Pelikan Hubs 2022 – Philadelphia: A Recap

Pelikan Hubs 2022 Banner

The inaugural Pelikan Hubs event occurred in 2014. Like any new venture, this one was surrounded by uncertainty, largely because no one knew quite what to expect, not even Pelikan themselves. What those few original attendees got was an evening with likeminded people enjoying each other’s company and sharing pens, inks, and paper. Despite their inauspicious beginnings, the Hubs would continue to grow year after year, reaching their peak in 2019. The event’s trajectory predicted noting but continued growth, its future appearing ever bright. Sometimes, life has a way of coming at you when you least expect it. We were all blindsided by the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and the Hubs would ultimately be derailed by the unexpected arrival of a global pandemic. Public health considerations would force Pelikan to cancel both the 2020 and 2021 Hubs events to the disappointment of thousands of aficionados. Millions have died, irreplaceable souls who should not be forgotten, and we should not lose sight of the emotional and economic toll this pandemic has extracted upon us all. Still, life must go on and so it was to the elation of thousands that Pelikan announced the return of the Hubs event for 2022. Despite a shorter window for registration, when all was said and done, there were at least 220 Hubs spread across 47 countries counting 6,107 registered participants, numbers that actually exceeded those of the 2019 gathering, a telling reflection of the pent up demand and certainly not a bad tally for an event on hiatus for two years. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has played host to a Hub since the event’s inception. It was my honor to once again helm the festivities as the local Hub Master. This year’s Hub was held in the Pabbit room at Philadelphia hot spot Pub & Kitchen located near Rittenhouse Square. Our hosts were gracious, the food delicious, and the drinks very satisfying but all paled in comparison to the company and the jovial atmosphere. Read on for a recap of the evening’s festivities.

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The Chronoswiss Styloscope Rediscovered, Literally!

Pelikan Chronoswiss Styloscope

Treasure can be lost, perhaps tucked away for a later occasion, then forgotten with the passing of time. Sometimes, like the periodical cicadas that emerge from under the ground only once every 17 years, that treasure is rediscovered. Chronoswiss is a mechanical watch manufacturer based out of Lucerne, Switzerland and founded by Gerd-Rüdiger Lang in 1983. In order to commemorate the company’s 20th anniversary, Mr. Lang, a big fan of the M800, commissioned Pelikan to create limited edition pen known as the Styloscope which was released in 2002.  Built off of the M800 chassis, the Styloscope was a numbered, limited edition of 999 pieces which I previously described in detail here. These were sold by Chronoswiss and could not be obtained through Pelikan. Now long out of production, finding one on the secondary market can be a challenge for those who lack patience or means as these models have appreciated nicely over the past few decades. The Chronoswiss company turns 40 next year and the Styloscope has now achieved its own milestone, turning 20 years old this year. While mildly interesting news in its own right, what really punctuates that birthday is the fact that 88 unnumbered Chronoswiss Styloscope pens were just recently found by Chronoswiss’ COO, Beat Weinmann, in the company’s basement. Talk about a serendipitous discovery. After much consideration regarding their fate, Style of Zug, a self-described Swiss concept store with a focus on fine writing instruments, has been tapped as the sole distributor for these newfound beauties which are being released into the wild. Read on to find out all of the details including how you might own your own Styloscope.

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News: M1000 Maki-e Phoenix Limited Edition

Pelikan M1000 Maki-e Phoenix Limited Edition

Today brought news of another new release out of Hannover, this one quickly following on the heels of the upcoming Souverän M800 40 Years Anniversary limited edition due out next month. If you will recall, Pelikan kicked off the 2022 season with their M1000 Maki-e Snow, Moon, and Flowers limited edition. Pelikan’s next release will again be another high end Maki-e model, this one titled Phoenix. The last time we got two Maki-e releases in a single year was 2019 when both the Five Lucky Bats and Japanese Umbrella debuted. These are always ultra-exclusive models made in very limited quantities with a price tag to match. Pelikan’s promotional literature states;

“The Phoenix is surrounded by numerous meaningful legends. Phoenix is a legendary spiritual bird in Chinese mythology, appearing in myths, ornaments, works of art, and architecture in East Asia. It is often depicted as a symbol of virtue, wisdom, beauty, and goodness. Phoenix also has the meaning of harmony, peace, femininity, beauty, prosperity, expansion, ascent and success. According to Chinese legends, phoenix represents the entire universe. The phoenix‘s head represents the sky, the eyes are the sun, the back is the moon, the legs are the earth, and the tail is a planet.”

The Maki-e Phoenix utilizes the oversized M1000 chassis, made in Germany, and decorated in Japan. This model is slated to arrive sometime in November 2022.  As is the tradition with many of these ultra-limited pens, this will be an edition of just 123 pieces available for worldwide distribution.

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News: Pelikan Souverän M800 40 Years Anniversary LE

Pelikan Souverän M800 40 Years Anniversary LE

Pelikan’s original model 400 was manufactured throughout most of the 1950s as well as the first half of the 1960s. The model would experience two major revisions over its production run, but it ultimately proved to be a great success for the brand. Times change and the company moved away from that iconic design for a number of years, with the Merz & Krell 400NN of the 1970s being a notable exception. That classic style which was so popular in its day saw a revival in 1982 when Pelikan launched the first Souverän fountain pen, the model M400. The black/green color combination featuring the “Stresemann” striped pattern was again alive and well and little changed from that 1950s model upon which it was based. Like its predecessor, the M400 was well received, a win that the company desperately needed at the time. The early 1980s marked a turbulent period in the company’s history, one rife with financial trouble and the M400 played its part to help turn Pelikan’s fortunes around. Forty years later and the Souverän series of pens remains a mainstay in the brand’s portfolio, its design is as iconic now as it ever was. In honor of that that forty-year anniversary, Pelikan is releasing a new limited edition fountain pen, the Souverän M800 40 Years Anniversary limited edition. The design of this new pen is meant to commemorate those features of the Souverän that have made their mark over the years. Read on to learn all about this newest limited edition fountain pen out of Hannover.

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News: M205 Apatite Special Edition Demonstrator

Pelikan M205 Apatite

Pelikan has been releasing special edition demonstrators to match their annual Edelstein Ink of the Year since 2015. These pens have invariably belonged to Pelikan’s lower tier Classic line which includes the M200 with its gold plated trim and the M205 with its silver colored chromium accents. Since their inception, these gemstone inspired models have been a popular and highly anticipated mainstay of the company’s annual line-up. Pelikan ended any speculation about what an Apatite inspired fountain pen might look like today with news of the upcoming Classic M205 Apatite. This is the eighth pen designed to match Pelikan’s Edelstein line of limited edition inks. The M205 Apatite joins a distinguished group which includes the M200 Golden Beryl (2021), M205 Moonstone (2020), M205 Star Ruby (2019), M205 Olivine (2018), M200 Smoky Quartz (2017), M205 Aquamarine (2016), and the M205 Amethyst (2015). Some of these models are now quite hard to come by thanks to their curb appeal and popularity. The Star Ruby (2019), Moonstone (2020), and Golden Beryl (2021) took the concept a step further and included a shimmer effect embedded within the barrel and cap, a feature which does not appear to have been included on the M205 Apatite demonstrator. Pre-orders should be going live in this week with the official release slated for some time in November 2022. Read on to learn all that we know of this new model thus far.

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News: Maki-e Snow, Moon and Flowers Limited Edition

Pelikan Maki-e Snow, Moon and Flowers

Pelikan updated their Instagram account late yesterday with a post that gives us our first look at the next pen in their 2022 line-up. This one follows the infinitely more accessible M605 Tortoiseshell-Black which has been well received by the community thus far. It should not come as a surprise that we are once again looking at a super exclusive Maki-e release. This is the time of year that we usually see one of these crop up and, while Pelikan has scaled back their release schedule over the past few years, the Maki-e models remain a mainstay. This time, we have the limited edition Maki-e Snow, Moon and Flowers. Pelikan’s announcement relates the following;

“‘Snow, Moon and Flowers’ refers to winter snow, autumn moon, and spring flowers, which are natural beauties in three of the four seasons of Japan, and also conveys the tenderness in the scenery. In addition, it has become a symbolic foundation that supports the aesthetic life of the Japanese people with a calm and peaceful state of mind. ‘Snow, Moon and Flowers’ has been used in various poems and lyrics in praising the beautiful landscapes that strike people’s hearts.”

