Another Pelikan Hubs event has come and gone meaning that it’s time for a proper recap. September 21st was a big day for lovers of fine writing as it marked the fifth installment of Pelikan’s annual gathering. Word continues to spread about the fun and excitement of the evening as demonstrated by the ever-expanding number of registrations. This year saw gatherings take place in 181 cities spread across 46 countries with over 4500 registered participants, a roughly 30% increase over the year prior. Given the gravity of the occasion, Pelikan kindly provided me an opportunity to interview the Hubs team ahead of this year’s event, allowing us a fresh perspective and a small peak behind the curtain. Not all was smooth sailing this year, perhaps a reflection of some growing pains. There are reports of Pelikan’s gifts not being delivered to a few of the Hub locations in time for the event. Other Hubs have reported Olivine ink boxes containing Smoky Quartz, a puzzle that’s beyond me to solve. While disappointing, I think that it is important to keep things in perspective. The free gifts are indeed nice but they are by no means what brings the majority of us together so hopefully those Hubs were able to make the best of the situation. The Hub masters continue to show no shortage of passion and commitment and deserve a lot of kudos for ensuring the success of their local venues. Many went above and beyond by making or purchasing their own items for attendees to sample and take home. It is the dedication of the Hub masters that goes a long way to making the event as great as it is. Their efforts are even more commendable when you look at the ever increasing burden of finding a venue for such large groups without any budget. It’s that burden which prompted me to relinquish the title of Hub Master this year in Philadelphia, PA, USA. Frank Limper of Federalist Pens and Paper picked up the mantle and ran a great event. Our local hub has been held at a variety of locations and this year brought us somewhere new, The Victoria Freehouse Pub. The venue was cozy, provided good food and drink, and had a nice atmosphere. Everyone that I spoke with had a great time and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the venue for a future gathering. The only major blemish on my night was the parking ticket waiting for me when all was said and done (¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).
As anticipated, news broke early this morning across Europe regarding the next big release out of Hannover. All I can say is prepare to hear the sound of jaws dropping. Today we have the Pelikan M800 Stone Garden Special Edition and, if the product shots do it justice, it looks to be a gorgeous fountain pen. Of course, given the inconsistent track record of Pelikan’s product photography over the last several releases, we’ll have to reserve judgement until we can see some real world pictures. Still, there is a lot of promise here. This model follows closely on the heels of the M205 Olivine which just recently entered retail channels and the much more limited Raden Royal Platinum. The promotional literature for the Stone Garden states; “Rock gardens are known for their soothing effect. The new special edition Souverän M800 Stone Garden absorbs this atmosphere and offers tranquility in daily chores.” It is anticipated to be available around mid-October.
As you likely know by now, this is the fifth anniversary of the Pelikan Hubs event. The excitement is certainly building as we are now just under a month away from the big day. Some of you have been around since its inception while a large swath of those reading have come to the event more recently. Have you ever wondered how it all came about? Questioned whose behind it all? Maybe you’re wondering if this is going to be something to look forward to for years to come? I too had a lot of questions and a few concerns about the event. I e-mailed Juana, a member of the Hubs team in Hannover, who works in the social media department. Quite unexpectedly, that message actually ended up leading to a very pleasant telephone conversation with Pelikan’s Global Marketing Manager of Fine Writing Instruments, Jens, and the rest of his team. They were gracious enough to grant me and The Pelikan’s Perch an exclusive interview. After much thought, I posed a series of twenty questions to the group which you will find below along with their answers. I hope that you find the information interesting and perhaps walk away with a clearer understanding of the event’s purpose and its origins. The text that follows has only been very lightly edited for easier readability due to differences in language but the responses have not been altered in any meaningful way.
The Pelikan’s Perch turns 4 years old today! No longer a toddler, part of me still cannot believe that the site is going strong and continuing to grow year after year. I can only attribute that fact to my love of the brand, the great products Pelikan puts out, and the support of all of you, without which none of this would be possible. My blog was born from a desire to share the knowledge and perspective that I had gained in researching my favorite fountain pens. I wanted to give back to the community that empowered me in my quest and fostered my love for fine writing. All I can do is say thank you. Thank you for reading, for sharing my work, for interacting and contributing to the conversation, and for four great years. To celebrate this anniversary, I have decided to host the first ever contest to grace The Pelikan’s Perch. In trying to decide just what type of prize to offer, I reflected back on my own collection. In doing so I realized that the Pelikan P16 Stola III fountain pen would be well suited for the task at hand and entering for your chance to win one couldn’t be easier. Read on to learn about all of the details.
