commerative pen created by its corporate entity for profit. I have seen in the past that they create so few of these types and and even fewer make their way to the States at a price that is outside of many individuals budgets. I hope that they continue to fan the spirit that has brought them this far and keep giving to people like us who have contributed and celebrate this milestone with them fine pens so that we can continue to write our history with them.


      • Loyalty is a sadly neglected virtue that civilization can’t live without. Your celebration of this memorial to 180 years of Pelikan tradition is heartening. Perhaps we could allow ourselves a little lament too, without calling into doubt our loyalty and gratitude, when the aesthetic judgment behind I believe the most nobly designed fountain pens of all, falters? Another venerable tradition, not unrelated, warns that when regard for goodness and truth decline, beauty goes with them. But in fact it’s my place only to admire, because I would not buy such a large pen in any case.


        • I can see both sides of this equation. I think the uninspired look of this one hits hard because we are loyal and love the Pelikan spirit. Whether one is in a position to purchase it or not, it feels like a let down.


  3. I personally think that it is a shame that Pelikan has created a pen that is so limited and priced out of reach of most of their die hard fans. The fact that it is Pelikan 180th year for most of us will just pass by as a mear mention.
    On the other hand wouldn’t it have been nice to release something that all aficionados of Pelikan would buy and hold as a keepsake to show that, yes I celebrated 180 years of the brand.


    • Now there is a thought that I can get behind. I can understand the company wanting something exclusive but it wouldn’t hurt to have an anniversary pen that also feels a bit more inclusive. Oh well, it is what it is.


  4. This pen is a disappointment to me as well, and for the same reasons. The earlier commemoratives you showed are much more attractive.


  5. Am I missing something of cultural significance? Whis is the 180th anniversary such a big deal? I don’t recall a 140th anniversary or 160th anniversary pen.


    • Nothing that springs to mind. I believe that an anniversary is a good marketing excuse to release an exclusive model at a premium price. We’ve seen anniversary pens at 150, 170, 175, and now 180 years. They also released a 75 year pen for 1929-2004 which celebrated a different anniversary. I doubt there is any cultural significance behind it. It does look like they have started favoring 5 year cycles though.

      Liked by 1 person

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  7. Thanks Joshua. I think for 190th anniversary they will do one better, a customized engraving to the buyer’s liking: “Return if found to Tacky McTackyson”. 🙂


  8. I’m sad to have missed the M101N Jubilee, but that one was on another level. This one instead… Er… no sorry, it’s just an expensive but anonymous design. What a pity.


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