Friday, November 1, 2013

Come, thou tortoise! Pelikans M800 and M600

Are you already bored with warm colors for fall? If so you might want to skip this post because I'm definitely not!

Pelikan M600 Tortoise & White and M800 Tortoise & Brown
Pelikan M600 Tortoise & White and M800 Tortoise & Brown

I know fairly little about Pelikan's history but there is something special about the tortoise celluloids. They've been around a lot in the 1950s and many of those look very nice to this day. What I didn't know until the M800 brown tortoise came out is that there are indeed two different tortoise colors, brown and green.

Pelikan M600 Tortoise & White and M800 Tortoise & Brown

The green tortoise on the M600 is much brighter, more transparent and looks warmer in combination with the white resin. It goes really well with the yellow gold accents on the cap, section ring and nib. Overall the M600 has a much more striking appearance.

Pelikan M600 Tortoise & White and M800 Tortoise & Brown
The M800 brown tortoise is somewhat more subtle and "serious". There are a lot of greyish brown hues with only a few warm coppery highlights in between. Section and cap are a very dark brown that looks almost black.

I guess the Pelikan Souveran series is so well known I don't have to take any measurements. ;)

Pelikan M800 tortoise brown

Now housing an OBB nib, sharpened up by John Sorowka. (The M600 is fitted with an OB nib which has undergone the same treatment but I didn't make a writing sample of that one).

Pelikan M800 OBB writing sample with Diamine Ancient Copper
Pelikan M600 Tortoise & White and M800 Tortoise & Brown

Diamine Ancient Copper seriously is one great ink color though it has its flaws. If you look closely at the pictures above you can see that it already started building up some crud on the nib while exposed to air for the photos. This is a common issue with this ink especially with caps that allow a lot of air circulation. The M800 cap closes tightly enough so this usually doesn't happen in this pen.

Also these days I tried the 120g/sqm paper by Karstadt "System" (a chain of large convenience stores here in Germany). The paper is available in various colors and weights in wads of 50 or 100 sheets. I forgot about the exact price but it was between 5 and 7 Euros for 50 A4 or 100 A5 sheets.

I tried some 120g/sqm in A5 and 160g/sqm in A6, both ivory colored. It's awesome with fountain pens, not too smooth, doesn't eat up all the shading and feels very nice and crisp. Great for composing a letter on it.

Besides: Have a very happy fountain pen day everyone! A great day to write a letter, make a review, take some photos, organize your blog or ink up some pens. Are you planning any fountain pen related activity today?


  1. Very nice! Thank you for showing these beautiful pens!
    I'm on the fence of hitting the buy button for a M800 Tortoise, but I have no idea what nib would be the best. As I know the obliques need some customization to show enough line variation anyway, so I might just get a normal M or B and send it off to someone for a stub/italic grind....

    1. Glad you like it.
      You're right, the obliques only show subtle line variation out of the box if any at all. Still if you like the shape per se I would recommend getting one now as Pelikan has discontinued making them. They will still be available for a while but not forever.
      The Tortoise is a great pen (though I think I would have gone for the white and green one only if that one were available in the M800 size)

  2. Ahhhh beautiful beautiful pictures. Thank you so much for sharing. I LOVE when these beauties make an appearance on your blog :)