News: King Michael I of Romania – Royal Edition

Pelikan's King Michael I of Romania - Royal EditionWhen you dig back through Pelikan’s long and storied history of pen making, you can find all sorts of odd editions made for local markets or done by regional distributors.  Some of those models came from company sanctioned production runs while others had a more dubious genesis.  The M800 Laser (2000) comes to mind as a good example of a strictly regional release.  The Laser was an exclusive limited edition of only 100 pens which were specially engraved by Visconti and authorized by Pelikan Milan.  This pen was made only for the Italian market, but it was not warmly welcomed in Hannover resulting in several being destroyed but that is a story for another day.  My point is that it has been some time since we’ve seen a truly regional release from Pelikan which is why May 30th will be a stand out day in the company’s history.  On that day, Pelikan Romania unveiled a new fountain pen titled “King Michael I of Romania – Royal Edition.”  This model is not like many of the other Souveräns that we’ve seen and its unveiling was met with much more ceremony than we’ve been accustomed to.  Read on to learn more about this neat and ultra-limited edition.

 

Pelikan's King Michael I of Romania - Royal Edition

The black cap is embellished with the signature of King Michael I

 

Michael I (Mihai I in Romanian) lived from October 25, 1921 until December 5, 2017.  He has the distinction of being the last king of Romania having reigned from July 20, 1927 until June 8, 1930 and then again from September 6, 1940 until his abdication on December 30, 1947.  Michael first ascended to the throne upon the passing of his grandfather, King Ferdinand I.  He was a minor when he took the throne due to his father’s (Carol II) renouncement of his royal rights and exile some years earlier.  He again became Prince Michael upon his father’s return to Romania which is why his reign was not continuous.  The 1940s were a tumultuous time and war was afoot.  Carol II was deposed in 1940 allowing Michael to retake the throne.  The government at this time was led by a military dictator who aligned himself and the country with Nazi Germany.  King Michael took part in a coup that successfully overthrew the country’s leadership and installed a new head who declared allegiance to the Allies.  All was not well however, and a pro-Soviet government came into power circa 1945.  Michael tried to oppose the communist controlled regime though was largely unsuccessful.  On December 30, 1947, he was forced to abdicate his throne and was sent into exile after having his citizenship stripped and his properties confiscated.  The communist leadership of Romania was overthrown in 1989 but Michael was not allowed to return to the country until 1992.  That visit drew many admirers and the post-communist government was alarmed by Michael’s popularity so they barred him from further visits.  It wasn’t until 1997 when Emil Constantinescu rose to leadership after winning the presidential election that Michael’s citizenship was restored and many of his confiscated properties were returned to his family.  He was the last King of Romania because he produced no male heirs and the rules of the line of succession do not allow for a female to take the throne.

 

 

King Michael I was a beloved monarch and now he is being honored with a King’s pen.  With its development beginning in 2017, this Royal Edition is built off of the M800 chassis and is made from black resin for both the cap and barrel.  The cap top is Pelikan’s standard 24 carat gold plated single Pelikan's King Michael I of Romania - Royal Editionchick logo which is accented by the usual trimmings of a Souverän.  Pelikan’s standard beak clip and double cap bands remain unchanged.  The side of the cap depicts the golden signature of the King, “Mihai.”  The piston knob on this edition stands out as unique.  It eschews the standard trim for a single, thicker gold plated ring.  Engraved on that ring is the royal motto of the Kingdom of Romania, “NIHIL SINE DEO,” which is Latin for “Nothing Without God.”  Two thirds up the barrel is a circular brass medallion plated in 24 carat gold done in two shades.  The medallion depicts the King’s crown.  Just beyond that is a green ink window and the section is adorned with a single golden trim ring.  Finally, the pen is finished off with Pelikan’s standard 18C-750 two toned gold logo nib.  The dimensions of this royal edition are the same as for any other M800 which means it has a length of 5.5 inches, a diameter of 0.52 inches, a weight of 1.02 ounces, and an ink capacity of 1.35mL.  The pen itself comes packaged in a very attractive gift box with a specially labeled bottle of Pelikan’s 4001 Royal Blue ink.  This edition is limited to just 300 pieces and carries a sales price (excluding VAT) of 3800 Romanian Leu (~$894).  It will be sold through Herlitz Romania SRL.

 

Pelikan's King Michael I of Romania - Royal Edition

A deviation from the standard, this thick trim ring at the piston knob depicts the royal motto of the Kingdom of Romania

 

The King Michael I of Romania Royal Edition was revealed in a manner that is unusual for a Pelikan branded product.  Pelikan Romania’s Facebook page teased the announcement starting 30 hours before it’s unveiling.  At first “Symbol, faith, legacy” captioned a photo of Pelikan’s logo nib.  At 24 hours, “Tradition, loyalty, honor” captioned that same nib in profile.  With 9 hours to go, we saw Michael’s signature with the quote, ” The world of tomorrow cannot exist without morals, without faith and memory.”  On launch day, the word “Legacy” accompanied the text, “Letter of the King” which was the title of the launch event.  Later that evening (Thursday, May 30, 2019), the pen was officially unveiled at Clubul Pelikan's King Michael I of Romania - Royal EditionDiplomatic in Bucharest, Romania.  The event was well attended, including Her Majesty Princess Margareta, the Romanian Crown Custodian, and her husband, His Royal Highness Prince Radu along with representatives of civil society as well as journalists.  While the design phase was begun within the King’s lifetime, he sadly did not live to see its completion.  The first copy of the series would have been offered to King Michael of course but was presented to the crown’s custodian in his stead.  They have decided that this should remain the “King’s Pen” and be displayed at Peleș Castle in the Carpathian Mountains.  The next four pens were auctioned off and the funds donated to the Peleș Royal Patrimony Association whose purpose is dedicated to protecting, preserving, restoring, and capitalizing on the cultural, historic, artistic, technical, and architectural heritage of the royal domain.

