The end of the year is often a time for reflection. When looking back on 2015, I think that this was one of the most stand out years for Pelikan in recent memory and I wanted to recap what are, in my opinion, the top 5 fountain pen releases of the year. What makes a pen worthy of this list may not be its form factor or sales figures but rather what it stands for in terms of broader market appeal and what it signals in terms of the company’s direction with its fine writing instruments.
1) M200 Café Crème
The Café Crème was announced at the end of 2014 as the second pen of the 2015 line-up. The cream colored barrel, rich brown ink window, and dark chocolate appearing cap, section, and piston knob really set this release apart. It was the first M2xx in a while that wasn’t a demonstrator and not simply a rehashing of prior models with just some minor variations in trim. I think this release showed that creativity was alive and well in Hannover and that the Classic line was more than just an afterthought. While many people don’t like the smaller size and light weight, you can’t argue the perfect balance and stunning look that this model possesses. It is well worth owning if you can find one. You can read my full review here; http://thepelikansperch.com/2015/02/25/pelikan-m200-cafe-creme-review/.
2) M201 Bayou
The Bayou was a limited release of just 100 pens exclusive to Fountain Pen Hospital (New York, USA) that sold out very quickly. Announced in June of 2015, the Bayou had a pattern very reminiscent of the M620 Grand Place (2006). It seemed that Pelikan may have been cleaning out their closets when they found some old, left over material that they then started shopping around as an exclusive to vendors. Little did we know that shortly on the heels of this beauty we would see the M201 Neptune Blue and Mars Red released from Fahrney’s Pens (Washington, DC, USA) in a similar fashion of just 100 each. The Bayou opened the door for these ultra exclusive and limited releases. Its subtle swirls of blue on a translucent brown background come together to amazing effect. Most people won’t be able to own one of these but it would not surprise me to see similar releases along this same vein in the future. You can see read my full review here; http://thepelikansperch.com/2015/08/20/pelikan-m201-bayou-review/.
3) M205 Amethyst
The Amethyst also stands out as the first of its kind. Never before had a pen been released which complimented the Edelstein Ink of the Year. This deep purple demonstrator was well received by the community. Its shade is deep and rich and, despite being purple, does not feel overly feminine or out of place in any environment that you choose to take it. The chromium trim also nicely compliments the coloring. The expectation is that we should continue to look for M2xx releases patterned off of the Ink of the Year so look to 2016 for an Aquamarine M/K 205 set.
4) M800 Burnt Orange
The M800 Burnt Orange was the last Souverän to be released in 2015. It has a very striking coloration and is definitely one of the brighter finishes in the line, particularly when juxtaposed with the Stresemann released earlier in the year. The orange barrel and dark brown cap, piston knob, and section marry well with the gold furniture to make for a gorgeous looking pen. Unfortunately, the M8xx size is a little big for some but if size isn’t a factor for you, this is definitely a must try. The only downside in my opinion is the lack of an ink view window. Most of Pelikan’s pens provide some way to view the remaining ink level but it was left off of the Burnt Orange, I’m assuming, due to the aesthetics of the design. Even with that quibble, I can’t help but be captivated. It’s been my daily carry for all of December thus far as I can’t seem to put it down.
5) M805 Stresemann
Last but certainly not least is the Stresemann. This was the first pen to be announced for the 2015 line-up a bit over a year ago. The anthracite striped pattern really makes for a sophisticated and understated look. I first thought of it as a lack of color but the anthracite has really grown on me as a color in its own right and it is offset to great effect by the palladium trim. This model also brings the all rhodium plated nib devoid of any yellow gold accents seen for the first time on the Mx05 lines. It marked the transition to such styling for all future Mx05 releases. You can read my full review here; http://thepelikansperch.com/2015/04/15/pelikan-m805-anthracite-stresemann-review/.
2015 was a great year in terms of design, number of new models, as well as the precedent that some of the releases have set up for future iterations. I think this was a banner year for Pelikan and I hope that they will carry this momentum into 2016 and beyond.