News: M800 Brown-Black Special Edition

Pelikan M800 Brown Black Fountain PenSeptember is usually good for news of a new release (or two) from Pelikan and 2019 proves to be no exception.  History has taught us that this is the month some of the bigger birds get unveiled.  Last year, it was the M800 Stone Garden.  This year, we have the M800 Brown-Black Souverän fountain pen.  The newest special edition out of Hannover sports a brown and black striped barrel with a very warm tone, an appearance that could easily be mistaken for a Tortoiseshell design upon first glance.  Those who were excited by Pelikan’s use of sparkles in the forthcoming M200 Star Ruby may be disappointed by the more conservative Brown-Black.  As best I can recollect, this is the first traditionally striped pattern to grace the M8xx line since 2014’s Stresemann.  Availability is anticipated starting sometime in mid-October.

The barrel of this new M800 is constructed from cellulose acetate and depicts alternating brown and black stripes.  The brown stripes have a very warm, almost golden, hue that contrast nicely with the black.  Complimenting the barrel are a cap, piston knob, and section made from a dark brown resin.   Also found here is Pelikan’s typical 24 carat gold-plated furniture which includes a single trim ring at the section, two trim rings at the piston knob, two cap bands, a plated cap top with a single chick logo, and a beak clip.  It is a bit difficult to tell for sure from the available photos but it does not appear that the Brown-Black has a discrete ink view window, much like some of the recent striped M6xx models.  The nib has Pelikan’s typical two-tone look thanks to its rhodium plating.  Made from 18C-750 gold, it will be available in the standard widths of EF, F, M, and B.  The M800 is one the company’s larger models measuring 5.59 inches capped with a stated ink capacity of 1.35mL.

Pelikan M800 Brown Black Fountain Pen

M800 Brown-Black (2019)

Pelikan M800 Tortoiseshell Brown Fountain Pen

M800 Tortoiseshell Brown (2013)

 

This special edition will also have a matching K800 ballpoint available for purchase.  The U.S. MSRP and retail pricing for the pair are unknown at this time.  Appelboom, the first vendor that I’ve seen to break today’s news, is offering the fountain pen for $515.94 when equipped with an F, M, or B nib and $568.98 with an EF nib.  In general, U.S. vendors have not been passing the EF premium along to consumers (likely due to the already significantly higher pricing found in the U.S. market).  The ballpoint is being offered for $361.64.  A few extra dollars can be trimmed off of these prices with some of the discount codes available through various European vendors.  While we await U.S. pricing, remember that the Stone Garden had an MSRP of $775 with a retail price around $620 domestically.  That should at least serve as a frame of reference and I would expect the Brown-Black to be priced similarly.  Retailers should be taking pre-orders starting in the next few days.

Pelikan K800 Brown Black Ballpoint Pen

K800

 

I had hoped that the Star Ruby was a sign that Pelikan might be embracing a more progressive design philosophy but the Brown-Black proves that isn’t the case.  Pelikan once again retreats to the comfort and safety of yet another variation of brown.  Don’t get me wrong, this M800 certainly is handsome in its own right.  The warm tones of brown look like they would fit in nicely alongside the Burnt Orange that I usually like to pull out this time of year.  The Brown-Black’s look does skirt awfully close to a tortoise-like finish (as demonstrated in the comparison above) which some might appreciate but it is sufficiently different to allow it to stand on its own.  What are your thoughts on the new Brown-Black M800 and will you be adding one of these to your flock?

61 responses

  1. For me, I love this pen (though I did also initially think it was the tortoise). Have already preordered from Appelboom. Looks lovely and great for Autumn, but then I really love brown pens when done well.

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    • I do think this one is done well. Congrats on the pre-order. I think this one is going to go into my fall rotation next to the Burnt Orange. I think that would make a nice pairing.

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      • Joshua, what are your thoughts on the Burnt Orange now after some time with it? How irritating is the lack of an ink level monitor, or do you just keep an ink bottle handy and refill on a regular interval? Or does the (1.3ml-ish?) reservoir last long enough until you do normal maintenance and rotate to another pen?

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        • The Burnt Orange is a personal favorite, particularly in the fall which is when I tend to pull it out. The lack of an ink view window doesn’t really bother me too much as I like the look of it without. For my purposes, I never write a pen dry usually and you can always refill intermittently. D

          Liked by 1 person

  2. My thoughts are that yet again here is another M800 design I would love to have, but the M600 is perfect for my small hand. Maybe I can swing it. I still haven’t gotten an M800 because I suspect it won’t be that comfortable for me in the long run. As a woman, it eludes me why they assume that only people with smaller hands (presumably women) would want only super feminine or blingy colors.

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    • I anticipate that there will be M6xx news by year’s end that is neither super feminine nor blingy but your sentiments are well taken. A tortoise finish in the M6xx line for instance feels like money in the bank.

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  3. I think it’s gorgeous. Fortunately (for my wallet), the m800 series is too large for my stubby little hands.

    I get what you’re saying about so many variations on brown pens, Joshua, but there’s something about them that I respond to. I love the tortoises and snapped up the brown marbled m200 in a hot minute. (I gravitate towards tortoises by other penmakers, too.) I hope, like the Stresemann, this new pattern will some day be offered in m600 or m400 sizes.

    I’m still withholding judgement on the Star Ruby sparkler until I see it. I love me a snazzy acrylic, but I may have to draw the line at sparkles.

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    • It does seem that Pelikan reserves some of their nicest finishes for the M8xx line which is a shame. I’ve been carrying around an M415 tortoise lately and really appreciate the size of the smaller birds.

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  4. I still have your previous article, Silvered Souverans, floating around in my brain. The Brown-Black would be spectacular with a sterling silver cap like the M430. I hate to say it, but the brown cap is too pedestrian. Maybe I will hang onto my Benjamins until a silvered M800/805 is offered.

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  5. Certainly a very classy look as can be expected from Pelikan. And one I like. But M8xx pens are far beyond my limited financial means. I’m sure it will be an excellent pen for those lucky enough to get one. Thanks for keeping everyone up to date.

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  6. Argh! Just ordered and waiting on an M1005 and now this…….why are you (Pelikan) doing this to me?
    Whilst I’m generally not a fan of gold hardware on the Souveran this will make a great exception.
    A very appealing finish.

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  7. Another fantastic review. Thanks Josh. It’s a nice looking pen. To me the best striped color since red but it’s boring. If money was no object? Sure I’d definitely get one but unless something amazing occurs … not likely. 😊

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    • I tend to agree. This is a solid entry in Pelikan’s line-up that I’m sure will be well received but it doesn’t quite wow in that “must have” kind of way. Still, I’m sure that I’ll be adding one to my flock.

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  8. This looks stunning, it will be striped like the red, blue or green which is very uniform in color and does not have the color variations in the tortoiseshell, if the black parts as you mentioned going to be dark brown, then this pen definitely gorgeous ..! cant wait to add it to my m800 collection.

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    • I think that the stripes between the brown will be a true black rather than a dark brown. We will have to wait to see one in order to be sure but that makes sense based on the naming of this model.

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  9. An excellent and detailed review. An interesting colour and as always it will be a well-engineered pen but as you observe Joshua, not a radical departure from the general pattern of Pelikans. I am very pleased and happy with my M800 in blue and unfortunately I am not sufficiently moved to go for the brown version.

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    • The blue striped is one of my favorite finishes, particularly with the palladium plating. While the blue models have cooler tones, I think the warmth of this one will be welcome.

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  10. This is a very attractive pen, but I wonder whether I can justify buying it since I already have the M800 Tortoise and the M400 Tortoise. I appreciate the brown stripes on this new version are slightly different to the Tortoise pattern, but I think I would need to see the new brown version in a video before deciding whether to order one- (Joshua: please do a comprehensive review on Youtube of this new pen if you have the chance! Your video reviews are excellent!)

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    • Thank you for the kind words about my reviews. I believe that I will take a closer look at this one once it arrives and compare it with the tortoise. I think it’s only natural for people to draw comparisons between the two but I think that they will come off as distinctly different when placed side by side.

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      • I hope you are right that the Brown Black is distinct from the Tortoise: it is very attractive pen but, having over a dozen M800 (!), I am struggling to justify yet another. This is especially after having recently bought the Blue Dunes which, contrary to other commentators below, is a very attractive pen when held in the hand. The photos of the Blue Dunes don’t do it justice- or perhaps I was lucky that the online dealer I bought mine from was kind enough to send me pictures of three Blue Dunes from which I could select the prettiest.

        There is something about the Pelikan design and generally superb standard of quality control that makes me buy them again and again… But then I tell my long suffering wife that she is lucky this addiction only concerns fountain pens- it could be gambling or liquor…!

