News: Some Housekeeping Out Of Hannover

Pelikan logoIt can be quite frustrating when you finally decide upon buying a certain pen only to find that it is not just out of stock with your preferred vendor but others as well.   Such has been the case for perhaps the last six months for those in the market for a new Pelikan M800 or M1000 for instance.  Vendors have consistently been frustrated by estimated delivery schedules that seem to be constantly pushed back.  That’s not to say that some models aren’t making it out into circulation.  Special editions such as the M600 Tortoiseshell-Red and the M205 Petrol-Marbled have found their way into retail channels and consumer’s hands.  As I first reported in August of last year when discussing COVID-19’s impact on Pelikan’s operations, the global supply chain continues to feel the ramifications brought about by the coronavirus pandemic which is still infecting people across the globe.  This has hindered Pelikan from receiving certain materials necessary for their manufacturing in a timely manner while also disrupting the company’s ability to deliver its finished goods to their distribution partners effectively.  Last year, Pelikan’s Global Marketing Manager for Fine Writing Instruments, Jens Meyer, was optimistic that most issues would be hammered out by the fourth quarter of 2020.   In saying that, he also conceded that, for some select products, it might take a little bit longer to end the backlog, particularly with Pelikan’s standard assortment.  Since that backlog has now persisted through the first quarter of 2021, I reached back out to see where the company stood.  Read on to see just how he responded to that line of questioning.

Jens MeyerJens has a long history with Pelikan, working for the company over the last 20 years in various roles, all culminating in his current position of leadership.  Is it the pandemic that remains the source of blame for the persistent backlog or is something else afoot at Pelikan?  Vendors have been offered little in the way of official explanation leading some to question whether other factors may be at play.  The statement provided to me from Jens is as follows;

“There have been many factors causing difficulties in the manufacture of several Pelikan fine writing series. The unprecedented supply chain disruption caused by COVID-19 has caused many challenges in the manufacture of our Pelikan products.  Pelikan fortunately was able to deliver 6 new models during this time including the M200 Pastel Green, M1000 Raden Green Ray, Maki-e Kingfisher, M205 Moonstone, M405 Silver-White, and the M600 Tortoiseshell-Red.  Like most manufacturers, Pelikan has incurred the challenges of both factory shutdowns and lack of our skilled workers availability.  The good news is, that the majority of the backlog is currently in manufacturing and will be gradually shipped to distributors. The remaining backlog will be manufactured and shipped in May and June (2021).  By end of June we will be caught up and in stock of all Pelikan models.”

For those that have been frustrated by the current lack of inventory, it looks like relief is promised by the end of June barring any unforeseen circumstances.  Hopefully Pelikan will be able to get back on track just as they anticipate doing.

In addition to the lack of  availability of some models within their standard assortment, there have also been a few changes that have recently come to light that are worth mentioning as well.   First announced in January of this year, Golden Beryl, the eighteenth gemstone inspired ink in the Edelstein line-up and the tenth Ink of the Year, was originally slated for an April 2021 release.  That has now been pushed back one month with shipping anticipated to begin May 17th.  No explanation has been provided for the delay.  Golden Beryl has been highly anticipated as it is the first ever shimmering ink to come to the Edelstein line, so any delay is disappointing.  Still, those who have been wondering when it will actually drop can take heart in the fact that we are only a month away at this point provided there are no additional delays.

Edelstein Golden Beryl

 

Finally, Pelikan did a public mea culpa today.  The M205 Petrol-Marbled announced at the end of last month just started shipping out to consumers this week.  In the pre-release photos that accompanied the original announcement, the crown nut on the cap top was depicted as being plated in chromium.  This is not uncommon for Pelikan’s newer M2xx releases and looked quite nice.  This is also how all of Pelikan’s authorized vendors have the pen appearing in the advertisements on their sites.  It seems that this was not the correct cap top after all and that the shipped version of the pen will have just a “satined black ring” at the cap top.  The official update reads;

“Dear all!  We needed to correct the pictures of this beautiful series: Unfortunately we communicated pictures that do not show the right ring at the cap top. The correct version has a satined black ring at the cap top.  Please excuse the inconveniences caused.  We were so focused on the beautiful marbled material.”

It is a bit disappointing that this mistake was only identified/admitted to after pens have already started shipping.  Hopefully the change is not enough of a deal breaker to have anyone cancel or return their orders.  As far as aesthetics go, I liked it better with the chromium plated ring but that’s just my personal taste.  As I await my own pen to be delivered, I suspect that the uniformity of the marbling has the potential to be a bigger issue than a small amount of plated trim.

Pelikan M205 Petrol-Marbled

The photo on the left depicts how the M205 was shown in pre-release images and the one on the right is the current version that shows how the pen will ship. The only difference between the two is the ring along the cap top

 

Pelikan M205 Petrol-Marbled

The pen on top was the one shown in all of the pre-release images and the one that is most commonly seen on vendor web pages. The pen on the bottom shows the M205 as it will ship to customers

 

I hope that these small updates help to keep you informed of the most current developments at Pelikan, at least so far as the company is willing to share.  I expect that, as the backlog of standard models gets cleared, we’ll be seeing more special editions released, predominantly in the second half of the year so keep an eye on this blog for the latest news brought to you as soon as it becomes available. 

