Close up on a young Carol Anne Freeling answering the ring of an old rotary phone. After a brief pause to listen to the caller and with the phone still pressed to her ear, she glances over her left shoulder and says, “They’re ba-ack” in a lilting voice. This pop culture staple is from 1986’s Poltergeist II trailer and it was the first thing that sprang to my mind when I learned of the return of the M800 Black-Red. Yes, you read that correctly. News of the Black-Red’s triumphant return was first broken by The Nibsmith. Oh, it was a good run while it lasted. The M800 Black-Red was on the market as a regular production model circa 2001 until its discontinuation in 2012. Since then, they’ve become increasingly scarce on the secondary market and, consequently, all the more desirable. It is high on the list of many who missed out on the original run and one of the most requested pens that I hear people ask about Pelikan re-releasing. Someone in Hannover must have been listening because, as of mid-March, the M800 Black-Red will once again join the standard Souverän line-up and will likely be around for the foreseeable future. Read on to learn about all of the details.
Why is the Black-Red a must have for a lot of Pelikan fans? Seeing one up close, there is just something striking about those red stripes stretched across the girth of an M800 that makes one take notice. Pelikan’s literature describes it thusly;
“The Souverän M800 Black-Red is a timeless classic. The rich red tone in the striped pattern of the barrel harmonizes wonderfully with the elegant deep black components and is perfectly complemented by the golden trimmings. This classic has now returned to Pelikan’s standard product range.”
Like their other models, those iconic stripes that form the outer portion of the barrel are made from cellulose acetate. They are complimented by a black resin cap, piston knob, and section. The furniture is plated in 24 carat gold and includes two trim rings at the knob, two cap bands, a beak clip, and a trim ring at the section. The cap top features the company’s single chick logo also plated in gold. Pelikan’s M800 nib is a bi-color 18C-750 gold available in the standard widths of EF, F, M and B. For those interested, there will also be a matching ballpoint pen featuring a twist mechanism as well. Of course, the M800 is a bigger pen and won’t be a good fit for everyone. From what I can tell, there should be little to nothing that distinguishes this one from a late run model prior to the discontinuation (except for the barrel’s transparency which is to be subject of another post).
Provided this won’t be subject to the pandemic shortages that we’ve seen other Souveräns succumb to, Pelikan is claiming a mid-March availability. Global pricing is not yet known but, in the USA, the MSRP looks to be about $740 with a retail price in the neighborhood of $592. That’s not too bad when you consider recent auctions for these have been closing somewhere between $700 and $800. Of course, you may be able to find cheaper pricing abroad though no details from those regions are yet available.
There you have it. After a 10 year absence, the M800 Black-Red is coming home again, and I think many will be delighted by that fact. I’m sure a few may kick themselves for caving into the temptation of eBay and paying the markup pricing that low supply and high demand creates. None the less, if you’ve been missing out, now is your chance to pick up an awesome pen. Will this one be joining your flock? What other models might you like to see resurrected in the future? Leave me a comment with your thoughts below.