Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Souverän Revisited

Very rare that I ever see a review of a Pelikan Souverän in any of the many fountain pen related blogs. I myself wrote some lines back in February of this year about the 600 in the Souverän series, referring to the pen as the ‘top of the heap.’ To be honest, I am somewhat puzzled by the lack of opinion on Pelikan fountain pens in general and the Souverän series in particular, as far as American enthusiasts go. I’ve begun to believe that for one reason or another Pelikan has failed to impress the great majority of pen collectors (hobbyists, enthusiasts) in this country. In Japan, where I was introduced to Pelikan, all of the models, Souverän paramount among them, are wildly popular. I have no Japanese pen-enthusiast friends who don’t own at least two in the Souverän series.

This is a something of a mystery to me, because I know for certain, know as plain fact, that Pelikan is second to none in fountain pen design and manufacture. As most who are a little crazy about pens, I have pens of all makes, in all price ranges, and if you told me I had to give up all but one, the final decision would be down to the Pelikans, and would almost assuredly end with me choosing the Pelikan Souverän 600 as my buddy to the bitter end.

The single unchanging, never faltering characteristic of the Souverän series—and my 600 in particular—is its dependability. Pick it up and if there’s ink in the barrel, it will write beautifully every time, no question, whatever the ink, whatever the paper, no skips, drips or dryness. Ask me and I would tell you it’s the pen of the millennium.

Allow me to be redundant and repeat some of the 600’s specifics here. Like all Souverän models, the 600 is made of diamond ground acrylic resin. It is available in three colors: solid black with gold trim, red with black stripes, or green with black stripes. The red and green also have the gold trim. The gold plated clip is the traditional pelican beak-shape. The cap has the usual trademark of a gold pelican and chick against a black background. The 600 is 5.28 inches (13.4cm) long and weighs 16.4 grams without ink. This size is a good balance in either a small or a large hand. The nib is 14k with rhodium decoration, showing again the familiar pelican and chick.

My own Souverän 600 was special ordered from Fullhalter pen shop in Tokyo, and crafted by nibmeister, Nobuhiko Moriyama. Had to wait six weeks to finally get the pen, but from the day I picked it up, it became the standard against which I compare all fountain pens.


  1. Fantastic! My M800 is in my pocket right now. ;-)

    I'll link to your post tomorrow.

  2. I'm hoping to try an M200 soon as my first pen that I'd really consider an investment (Safaris being relatively replacable). I hear good things.

  3. Thanks for your review of the Pelikan M600 Souveran. For me, the M600 is the perfect pen in terms of size, weight, balance, proportion. If my hand could choose any pen, it would always reach for a 600. I have two, an M605, and an M620 Grand Place. I got both of them really cheap which is the only way I can afford them. Both have Richard Binder .5mm cursive italic nibs.


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  5. My M800 is my favorite writer. Best nib of any of the many fountain pens I own - just the right flex for beautiful line variation and never skips a beat. Bought it in Germany in the '90s; a pre-reunification model, its cap trim ring is marked W. Germany. I have quite a few Pelikans; 200s through 800s and love their classic styling. Fantastic quality pens.

  6. I've never really thought about it that much before, but you're exactly right that there are very few reviews of Pelikans out there. But I don't have the impression that it's not a popular pen brand in the US. Just about every fountain pen user I know who owns pens in the $100+ range owns at least one Pelikan. The m800 italic was my 'holy grail' pen, and I use it lovingly on a daily basis.


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