This newest limited edition will once again be built off of the M1000 chassis and is slated to launch sometime in mid-August of this year.  Like models past, this run will again be limited to just 123 pieces worldwide.

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Review: M605 Tortoiseshell-Black (2022)

Pelikan M605 Tortoiseshell-Black

Few pens in recent memory have generated more excitement or buzz than the newly released M605 Tortoiseshell-Black. Part of that elation comes from the fact that the design is a refreshing new take on an old favorite. Never before have we seen the classic tortoise finish, a style that goes back decades, executed in this fashion. That fresh coat of paint is a welcome disruptor and honestly makes the M6xx series one of the more active and exciting Souverän lines in production today. Looks aside, there are some features that are less endearing, chief amongst those being the lack of a dedicated ink view. The M6xx also sits in a precarious position, too big for those that like smaller pens and too small for people that like to play with the big boys, à la the M800. Still, the M6xx does hit the sweet spot for countless Pelikan aficionados. The Tortoiseshell-Black will join the ultra-rare M600 Tortoiseshell-Brown (1999), the M600 Tortoiseshell-White (2012), and the M600 Tortoiseshell-Red (2020). It should not go unnoticed that this latest tortoise is the only x05 release across any line to wear the tortoise coat. The palladium plated trim is very complimentary to the palette of colors embodied within the barrel’s stripes but, I can’t help feeling that something is just slightly amiss with this one. Something about this tortoise finish is maybe not quite as captivating as some of the others that we have seen. Read on to learn about all of the nuances of the M605 Tortoiseshell-Black and find out if this is one you should rush to add to your flock.

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Tortoises So Rare, They Were Thought Extinct: The Great White Whales Of The Souverän M600 Line

Pelikan's M600 Tortoiseshell-Brown

The talk of the last few weeks has clearly been focused on the newest tortoise release from Pelikan, the upcoming M605 Tortoiseshell-Black. While this black tortoise is a new species, never before seen, the standard bearer across the lines has always been the brown tortoise. It is somewhat ironic then that the M6xx line has never enjoyed a large scale brown tortoise release. I don’t mean to imply that it’s the only Souverän to not get the brown tortoise treatment. The M3xx and M10xx models have likewise gone without, it’s just that the M6xx line is perhaps the most glaring omission since it’s also the most accessible, the other two being at the extreme ends of the Souverän line. It has been perceived by many aficionados of the M6xx to be a black hole of sorts. Perhaps as a subconscious effort to make up for that deficiency, the M6xx line has actually been graced with more unique tortoise releases than any other Souverän. Let us recap. We have had the M600 Tortoiseshell-White (2012), the M600 Tortoiseshell-Red (2020), and now the M605 Tortoiseshell-Black (2022). Many have lamented the lack of a Tortoiseshell-Brown model, but it is a little known fact that there have actually been two such releases, both targeted to the Japanese market in what were likely ultra-limited runs. Pelikan and Japan have long been odd bedfellows with a relationship spanning the 1970s through the late 1990s from which several unique models have arisen. The old-style Tortoiseshell-Brown M600 has been so seldomly seen, that many debated its very existence for the longest time. It reminds me of the coelacanth, thought extinct for 66 million years before being rediscovered in 1938 by a South African museum curator on a fishing trawler. A few years after Pelikan’s alterations to the model’s design, there was a new-style Tortoiseshell-Brown M600 released in 1999 that has been discussed on this blog previously. Collectors can search for decades and never find one of these. Having finally been able to procure an example of each, it seemed a topic worth rehashing. Read on to learn all about the traits that characterize these two ultra-rare beauties.

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