(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
When the Pelikan M800 Grand Place came out earlier this year, I was sorely tempted to buy one. Like others, I found the swirl pattern appealing and distinct from Pelikan's striped models. But while I was looking at photos of the new Grand Place, I came upon the M620 Grand Place, a model that was produced in 2006. Although I liked the M800, I loved the M620. Why? Because, unlike the M800 which has a black grip and piston knob, the M620 grip and knob are a beautiful, sheeny copper.
Of course, the M620 version is no longer available from vendors. But once I fall for a pen, I am relentless in my pursuit. I looked on eBay where I found the pen offered without a nib for an exorbitant price. But that was essentially the only M620 Grand Place I could find.
So, I placed a "Want To Buy" ad on FPN and within a day or two I found a seller offering the pen with a fine nib for a reasonable price. It came from Singapore, so I had to wait a little while, but it arrived in perfect condition with all the original packaging.
Part of Pelikan's City Series, the Grand Place is named after the Grote Markt in Brussels. The square once housed an indoor market and the town's city hall.
The pen is comprised of brown, copper, and gold colors with swirls of blue interwoven. The chatoyance is mesmerizing.
As I said, what drew me to the M620 over the M800 model was the copper grip and piston knob. Both are made of shimmery copper resin that matches the rest of the pen perfectly. The black grip and knob on the M800 seems to drain the pen of its warmth, whereas the copper on the M620 enhances the golden tones.
The M600 is my favorite Pelikan size at 5.24 inches/133mm capped and 18 grams in weight. It's neither too short nor too long. And it's definitely not heavy. Many Pelikan enthusiasts prefer the more robust M800, but I favor the 600 size.
The nib is a two-tone fine with the ornate Pelikan design. I think Pelikan nibs are some of the most beautiful modern nibs you can buy. Plus, their nibs are smooth and problem free (in my experience). This one seems to be a true Western fine, wider than a Japanese fine but definitely not close to a medium.
The cap has the Pelikan logo in gold on a black finial. The beak-shaped clip is gold and the cap sports the usual "Pelikan Souverän Germany" on the ring.
Of course this model is a piston filler and holds a good amount of ink (1.3ml). I inked it with Diamine Ancient Copper for my written review. Ancient Copper is a perfect match for this pen. Too bad it gets funky if you leave it too long in a pen. By "funky" I mean that it gunks up your nib and sort of crystalizes. I no longer leave Ancient Copper in any pen for more than a few days, which is too bad, because it's a great color.
- This is a gorgeous pen with an unusual swirl design and unique colors. Unlike the M800 version, the grip and piston knob are copper instead of black.
- The M600 size is a good size for many writers. It isn't heavy but it's long enough to feel substantial.
- The fine nib on my M620 writes smoothly and without any problems.
- The M620 Grand Place is no longer available through vendors. If you are like me and want the M620, I'd suggest placing a "want to buy" ad like I did. But, you can also find the larger M800 with a black grip and piston knob at places like Goldspot Pens.