Pelikan got out ahead of their vendors today, taking the opportunity to break the news of their next big fountain pen release via their Instagram account. Rumors about this one started at the end of March and now we finally have our first look at the upcoming M605 Tortoiseshell-Black. This newest M605 takes the iconic tortoiseshell finish that many of us know and love in a somewhat new yet still familiar direction. For the longest time, we simply had Tortoiseshell finishes in Brown. White was added to the palate about twenty years ago. More recently, the company played with shades of Red, also in an M6xx sized model interestingly enough. This new model will mark the first time that we encounter one in black. Not only will the finish display an interplay between hues of black and white, that pattern will be married to palladium plated trim. Most of the tortoise finishes to date have all featured gold trim so this will be something that further distinguishes this model. This new release will be put out as a special edition meaning that the production run is to be limited. Availability is expected for some time at the end of May. Read on to find out all that we know so far.
The M605 line of Souveräns has been getting a lot more love in recent years. The last model to come from that series was 2021’s Green-White. Many people favor the M6xx for its superb balance and comfortable size, a meaningful compromise between the comparably small M4xx and the relatively large M8xx. Regarding this new model, Pelikan’s promotional literature states;
“For those of you who are looking for individuality, the new Special Edition Souverän 605 Tortoiseshell-Black is a matching series. Each writing instrument is a truly unique piece. The distinctive series, consisting of a piston fountain pen and a ballpoint pen with twist mechanism, captivates with its appealing and individual play of colors with black and white nuances. This means that no two writing instruments look the same, which is what makes this series extremely interesting.”
The M605 features a barrel that appears to display the normal variation that we tend to see with the tortoiseshell variants. The browns, greens, oranges, and reds of the past give way to blacks and whites playfully interspersed across the barrel’s striped pattern. Because of the manufacturing process, no two pens will be exactly alike. Separating those dichromatic stripes are what I expect to be strips of black, likely opaque, based on the most recent trends out of Hannover. The barrel’s finish is set off by a cap, piston knob, and section done in black resin. There are two trim rings at the piston knob, two cap bands, a beak clip, and a trim ring at the section, all plated in palladium. The cap top is likewise covered in palladium and features Pelikan’s single chick logo. The nib too is plated giving the 14C-585 gold a monochromatic, silvered appearance. These will likely be available in the standard nib widths of EF, F, M and B. In addition, a ballpoint with a matching finish complete with a twist mechanism will be available as well.
M605 Tortoiseshell-Black Fountain Pen
K605 Tortoiseshell-Black Ballpoint Pen
The new M605 Tortoiseshell-Black is slated for late-May availability. Pricing has started to become a bit clearer as vendors have begun to list these pens on their sites. Domestic MSRP and retail pricing here in the USA are still unknown but overseas vendors seem to be asking somewhere between $350 and $525 for the fountain pen. Don’t forget that there is a premium to be paid should you select an EF nib which will raise the cost. I suspect that retail pricing in the USA will come in around $600 if past releases give us any indication. The ballpoint pen looks to cost between $250 and $300 when purchased abroad, again depending on the vendor. Retailers are taking pre-orders now.
I have a suspicion that many will lament the fact that this is coming out in an M605 rather than an M805 or even M1005 sized pen. For those to whom that applies, I would encourage you to take heart. If this finish sells as well as I suspect that it will, then there is a more than reasonable hope of seeing it brought to some of the bigger model lines down the road (à la the Stresemann). The only thing that might cripple this one is the pricing, but the jury is still out on that. While the photos of the M605 look nice enough, I have a suspicion that it’s going to be much more of a stunner in real life as Pelikan’s promotional shots tend to undersell their products. I do like how they put this black and white color scheme together with silver appearing trim. The barrel kind of reminds me of the striped Parker Duofolds from the 1940s, not at all an unpleasant association. I think that this design will make for a sharp pen whose elements will flow nice, one into another. So what is the verdict from the gallery? Is this new special edition worth adding to your flock? Is the M605 size an absolute deal breaker for you? Feel free to leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
UPDATE 4/14/2022: This post has been updated with additional photos and information regarding expected retail pricing.