Review: M605 Green-White (2021)

Pelikan M605 Green-White Fountain Pen

I thought that it might be a worthwhile exercise to take an in-depth look at Pelikan’s new M605 Green-White fountain pen. When news of this model first broke back in early June, I immediately had two concerns. The first was that the actual product would not look at all like what was depicted in the pre-release photographs. There certainly is precedent for that as we have seen with various models over the last several years. My second worry was that the green striped barrel would not distinguish itself enough from the standard Green/Black model to be impactful. With the pen finally in hand, it quickly became clear that neither concern was founded. The newest M605 continues Pelikan’s trend of marrying colorful M6xx barrels with white resin which started in earnest circa 2015 with the M600 Pink. I was curious to see just how well the green striped barrel would marry with the white resin given what we’ve seen with the company’s other pastel colored releases. Prior models with a similar color scheme have included the M600 Violet-White (2019), the M600 Turquoise-White (2018), the M605 White-Transparent (2017), and the M600 Pink (2015). Notice that only one of those listed is another M605 sporting the typical silver colored palladium plated trim. These white resin models do have their detractors and some of that criticism is certainly valid. Sadly, the merits of the pen are marred by its regional pricing. Read on to discover whether or not the M605 Green-White is worth a second look and perhaps a spot amongst your flock.

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Pelikan To Sell Its German Logistics Center

Logistics center owned by Pelikan in Falkensee, Germany

Pelikan International Corporation Berhad (PICB) has seen a significant bump in its share price on the Malaysian stock market over the past several days, noting an 11% increase this past Friday alone. Why is Pelikan’s stock heating up right now? The market activity is tied directly to PICB’s subsidiary, Pelikan Group GmbH, having entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement on July 7th to sell its logistics center located at Straße der Einheit, Falkensee, Germany. The logistics center is an expansive 135,000 square meter (~1,453,128 square foot) space that includes areas for warehouse storage, offices, and production. The buyers are wholly owned subsidiaries of HWE Investor GP S.à.r.l, part of the Hillwood Group which is based out of Dallas, Texas. The US based Hillwood Group also has operations in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Poland. They are a developer of residential, commercial, and industrial real estate. The property being disposed of came to Pelikan in April 2010 as part of their acquisition of Herlitz AG. At that time, the company acquired a 66% stake in the stationary brand for approximately $60 million (€45 million/RM221.85 million). The building’s current occupants are eCom Logistik GmbH, a logistics services company formed in 2003 as a subsidiary of Herlitz AG. Currently boasting approximately 166 employees it became the wholly owned subsidiary of Pelikan AG in 2015. Fret not if you were worried that Pelikan might be selling off its fine writing division. The property will sell for approximately $96 million (€81 million/RM399.33 million) which is expected to net the company a one-off gain of $44 million (€37 million/RM184.83) based on PICB’s audited consolidated financial statements for fiscal year 2020. Read on to discover all of the details and learn just how Pelikan plans to use the revenue this sale is expected to generate.

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Discord At The Factory: All Is Not Well At Pelikan’s Peine-Vöhrum Plant

Protest cartoon stock image

COVID-19’s global impact on just about every facet of human life has been far reaching and felt in a way that hasn’t been experienced for nearly an entire generation. Many businesses have already failed due to the unique stressors imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. Other industries have been forced to completely retool the way that they approach their operations in an effort to mitigate the impact upon their business. The reasons for why some have succeeded where others have failed are numerous and vary by industry. To better understand Pelikan’s own trials during this time, I had previously reached out to Jens Meyer, Pelikan’s Global Marketing Manager for Fine Writing Instruments. He was good enough to respond to my August 2020 and April 2021 inquiries and relay some of the problems his division has faced. Some of the challenges cited included issues with the factory’s on-site work force due to government imposed COVID-19 work restrictions, delayed acquisition of raw materials necessary in the manufacturing process, and increased shipping times which had held up the delivery of finished goods to Pelikan’s distribution partners. These impediments have left the company’s vendors without stock and new releases have been running well behind their usual robust schedule. With each missive, Jens did strike a note of optimism that the plight faced was being worked through as best as could be expected. The struggles noted would be challenging for even the healthiest of companies to surmount. Any business already confronting issues pre-pandemic would certainly experience an exacerbation of those prior tensions in addition to a slew of new problems. Such is the case as it relates to Pelikan whose tribulations have now been laid bare within the German press. While some have long suspected a more opaque back story than what had previously been acknowledged, it now seems that the issues run far deeper than anything previously reported. Read on to learn of the unrest that has bubbled to the surface at Pelikan’s Peine-Vöhrum manufacturing plant earlier this week.

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Günther Wagner’s Black Horse: A History Of The Rap-Pen

Günther Wagner's Rappen Fountain Pen

Günther Wagner launched the Transparent Fountain Pen under the Pelikan marque in 1929, a brand that he had trademarked some 51 years earlier. That piston filling fountain pen subsequently underwent several small revisions in a relatively short period of time, revisions that ultimately culminated into what we know today as the model 100, so named in 1931. Following its introduction, the model 100 represented Pelikan’s flagship fountain pen product. In the business world, it is common practice for manufacturers to target different market segments with alternate versions of a product. This strategy allows companies to reach a larger number of potential customers. Market segments might be targeted based on demographics such as age, sex, and income. Alternatively, they can be based on geography or focus on consumer versus commercial variations of a product or service. Perhaps you have seen examples of businesses selling a lower-priced product targeting the less affluent with marketing that stresses cost, value, and affordability. That same company may also offer a higher-end version of the product which might have more embellishments or some particularly attractive packaging thereby raising the price. Consumers who are more well off are frequently willing to pay an extra sum for those additional features and benefits. The products don’t even have to vary that much as marketing can frequently convince those with the cash that the higher priced brand/product is of a better quality, regardless of whether or not that is truly the case. Günther Wagner was no stranger to this practice as his company owned several brands, each geared towards appealing to a different group of consumers, predominantly based on income. While the 100 was the work horse of the Pelikan line targeting a largely middle-class population, the 110, 111, T111, and 112 were manufactured as higher end variations of the same product in an effort to appeal to the more upscale market. An effort to target the opposite end of that spectrum is how we came to meet the Rappen brand of fountain pen in 1932, Günther Wagner’s lower tier offering, priced as a more affordable alternative to the Pelikan model 100. The Rappen was able to be produced with lower production cost while maintaining quality workmanship and distinguished itself significantly from the company’s flagship models. Read on to learn how the Rappen came to serve lower end markets for well over a decade.