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        • Yes, the Blue Dunes must be seen in person before passing final judgement. Pelikan’s design is timeless which is likely why they’ve been able to make pens for the past 90 years. I use the same argument with my wife but don’t get very far. Hope you have better luck than I do on that front.

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  11. I have to confess I think this is a very attractive pen and one which may convince me to part with hard-earned cash. It is, to my mind, a wise move to create something similar to the tortoise brown M800 model introduced a few years ago, given the popularity of that model. People went (and still go) crazy for that model. It also reminds me somewhat of the Grand Place model, which was also popular and quite beautiful. I am pleased with how attractive this design is, given how unappealing I found the Blue Dunes model.

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    • The Blue Dunes is better in person but I can see where you’re coming from. The Tortoise is ver popular and this one is sure to be a hit. It actually reminds me a bit of the M800 Raden Royal Gold based on the warmth of the tone.

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      • You’re not the first person to say that about the Blue Dunes. Alas, I have not seen one in person so I couldn’t comment on it specifically. There is something about the particular shade of blue that I do not care for on the particular style of acrylic resin they used. Each to their own, however, but I think the brown-black will be for me. 🙂

        Thanks for the good article and preview. 🙂

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  12. While I understand your desire for a more progressive design on the M800 I don’t think I can blame them for returning to a more conservative design when it looks this good. As you mentioned earlier, it has been a while since Pelikan has released a more traditional M800 so this should be a nice treat for those who have been waiting for one.

    I’m personally waiting for a Stresemann M605. I picked up the Vibrant Blue M805 earlier this year as a gift to myself but it’s a touch too heavy for my liking. I’m fairly certain now that the M60X series is the perfect size for me.

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  13. Great preview, Joshua. I particularly appreciate the side-by-side photos of this one and the 2013 tortoise.

    I agree that this one will be well received and I’ll add one to my collection, no doubt. I wonder if there will be transparency in the barrel allowing us to see the ink level, given that the stripes will be brown/black. This finish reminds me of the finishes that they have been doing in the white M600 series.

    Now, of course, I’d rather see a red marbled M800. But, I guess that will not happen anytime soon. At least Pelikan is getting creative at one thing: naming 🙂 . Perhaps this will allow them to get out of the conundrum with the limited edition M600 Tortoise and finally offer a tortoise-like finish in that size, for the many fans that prefer the M60x.

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    • I don’t believe there will be much transparency in the barrel but we’ll have to wait to get it in hand to know for sure. I wouldn’t anticipate an M6xx tortoise in the near term but I do expect another well received finish to grace that line sooner rather than later.

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  14. I am generally a fan of the M200/400 and M600 sizes for my everyday carry needs (I like the lighter weight for extended writing), and I keep a couple of M1000s for special occasions (flashy big, yet a bit more understated and less trite than, say, a Montblanc), but I have up to now not really considered an M800.

    However, this brown is to me really attractive, and may cause me to pull the trigger on my first M800. I personally like the simple sophistication of the Pelikan striped design theme, and this is for my taste an intriguing variation on that theme.

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  15. An absolutely beautiful pen but then again I’m a brown pen fan. I think the black/brown with gold furniture is a great combo and there is a very good possibility of this bird joining my flock. As always thank you for the heads up Joshua on another Pelikan treasure.

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  16. Beautiful pen, just switching out the traditional green stripes to brown has resulted in a great color combination. Pelikan was certainly not innovative, and doesnt deserve any credit for being bold, but the serendipitous result is clearly beautiful. I agree there are shades of the more expensive Raden Royal Gold here, but this new bird may even look better given the obvious warmth of the brown color.

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    • When they keep cranking out beautiful pieces like this, it’s hard to be upset by the lack of innovation. I’m sure they won’t change behavior unless the market forces them too and if people keep handing over their money, they won’t ever have to.

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  17. I thought that this pen looked familiar–it’s the large version of the M400 Tortoise. To make sure, pulled out my Tortoise and sure enough.

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    • The M400 Tortoiseshell Brown from 2016 and the M800 Tortoiseshell Brown from 2013 are very similar in appearance. The Brown-Black will be distinctly different from the two when put side by side.

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  18. Thanks for the review. I personally think the more conservative “classic” Pelikans are more attractive than most of their recent efforts to be more “innovative.” Again, my opinion, but they have yet to do better than the M620 City/Famous Places pens. (He said, with a Piazza Navono in his shirt pocket.) I have the M800 and M400 TS’s of recent release. Somehow, the M800 Black Brown seems more attractive to me. I have one on order, with a BB nib(!) We’ll see.

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