21 responses

  1. Thanks for the update.

    I have been waiting for shipment of a M900 Toledo since last November, and it is quite frustrating to have it pushed back every month. Let us hope the “end of June” is a firm deadline.

    I must say, the M205 Petrol looked better with the chromium cap top.

    Like

  2. Sadly, the black ring looks cheap compared to the original pics with a chrome ring.

    I truly appreciate your efforts in keeping us up to date. Thanks so much.

    Like

  3. Joshua, thanks for the quick update written.

    I am on the same boat here because that chromium cap nut factored a lot on my pre-order decision. I own an M215 Rings with that “satined” black cap nut, which is the only part I am not a big fan of for that particular M215. The prior design immediately attracted my attention when it was released. It could be a killing Pelikan release of the year.

    As you said, at this point, I hope we are getting a uniformed marbling.

    Like

    • From what I’ve seen in real world videos, some models will definitely have darker areas than others. I asked my vendor to look my pen over before shipping to ensure as uniform piece as is reasonable. We’ll see when it arrives.

      Like

  4. Thanks for the update. I wonder if a production issue forced the change? We’ll probably never know. The Petrol Marbled was definitely a pen I was considering, but pricing has been an issue. The ever increasing price of the least expensive model, and a line I do like very much, has put a brake on my purchase. The price difference between USA and EU is a crime. That doesn’t seem to happen with another luxury brand from Austria.

    Like

    • The price difference is stark and getting starker. Sadly, this is why I pick up most of my new pens from overseas. The savings are just too much to ignore. Chartpak is well aware of the discrepancy though I’m not sure how much or how quickly they can affect change if they were so inclined.

      Like

  5. The downgraded cap on M205 Petrol Marbled is probably not an oversight and likely the result of the supply chain issues. A careful company like Pelikan would not have let such a glaring mistake go out unless the Chrome cap was their original intent, but could no longer meet it given the pandemic logistics. The cheaper “stained” cap will get the pen to the market sooner and will likely save a few bucks during manufacture. While straight talk would have garnered sympathy, the “marketing speak” excuse that it was just a mistake in the picture sounds oily. Even the old classic black M205 had the aesthetically pleasing chrome fittings and the yearly editions that I can remember. Hope they go back to the classy chrome caps in future versions once the pandemic passes. Not calling them out unequivocally could make this cap a permanent thing in future editions which would be a shame.

    Like

    • Ray, I agree. I know “marketing speak” when I hear it, and their excuse does sound pretty shifty. I also hope they go back to the chrome cap. I don’t like the black crown at all, and I’m going to be sure to let Pelikan know about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wonder just how many people will be “letting them know about it” by choosing not to purchase when they otherwise might have. We’ll never know of course but I’m sure it’ll be more than a few.

        Like

    • We will likely never know. They announcement came as the pen was already on its way to consumers and therefore had already been shipped to vendors at least a week prior. That leads me to believe that manufacturing was underway a while back. I’m not sure why, if it’s a supply chain issue, they wouldn’t have been more up front about it. Its unfortunate though because it really does deflate the look to me. I will be reviewing this one because of the drama that its caused.

      Like

  6. Thanks for your usual high-quality reporting, Joshua.

    I was letting this new M205 model go by me, not because it is unattractive, but because it didn’t speak to me personally. The last minute ring swap would make it less attractive to me.

    I concur with the supply-chain hypothesis, and I am not buying the photo error lip service, either. When I look at the promo photos side by side, it is difficult to imagine that the chrome cap ring was not the original design intent. If dark was the intent, my advice would be, “go with the design as pictured with a bright cap ring.” It is interesting especially when one considers bright cap rings seem much more common (almost universal) in other M205 models.

    Like

    • Let’s look at it this way. Off the top of my head, I believe that there have been 17 M205 releases since the model line debuted, not counting the Petrol-Marbled. Only 2/17 had the satined black cap ring. The others were all chromium plated. The stand outs were 2005’s clear demonstrator and 2009’s light blue demonstrator. That’s it. So with 88% of the M205 line sporting chromium plated cap rings, it’s hard to not be suspicious of the corporate statement here. I just don’t know what they would stand to gain from a lack of transparency.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve received mine today. It’s beautiful. But yes, the marbling appears to be consistently inconsistent in recent models. My brown marbled had the same unevenness. Still, wonderful writer, very pretty, love the colour. Didn’t even notice the cap colour issue until I read about it just now…

    Like

  8. Well, I couldn’t resist that gorgeous blue coloring. I got mine just the other day, and it is beautiful. The colors are consistently inconsistent, but I got lucky, and there’s lots of blue marbling on mine. And the black satin crown doesn’t detract from it very much at all, although I still would’ve preferred the chrome finish. I’ve also ordered a 14K M405 nib, customized to a stub, from John Mottishaw at nibs.com. Can’t wait to put them together. John grinds awesome stubs.

    Like

    • I like the way you phrased that, “consistently inconsistent.” I might have to steal that if you don’t mind. Glad that you’re enjoying yours and that the lack of chromium isn’t a deal breaker for you. That nib is gonna be sweet.

      Like

  9. Pingback: Discord At The Factory: All Is Not Well At Pelikan’s Peine-Vöhrum Plant « The Pelikan's Perch

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: