Review: M201 Bayou (2015)

Pelikan M201Bayou with porcelain Pelikan pen standIn a surprise June announcement, Fountain Pen Hospital broke the news that they would be releasing a limited edition Pelikan fountain pen exclusive to them.  Founded in 1946, Fountain Pen Hospital has been a long-standing and well-respected retailer of fountain pens on the East Coast of the U.S.A. so it’s not surprising that they would have the clout to arrange such a release.  Still, the announcement was a bolt from the blue since there wasn’t even a hint of rumor preceding the Bayou’s arrival.  The pen, dubbed the M201 Bayou, was a very limited release of just 100 fountain pens.  Slated for an August issue, many of us were pleasantly surprised when shipping notifications started going out in early July.  The next word that we got about the Bayou was that it had sold out after being on the market just shy of three weeks.  I debated the utility in reviewing this pen given that so few people will actually ever own one but it’s such a beautiful piece that I wanted to give it its due.  Officially labeled the M200 ‘water soil’ by Pelikan, this pen stands out as unique amongst the Classic series in several ways that I will describe below.  The M201 designation itself is not unprecedented as Pelikan has used this moniker before to distinguish limited, local releases.  The M201 clear demonstrator issued as a limited run of 3000 pieces in the year 2000 to the Japanese market is one such example.  If you know your way around Pelikan’s lines, you can’t help but look at the Bayou and instantly be reminded of the M620 Grand Place, a pen which shares a very similar aesthetic.  This similarity has raised more than a few questions about the genesis of this run.  Read on to find out more.

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News: M201 Neptune Blue & Mars Red Limited Editions

Pelikan M201 Neptune Blue and Mars RedPrior to today, I had mistakenly thought that the M201 Bayou exclusive that recently sold out from Fountain Pen Hospital was to be a one off type of release.  Imagine my surprise then upon awakening this morning to an email from Fahrney’s Pens out of Washington D.C. announcing not one but two new M201 fountain pens exclusive to their establishment.  We now have the M201 Neptune Blue and Mars Red.  Like the Bayou, each pen will be limited to just 100 pieces.   The Neptune is described as having, “swirling, cosmic cloud-like patterns” while the Mars is “marbled with dark tones like a luminous nova in deep space.”  The cap, section, and piston knob will be solid black for both pens.  Interestingly, the trim will vary with the Neptune seeing silver-colored furniture while the Mars will have gold-colored furniture.  The nibs will be stainless steel available in sizes EF, F, M, B, and Italic.  Like the Bayou, the barrels will have some translucency to allow for viewing the remaining ink level in the pen.

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News: M201 Bayou Limited Edition

M201Fountain Pen Hospital out of New York City, NY quietly announced a new, very limited edition fountain pen from Pelikan via their Twitter feed today.  It will be known as the Pelikan Bayou M201 and is exclusive to Fountain Pen Hospital.  Only 100 pens total are reported to be available adding to the exclusivity of this release.  Manufactured by Pelikan, the Bayou finish will be a departure from almost everything else in the M2xx line-up.  The barrel will feature a swirl of browns, dark blues, and black acrylic resins.  The cap, section, and piston knob will be solid black and the furniture will have the standard M200 gold plating.  The clip remains Pelikan’s traditional beak clip design and the nib will be gold-plated stainless steel available in sizes EF, F, M, B, and Italic.  A transparent ink indicator window is also reported to be present.

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M201 – No, It’s Not a Typo

Old & New Style Pelikan M250's

Old & new style M250’s

Pelikan has released many special editions over the years, usually at the request of its customers.  Sometimes these are brought about by the company and other times, they are special order pieces for companies that contract for a limited run.  Many special editions are depicted in The Aviary which includes pens such as the M150 Bols, the M200 Deutsche Telekom, the M200 Citroenpers, and the M250 Tortoiseshell Brown.  There is a much lesser known model out there that qualifies as a special edition and it is known as the M201.

The M201 was released in the year 2000 and was a run of roughly 3000 pieces.  This was a clear demonstrator with a black piston assembly/mechanism which has the same design/dimensions as the M200.  Since it is a post-’97 model, it is distinguished by a crown cap top, single cap band, and has a single trim ring at the piston knob.  The nib is gold-plated stainless steel.  It is an M200 for all intents and purposes but was manufactured for the Japanese market and branded M201.  I am not familiar with any other pen being branded as an M201.

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