Controversy Over The Early M900 Toledo

Pelikan M900 ToledoFirst released to the luxury market in 1931, the Pelikan T111 featured a steel binde (BIN-duh) hand engraved in the Damascene style, a technique imported to Toledo, Spain by the Arabs.  Damascene artists traditionally decorate steel with threads of gold and silver to create beautiful, painstakingly crafted pieces.  The Toledo models of today use a sterling silver binde rather than steel to which a thin layer of gold is applied.  The technique that is used to produce the Toledo has changed very little over the past 85 years.  Pelikan re-introduced the Toledo in 1986 with the M700, an M4xx sized pen depicting the classic Pelikan Toledo motif.  Production has always been limited by the unique, hand crafted nature of each pen that rolls off of the line (Pelikan cites a quantity of just 200 pens produced per month).  In 1991, Pelikan introduced the M900 Toledo, a pen with a similar design and motif but in the larger and heavier M8xx form factor and meant as a limited edition.  The M900 was billed as “The Collectors’ Edition Toledo” in the United States and released as a run of just 500 pens earmarked specifically for the North American market (some accounts report an additional 500 pens made for sale overseas).  Each North American pen came with a certificate declaring the rarity of the release.  This exquisite model sold out quickly with many collectors being spurred into action by the limited and distinctive nature of such a release.  The story might have ended there if it were not for Pelikan’s decision to re-release the M900 as a standard issue pen which has since enjoyed a lengthy production run.

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