Over the past four years, I have endeavored to bring you news and unique insights about the Pelikan brand of fountain pens not readily available elsewhere. Personally, it has been a lot of fun researching some of the more esoteric aspects of the company’s products and history. Because there is so much nuance out there, I sometimes lose sight of the fact that many people still don’t fully grasp the fundamentals or overall landscape of Pelikan’s current line-up. I could drone on about the topic but I thought this may be one area where a picture might just be worth a thousand words. To that end, I have devised an infographic, my first, to serve as a reference for the community. It is my hope that this graphic visual representation of information will allow for a quick and clear understanding of some of the differences amongst both Pelikan’s Classic and Souverän lines. The nature of an infographic prevents it from being all-inclusive but I hope that you will find it a good jumping-off point into the brand’s offerings over the last few decades. Click the link below to jump to the visual. You can stop there but feel free to read on as I will endeavor to walk you through some of the panels of information and expound upon their contents as well as provide relevant links to past posts where appropriate.
Over the past few years, Pelikan has begun to more consistently bring us new limited edition Raden releases. It should come as no surprise then that a Raden model would be in the works for this year, a year in which the company is celebrating a historic anniversary. What does one give as a gift for a 180th anniversary? While there aren’t any well established customs for such an occasion, something in platinum seems a fitting choice. Perhaps that is why Pelikan has chosen to give us the M805 Raden Royal Platinum. For those new to the hobby, pens done in a Raden style employ a traditional Japanese art whereby finely ground abalone is embedded or glued onto laquer-coated surfaces. The result is an inlay that shines with a rainbow of colors when struck by light. This year’s release will make a worthy addition to the models that preceded it. These include the Kyokko & Gekko (2005), Moonlight (2011), Sunlight (2013), Starlight (2014), Sunrise (2016), and Royal Gold (2017). It would seem that the Royal Platinum is the kindred spirit to last year’s Royal Gold. The design and finish appear to be the same with one in silver tones and the other in gold. I suspect that many owners of the Royal Gold will be clamoring to add this one as a companion piece.
I don’t think that it’s too much of a stretch to say that, at least in the United States, most people have heard the old saying about wearing white after labor day. It has been a big no-no in fashion circles since sometime around the early to mid-twentieth century. Nobody knows for sure how this piece of fashion etiquette came about let alone became ingrained into the mainstream collective. One practical theory contends that, since people used to dress more formally, white was simply cooler in the summer months. When the fall rains came, the color became impractical as it soiled easily with mud and debris. While this theory sounds logical, that in and of itself may be why many scholars discount it. The rules of fashion seldom seem to follow any logic. A more salacious and compelling explanation may lie in the habits of America’s well to do who frequently escaped the doldrums of the city in the summer months. That escape included leaving behind the more drab palette of the city which included opting for lighter clothing instead. White linen suits became the unofficial uniform of the upper crust of society. Labor Day, celebrated on the first Monday in September, has long marked the unofficial end of summer and was when the elite class would stow their whites and return to city life. By mid-century, a clash between old money and new money was brewing as the middle class expanded and people became more upwardly mobile. Old money elites looking to keep their social fabric from fraying would shun those not in the know. Arbitrary rules, including not wearing white after Labor Day, allowed high society to protect their standing and identify the less savvy newer members of the upper class. Whichever reasoning you may ascribe to, this old “rule” has largely fallen out of favor and many fashion icons have shown that white can indeed be worn year round. That is a darn good thing too because Pelikan has graced the M6xx line with more white pens in recent history than ever before and I for one would hate to have to lock them away for half of the year due to some fashion snobbery. Read on for a look at how Pelikan has made white pens chic again.
It had been widely anticipated that we would once again see an M2xx release mirroring this years Ink of the Year though doubts had started to grow. For the past three years, announcements have come anywhere from late June to early July but always on a fairly consistent timeline. It now being early August, you can imagine the angst this has generated. Fret no more because today we have been given a glimpse of the upcoming M205 Olivine Special Edition Demonstrator as previewed by the Instagram account of H&S KIRTASİYE. The Olivine will join past special editions including the M200 Smoky Quartz (2017), M205 Aquamarine (2016), and M205 Amethyst (2015). Last years M200 was a departure from the prior releases and it appears that Pelikan has once again returned to the M205 trim style which is characterized by chromium plated furniture that has a silver appearance. Details remain sparse and I’m sure that we will learn more in short order. I would imagine that pre-orders will be available from your preferred retailer in the coming weeks and I would expect this one to be available sometime around mid September.