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News: M605 Green-White Special Edition

Pelikan M605 Green-White Fountain Pen

For those that have found the M205 Petrol-Marbled to be too small and the M1000 Maki-e Seven Treasures to be too large and expensive, Pelikan now brings a third option to the table for 2021. Today broke with news of the forthcoming M605 Green-White fountain pen. This mid-size model keeps with Pelikan’s trend, predominantly over the past five years, of bringing brighter barrel colors with white resin accents to the M6xx line. Starting with the M600 Tortoiseshell White in 2012, we have since seen the M600 Pink (2015), M605 White Transparent (2017), M600 Turquoise-White (2018), and M600 Violet-White (2019). This time we get an eye-catching shade of green arranged in stripes made of cellulose acetate accented by white resin and palladium plated furniture. If we’ve learned anything recently, it is that pre-release photos can be deceiving but there appears to be a lot to like here. If this one looks like a nice addition for your flock, it is expected to be available at retailers worldwide starting in July of this year. This will be a special edition therefore will only be available while supplies last.

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Review: M205 Petrol-Marbled (2021)

Pelikan M205 Petrol Marbled Fountain Pen

The subject of today’s review is the new Pelikan M205 Petrol-Marbled, a model that has already managed to generate a bit of controversy despite its relatively brief existence. First announced in March of this year, the M205 began shipping to consumers in late April. Right around that time, Pelikan released an apology when it came to light that the pre-release photos did not properly depict the actual product being shipped. The pen was initially shown with a chromium plated cap ring (technically the clipschraube/clip screw or crown cap nut) but, as it turns out, the actual product sports an un-plated, black plastic ring. A minor detail to be sure but one that affects the overall look of the pen in a rather meaningful way. Pelikan passed this off as a simple oversight but not everyone has taken that explanation at face value. Controversy aside, the Petrol-Marbled joins an expanding line of marbled finishes, predominantly found on the company’s Classic line of pens, though this is only the second M205 to flaunt a marbled finish. The first was the M205 Blue Marbled from 2016. Other, more recent entries in that style include the re-introduced M200 Green Marbled (2015), the M200 Brown Marbled (2017), and the M200 Gold Marbled (2019). The marbling of the Petrol’s finish has a dark but lively feel to it and really plays well with the light though there are inconsistencies that will mar the pen for some. It’s also hard to look at the Petrol-Marbled and not be reminded of 2017’s M805 Ocean Swirl which sports a similar color scheme, all-be-it, in a different pattern. The M205 Petrol-Marbled may well have enough going for it in the looks department to be able to rise above any small controversy over some trim. Read on to learn if it might be a good fit for you or if this is one you should sit out for the time being.

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News: A New Book Detailing Pelikan’s Limited And Special Editions Due Out Soon

Pelikan Limited & Special Editions: Fine Writing Instruments 1993-2020

Last week brought about some unexpected news, and no, it wasn’t with regard to the hottest new pen out of Hannover. Rather, it was notice that a new book was coming to market. Authored by Michael Silbermann, the book is called Pelikan Limited & Special Editions: Fine Writing Instruments 1993-2020. This hardcover edition contains 280 full color pages and is being published by Leuenhagen & Paris, the same outfit that was responsible for publishing Pelikan – The Brand by Detmar Schäfer back in 2013. Each copy will be bilingual, containing German and English versions of the text, just as we have seen with both prior editions of Pelikan Schreibgeräte. The book’s official release date was 5/1/2021 and it is expected to hit store shelves next month, with retail pricing of $80 in the United States and 99.90€ inkl. MwSt in Germany. Read on to learn about what you might expect to find within the text as well as some background on the book’s author.

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What The Doublé L? An Exploration Of Rolled Gold

Pelikan 520NNIf you have ever had the fortune to come across any of Pelikan’s more upscale vintage models, you’ve probably seen a golden cap with an inscription on the band that read something like; “Rolled Gold Doublé L.”  Variations of this type of engraving can be found on models such as the P1, M30, M60, 500, and 520 to name just a few.  Many of these models have held up well over their decades of service, their durability stemming from the decision to incorporate rolled gold into their construction rather than gold plating.  That resistance to wear directly follows from the fact that the layer of gold utilized with rolled gold is much thicker than what can be achieved with standard electroplating.  In addition to the added longevity, the look of rolled gold frequently has a richer, deeper appearance than what is typical of electroplated items.  The cap band inscriptions will vary, owing to changes made over time as well as model specific factors.  For instance, a 500NN may read “Pelikan Günther Wagner Germany Doublé L,” “Pelikan Germany Rolled Gold Double L+,” or some other variation of the same.  Similar scenarios play out with the other models mentioned.  Regardless of the format or the model, this stamping raises a few questions which I thought might be worth exploring.  For instance; what is rolled gold, why is there an acute é in “Doublé,” and just what does that lonesome “L” stand for?  Read on as I will explore these issues and more while trying to definitively answer some of the esoteric questions surrounding the inscriptions found on these models.

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