News: A Shifting Pricing Strategy in the U.S. Market?

Pelikan logo cap topsOver the last month, I have been repeatedly asked by fellow pen lovers as to why U.S. prices for Pelikan’s fine writing instruments far exceed that which is available elsewhere.  It’s no secret that over the last few years, an increasingly growing number of U.S. consumers have awakened to the realization that Pelikan fountain pens can often be had for significant savings when purchased from overseas vendors.  The U.S. market has seen a steady increase in the price of Pelikan’s fine writing instruments, the last swell coming in February of 2016.  Consequently, authorized United States’ retailers have historically had to offer their Pelikan wares at significantly higher prices than competing international merchants.  Regardless of what factors may have contributed to that discrepancy, the end result was a tilted playing field that made it incredibly hard for US vendors to compete in what is clearly a global economy.  I have always questioned the disparity in pricing and wondered why U.S. customers are dealt with so differently?  It’s a passionate issue for me because I have a deep affection for the brand but their marketing strategy has prevented me from recommending even an entry level Pelikan pen to anyone starting out in this hobby since these too are often priced higher than competing brands.  

For the last month, I have done extensive research into the economics of why Pelikan’s U.S. pricing might be the way that it is and that is what I intended to present to you today.  Just as I was preparing to publish that article, Pelikan/Chartpak called an audible on me and therefore I have scrapped that entire post in favor of this one.  What I present to you now is evidence that there may be a major shift in U.S. pricing silently occurring and our domestic vendors and their customers are likely to reap the benefits. 

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News: M805 Ocean Swirl

Pelikan M805 Ocean Swirl Fountain PenAfter much anticipation, several overseas vendors including Appelboom and Penworld bring us our first official glimpse of the upcoming M805 Ocean Swirl fountain pen.  This site first reported on the design back in July.   Similar in pattern to this year’s Renaissance Brown, the Ocean Swirl depicts various shades of teal intermixed with black.  Pelikan’s literature states;

“Exposure to light further enhances and adds sparkle and depth which vary in intensity. Just like in the deep sea, bright spots alternate with dark spots mimicking the light that radiates and is found in the ocean. Each writing instrument is truly unique.”

The pattern is offset smartly by the palladium plated trim characteristic of the Souverän family of pens.  The barrel is expected to be translucent to allow visualization of the ink level just like we have seen with the Renaissance Brown.  Similar to other M805s, the pen will measure 5.59 inches when capped and weigh in at a respectable 0.99 ounces thanks to the brass piston assembly.  The nib will be rhodium plated 18C-750 gold and available in sizes EF, F, M, and B.  The anticipated release date is November 2017.

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News: M605 White Transparent

Pelikan M605 White Transparent Fountain PenIn addition to the Maki-e Dragonfly, Pelikan’s retail channels also broke news of the M605 White Transparent due out in the second half of next month (October 2017).  News of this model was first announced here at the Perch way back in July and much of what was expected at that time has materialized in the final release version of this new model.  Many will appreciate the fact that the M6xx line is getting some attention as this is the preferred size for many who find an M400 too small and an M800 too large.  Pelikan bills this model as a modern reinterpretation of the classic Souverän.  The official statement reads;

Gracefully with a gentle appearance. That‘s the look of the new Pelikan Souverän M605 White-Transparent. Thanks to its tone-in-tone design it seems to be inconspicuous but it is absolutely not. The bright but not cold white colour shades underline the very modern interpretation of the true classic Souverän.

If you’ve been waiting for Pelikan to release a new M6xx, this might be the one for you.

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News: Maki-e Dragonfly

Pelikan Maki-e Dragonfly Limited EditionEarlier today, Pelikan International gave us a glimpse of their new 2017 Maki-e model.  It was just around this time last year that we learned of the prior release, the Spring & Autumn.  This new release has been given the moniker Dragonfly.  Not many details are available at this time.  Pelikan themselves only state;

This limited edition “Dragonfly” is a masterpiece that combines the craftsmanship of Pelikan Germany based on 179 years of tradition and technology coupled with superior Japanese traditional Maki-e painting techniques. Each fountain pen has the Pelikan logo on the crown, a limited edition number and the artist’s signature drawn in by hand using Maki-e techniques.

While there isn’t much to glean from that excerpt, the picture is a bit more telling.  The double scroll work on the nib clues us into the fact that this is designed off of the M1000 chassis.  The traditional Make-e painting depicts a dragonfly amongst a colorful background which stands out nicely against what appears to be a black pen.

