The 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.
News of two new Pelikan fountain pens in one day can only mean trouble for your wallet or purse. Following closely on the heels of this year’s Maki-e release, the Peacock, we also learn of the next model to come out of Hannover courtesy of Penworld. This one is known as the M815 Metal Striped special edition. The last pen to utilize the M815 nomenclature was the Wall Street limited edition from 1995. Refreshingly, this years model brings something new to the table while still preserving a comfortable familiarity. The M815 is adorned with metal stripes reminiscent of the well established Stresemann pattern. I’d wager that this is one of those releases that we had all hoped for from the company, something commensurate with their 180th anniversary.
There is no better way to start off a new week than with news of a few upcoming releases. First up is Pelikan’s Maki-e Peacock limited edition announced by Fritz-Schimpf earlier today. This 2018 model follows the Spring & Autumn (2016) and the Dragonfly (2017) that came before it. Pelikan’s sales literature (translated from German) relates that the peacock is one of the most beautiful birds on earth due to its exceptionally beautiful, brightly colored feathers. Peacocks have also been known to eat poisonous plants without being affected causing the animal to held in high esteem amongst different cultures and religions since the early days of human history. The peacock has developed as a symbol of happiness because the bird is seen as being able to protect people from hardship and pain. This Maki-e release celebrates all of the above. Built off of the M1000 chassis, the traditional Make-e painting depicts the brightly colored plumage of the peafowl set in sharp contrast against a black background.
Somewhat unexpectedly, news broke today about Pelikan’s next release for 2018. This one hails from their Classic line-up which is Pelikan’s lower end fountain pen line. Rather than something fresh and unique, Pelikan once again resurrects a model from the past. This time, we are given the Classic M205 Demonstrator Special Edition. The last M205 clear demonstrator was released in 2005 making it a full 13 years old. This is the second time Pelikan has re-issued a clear demonstrator in their Classic line, the last being the gold trimmed M200 released in 2012. This one is due out sometime around mid-May 2018. Pelikan says the following about their new model;
“Our latest special edition Classic 205 Demonstrator with its clear transparent barrel gives a clear view of the black-colored inner parts. It makes the interaction of the sophisticated parts visible while operating the piston mechanism.”
If seeing the innermost workings of your pen, imperfections and all, is your thing, read on to learn all of the details.
The chemist Carl Hornemann founded a paint and ink company near Hanover, Germany in 1832. This would serve as the foundation for what we know today as Pelikan. The date of the company’s official founding is regarded as April 28th, 1838 because that was the occasion of their very first price list. All of the company’s anniversaries are based off of that date meaning that 2018 marks the 180th anniversary of the brand. To honor the affair, Pelikan is releasing a very limited edition fountain pen called the Spirit of 1838. We get our first glimpse of this new model thanks to the German retailer Fritz-Schimpf. You may recall similar releases in the past such as the M750 and M760 which honored the 150th anniversary in 1988. We also saw the M101N Jubilee Pen in 2013 which was a run of just 238 pens marking the company’s 175th anniversary. Now the Spirit of 1838 follows a similar vein, being released in an edition of just 180 pens.
While not a quite a Pelikan, it looks like the bluebird of happiness may have just landed for some. Hannover may have gotten off to a late start but they are wasting no time in giving us a few rapid fire releases. Just forty-eight hours after news of the M600 Turquoise-White broke, we now get our first glimpse of the upcoming M120 Iconic Blue. This is a follow-up to the M120 Green-Black which was re-issued back in early 2016. Both of these models draw their design from the tried and true lineage of the original 120 that was made from 1955-1965. While many similarities exists between old and new, these modern versions certainly stand out on their own and make for excellent and dependable writers that are true to their school pen roots. Availability is anticipated for some time in March of this year alongside the M600 Turquoise-White.
Today is Saint Valentine’s day and Pelikan has chosen to celebrate the occasion by sending a love letter of sorts to their fans. Retailers across the globe broke news of Pelikan’s first release of 2018, the M600 Turquoise-White. The announcement comes somewhat later than anticipated and heralds the second M6xx release in the last several months, following on the heels of the M605 White-Transparent which came out at the end of last year. You’ll notice that it is styled and packaged very similarly to that model as well as the M600 Pink that pioneered this look back in 2015. This newest release is expected to hit retail shelves sometime around mid-March but I wouldn’t count on this one hanging around for too long. Pelikan’s turquoise beauty will serve to kick off what promises to be an exciting 180th anniversary season of new releases.
Rumors began to circulate late last year that Pelikan was considering increasing their European prices. It was unclear at the time as to what such an increase would look like but details have steadily emerged from the European Union over the last few weeks. It is well known that European pricing has long been cheaper than that of the USA and some other regions. US consumers have been able to save hundreds of dollars by shopping from overseas vendors. Pelikan broke routine and caused some consternation regarding the direction of their US pricing strategy when they reduced the US MSRP for their last two releases. The M605 White-Transparent and the M805 Ocean Swirl were priced well below what prior, comparable models commanded. The strategy that Pelikan seemed to be working towards was to level the playing field across the globe. Select Pelikan products from many overseas vendors are about to see a rise in cost. Unfortunately, these newly announced price increases come at the same time as the company’s 180th anniversary which will be marked by the release of many new special and limited edition pens. While this would usually be cause for celebration amongst enthusiast, the price increases could certainly dampen enthusiasm for the new products.