Pelikan's King Michael I of Romania - Royal Edition

Pelikan’s standard two tone 18C-750 logo nib completes this Royal Edition

 

This is a limited release meant for a local market.  As such, it will not be coming to a retailer near you.  Still, it is a wonderful pen that honors a man who stood up to the evil forces of his day and suffered for it, earning his country’s admiration and respect along the way.  I don’t know if we’ll see more pens like this come to market from Pelikan, but I can only hope that we do.  If you’ve read this far and are thinking to yourself about how you might acquire one of these, it is no simple feat.  There appears to be a registration open to those 18 and older where you lodge your intention to buy.  The seller then reviews those submissions in the order received and decides who might get a pen.  The registration is not a reservation and there is no guarantee to receive the product.  I’m not sure what selection criteria Herlitz will use to distribute these but with such a limited quantity available, it is likely that these won’t be around for very long.  Since the product page is only available in Romanian and the registration not easily found, I presume that most of the models are likely to stay close to home, perhaps by design.

Pelikan's King Michael I of Romania - Royal Edition

Each pen is accompanied by a bottle of Pelikan’s 4001 Royal Blue ink specially labeled for this edition

 

Pelikan's King Michael I of Romania - Royal Edition

The presentation box for the this model is rather disitinctive

 

 


 

Further Reading:
The Royal Family of Romania’s Web Page & Event Recap

35 responses

  1. Beautiful pen, interesting history honoring what was obviously a brave man of principle, I would love to own one and like you I would certainly enjoying seeing more pens of the type from Pelikan. Thanks for another great read Joshua.

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  2. Joshua,

    Thank you for drawing attention to this interesting version of the M800. I have been to Romania many times and read a lot about the country and its history. The 1920s and particularly the 1930s were a dreadful period in Romania with fascistic and racist organisations engaging in violence against Romanian Jews and liberals or any opponents, with assassination the typical resort in political argument.
    It is a wonderful country and people with fantastic food and wine and countryside. Oh, and the music is really good too. One of the places that I have visited is one of the properties restored to the Romanian royal family: Peleș Castle in the Carpathian Mountains. It is in a stunning location and the castle itself is stunning inside and out.
    I will have to keep a look out for this pen for there was a link to the region where I live in England to Romania… and to the Romanian royal family’s descendants.
    With best wishes,
    Mick

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    • Thanks for sharing your experiences with the region Mick. The history of the area was fascinating as I was doing my research. Not sure that I’ll ever make it over there myself but Peleș Castle would be on my must see list.

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    • I’m not sure whether you can or not at this point. Trying to track one down myself. I’ll let you know if I have any luck and point you in that direction if feasible.

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  3. Thank you for this fascinating post, an education as always.
    The pen is gorgeous and out of my $$ comfort zone, but I’d love to have one. It does not seem to be on the distributor’s website yet. Just looking!

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    • I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the post. I try to keep them interesting and I like the research. I don’t think we’ll see this on the distributors page. They have set up a special product page for this one.

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  4. 200 posts! Congratulations!
    I’m looking forward to reading the next 200.

    As for the Mihai I pen, it is a beauty. But, I doubt that I’ll be able to get one.
    Let us know if you manage to get one.

    Like

    • Thanks Luiz. I think Pelikan was surprised with the popularity of this one. Not sure they were quite expecting it. I’m still waiting to hear back. Haven’t gotten one yet.

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  5. I’m from Romania and I just saw this pen in an online store selling for aprox 1200$. No mention of a selection process. If u want the link, let me know, but I’m not sure they sell overseas, I asked them a while ago and they didnt.

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    • Thank you for the info Dan. While a nice pen, I think $1200 is a bit much. Looks like the retailer is trying to take advantage of a limited opportunity. Best of luck to them. I had registered and am still hopeful to secure one of the remaining pens though I haven’t heard back definitively yet.

      Like

    • Yes, I do in fact. The only way is to try through this website: https://literaderege.ro/. Once you register, you must await Pelikan to contact you. I registered a week ago and haven’t heard back yet. There aren’t a lot of pieces left unfortunately. I’m not sure that I will get one myself. Best of luck to you.

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  6. Great piece of writing and thank you for sharing a bit of history. Though perhaps he is not as well known as he would deserve, King Mihai is undoubtedly one of the great figures of xxth century monarchies. He is a direct descendant of Queen Victoria and is remembered not only for his heroic gestures but also for the great kindness he displayed in day to day life, ever since he was young. I hope you get your pen in due course, it should actually be seen around the world so that more people find out about King Mihai’s legacy. The making of this edition had received his approval though sadly he did not live to see it.

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    • Thanks! I certainly wasn’t aware until my research for the article. A fascinating story indeed of a genuinely good person that really is less widely known than it should be. I’m happy to say that my pen is in the mail and will hopefully arrive in a few weeks. I cannot wait. Given the uniqueness of it, it may just be fodder for a review.

      Like

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