News: Edelstein Garnet Added to the Standard Line-Up

Pelikan Edelstein GarnetThe Edelstein collection of inks now spans 15 different shades inspired by various gemstones.  These have been split between a standard perennial line up of eight inks with the remaining seven comprising a more limited edition series usually only available for a short time.  In a surprise move during March of 2017, Pelikan announced that Aquamarine, the 2016 Ink of the Year, would become part of the regular line-up, swelling the ranks to nine.  Today, Pelikan took to social media to announce another resurrection.  This time it is Garnet, the 2014 Ink of the Year, that will joint the standard assortment, bringing the total number to an even ten.  

“We have some great news for you! It‘s back again: our Edelstein Ink of the Year 2014 Garnet is now part of our standard assortment! 🙂 Catch it, if you can. 😊”

Garnet was billed as a dark red color.  The fact that this is the second time an older limited edition has been put back into service suggests that this might be a new trend for Pelikan.  That possibility may give hope to those longing for some of the inks from days gone by.  Amber, Turmaline, and Amethyst come to mind as past fan favorites that have been sorely missed since their discontinuation.  I’m a little bit at a loss as to why Garnet may have been chosen ahead of any one of those.  It’s not that Garnet doesn’t have its admirers but it generally received somewhat mixed reviews at the time of its original release.  Amber, in my opinion, would have been the smart play here, hands down.  Still, I won’t complain about added variety and I’ll take heart in the fact that we may yet see some of the more desired inks make a return.  What are your thoughts on Garnet’s new status? 

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News: Pelikan Raises U.S. Prices

Pelikan M800 EF NibIn January of this year, I reported that Pelikan pens equipped with an EF nib and sold in the European Union were to experience a price increase of 10-12%.  We have since seen this in full effect across all of the releases out of Hanover this year.  What this translates into is that an EF furnished M800 cost €44 (~$50.79) more, an M600 cost €32 (~$36.94) more, and an M205 cost €10.40 (~$12.01) more than the same model equipped with an F, M, or B nib.  To add insult to injury, it’s not as if the premium price is buying anything new or improved.  So why did Pelikan single out the EF nib?  The official explanation offered was that EF nibs are popular, make up a decent portion of sales and, due to their extra fine width, take more time to produce due to the extra grinding and polishing that needs to occur for a smooth writing experience.  If that justification sounds weak, consider the alternative explanation put forth by several sources citing that the unofficial reason for this price increase was to discourage EU vendors from selling their wares to Asia.  The implication then is that the price increase represented Pelikan’s attempt to further control the market.  To date, the United States has been spared from this practice.  Perhaps that is due to the fact that U.S. customers already pay a significant premium when purchasing domestically.  Well, it appears the other shoe has finally dropped and, to the excitement of no one, Pelikan has decided to extend the EF premium across the pond with the release of the M600 Vibrant Orange.

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News: M600 Vibrant Orange

Pelikan M600 Vibrant OrangeThis year has seen some rather conservative releases as far as color and styling go.  When you look at the Spirit of 1838, the M815 Metal Striped, and the M805 Raden Royal Platinum you see pens with a very monochromatic or two toned styling (usually black & silver).  I don’t say that to take anything away from those models but many of us out there yearn for a splash of color.  The M205 Olivine and the upcoming M800 Stone Garden help scratch that itch somewhat but even their colors are more subdued.  To the casual observer, it would seem that Pelikan has been using their M600 line over the last few years to provide an outlet for more colorful releases.  We saw this with the Pink and the Turquoise-White for example.  Well, today we have a new addition to that line, the M600 Vibrant Orange.  Rumored since earlier this year, the Vibrant Orange is due out by mid-November and is sure to be a welcome addition to many who find the M600 line of pens to be the sweet spot in terms of size and weight. 
 
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News: M800 Stone Garden Special Edition


Pelikan M800 Stone Garden Fountain Pen
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. 

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News: M805 Raden Royal Platinum

Pelikan M805 Raden Royal PlatinumOver 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.

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News: M205 Olivine Special Edition Demonstrator

Pelikan M205 Olivine Fountain Pen and InkIt 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.

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News: Pelikan Hubs 2018 By The Numbers

With the closing of the registration period (extended an extra week due to high demand), we now have a pretty good sense of Pelikan’s Hub locations for 2018 as well as the number of registrations at each location.  The analysis that follows is derived from data taken from Pelikan’s Hubs page (as of 7/23/18 at 9:00pm EST) and should not be taken as absolute since it is subject to some fluctuation between now and the big event.  Still, it gives us a significant insight into how this fifth anniversary event is shaping up.  Most of the cities that participated last year are again included in this year’s festivities with at least two dozen new cities added to the roster, a roughly 23% increase.  The Hubs event continues the steady trend in annual growth that we’ve seen year after year.  Each year has been larger than the one before with more countries, more cities, and more people participating.  For 2017, Pelikan reported that there were 145 individual Hubs spread across 43 countries with 3600 registered participants.  Based on the currently available data, this year’s event will span 178 cities spread out amongst 44 countries with over 4700 participants.  Thus far, that represents roughly a 31% increase in attendance over last year and an astounding 425% increase since the inaugural year.  Whereas events were few and far between the first year, the access that fans now have to a local Hub has grown exponentially.  The United States is again host to the largest number of registrations with Canada, Australia, Taiwan, and Germany rounding out the top 5.  This year’s gathering is set to take place on Friday, September 21, 2018 at 6:30pm local time with Pelikan expected to release additional details about the event as we get closer to the date.  If you cannot attend this year’s event, you can easily follow along with the world-wide festivities via the hashtag #pelikanhubs on the various social media sites.  To further synthesize the data, I’ve developed a series of maps and graphs to help depict the information.  Read on to see what cities are involved and to learn about how your location stacks up with some of the others.

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News: Pelikan Hubs 2018

Pelikan Hubs 2018 BannerThe 2018 Pelikan Hubs event has been anticipated by fans across the globe ever since last year’s highly successful gathering.  With just a little over three months to go, Pelikan has officially opened up registration.  This year hits a milestone as it marks the fifth anniversary of this pen and ink centric happening.  The Hubs event has shown consistent growth over the past four years with 2017 coming in as the biggest year to date, a record that’s very likely to be bested once again.  You may recall that there were 145 individual Hub locations spread across 43 countries with 3600 registered participants last year.  That represents roughly a 38% increase over the attendance for 2016.  If you are reading about this for the first time and wondering what the heck a Pelikan Hub event is, let me enlighten you.  The Pelikan Hubs is a fan driven gathering of Pelikan aficionados from across the globe who meet on the same local date and time.  With no specified agenda, anything goes meaning no two hubs are quite alike.  Throughout all of this, Pelikan acts in a supporting role, providing the necessary organization and a few supplies, allowing the hub master and their attendees to free form an evening of festivities.  For those who cannot attend, the various locations can be followed on social media via the hashtag #pelikanhubs.  My local Philadelphia hub has always been a good time, attended by a growing and diverse group of fans.  You can read about my past adventures here (2017), here (2016), and here (2015). One thing for certain is that there is usually no shortage of Pelikan eye candy.  With a minimum of five people required to constitute a Hub, locations get selected based on a registered pool of online applicants.  During the sign up process, you can nominate your city for inclusion if it is not already listed.  Hub locations will be finalized sometime around July 9th.  Once the participating cities are chosen, a Hub master is selected, by special application, to act as your local point of contact and organizer.  It is the Hub master who designates a centrally located meeting place and distributes some Pelikan swag to all of the registered guest in attendance.  Read on for all of the details for this years Hub.

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