Glenn's Pens

Pens of Note


Pelikan Souverän M800

Pelikan introduced what is called the differentiated piston in 1929, this is where the thread mechanism has the internal part turn faster than the knob at the end of the pen. Allows a smooth fast draw of ink. For those who have a Pelikan piston pen in their collection, the smoothness and dependability of action is one of the hallmark characteristics of Pelikan pens.

The Souverän Collection

The start of the line began with the launch of the 400 in 1950. At the time the pen was part of a product redesign. The striped sleeve became and still remains a worldwide symbol for the brand. In the 1980s the line took the name Souverän.

The workmanship of the body is impressive. It is not made from a solid rod of resin, rather raw material cotton is processed in many steps until it is shaped into a striped sheet. The sheet is shaped, sanded and cut with a diamond for exact measurements.

In terms of the M800, it came out in 1987 as part of the company's launch into the premium pen market. After going into receivership in 1982, being taken over by the Swiss Company, Condorport in 1984, and then in 1996 Goodace of Malaysia became the majority stockholder. The M400 was re-launched in 1982, after basically not being in production since 1970. It was a hit.


Pelikan M800 Green

Pelikn launched the M800 pen, their first oversized pen, at the Frankfurt Fair in 1987. The pen was first released in the classic green stripped Sressemann pattern. The green pen weas followed with a version in black, and shortly after the model in Tortoiseshell Brown.

M800 Green

M800 Black

With the Green M800 a success, short after that the line was isued with a versi9n of the pen in black. Similar to the others, but the pen was different in tht the in chamber has a window.

Pelikan M800 Black

Pelikan M800 Tortiseshell Brown (new)

In 1987 Pelikan issued the M800, a line of pens that if often referred to as their entry into the luxury pen line. The first pen was in the traditional green strip colour, followed by The M800 pen in black. Then, for a limited time, the Tortiseshell Brown M800. This was was re-issued in 2013, again as a limited run. Produced in limited numbers, but once completed, no more pens will be produced. To match the beautiful shades of brown, tan and orange, the pen is produced in a dark brown resin. From a distance it make look black, but when light falls on the pen, the rich brown colour is very evident. The pen is appropriately trimmed in 24 kt gold plate.

The limited number M800 Tortoiseshell is available in Fine, Medium and Broad nib style. I ordered mine with a broad nib and it is a very smooth writing pen. In addition to the fountain pen, Pelikan will be producing a Roller ball and Ball point pen, again in limited numbers.

The pen is the standard M800, and all comments on the M800 in terms of size and feel in the hand stand for th is version. There is a Tortoiseshell White in the M600 line, but the colours of the M800 Tortoiseshell Brown are just that, brown versus the golden greens of the M600. Likewise, the colour of this pen are totally different from the M101N Tortoiseshell Brown pen.

I love the pen, it has all the feel in terms of size and quality of the M800 line. The packaging of the pen, given its price and restricted production, feels inappropriate. The pen comes in a standard cardboard gift box. The lid lifts off, and the only thing special is that the pen is in a white leather case. The white leather pouch is very nice.

Pelilkan, on their website notes that the Edelstein Ink of the Year (2013) will be Amber and I have to ask the obvious question... why did they not coordinate production of the ink so that a bottle of ink was included with the pen?

Pelikan Souverän M800 Tortiseshell Brown

M800 Blue


M800 Pelikan Blue

M800 Red


M800 Red


Pelikan Souverän M800 Burnt Orange

So on my September 2016 visit to Novelli Pen in Rome, I went through my normal ritual of looking at the various pens, Marco carrying a try to put the pens of interst, and then to return to the counter and try out the various pens, and try to narrow down my selection. This year I had pick too many that I just "must have". When I indicated that perhaps I would select the M800 Burnt Orange on my visit next year (there is good advance planning), Marco indicated he only had two left and the pens were no longer available - this was one of the Special Editions with a defined production run. So that moved this pen to the top of the list!

Burnt Orange Special Edition

Pelikan issued the Burnt Orange Special Edition in September 2015. It is the standard M800 model well known for its quality and size. The body is a beautiful orange tone, terra cotta, burnt orange and drark brown tones made of resin. The piston twist and nib section are also in the very dark brown colour. From a distance it looks black, but as light hits the pen the rich brown towns emerge. All similar to the previous Special Edition, Tortoiseshell Brown.

The nib is the excellent 18kt two-toned gold nib. It is available in Extra Fine, Fine, Medium and Broad (according to the Pelikan web site). I selected by with a Broad nib. I debated about having a Double Broad nib, and wrote with the pen. I found the particular Double Broad available a little too broad, a decision I may regret as I understand the Double Broad nib is no longer being made by Pelikan.

The gold-plated trim looks warm and appoopriate to the brown and orange tones of the pen.

The pen come in the regular Pelikan pen box, a cardboard based box with a leatherette/vinyl pen wrap inside. Too bad they did not link this pen with a special colour of ink. The Edlestein line of inks does comes in a orange and a burnt orange colour would have really made this a special product.

I have a number of M800's in my collection. I find the size of pen is very well suited to my hand. The pen closed in 5.44" in length, and when capped, the way I write with all my pens, it is a good 6.74".

The piston pulls a good quantity of ink, 1.2 ml so the pen can be filled up, and there is a good long writing time before it is needed to be refilled again. Like the majority of the M800s, there is no ink-view window. I only have that in some of my older Black M800s. It is a feature that I like.

...Pelikan M800 Burnt Oranage


Pelikan Souverän M800 Renaissance Brown

The Renaissance is made with the standard M800 body and cap. The acrylic body and cap (same material used on both) is a beautiful blend of rich browns with large flecks of pearl that catch the light as you hold the pen. This is where the pen gets it name. Pelikan says the nuances of light and shadow in the acrylic are a typical characteristics of Renaissance painting. The pen pays homage to the masterpieces painted by the period's greatest artists.

The rings and clip of the pen decorated with 24 carat gold/There is gold plate trim at the base of the nib section and beneath the section with the piston turn knob. This all nicely sets off the beautiful resin used in the cap and the body. The resin is semi translucent and when you hold the pen up to the light you can see part-way into the body.

The nib is the smooth writing 18K gold nib, and it is available in Extra Fine, Fine, Medium and Broad. Gone are the days where a broader assortment of nibs were available.

I thought they went cheap on the box, and when a read about the pen on the Pelikan web site I see they call it a "practical" box and that prestigious gift boxes can be ordered separately.

With this pen, they note the 2017 Ink of the Year is Smoky Quartz, a matching colour for the pen. The ink was available in May 2017.

M800 Renaissance Brown

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