Fountain Pen Review: Pelikan Violet & White

By Jessica Coles

Earlier this year, Pelikan announced the newest special edition: the Pelikan Violet & White M600 ($440-$535). As soon as I saw the photos of this pen, I fell in love with it and I wasn’t alone. Purple seems to be an especially rare color in the pen world.

So far, I have only given into the less expensive, smaller Pelikan models in the 200 and 400 sizes; I didn’t feel the need for a larger pen since I typically reach for small pens. The Pelikan M600 is not much different than the M400 in length (M400 is 127mm long while the M600 is 134 mm long) nor in diameter (M400 is 11.7mm and the M600 is 12.4mm) but for my small hands, I always thought the jump was a big one. As a quick reference, a Lamy Safari is 139mm in length and 13.8mm in diameter.

The weight of the M600 is a bit over 17gms, placing it among the lighter pens in our common pen chart.

pen weight comparison chart

But. Purple. Not “purple” that is actually deep blue. The Pelikan Violet & White comes in a striking box that appears laced up the front that gives an air of elegance in the presentation. Rather than the laces closing the box, they are only for show; the box has covered magnets in the flaps and opens to reveal the pen held in place with another ribbon.

The Pelikan Violet & White edition brings to mind (at least to me) Victorian, striped silk in a parlor or perhaps fancy, striped candy. I have heard a few comments that the gold trim was a disappointment, but personally, I think the color combination is perfect. The two-tone, 14kt gold nib keeps the gold trim in check.

Like I said earlier, I usually reach for smaller pens. However, the M600 felt like a refreshing change; the fact that I refuse to post such a beautiful pen helps keep the length reasonable for me. The uncapped pen feels perfectly weighted to me and is light, great for long writing sessions.

One thing I appreciate about Pelikan pens – every Pelikan feels familiar as soon as I pick it up. Well-made pieces that endure through the years, only getting better with age. I love the classic black-and-green stripes that Pelikan has historically used and the Violet & White echos that tradition. The new violet color seems less an expression of popular colors than simply adding another classic color combination to an extensive lineup. I’m quite happy that Pelikan decided to add such a beautiful pen to their ever-growing flock.

Etched into the end cap is the brand’s namesake pelican and a single chick.

A closeup of the barrel of the Violet & White shows that the barrel is not translucent like many of the striped Pelikan pens. That does mean that there is no visual cues to the level of your ink; I enjoy both versions of ink appearance, but I do think it would have been handy in this case. However, that also means the distraction of ink level does not take aways from the overall look of the pen.

One decision I had to make was where I would purchase the Violet & White edition once it was released. Having purchased a gold nib Pelikan before, I knew I would want the nib altered. I love Pelikan’s fine and extra-fine nibs (Pelikan, being a German company, has nibs that run broader than Japanese nibs), but for my lovely purple Pelikan I wanted something different. Dan Smith (or Nibsmith) offers specialty nib grinds for pens purchased through him. Dan ground a lovely cursive italic for me from a Pelikan medium nib. It is lovely enough that I need a second review just for the nib – watch for part two next week!

Pelikan selected a two-tone gold nib for this edition and the 14k gold gives a touch of softness to the writing feel. It is a pleasure to write with any of their gold nibs, but there’s nothing quite as nice in my mind as a crisp italic nib and the medium nib was perfect base to create the italic nib. It give my writing a bit of line variation without feeling cramped. Again, please watch for the nib review next week.

As I said earlier in the review, purple is a rare color in the pen world. The Pelikan Violet & White is a perfect addition to those occasional purple special editions and I’m very pleased with how Pelikan has chosen to create this pen. Even though the price on the M600 is steep, my experience with Pelikan pens tells me that each pen ages beautifully and keeps its value over time.

I have never regretted a Pelikan purchase and this is one that I am absolutely going to add to my collection and keep in everyday rotation. Modern gold nibs pens start around $150 but typically cost $250 to $300. Is the Pelikan Violet & White worth twice as much as other gold nib pens on the market? Because of the luxurious look and feel of the purple, white and gold combination, along with knowing the performance and durability of Pelikan pens, I think it is well worth the money. This is a pen that I hope to pass down to my children and grandchildren one day. Especially if one has an eye for purple.



Disclaimer: Some of the items in this review were provided on loan for the purpose of this review. Other items in this review were purchased by me.  For more information, visit our About page.

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4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. The only reason I haven’t purchased this pen is because I got the earlier turquoise and white M600 a few months ago, and I felt guilty spending that kind of money again so soon. I also bought mine from the Nibsmith, with a medium stub nib that’s a joy to write with.

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