Pelikan Souverän M800 & M1000
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.
Pelikan's introduction of the piston as an ink filling mechanism signaled a major change for pens.
For those who have a Pelikan piston pen in their collection, the smoothness and dependability of action of the filling mechanism is one of the hallmark characteristics of the pens.
The M400, with what is now a classic green striped body, was issued in 1950 and it became a symbol for Pelikan The line was named Souverän in the 1980s. The M400 was re-issued
The Pelikan Souverän M800 and M1000 represent a benchmark in classic style and high quality workmanship in a fountain pen.
The M800 was introduced in 1987 and it represented a change for the company. This was a much larger pen than had been previously manufactured. Because it used a brass filling mechanism, the pen also had weight.
The M800 was first introduced in what many refer to as the traditional black cap and green body, then in an all black cap and body and then, for a limited run, a black cap and tortoise brown body. More on that pen follows. Later the pen came out in blue and then red.
The M800 is considered by many as a classic fountain pen. It is relatively large. Measuring 5 1/2 inches in length when the pen is capped, and 6 1/2 inches when the cap is posted to the body. The width of the pen is just over 1/2 inch in width. For anyone who likes a larger pen, this pen will comfortably sit in the hand.
The resin body has solid brass inner components which give the pen a reasonable weight. The clip and trip are gold-plated.
The pen is fitted with a 18 carat gold rhodium washed nib with rhodium decoration. Indeed, the Pelikan nibs have a very classy appearance, are large and an important contributor to the overall appearance of the M800 fountain pen. The current range of nib options include Fine, Medium, Broad, Double Broad and Oblique Broad.
The nibs can easily screw out of the nib section for easy replacement.
The clip is a classic solid piece of metal with the emblem of a pelikan's eyes and beak at the top.
The M800 is available in solid Black, Black/Green stripe, Black/Blue stripe and Black/Red stripe body. My first pens were the basic black which have a semi-transparent section right above the nib section that allows you to see the level of ink held in the pen.
With a couple of Blacks, I then bought the classic Green/Black, then the Blue/Black came for my 50th Birthday and the Red/Black to round out the collection.
I have bought a number of replacement nibs so I have the option of changing the nib that include Mediums, Broad, Double Broad, Medium Oblique and Broad Oblique.
My my M800 blue/black I always write with the Double Broad nib. It is very smooth and lays a good solid line of ink on the paper. The Double Broad Oblique is the nib I have hot and cold feelings about. Some days I love it, others, I find it less smooth. The Medium is appreciated for detailed work -- how else would I make entries into my calendar, but not at least for my hand, best for fast continuous writing but I find the Broad in the Green and Red to be more favorite in terms of what nibs I always have fitted with the pens. .
Some describe the M800 as having a nib that is rigid, however, for the heavy pressure I put on a nib this seems to be made with my style in mind.
M800 Brown Tortoiseshell Special Edition
Back in 1987 Pelikan issued a limited run of Brown Tortoiseshell M800. It followed the introduction of the M800 as its entry into the luxury line of pens, and was a good bold move, having just come out of bankruptcy. Now, in 2013, Pelikan repeats the limited release of this classic pen. Issued in February 2013, the pen will be produced in limited numbers, Pelikan says based on order response, and then once they are gone, that will be it for the particular pen.
The pen has all the great feel of the M800. The brown colours are very impressive. When I appreciate the "exclusiveness" of the pen, and I was happy with the performance, I must admit I was a little let down on the cheap packaging of the pen. While some packaging is over-the-top, this pen arriving in what is basically a cardboard box, with no printed material that is specific to the pen was a bit of a let down. Also, since the Pelikan Edelstein ink has issued the colour Amber, as the Ink of the Year (2013) you would think it would be packaged with the pen.
While the solid black M800s have a small window to allow you to see if there is ink in the pen, the striated pens allow you to see into the pen, a little, when held to the light. So you can check on the amount of ink in the pen. The M800s hold 2.0 ml of ink.
The M1000 came out in 1998. My first M1000 was in the classic Green/Black stripe, but I then followed with a Black model. Who can only have one of these pens!
As with the M800, for the Green/Black there is a translucence to the barrel so you can see some of the ink level. Similar to the M800, the M1000 in black has a clear window at the top of the barrel by the nib section. A celluloid sheet is inside the barrel in which the piston mechanism sits.
But don't worry about people seeing the ink level in this pen, the nib is what catches the eye. It is massive. A large hand crafted 18 carat, two-toned rhodium masked gold nib — probably the largest I have seen on any modern pen. One of the things I like about the M1000 and the M800 is the ability to screw-in nib units so you can easily have one pen with a variety of nibs. Take care as the M1000 nibs really deliver ink. My Double Broad nib is saved for "signature days" with a broad nib used for daily writing.
I like the M1000 but the pen I pick up the most is the M800, a little smaller, it fits more comfortably in my hand. The M1000 has a very different writing experience from the M800. That is not only because the pen is larger, but the nib is very much larger than the M800. It is also more flexible. I write with a fair amount of force, and the ink really flows from this pen.
2015 - the distributor for Canada has raised the price of Pelikan pens so that they will be difficult to obtain in Canada. The M800 would have a $800-$1000 CDN price tag, and well a very good pen, that price will create a barrier for buyers.
Pelikan Souverän M800 & M1000