The Pencil Is Mightier Than The Pen – Part 1: An Exploration Of The 350

Pelikan 350 Mechanical Pencil

Pelikan introduced their first mechanical pencil to the market on June 26, 1934. The model 200, known as the AUCH-Pelikan, was initially designed to accompany the 100 and, later on, the 100N line of fountain pens. The AUCH-Pelikan continued to be manufactured until October of 1951 with little variation in its design over its 17-year production run. The 1950s would bring a flurry of new mechanical pencils, most designed with an eye towards matching Pelikan’s burgeoning line-up of fountain pens. Pelikan’s focus has always seemed to rest squarely upon their pens with add-ons like mechanical pencils being more of a secondary consideration. That isn’t to say that Pelikan’s mechanical pencils aren’t solid additions to their other writing implements, they absolutely are. In fact, the pencils that they produced were even somewhat ahead of their time when you compare them with other brands. It’s just that the development of their pencil lines has never seemed to be a primary goal. One of the first models to follow on the heels of the AUCH-Pelikan was the 350, first introduced on October 24, 1950. This model changed its looks several times over the course of its production run and is therefore worth exploring in a bit more detail. As far as companion pieces go, the 350 would actually have a few different dancing partners early on in its existence. Care should be taken to not confuse the vintage 350 mechanical pencil that we are discussing here with either the #350 fountain pen made for the Japanese market or the M350 Vermeil fountain pen, two modern models produced in the 1990s. Read on to explore all of the 350’s many forms.

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Contest: WIN A Pelikan M205 Apatite Fountain Pen & Ink Set

September 1st is always a special day for The Perch because it was on that day in 2014 that I officially launched the blog that you’re now reading. I can hardly believe that this endeavor has spanned 8 years already. I can still remember when the idea first came to me. It was when I was studying for my boards in the hospital library, distracting myself with pen research during study breaks that my “flux capacitor” moment occurred. The pen research that I was doing up until that point was simply for my own edification, but it occurred to me that others might enjoy the fruits of my fact finding as well. I found so many interesting tidbits fractured across the internet, like a puzzle that needed fitting together. Some pieces clicked easily into place and others didn’t fit at all. Being able to sort through all of that to get as complete a picture as possible has always brought me joy. What started out as a diversion from studying has now become a primary stress reliever from a very stressful career as a pulmonary and critical care physician. Being able to combine my background in science with my writing skills has been a life saver for me and a way to give back to the pen community. Over the years, I have appreciated each and every one of you that have reached out via email or who have commented on this blog. Time constraints have limited my ability to publish content as frequently as I would like but I remain committed to bringing you all of the Pelikan news as it breaks as well as release my own independently researched articles. Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll even publish my research in a book format. This site, of course, will continue to run ad free and not be corrupted by solicitation or gifted products in an effort to bring you a clean and bias free experience. That is my ongoing pledge to you. I continue to take the blog’s integrity very seriously.  Consequently, I don’t have the resources to run very many giveaways since they are at my own expense. Still, I have enjoyed hosting an annual contest for The Perch’s birthday so let’s do it again. This year’s giveaway is in honor of the blog’s 8th birthday. What I am offering up is a 2022 Pelikan M205 Apatite Demonstrator fountain pen and ink gift set once it becomes available in November. I have to give a special thanks to the good folks at Fritz Schimpf, a world class retailer whose assistance has made this giveaway possible. Read on to discover all of the details about how you might enter for a chance to win.

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News: M205 Apatite Special Edition Demonstrator

Pelikan M205 Apatite

Pelikan has been releasing special edition demonstrators to match their annual Edelstein Ink of the Year since 2015. These pens have invariably belonged to Pelikan’s lower tier Classic line which includes the M200 with its gold plated trim and the M205 with its silver colored chromium accents. Since their inception, these gemstone inspired models have been a popular and highly anticipated mainstay of the company’s annual line-up. Pelikan ended any speculation about what an Apatite inspired fountain pen might look like today with news of the upcoming Classic M205 Apatite. This is the eighth pen designed to match Pelikan’s Edelstein line of limited edition inks. The M205 Apatite joins a distinguished group which includes the M200 Golden Beryl (2021), M205 Moonstone (2020), M205 Star Ruby (2019), M205 Olivine (2018), M200 Smoky Quartz (2017), M205 Aquamarine (2016), and the M205 Amethyst (2015). Some of these models are now quite hard to come by thanks to their curb appeal and popularity. The Star Ruby (2019), Moonstone (2020), and Golden Beryl (2021) took the concept a step further and included a shimmer effect embedded within the barrel and cap, a feature which does not appear to have been included on the M205 Apatite demonstrator. Pre-orders should be going live in this week with the official release slated for some time in November 2022. Read on to learn all that we know of this new model thus far.

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News: Pelikan Hubs 2022, It’s Back!

Hubs 2022 Banner

I get a lot of electronic correspondence from around the world concerning all things Pelikan but the question that I am asked most frequently is without a doubt in regard to the Pelikan Hubs event. It is a testament to the impact that the Hubs event has had on the fine writing community. Beginning in 2014, the Hubs was conceived of as a way of bringing together fans from within the pen community from all around the globe in order to share in our combined passion for fine writing. The event became a tremendous success, growing in magnitude each year. The last event held was in 2019 and it occurred in 200 cities spread out amongst 46 countries with over 5,646 participants and future participation showed no signs of slowing down. Then COVID came and forced the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 events to everyone’s great disappointment. In the end, Pelikan simply had no choice, and the cancellations were wholly justifiable amidst one of the biggest public health crises of the 21st century. While COVID is not gone and Monkey Pox is on the rise, there have definitely been signs of improvement and people have been able to once again gather with proper precautions. Pelikan must think so too as we awoke this morning to news that Pelikan Hubs 2022 is a go but the registration window is short so you must act now in order to not be left out. Read on for all of the details regarding Pelikan Hubs 2022.

