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.”
On June 23rd of this year, a referendum was held to decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union (EU). With a turnout of 71.8% of eligible voters, leave won by 52% to 48%. The reasons behind the vote were multifaceted with those voting to leave citing a lack of sovereignty and an overly controlling EU that imposed far too many rules in addition to a large fee for membership. The issues run much deeper than this oversimplification and the full ramifications of Brexit itself are well beyond the scope of this post. I suggest anyone even remotely interested in this topic seek out reliable outlets for additional information on this historic and world changing vote. While it will be many years before all of the consequences of this motion are realized, one of the more immediate results has been a significant decrease in the value of the British Pound. The Pound has dropped by 18% against the US dollar and Euro compared with one year ago and hovers near a 30 year low. What this means is that British buying power is reduced and the costs of imported goods inevitably must go up. Inflation is also a real concern though this has relatively been kept in check to date. Many experts don’t expect the full economic weight of the vote to come to bear until 2017.
It was nearly two years ago that Pelikan announced the M805 Stresemann. That model was very well received but many in the community lamented the fact that the finish was only available in an M8xx sized pen. Those hoping to see the anthracite binde in a different sized Souverän just got their wish. Several vendors today broke the news of a forthcoming Souverän M405 Stresemann. Similar in appearance to its bigger brother, the M405 will bring the anthracite finish to a whole new group of consumers. For those of you not familiar with the Stresemann moniker, it is a term that has been used to describe the Pelikan pen’s classic pinstripe appearance. It is the nickname of the Souverän series and was derived from the Secretary of State of the Weimar Republic, Gustav Stresemann. He was well-known for wearing black/grey striped trousers and a jacket in black or anthracite.
Following the recent news of the upcoming Statue of Zeus, Iguana Sell, a purveyor of luxury goods out of Spain, gave us a preview of an upcoming Maki-e limited edition fountain pen today in a post on The Fountain Pen Network. The new model has been named Spring & Autumn. This appears to be an ambitious Maki-e release, encompassing both traditional Maki-e and Raden techniques in a veritable patchwork of thematic motifs. The pen’s finish is designed to symbolize both of its namesake seasons. The imagery includes cherry blossoms and maple leaves, both symbolic of their respective seasons in Japanese culture. Gold leaf is employed to create three traditional Japanese designs on the cap. These include flowing water in green, a hemp leaf in brown, and a golden stripe. There is an area of blue abalone shell on the barrel of the pen, creating a Raden effect. An additional area of stripes in violet depict eternal love. Yet another area in silver is done in the Harikiri technique. Several different Maki-e techniques exists and Harikiri entails generously sprinkling gold powder over a design and then carefully removing it with a needle in selected areas so that the original design shows through the gold dust. When taken as a whole, these different panels come together to give the front of the pen, where the clip resides, an Autumn motif whereas the opposite side depicts a Spring design.
Pelikan launched their “Seven Wonders of the World” series back in 2004 with the intent of designing seven pens, each as an homage to their respective ‘Wonder.’ These models represent some of the more interesting and artistic designs ever put out by the company, even if they are not always the most practical. Many different lists of wonders have been compiled over the ages. Pelikan appears to be riffing off of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World first put forth by Philo of Byzantium. Other writers on the topic include the historian Herodotus, the scholar Callimachus of Cyrene, and Antipater of Sidon. These lists chronicled “must see” attractions for Hellenic tourists, much like our guidebooks might do today. Like all but one of the described wonders, much of their ancient writings have not survived the ages except as references in other works. Classically, the Seven Wonders were; The Great Pyramid of Giza (2004), The Colossus of Rhodes (2005), The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (2006), The Lighthouse of Alexandria (2007), The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (2009), The Statue of Zeus at Olympia (2016), and The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. In modern times, only the Great Pyramid of Giza still exists. To date, Pelikan has released five out of seven pens in the series (actual release dates noted above in parentheses) leaving us awaiting Zeus and the Mausoleum. It has been seven years since we were given the Hanging Gardens of Babylon leading some to question whether we would see the series finished. Today, several European vendors have given us a glimpse at the penultimate release in the series, The Statue of Zeus.