Spring is in the air, a season full of promise and the renewal of life. With it comes baseball, April showers, blooming flowers, and fresh news of the next big thing out of Hannover. Earlier today, vendors across the globe gave us our first look at the M600 Violet-White, a light pastel purple or lilac colored model that is sure to fit right in at this time of the year. The new model’s appearance is very much in keeping with past releases which include the M600 Turquoise-White (2018), the M605 White-Transparent (2017), the M600 Pink (2015), and the M600 Tortoiseshell White (2012). There has been some uncertainty and delays surrounding Pelikan’s launch dates this year but, for now at least, you can anticipate the Violet-White hitting store shelves sometime in May 2019.
Pelikan has several brightly colored models in its stable of past releases though only a precious few bear the moniker ‘vibrant.’ Prior to this year, we only had the M600 Vibrant Green (2014) and the M805 Vibrant Blue (2016). It seems a biennial pattern of vibrant releases is emerging because this year we’ve been given the M600 Vibrant Orange. It may surprise you to learn that these finishes are not unique nor did they originate with these larger birds. Back in 2004, Pelikan gave us the M320 Orange followed by the M320 Green three years later. The smallest of the Sovueräns, these tiny pens pioneered the vibrant finish even if they weren’t named as such. Other manufacturers have produced similar finishes which can be seen with the Delta Dolce Vita Oro, Pineider Avatar Saffron Yellow, and the Aurora 88 Sole to name just a few. Pelikan appears to have dusted off the old cellulose-acetate to bring us this year’s Vibrant Orange. Looking back at the releases that have graced the M6xx line in recent years, it certainly looks as though this line, more than any other, is Pelikan’s outlet for colorful expression. I’d wager that few lines have seen the bouquet of colors that the M6xx has which is ironic since so many voices have clamored for a Tortoiseshell Brown or Anthracite Stresemann to grace the platform. As my little kindergartener tells me, “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.” So it is with open arms that I welcomed the Vibrant Orange into my flock and after some use, have found it unique enough to review. Read on to find out if this is the model for you. I have a suspicion it may well be the last official release we see out of Hannover for 2018.
This year has seen some rather conservative releases as far as color and styling go. When you look at the Spirit of 1838, the M815 Metal Striped, and the M805 Raden Royal Platinum you see pens with a very monochromatic or two toned styling (usually black & silver). I don’t say that to take anything away from those models but many of us out there yearn for a splash of color. The M205 Olivine and the upcoming M800 Stone Garden help scratch that itch somewhat but even their colors are more subdued. To the casual observer, it would seem that Pelikan has been using their M600 line over the last few years to provide an outlet for more colorful releases. We saw this with the Pink and the Turquoise-White for example. Well, today we have a new addition to that line, the M600 Vibrant Orange. Rumored since earlier this year, the Vibrant Orange is due out by mid-November and is sure to be a welcome addition to many who find the M600 line of pens to be the sweet spot in terms of size and weight.
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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.
One new product announcement today from Iguana Sell would have been great but we got two! In addition to the M205 Amethyst Demonstrator detailed in the previous post, we were also made aware of the upcoming release of Pelikan’s new Souverän M600 Pink which seems to be targeted specifically for the ladies. Being marketed as part of a ‘Ladies Collection,’ this seems to be a new effort on the company’s part as I cannot recall any prior product with such a focused target audience. You’ll very quickly notice that it’s the pink striped barrel that sets this model apart from its siblings.
In keeping with my vision for this site, The Aviary continues to grow with the addition of the Souverän M6xx family of pens now available for your reference. Conspicuously, this follows on the heels of my recent in-depth look at the M600 series of fountain pens which I hope was able to provide some useful information on this middle child of the Souverän line-up. The Aviary now includes a page detailing all of the variations of the M6xx 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 photographs of nearly all of the 41 known variations to aid in identification/reference. Also, in case you may have missed it, below you will find links to my 3 part series looking at the M6xx family. In the future, I hope to grow The Aviary to include a similar treatment of the other members of the Souverän line. Also, don’t forget to check out the M75, M1xx, M2xx, M481, and M101N pages that have previously been added.
This is the second installment of what I intend to be a three-part segment looking at the M600. The first post, “A Tale of Two M600’s,” looked back at the history of the M600 and the design changes which occurred in 1997 that forever altered the physical appearance as well as the fit-in-the-hand of the pen. Where that post focused on the origins of these pens, this post will be a direct review, a head to head comparison of the pre-1997, old-style M600 versus the post-1997, new style M600. It is important to look at the two side by side because even though they share the same moniker, they are very different pens and will therefore appeal to different people. Interestingly, years ago when I looked to branch out and try a bigger pen, I decided to seek out an M600, mostly due to it’s more budget friendly appeal when compared to an M800 or M1000. Not knowing much about the pen at all and not having the knowledge of sites such as this one, I purchased an M600 on the used market only, much to my surprise, to find it the same size as the few M200 and M400 models in my collection. I thought that a mistake had been made and, at first, was upset until I learned what I have already shared with you in part one of this series. Once I realized that the confusion was all mine, I was actually very pleased with my acquisition and soon followed it up with the post-1997 variant that I had initially envisioned. Those two pens from my personal collection are what I will review for you today.
This is the first installment of a multi-part series looking at what I consider to be the middle child of the Souverän family, the M600. This first post will explore the history, features, and variations of the M600. In a follow-up post, I will be reviewing both the old and new style M600 pens in a head to head match-up. The M600 has one of the more interesting histories amongst Pelikan’s Souverän line-up and therefore is also prone to generate confusion amongst collectors. As I’ve described previously, the year 1997 saw many changes to the trim styles of both the Souverän and Tradition series of pens. Perhaps no pen was more affected than the M600 because not only did the trim change, the actual physical dimensions of the pen did as well. The M600 was originally introduced in 1985, a few years after the M400 was debuted. At that time, it had the same exact dimensions as the M400 but included an upgraded trim package. The initially available barrel colors included black (1985), burgundy (1989), and the familiar green striated (1990) variations. A tortoise version also exist but these are much less frequently encountered due to its limited production run.