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Not All That Scribbles Has A Nib, Part 3: An Introduction To The Clickier Side of Pelikan – Rollerball Edition

Rollerball Tip

Over the years, we’ve explored vast swaths of Pelikan’s fountain pen landscape and true connoisseurs of the writing experience will accept no substitute. More recently, we ventured off of the beaten path, taking a sojourn into a world of ballpoints and mechanical pencils. I considered leaving it there but, I am a completist at heart and could not rest easy knowing that I neglected an entire category of wiring instrument. They may not go clickity-clack like their cousins, but rollerballs deserve some love too. Rollerballs aren’t too dissimilar from their ballpoint brethren, both employing a ball-in-socket type mechanism but, it is in the execution that they vary. You might best conceive of the rollerball as a hybrid between both a fountain pen and a ballpoint which may just make them the next best choice in your arsenal of writing implements provided you understand their limitations. They are actually the youngest of Pelikan’s fine writing crew, now just a spry 32 years old, which means there aren’t any truly vintage examples from Pelikan to speak of. That makes sense since this technology didn’t exist in the first place until 1963/64 and it wasn’t employed by Pelikan until 1990. This article will be the final act in what has been my sincerest attempt at expanding your writing utensil horizons. The rollerball, by virtue of its youth, has perhaps the least voluminous history to wade through though it is no less interesting. Cap your fountain pens, retract your ballpoints, and sheath your lead. It’s time to roll out and learn all about rollerballs.

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Not All That Scribbles Has A Nib, Part 2: An Introduction To The Clickier Side of Pelikan – Pencil Edition

AUCH-Pelikan Pencil

Fountain pens rule, ballpoints are cool, and mechanical pencils are an essential tool. In Part 1 of this series, I explored the beginnings of Pelikan’s ballpoint production which proved to be an educational and fun diversion. While Pelikan’s fountain pens remain my preferred writing implement, years of research and experience have opened my eyes to other worlds and the rabbit hole goes deep. Even more diverse than their ballpoints, Pelikan’s vintage mechanical pencils are a force all their own with a nuanced variety that begs exploring. The heresy aside, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, not everything that scribbles has a nib and now it’s time to focus on the mechanical pencil. Today, it is writers, architects, mathematicians, students, and artists who predominantly use these tools but that was not always the case, especially prior to the advent of cheap ballpoints. Of particular interest to me are Pelikan’s vintage offerings that spanned the 1930s through the 1960s though we can certainly look at a few modern styles as well. While Pelikan’s high end mechanical pencils are not nearly as prolific as they once were, likely a sign of the changing times, they still serve a role. This article will act as an introduction to mechanical pencils, but it is only meant to scratch the surface. To follow is what I envision to be a multi-part series of its own, with each article drilling down in as much detail as possible on a few select models of Pelikan’s pencils. This is a journey that I’m ecstatic to be undertaking with you. Once again, it’s time to stow your pens and get the lead out as we explore Pelikan’s catalogue of vintage mechanical pencils.

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News: Maki-e Snow, Moon and Flowers Limited Edition

Pelikan Maki-e Snow, Moon and Flowers

Pelikan updated their Instagram account late yesterday with a post that gives us our first look at the next pen in their 2022 line-up. This one follows the infinitely more accessible M605 Tortoiseshell-Black which has been well received by the community thus far. It should not come as a surprise that we are once again looking at a super exclusive Maki-e release. This is the time of year that we usually see one of these crop up and, while Pelikan has scaled back their release schedule over the past few years, the Maki-e models remain a mainstay. This time, we have the limited edition Maki-e Snow, Moon and Flowers. Pelikan’s announcement relates the following;

“‘Snow, Moon and Flowers’ refers to winter snow, autumn moon, and spring flowers, which are natural beauties in three of the four seasons of Japan, and also conveys the tenderness in the scenery. In addition, it has become a symbolic foundation that supports the aesthetic life of the Japanese people with a calm and peaceful state of mind. ‘Snow, Moon and Flowers’ has been used in various poems and lyrics in praising the beautiful landscapes that strike people’s hearts.”

This newest limited edition will once again be built off of the M1000 chassis and is slated to launch sometime in mid-August of this year.  Like models past, this run will again be limited to just 123 pieces worldwide.

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Not All That Scribbles Has A Nib, Part 1: An Introduction To The Clickier Side of Pelikan – Ballpoint Edition

Pelikan Roller

My endeavors here at The Perch have long focused on the Pelikan brand, their fountain pens, and related ephemera. My love for the brand and their fine writing instruments remains at the core of this site. It would be remiss of me, however, to not acknowledge the elephant in the room and continue to ignore some of the brand’s other writing instruments. Yes, it’s true! Not everything that scribbles has a nib and its high time that I paid proper attention to those ubiquitous tools that permeate our everyday lives; ballpoints. Whether they are used to jot a quick note or to write the next great novel, a ballpoint is never far from one’s grasp. Of particular interest to me is how they got their start, so we’ll be taking a close look at Pelikan’s earliest offerings. There is a lot of meat on the bone here so this post will serve as an introduction to a world that I have yet to explore on this blog. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited. Pelikan has been in the ballpoint business for the last 67 years. Their earliest models were matched to their fountain pens, produced to meet a demand but clearly of a lesser stature. Since those early days, the company’s ballpoints have spanned the gamut from cheap and disposable to models that continue to pair with their fine writing instruments, and it is the latter that I will focus on here. Put your ink and blotters away and get ready to explore Pelikan’s ballpoints.

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