Pelikan has introduced over 40 different nib widths and styles during their 90 years of fountain pen production. Time and market forces have slowly taken their toll, whittling away at the available variety and eroding character. Around the year 2012, Pelikan discontinued production of oblique nibs in the widths of OM, OB, OBB, and O3B. The following year, the larger BB and 3B nibs were also removed from the standard line-up. Correspondence from representatives of the company around that time cited low global sales as justification for the discontinuation. For the past six years, Pelikan’s fine writing instruments could only be purchased with nibs in the standard widths of EF, F, M, and B. There have been exceptions to this rule as seen with the intermittent availability of an IB (italic broad) nib option or Niche Pens batch of M8xx BB nibs first offered in 2015. Neither option has been widely available or part of the standard line-up. Many have lamented Pelikan’s lack of variety, particularly as other manufacturers have continued to offer a significantly wider array of nibs. One such example of innovation in the nib space that comes to mind is Montblanc’s Meisterstück Solitaire or 149 fountain pens equipped with a flexible 18C-750 gold calligraphy “expression” nib which can reportedly vary line widths from about 0.3 mm to 1.6 mm. These calligraphy pens buck the familiar trend of hard as nails nibs, capitalizing on a maturing market of enthusiast looking for modern day flex writing pens. While Pelikan has yet to venture into that space, we’ve recently learned, courtesy of Appelboom, that they are re-introducing IB and BB nibs, adding them to the standard line-up on a restricted basis. Read on to learn more about the reincarnation of these older nibs as well as a few other tidbits.
Pelikan launched their “Seven Wonders of the World” series back in 2004 with the intent of designing seven pens, each as an homage to their respective ‘Wonder.’ These models represent some of the more interesting and artistic designs ever put out by the company, even if they are not always the most practical. Many different lists of wonders have been compiled over the ages. Pelikan appears to be riffing off of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World first put forth by Philo of Byzantium. Other writers on the topic include the historian Herodotus, the scholar Callimachus of Cyrene, and Antipater of Sidon. These lists chronicled “must see” attractions for Hellenic tourists, much like our guidebooks might do today. Like all but one of the described wonders, much of their ancient writings have not survived the ages except as references in other works. Classically, the Seven Wonders were; The Great Pyramid of Giza (2004), The Colossus of Rhodes (2005), The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (2006), The Lighthouse of Alexandria (2007), The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (2009), The Statue of Zeus at Olympia (2016), and The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. In modern times, only the Great Pyramid of Giza still exists. To date, Pelikan has released five out of seven pens in the series (actual release dates noted above in parentheses) leaving us awaiting Zeus and the Mausoleum. It has been seven years since we were given the Hanging Gardens of Babylon leading some to question whether we would see the series finished. Today, several European vendors have given us a glimpse at the penultimate release in the series, The Statue of Zeus.