The M101N takes its design queues from Pelikan’s historic models of the 1930s and 40s and the re-interpretation has, by all outward appearances, been a success for the company. This modern line was first introduced in 2011 and has steadily grown since, now counting six models amongst its ranks. Those include the Tortoiseshell Brown (2011), the Lizard (2012), the Lizard Jubilee Edition (2013), the Tortoiseshell Red (2014), and the Bright Red (2017). The newest model, released just this year, is the Grey-Blue. Like the Bright Red that came before, there does not appear to be a corresponding vintage 101N model with the exact same finish. That’s not surprising since the original 101N line encompassed only a few different models. Also, Pelikan defies the nomenclature of the past here with its choice of styling. The 100Ns were characterized by black caps whereas the 101Ns had colored caps or caps that matched the pattern of the barrel. By placing a black cap on the newest M101N, the company has blurred some of the conventions of old, conventions which had remained intact up until now. Of this modern lot, it seems that the Tortoiseshell Brown consistently gets the most attention, and for good reason. The Grey-Blue is no slouch however and it is worth a look given the uniqueness of the finish. Read on to find out more.
Those of us in the U.S.A. awoke this morning to news of yet another forthcoming release from Pelikan. The company is once again going retro with the introduction of a new model in the M101N series. Perhaps it is no coincidence that such a pen is being brought to light during the 90th anniversary of Pelikan’s first foray into fountain pens. The newest M101N on the block has been dubbed the Grey-Blue and it will become the fifth pen in a line that takes its inspiration from the historic models of the 30s and 40s. To date, the Grey-Blue has been preceded by the Tortoiseshell Brown (2011), Lizard (2012), Tortoiseshell Red (2014), and Bright Red (2017). Whereas the first three models listed emulated some of the more popular vintage finishes, the Grey-Blue will join the Bright Red in blazing its own trail as a fresh take on an old design. Pelikan’s promotional materials state; “The grey and blue color and pattern is reminiscent of the original historical model of the 1930s,” but I do not recall any historic 101N ever having come in this color scheme. If you cannot wait to get your hands on this one, be thankful February is a short month as these are due to make their way to market sometime in March.
News broke of the M101N Bright Red at the end of January and pens started shipping just a few weeks ago. The M101N is a modern re-imagining of a line of pens that Pelikan first introduced in the 1930s. Since 2011, we have had several releases in the series including the Tortoiseshell Brown (2011), the Lizard (2012), and the Tortoiseshell Red (2014). It’s not clear why the hiatus between the Tortoiseshell Red and the new Bright Red. What’s interesting about the Bright Red is that there is no direct historical 101N model from which it draws upon for its design. Perhaps that might explain the delay in a new model being put forth. The closest approximation in Pelikan’s history appears to be the amazing 101 Coral Red. The 101s were 100s that had colored caps but still retained the design of the 100. While the finishes of the modern Bright Red and vintage Coral Red are similar, the look of the two models is significantly different. There is a lot of divided sentiment about these modern releases and I find most of the accolade and adoration consistently goes to the Tortoiseshell Brown. Read on to find out whether or not the M101N Bright Red can upset the Tortoiseshell Brown’s place on the throne.
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.”
The M101N Tortoiseshell Red was recently released in September of 2014 and I wanted to mark the occasion by reviewing all three of the pens available in the series. The M101N is the modern version of a line of pens that Pelikan first introduced in the 1930’s. There were several variations released in that series, all of which command top dollar in today’s market due to their desirability amongst collectors. Included in the original series were pens such as the highly sought after Lizard and the Tortoiseshell Red. This new series pays homage to that lineage with an updated design while still retaining the original’s dimensions. The first pen released in the series was the Tortoiseshell Brown followed by the Lizard and then the Tortoiseshell Red.
My vision for this site has always been to continue to grow and add additional pages to The Aviary detailing new models as I’m able. While there is no definitive timeline for these updates, I’m happy to announce that the first of those new pages went up this morning. The Aviary now includes a page detailing the M101N, the pen Pelikan initially introduced in 2011 in order to pay homage to those great models of the 1930’s. I hope that you enjoy the information provided on the M101N. At the time of this post, the release of the tortoiseshell red model is imminent and should be in consumers’ hands shortly.
Pelikan will soon release the third pen in their series of modern 101N’s. The first 101N was released in 1937 and this series pays homage to that lineage in a somewhat more modern and updated design though still retaining the original’s dimensions. This pen is the M101N Tortoiseshell Red and it is slated for release in September of 2014. This model follow’s the very well received Tortoiseshell Brown (2011) and the Lizard (2012). Previous releases have had an MSRP of $550. Pre-orders are currently being offered throughout the web ranging from $480 to $520. This is a limited run so when they are gone, they are gone. Given the absolute stunning appearance of this pen, I wouldn’t expect them to last long. Don’t regret missing out and grab one while you can. Here is what Pelikan has to say on their product page;
“Following the successful models M101N tortoiseshell brown and M101N lizard, Pelikan launches the third variation in the historical series: The M101N tortoiseshell red. This model comes with an attractive gift box & one bottle of 4001 royal blue ink. Both feature a special historic motif, which makes the set a beautiful gift for every lover of the Pelikan brand.
The barrel is made of the typical Pelikan cellulose acetate in a very unique pattern. Connoisseurs know that the production of this decorative core of the fountain pen is extremely work-intensive. The dark-red parts are made of high-quality resin that polishes itself time and again during use. You can choose the 14 carat gold nib in four sizes: EF, F, M, and B.
This gift set will only be available in a limited quantity, starting September 2014, so make sure you secure your piece before it’s sold out …”