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.
It’s that time of year again, time for Pelikan to announce their fourth annual Pelikan Hubs event. Each year, the Hubs event has grown in attendance and I’m sure that the 2017 festivities will prove to be no different. Pelikan Hubs 2016 took place in at least 109 cities spread across 37 countries with roughly 2600 fans registered to attend. That represents nearly a 51% increase over the prior year! For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the Hub event is a shared gathering of Pelikan fans from across the globe. The event is facilitated for fans by fans with Pelikan acting in a supporting role. While these gatherings take place in 30+ countries, each Hub occurs at the same date and time locally. For those who cannot attend, each Hub is encouraged to upload photos to their favorite social media sites with the hashtag #pelikanhubs. There is no agenda and anything that the group can imagine is fair game ensuring that no two Hubs are quite alike. I have had tremendous fun over the past three Philadelphia events and the diversity of attendees adds to the wonderful dynamic. Participants have ranged from novice to expert and those looking for their first Pelikan pen to those with hundreds. Hubs get selected based on a pool of online applicants. A minimum of five people are required to make a hub and you can nominate your city when signing up. Hubs will be chosen sometime around July 12th. Once the cities are selected, a Hub Master is chosen (by application) to act as the local point of contact and organizer who designates a centrally located meeting space in the appointed city. After that, all that is left to do is to gather and enjoy each other’s company.
The release of a new Raden model to follow-up on last year’s Sunrise has been expected but specific details have been lacking. That changed this evening when De Roos gave us a glimpse of a new Raden model from Pelikan via their Instagram page. De Roos is a fountain pen retailer based in Heemstede, Netherlands and has been around since 1953. The pen featured today is the upcoming M800 Royal Gold. It appears that De Roos is the first to break this news. This would be the first Raden release in the M8xx form factor since the Kyokko & Gekko of 2005. It will join the likes of the Kyokko & Gekko (2005), Moonlight (2011), Sunlight (2013), Starlight (2014), and Sunrise (2016). For those unfamiliar with Raden, it is a traditional Japanese decorative craft characterized by finely ground abalone embedded or glued onto laquer-coated surfaces. The inlay glitters in wonderful colors when struck by light. The painstaking process ensures that these are usually limited in number and quite expensive at retail.
This year promises some interesting additions to the Pelikan line-up if rumors are to be believed. We have already seen the Zeus and M101N Bright Red released along with the Ink of the Year, Smoky Quartz. News of Pelikan’s newest special edition broke today, courtesy of several vendors. Slated for a May 2017 release, the M800 family expands with the introduction of the Renaissance Brown.
Earlier today, Pelikan announced via their Facebook Page that the Edelstein Ink of the Year for 2016, Aquamarine, is to be added to the standard ink line-up. The photo’s caption reads, “Aquamarine is back.” The announcement corresponds with the International Day of Happiness, a UN sanctioned celebration designed to promote happiness in the world around us. This breaks with the prior tradition of making the Edelstein IOTY editions available only as limited runs that were forevermore unavailable once stock ran out. I’m not certain why Aquamarine was chosen over any of the other limited editions that have come before it. I know that there are many out there, myself included, that would love to see inks like 2013’s Amber make a come back. Does the permanent resurrection of Aquamarine make you happy? Click the link below to participate in a poll about which limited edition colors you would like to see make a come back and don’t forget that next spring promises to bring us an as yet unnamed shade of olive-green.
Pelikan’s first foray into the school pen market was the 120 released in the mid 1950’s. Prior to that, their focus had been on writing implements designed almost exclusively for adults. After five years of experience in that market, Pelikan began production of the first Pelikano model which was launched on March 22, 1960. The Pelikano’s design was based on lessons learned from the 120 as well as the feedback they received from teachers. The model line is now 57 years old and it shows no signs of slowing down. The Pelikano has undergone many design changes over its nearly six decades in addition to spawning other products such as the Pelikano Junior. The most recent version of the Pelikano has been the P480, first released in 2010 as a significant redesign to the prior P460 and updated again in 2015. The current P480 has an opaque rather than transparent grip and an ink view window on its barrel, distinguishing it from its predecessor. Pelikan appears to be adding an upgraded version of the Pelikano to the line-up. Made from better materials and with a more adult design, their newest creation has been dubbed the Pelikano Up fountain pen.
Çelik Kalem, a major distributor for Pelikan pens in Turkey, follows up their announcement of the M101N Bright Red from yesterday with news of yet another upcoming release. Instead of a pen, their Instagram feed gives us our first glimpse of the Edelstein 2017 Ink of the Year, Smoky Quartz. This newest gem stone inspired color will follow on the heels of the very popular Aquamarine from last year’s limited edition run. It will be the fourteenth addition to the Edelstein line-up and the sixth Ink of the Year.
In the course of monitoring my usual sources of Pelikan news, I came across an interesting post in my Instagram feed today. Çelik Kalem, whose Turkish name translates to “Steel Pen,” gave us a photo of what appears to be the next release in the M101N series. From what I can gather, Çelik Kalem is a family run company who serves as a major distributor for Pelikan pens in Turkey and would likely be positioned to have foreknowledge of upcoming models. Pelikan will soon announce the fourth pen in their series of modern M101Ns slated for release sometime later this year. The pen is the M101N Bright Red. This model will follow the previously released Tortoiseshell Brown (2011), Lizard (2012), and Tortoiseshell Red (2014). It would be the first in the series to break from emulating their vintage counterparts. To date, all of the prior models on the market have keyed off of their predecessor’s designs from the late 1930s. I cannot recall a 101N ever having been released with this color scheme. Pelikan’s description of this model carries the tag line, “Intense luminosity and a unique presence.”