Here is my new Pelikan M1000 Raden Green Ray. This pen was announced to some fanfare. Certainly, the pen deserves some fanfare. As an M1000 it makes a statement as a flagship writing instrument and as a maki-e M1000 it becomes art. What is missing, however, is a story. There is no backstory, no narrative of the conceptualization. The artist remains obscure. The techniques a mystery. Much of that is not unusual for maki-e work, but this is 2020 and brands need to tell stories. Made in only 400 copies due to the nature of material and technique each is really a piece unique. My is 333 making it only half evil.
What I believe is that Pelikan decided to make the definitive raden statement piece. A heavyweight knockout punch in Australian abalone shell. The tableau of the M1000 is large enough but Pelikan decided to inlay enormous, unbroken, mega wide (>2 mm) stripes of perfectly sharply cut shell the likes of which I've never seen. Pelikan and the aritst are screaming look what we've done! This pen lays down the raden law.
Remarkably, the pen retains a feeling of smoothness despite the huge, wide raden inlay. The urushi is thick. You can see it rise up from the level of the ink window. This version of the M1000 has a diameter over 1 mm greater than a standard M1000, a difference that is seen and felt. It's a muscular M1000. Otherwise, it handles and writes like any other M1000. Mine has a Fine nib and writes the expected smooth, wet line. There is no babies bottom as is sometimes found on Pelikan nibs.
Packaging is simple but nicely done. The Paulownia wood box is typical of Japanese craft art and is labeled with the name of pen in the center but the rest of the script could not be translated by my Google phone app.
My other raden pens pale in comparison to this Green Ray. The Platinum Izumo Aurora also features super wide (~2 mm) raden inlay but the Green Ray stripes are wider and more perfectly cut. The Izumo is a superb pen, it just lacks the perfection of the M1000. My Bokumondoh custom M600 raden Aurora is lovely and eye catching but there is no comparison with the excellence of the M1000. With these pens as comparison pieces the artistry of the Green Ray shines brightly and the price, in comparison is justified.