The Souverän M300 did not burst onto the scene with any fanfare. There was no large, elaborately orchestrated debut such as what we saw with the M800 some eleven years earlier. Perhaps the lack of flourish was fitting given the pen’s diminutive and unassuming size. It was 1998 when the M300 emerged as the smallest Souverän in the line-up. News of Monica Lewinsky’s affair with Bill Clinton was just breaking, the XVIII Olympic Winter Games were being held in Japan, and Titanic became the first motion picture to gross US$1 billion. The late nineties were also a time of great change for Pelikan’s high end models. The M400 received an upgraded trim package, the M600 was given an entirely new form, and the massive M1000 would take up the mantle as Pelikan’s flagship. All of the furniture on the company’s Souveräns was standardized, essentially creating five models, each representing a different sized pen catering to a variety of tastes and purposes. The marketing which would follow highlighted this; “You can buy suits in different sizes. So why not fountain pens?” Amongst Pelikan’s refreshed line-up, the M300 fit the smallest niche, both literally and figuratively. Not much larger than your standard golf pencil, the M300 has ruled over its tiny kingdom for 22 years. That reign comes to an end in 2020 as the model line has now been officially discontinued. I was first alerted to this fact by vendors who could no longer order new stock and it has subsequently been confirmed to me by Juana Schahn, the Social Media Manager for Pelikan. Read on to learn the how’s and why’s behind the pen’s demise and get a glimpse at some of the M300’s history over the past two decades.
The Pelikan’s Perch has continued to grow thanks to your kind support. My vision has always been to slowly expand the site’s database of Pelikan pens. While there are already a few great databases out there, I have tried to distinguish mine by not only simply being a compendium of tables and figures but also providing a narrative for each pen that would allow for easier identification. This desire goes back to the frustration that I felt when I first started collecting and the scarcity of published knowledge out there. Access to information has improved in the time since I started this site and I hope to continue to witness the ongoing contributions of others as well as contribute myself to that knowledge base for some time to come. Following on the heels of my recent review of the Ruby Red M320, I am pleased to announce the addition of the Souverän M3xx family of pens to the database housed in the The Aviary. I hope that this addition will provide useful information on the youngest and smallest pen in the Souverän line-up. The Aviary now includes a page detailing all of the variations of the M3xx family available at the time of this post, including the special editions. You will find write-ups detailing the features of these pens as well as photos of all 7 of the known variations to aid in identification/reference. If you weren’t previously aware of the database, please have a look around as many other great models are detailed there.
Pelikan’s M300 was introduced in 1998 and has the distinction of being the youngest and smallest member of the Souverän family. All told, there have been seven models of the M3xx series released over the past 17 years. To date, the penultimate release in that line has been the M320 Ruby Red which debuted in 2010 and is the subject of this review. While the M300 comes in the traditional green striped and black variants, the M320 is characterized by unique finishes that were first introduced in 2004. In their order of release; there has been the Orange Marbled (2004), Jade Green (2007), Ruby Red (2010), and Pearl (2011). These pens are diminutive, dwarfed by each and every one of their siblings in the other lines, including the M100/150 of the Classic series. Consequently, this makes them well suited to an environment such as a purse or vest pocket. Do not let their small size fool you as the M3xx line remain true Souveräns boasting all of the same furniture as well as Pelikan’s piston filling mechanism. Whether or not this pen is for you will be a matter of personal preference and surely this pen’s size will be the biggest limiting factor to its appeal. Read on below to find out about all of this pen’s qualities and quirks.