If you are in the market for a Pelikan fountain pen then you are going to want to figure out the company’s naming convention. After all, there is a big difference between an M200 and an M600, so it’ll be worth spending a few minutes to get to know the name schema, even if you don’t commit it to memory.
Souverän vs Classic
Most of the pens will fall into two types: Souverän (“supreme” in German) and Classic. The news is that the distinction is clear: Souverän is the luxury series and the Classic is the more affordable set. The Souverän prices will skew higher thanks to more sophisticated designs and higher end materials.
Pelikan Fountain Pen Names
Here are some common pens with a brief explanation of what you are getting. This is the TLDR version of Pelikan’s fountain pen naming, put here at the top for easy reference. Scroll down for more granular information and deeper explanations!
- M120: Small pen, steel nib, gold-colored trim, torpedo shape (instead of flat ends)
- M200: Small pen, steel nib, gold-colored trim
- M205: Small pen, steel nib, silver-colored trim
- M400: Small pen, gold nib, gold-colored trim
- M405: Small pen, gold nib, silver-colored trim
- M600: Medium pen, gold nib, gold-colored trim
- M700: Medium pen, gold nib, special edition trim and designs
- M800: Large pen, gold nib, gold-colored trim
- M805: Large pen, gold nib, silver-colored trim
- M1000: Extra large pen, gold nib, gold-colored trim
For reference, small is about 12 cm long when capped, medium is about 13 cm, large is about 14 cm, and extra large is about 14.5 cm. The diameter of the grip will also grow accordingly (from 9.1 mm to about 12 mm), as will the size of the nib.
There are some more subtle changes as well. For example the M800 and M1000 move to a brass piston filling mechanism instead of a plastic one, which is a nice upgrade that can’t be seen when simply looking at the pen.
Pelikan Ballpoint Pen Names
While the Pelikan fountain pen naming is relatively simple, the ballpoints aren’t as easy.
- Tradition K150: Very small pen, push button, gold trim
- Classic K200: Small pen, push button, gold trim
- Classic K205: Small pen, push button, silver trim
- Classic K400: Medium pen, push button, gold trim
- Souverän K600: Large pen, twist retractable, gold trim
- Souverän K800: Extra large pen, twist retractable, gold trim
- Souverän K805: Extra large pen, twist retractable, silver trim
- Pura K40: Medium pen, twist retractable, aluminum body
- K150: 126 mm
- K200: 134 mm
- K300: 111 mm
- K400: 135 mm
- K600: 128 mm
- K800: 139 mm
Pelikan Rollerball Names and Sizes
Pelikan’s rollerballs are typically seen in the following sizes:
- R400: Small (125 mm capped), 18.2 grams with ink
- R600: Medium (133 mm capped), 19.4 grams with ink
- R800: Large (141 mm capped), 25.5 grams with ink
These pens use Pelikan’s excellent Pelikan 338 refill.
Pelikan Letter Prefixes
You probably noticed that all Pelikan writing utensils start with a letter. It’s usually an “M” but it might be a “P” or a “K.” These actually mean something. That something is in German though, so it might not be obvious to English speakers.
- M: A fountain pen with a piston filling mechanism. Literally a Mechanik-Füllhalter
- P: A cartridge/converter fountain pen. Literally Patronen, for cartridge, or more often seen as Tintepatronen for ink cartridge
- K: Pelikan’s ballpoint pens. Literally Kugelschreiber, or ball writer
- D: Mechanical pencils. Literally Druckbleistift, or push pencil
- R: Rollerball. This is not an abbreviation though, it would be Kugelschreiber as well
For more, check out our article for more German pen terms.