Thursday, February 4, 2010

Top of the Heap

Figured it was time once more for me to wander some in the garden of fountain pen delights, so have pulled out my favorite pen (How many times have I said that?) for showcasing today. I may have more Sailor fountain pens than any other brand, but in my heart of hearts, when I consider the best pen, it can be no other than Pelikan. And the top of the heap for me is the green and black Pelikan Souverän 600, the first pen I took to my heart, and one specially crafted for me by Nobuhiko Moriyama at Fullhalter.

After talking it over with Moriyama-san and deciding what kind of pen and what kind of nib I wanted, it was almost six weeks before the Pelikan 600 was ready. Foolish to pretend I wasn’t excited the day I went to Fullhalter to pick up the finished pen, eagerly clutching a brand new bottle of Pelikan violet, the ink I had chosen to christen the pen with. The first few sample lines and scribbles I wrote were enough to convince me I had entered new territory, and that the 600 would change my perception of quality fountain pens. I wasn’t wrong in that. From that day forward I compared every other pen to my splendid Pelikan 600. That was some years back, and I have never lost a grain of trust in, or satisfaction with Pelikan.

The 600 has an M nib (14k) with rhodium decoration, is 5.28 inches (13.4 cm) long and weighs 16.4 grams empty. The size is a good balance for either a small or large hand. Like other pens in the Souverän series, this one too is made of diamond ground acrylic resin. Mine is green with black stripes, but it is also available in red with black stripes, or solid black. As is the case with all the pens in the series, the 600 has a gold plated beak-shaped clip, and the double rings at the top and at the bottom of the cap are also gold plated. The cap carries the traditional company trademark of nest, pelican and chick.

I’ll wrap this up by saying that if by some horrible occurrence I could save only one fountain pen from my collection, I might hesitate for a few beats, but chances are good I would grab up the Pelikan 600 and make a run for it. I don’t want to even think about doing without this one.

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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America