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Pen Pit Stop : Pelikan M101N Grey Blue


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Pen Pit Stop : Pelikan Souverän M101N Grey Blue
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 entering the pit stop today is the “Pelikan M101N Grey Blue”. 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 recognizable. 
I bought this pen in March 2019, mainly because I like the M101N look. It’s usually paired with a nice blue or purple 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 Grey Blue design was released in March 2019. At that time, I already owned three other M101N pens, and I just couldn’t pass the opportunity to extend my collection. It’s not that pics of the pen especially wow-ed me, but I really like the M101N general design, and couldn’t resist the temptation to add another Pelikan to the nest.
The M101N Blue Grey has a blue-grey binde, complemented with black accents for cap top, piston knob and grip section. A matching grey ink window is built into the design, making it easy to check the ink level in the pen. The pen is complemented by silver trimmings for the double cap ring and clip. The silver trim is a good choice, and works well with the cool tones of the barrel. A rhodium-plated monotone 14-carat gold nib completes the design.


The grey-blue barrel pattern failed to fully appeal to me in the beginning. Today, after more than three years, it still fails to convince me. The colour scheme is nice enough, but my biggest gripe is the uneven nature of the wavy blue-grey pattern. First, it’s not aligned along the length of the barrel but at an angle with it. Second, the stripes in the pattern are not continuous but can suddenly stop at random positions. It’s not that it is ugly, but it jars with my mathematical mind… and it still disturbs me after all this time. 


My M101N family consists of four members: the seducing Red Tortoise, the stunning Lizard, the frolicky Bright Red, and this more or less dull and boring Grey Blue. As you might have guessed, the Grey Blue is my least favourite pen of the range.





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 Grey Blue in comparison with a standard Lamy AL-Star. The pen is definitely smaller than the 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). Be careful when posting though – the M101N model doesn’t post as deeply and securely as the similar-sized M200/M400. If you use too much force, you might crack the cap.


Pen Characteristics

  • Build Quality :  build quality is excellent. The pen looks really polished and refined. It also withstands the passing of time without any problem. After three years of use, it looks good as new. I really appreciate the 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 pens are known for their excellent piston mechanism.
  • Nib & Performance : the M101N Souverän pens have gold nibs. This one comes with a monotone rhodium-plated gold 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 400 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 Blue Grey is a vintage-looking pen, but one with a fairly uninspiring barrel colour, and with a wavy pattern that grates my nerves – the latter being the reason that the pen never grew on me. Would I buy this pen again? Surprisingly my answer is yes … but mainly to complete my set of M101N pens. If I had to choose only one M101N, this one would never make it. That would become a duel between the Lizard and the Red Tortoise.

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  • Uncial


  • sansenri


  • namrehsnoom


  • mizgeorge


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Thank you for the review and very nicely take photos.


I have this same pen and love it (I have all the other M101Ns too...)

I don't think the look is as bad as you mention, actually I like it more than the bright red. Certainly the green tortoise, red tortoise and Lizard are really nice, but this version has a very classic look with the black section, cap and finial. It is the closest to the classic 101N.


Like you I like the smallish size and light weight of this pen, which I also use uncapped.

I do like the close resemblance to the original in terms of construction, Pelikan certainly knows how to approach the replica topic (I also love the 120 replicas btw). A great looking pen, with the usual strong Pelikan reliability in use.


I would love to see this version with a green binde, like the ubiquitous 101N in green celluloid and gold trim, but Pelikan should try to make a slightly better effort at mimicking the green celluloid before they release it...



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Lovely review! Thank you @namrehsnoom, I really enjoyed it, though I think you're a little hard on its looks - I think it's a nice looking pen - particularly the chrome/rhodium finish. But I like silver and grey pens a lot!


I have a fair number of birds in my flock, but none of these. I think they're just too close to the vintage versions that I love and suspect that the nibs would inevitably disappoint me, however much I enjoy the looks of some of them (particularly the lizard one). 


Same goes for pretty much all the modern gold nibbed Pelikans, yet I cheerfully buy multiple 200/205s with their steel nibs and really enjoy using them.


I feel the need to go and write with an old pen now.



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Like you, I was a little underwhelmed when this was released. I bought it on a whim on holiday and felt the barrel was a tad dull. Unlike you, it grew on me. I like the wavy appearance and the depth of it and pearl effect really comes to life in bright sunlight. Oddly enough I tend to reach for it first before the others, which is a somewhat alarming admissiin for a pen I once saw as a tad boring.

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Lovely writing sample. Details like these mean more to me than anything. The nib is also very shiny and extra points for chubbiness.

I could never decide on a Pelikan, but this makes me want an F.

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Yes, great review, moonsherman (I mean namrehsnoom!) and I do agree with you regarding its looks (the binde).  I have the same red ones that you have (no lizard, though I would <love> to have a vintage lizard, one day!); but you quote the pens with which the nib is interchangeable and you forget one small thing: the vintage 100N nibs will also fit...and, for me, that changes everything about this series!  Lovely photos.

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Thanks for the review and photos. The new edition of the 100n are a tribute to a design of many years ago.I like them and hope that more models will be offer in the future.

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Thank you for the review.  I'm with mizgeorge on liking the looks, and (assuming I could actually AFFORD an M101N -- which, sadly, I can't :crybaby:) would buy this one in a heartbeat.  

Although it might be a tossup between this one and the Red Tortoise, since my first bird was an older model M400 Brown Tortoise....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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I really appreciate these pit stop reviews! Thank you. It takes some time to get to know a pen and first impressions aren’t always final impressions. Nice photography, btw.

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Nice review. It's always good to find out how a pen turns out in real life.


I quite like the waviness, but yes, it's odd when you think of the rigid lines of the Stresemann Pelikans. However, the tortoises will always be my favourite 101Ns. 

Too many pens, too little time!


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