Pen Pit Stop : Pelikan Souverän M101N Lizard
Welcome to the Pen Pit Stop. Here you will find reviews of pens that already have some mileage on them. More specifically, these reviews are of pens that are in my personal collection, and that have been in use for at least a year. I thought it would be fun to do it this way - no new & shiny pens here, but battered vehicles that have been put to work for at least a year. Let's find out how they have withstood the ravages of time.
The fountain pen that enters the pit stop today is the "Pelikan M101N Lizard". Pelikan is one of the best-known European pen-makers, with a long history dating all the way back to 1832 when the company was founded in Hanover, Germany. The brand offers both semi-entry-level pens (like the M200 series) all the way up to their flagship M1000 model. All Pelikan pens adhere to the same classical style, and as such are immediately recognisable.
I bought this pen in August 2018. The pen has a stylish business-elegance, with a vintage feel to it. It's usually paired with a nice grey ink.
Pen Look & Feel
The M101N series are Special Edition pens that Pelikan produces for a limited time only. The design of these pens is derived from pens dating back to the 1930’s. This particular Lizard design is based on a historical model that dates back to 1937. The Lizard SE was released in December 2012 - I was lucky enough to be able to still get one in August 2018.
The M101N Lizard is a beautiful looking pen, with a stunning design of grey-black scales on cap and barrel. For me personally, the pattern is more reminiscent of snake scales, and Black Mamba would be a more appropriate name ;-) But naming aside, Pelikan produced a really beautiful pen here! The grey-black scale pattern is complemented with black accents (cap top, piston knob and grip section). A matching shaded grey ink window is built into the design, and makes it easy to view the ink level in the pen.
Gold would not look good on this black-accented pen, so Pelikan wisely decided to use palladium trimmings for the double cap ring and clip. Pelikan also dropped the tradional two-toned nib, and opted for a monotone rhodium-plated 14C gold nib. All these pieces complement each other quite nicely, making for a very elegant and beautiful pen.
I thought it would be nice to put the Lizard next to the Stresemann for comparison. Both are beautiful black-accented pens with silver-coloured trimmings. The M101N Lizard and M405 Stresemann are of comparable size when capped. Uncapped, the Lizard turns out to be a little bit smaller. Similarly themed elegant pens... I love them both!
Like all Pelikans, the cap unscrews with about three quarters rotation, so it’s quickly ready for action. The M101N is a smaller pen, but can be posted, giving it a substantial size that is very comfortable to write with, even if you have larger hands. I've got smaller hands myself, and typically use the pen unposted. For me, this M101N is just the right size and weight (i.e. featherweight).
The pictures above illustrate the size of the M101N Lizard in comparison with a standard Lamy Safari. The pen is definitely smaller than a Lamy, but still reasonable in size - not so small that it is uncomfortable (and if you find it too small uncapped, you can simply post it).
- Build Quality : build quality is excellent. The pen looks really polished and refined. The pen also withstands the passing of time without any problem. After more than a year of use, it looks good as new. I really appreciate the shaded grey ink window incorporated in the design, that makes it easy to judge ink level.
- Weight & Dimensions : about 125 mm when capped - and as such a rather small pen. It's also definitely a featherweight. If you prefer pens with some heft to them, the M101N model will not be your thing. Posted - the pen becomes about 155 mm long, and fits even larger hands.
- Filling System : this is a piston-filler, that holds quite some ink. The piston is made from plastic, but works really well. Pelikan are known for their excellent piston mechanism.
- Nib & Performance : the M101N Souverän pens have gold nibs. This one comes with a rhodium-plated monotone nib, that really suits the aesthetics of the pen. The nib unit can be exchanged quite easily, and is compatible between the M120/M200/M400/M101N models. Being able to change nibs is a significant plus in my book!
- Price : I got this pen for about 460 EUR, including taxes. These are definitely more expensive than the regular M400 pens. For this, you get a limited production pen, with a vintage-inspired design.
My Pelikan Souverän M101N Lizard is a beautiful vintage-looking pen, with a truly stunning grey-black scaled pattern that really makes this pen stand out from the crowd. Add a grey ink, and you are in writer's heaven!
So the answer to the question "would I buy this pen again?" is easy: yup! I would... without hesitation.