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News: Two Upcoming Fall Releases

Created by Creative_hat - Freepik.comWe saw a lot of great pens released by Pelikan in 2016 and that momentum seems to have been sustained thus far into 2017.  To date, the company has given us the M101N Bright Red, Pelikano Up, M800 Renaissance Brown, M800 Raden Royal Gold, and the M200 Smoky Quartz which is due out next month.  Let’s also not forget the addition of Edelstein Aquamarine to the standard line-up as well as the introduction of the Ink of the Year 2017, Smoky Quartz.  The year is just a little more than half over but several additional new pens are still anticipated before the year’s end.  News of upcoming releases has been much more scarce this year when compared to years prior.  While vendors are taking their contractual obligations much more seriously, word of a new pen always generates excitement throughout the community and gossip can only be contained for so long.  Those on a budget often need to plan for a new pen expenditure so any information can be a big help in mapping out future purchases.  With that in mind, The Pelikan’s Perch is committed to bringing you the latest Pelikan news as it unfolds.  Over the last several months, I have had various, anonymous pen enthusiast approach me to report intelligence of a few upcoming Pelikan fountain pens that they’ve gleaned information about in their travels.  This information comes from all parts of the globe and enough credible information has finally come to light to allow me to confidently bring that news to you.  While I can guarantee you that Pelikan has more in store for 2017 than what’s outlined below, the two upcoming releases detailed here represent a nice chunk of what’s yet to come.  Of course, there have been no definitive announcements from Pelikan or official confirmation therefore the information presented needs to be taken in the context of a credible rumor though I am confident that we will see both of these models materialize.  Additional details will surely be forth coming as we get closer to the anticipated release so stay tuned and enjoy the teaser for now.

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News: Pelikan Hubs 2017 Locations

Pelikan’s Hub locations for 2017 are now available on their website.  The data doesn’t reveal any big surprises and many of the same cities that we’ve seen in the past have again emerged as Hub locations.  Others are absent, making room for a few new venues.  Based on the available data, the fourth annual Hubs event continues to show steady growth.  Each year has seen the inclusion of more countries, more cities, and significantly more participants when compared with the year prior.  Based on the available data from Pelikan’s Hubs website (as of 7/7/17), this year’s event will span 131 cities spread out amongst 39 countries with 2999+ participants.  Thus far, that represents roughly a 42% increase in attendance with time still left to register.  For those not yet aware, this year’s gathering will take place on Friday, September 22, 2017 at 6:30pm local time.  No details have been announced yet but prior years have included some excellent Pelikan swag for participants.  Even though the locations are set, online applications for Hub Masters are being accepted until July 12th and general applications will remain open through July 17th.  That means time is quickly running out if you want to be included in this year’s festivities.  Attendance is by application only so even if you are unsure of your availability, I would urge you to submit an online application to secure your place and do the same for any friend/spouse/pen loving stranger that you intend to bring with you.  Registration forms can be found here.  If you cannot attend, you can easily follow along with the world-wide festivities via the hashtag #pelikanhubs on the various social media sites.

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News: M200 Smoky Quartz Special Edition Demonstrator

M200 Smoky Quartz Fountain PenWhile not officially rumored, an announcement has been expected from Pelikan regarding a new fountain pen from their Classic line in the same color as this year’s Edelstein Ink of the Year, Smoky Quartz.  This model would follow a pattern established by two prior releases emulating a limited edition Edelstein ink, Amethyst (2015) and Aquamarine (2016).  Of note, both of those models were designated as part of the M205 line which is characterized by chromium plated furniture which is silver in color.  Fritz-Schimpf, an awesome retailer based out of Germany, has given us our first look at the much anticipated Smoky Quartz demonstrator.  While the release has been expected, I did not anticipate that it would be part of the M200 line-up, distinguished by its gold-plated furniture.  It shouldn’t take long now for this pen to show up for pre-order via your preferred retailer.  Consistent with past timelines, expect the M200 Smoky Quartz to be available sometime in August.

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News: Pelikan TintenTurm

Pelikan moved its administration and production space to Hannover on the Podbielskistraße in the year 1906.  By 1973, that facility was no longer adequate and could not be further expanded to meet the company’s needs.  Production was moved to the Peine-Vöhrum plant, 24 miles east of Hannover, where it remains today.  The administrative offices would linger at the Podbielskistraße facility for another 30 years, until March 17, 2003 at which time the company moved to its current office building on the Werftstrasse in Hanover.  The historic former location has since become the Sheraton Hannover Pelikan Hotel where visitors can still enjoy many reminders of Pelikan’s heritage from their almost 100 year occupation of the site.  The company’s impact has been so lasting, the area has become known as the Pelikan district and the hotel now sits at its center.  On March 29, 2017 Pelikan had a homecoming of sorts when they returned to their former facilities with the opening of The Pelikan TintenTurm.  With over 10o guest in attendance, the opening illustrated just how much of an impact the company has had over its extensive history.  The TintenTurm resides in over 7000 sq ft of refurbished space that now hosts the company’s archive, a museum, and a retail outlet.

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