News: M605 Tortoiseshell-Black Special Edition

Pelikan M605 Tortoiseshell-Black

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.

Pelikan M605 Tortoiseshell-Black

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.

53 responses

  1. It’s interesting you mention Parker. There’s something about the grey tortoise strips that makes me think of the Vacumatics. I also note that like me they are pairing their M60x pens with china.

    For a while I wasn’t sold on the M600 size, preferring the smaller M400. They’ve grown in me though. I may have to wait a bit for this purchase though.

    Or, there’s such a gothic elegance about this pen, maybe I won’t wait.

    Like

  2. The M6xx series is the perfect size for me and silver trims are my thing. I’ve been contemplating plunking money down for the red tortoise, but now those plans are messed up and I don’t know which I’d prefer: the red or this black. Timing!

    Like

    • That Tortoiseshell-Red is a beauty to be sure but if you can only afford one, I’d definitely wait to see what this one looks like in real life. Once I have a chance to review it, I’ll put the two side by side.

      Liked by 1 person

    • IMHO, there’s no contest between the red tortoise and the new black and white.
      For me, the red is a real stunner and unlike all the other tortoises.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gosh, this looks really good and I think I will be very tempted by this. I don’t have an M6xx either so it will be hard to pass this stunning design by! 😁

    It is nice to see Pelikan trying new things and using new and interesting colour combinations.

    Like

    • While it is different, it feels familiar at the same time and I like that. I think the design is a big win for the company if it looks half as good in real life as it does in the photos.

      Like

  4. It’s elegant, but I have to admit a little too monochromatic for me. Maybe because I was picturing something like the Red tortoise (which has really grown on me) but with black finial, or a nod to their vintage tortoise. Still, I will probably get it, seeing as the m600 is my favorite size! Will the Stresemann be as popular after this model, I wonder? I hope the stripes are transparent. It would really make this design amazing.

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    • I first thought of a mangled Stresemann, perhaps something gone awry on the factory floor, when I saw this. The more I look at it, however, the more I think it stands on its own and is distinguished from the Stresemann. I think they cater to two different sensibilities and I don’t expect one to cannibalize the other.

      Like

    • I’m also wondering about whether the stripes will be slightly translucent. I assume not, based on the recent article here about all future Stresemanns being opaque, but does anyone know for sure one way or the other?

      Like

  5. It looks incredible nice.

    I am sending my M101N Tortoise to repair in Germany and I contacted Mr. Jens Meyer since here in Mexico I could not find someone to do it. Excellent response and service

    I took the opportunity to give my comment on the must for translucent and I also mentiones that if a small pen like the M101 can fit a window, why not this one?

    Like

    • Jens is at the top of the food chain so I’m glad that you were able to share your views, I’m sure the same view that many of us share.. Hope that you get your M101N back soon and in great working order.

      Like

  6. Even though I have a large M600/605 collection, I think this one is a ‘must have’.

    I am also pleased and relieved to see that Pelikan is still producing stunning new models. This one will fly off the shelves and hopefully will help that wonderful pen manufacturer after two very difficult years!

    Like

  7. I am also very excited and intrigued by your hint of new M800s later this year. Do you have any idea what these could be?

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    • Well, we are looking at the 40th anniversary of the Souverän plus Pelikan previously hinted at some art inspired pens on their Instagram account. Both are possibly in the cards for this year depending on how things play out.

      Like

      • Yes, I talked to a Pelikan rep at a local pen fair last fall who told me the same thing – that there are anniversary Souverans in the works. Personally, I’m hoping for new M800s.

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        • That’s my expectation but I hear that the anniversary Souverän may be poised to underwhelm. Haven’t seen any pics yet so no way to know for sure. Will just have to wait and see.

          Like

    • No official word yet and no examples in the wild to gauge. My guess is that it will be opaque but that is not yet confirmed. The Tortoiseshell-Red was opaque so I’m expecting much of the same.

      Like

    • A common question. I’m expecting it to be completely opaque but have no proof of that just yet. The Tortoiseshell-Red lacked an ink view and I see no reason for the company to do any differently here, particularly in light of their recent notice to vendors.

      Like

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  9. Wasn’t sure what a “Black Tortoise” might look like back when the rumors started but this looks nice. The Red Tortoise showed the M6xx wasn’t too large for me so I’ll most likely get this one, too.

    Like

      • I’m still trying to figure out what this pen looks like.

        Whereas the online photos of the red tortoise were very clear to me, and left no doubt that I wanted it, I just can’t make out the tortoise pattern on this new one.

        Is it just black and white, or is there more variation, light/shade, etc.?

        Like

  10. Add me to voices of “yes, definitely”. The M6xx is my favorite size/weight, and the look is outstanding. This one definitely joins my flock.

    Like

    • I haven’t heard of anything specific as of yet. I think they are focusing on the anniversary Souverän and a new M800. I expect that we’ll have a Maki-e or Raden this year but I haven’t heard of anything definitive.

      Like

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  12. Any suggestions for what ink to put into the black tortoise M605? Mine just arrived in the mail. It is an extra fine. I have found a few shimmer inks but don’t want to risk that. I tend to like somewhat saturated easy to read colors but would take a chance on something readable& beautiful if it existed?
    Help. I have a lot of black and gray inks that are always available.

    Like

    • No wrong answer here. No ink window to worry about staining so the sky really is the limit. I’m not big on shimmer inks myself. I like a nice blue-black like Pelikan’s 4001 or Aurora. Iroshizuku Take-sumi also comes to mind. Rohrer & Klinger’s Salix would be another good option. I’m pretty boring about ink though so don’t take my word for it.

      Like

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