Decades of experience, specially trained employees, and the utmost care at every stage of the production process ensures that each nib is a master piece. About ten different steps are necessary to create a functioning nib out of a sheet of gold. Depending on the model, the nibs are crafted from 14 or 18 carat gold. In addition, they are sometimes rhodinized to create a silver sheen. The decoration on the nib is typical for every model. In the case of Limited Editions, it is adapted to each theme.
The nib is the heart of the Pelikan fountain pen. It is cut from a 14 or 18 carat gold sheet and subsequently punched, formed and stamped into its classic quill-shaped appearance.
The tip of the nib is made of iridium, a refined metal of the platinum group. It is welded to the front part of the gold nib and subsequently form-grinded, slotted and polished.
The quality is constantly checked. The nibs are subjected to numerous mechanical, manual and optical tests at each stage of production.
The nibs are rotated in a water tank for 24 hours where they are polished by thousands of small porcelain particles. This process eliminates any rough seams which may be left. A final polish is then given to the nibs with minute copper balls.
After more than 30 high-precision operations, the gold nibs are eventually ready for use. Here is a traditional quality product bearing the unique features of its trade mark.
As a last step, every nib is tested by hand. All Pelikan fountain pens have a special insert inside the cap that ensures an airtight fit and thus the immediate flow of ink, even after a longer period of rest. The perfect ink flow depends largely on the ink feeder which incorporates the decades of experience. It sits beneath the nib and works with capillary forces, therefore the exact distance between every lamella is of essential importance. Pelikan offers up to ten different nib sizes that can be exchanged easily and whenever necessary.
In 1950, the model 400 was launched. With its green-striped sleeve, it has become a world-wide symbol for the brand of Pelikan. In the eighties, the series was baptized Souverän, though popular lore has taken to calling it by its nick-name Stresemann, because the state secretary of the “Weimarer Republik” was famous for his striped suits...
These green/black Stresemann stripes are the result of numerous manufacturing steps. Firstly a small plate of raw material is punched out of a sheet and then welded into a tube.
Artificial resin is sprayed into the inside of the tube, sealing it to prevent the ink from leaking.
A high-precision lathe with grinding diamond then gives the Stresemann barrel its classic profile and leaves it smooth but grippable to the touch.
The cap rings are cut off a brass tube and then gold-plated with high-quality material. An injection moulding machine fixes the rings to the cap.
The invention of the piston filling system made it possible to fill a fountain pen in a clean and easy way.
The plastic in the ink regulator is heated and pressed onto the engraved and tested gold nib. The two now fit together perfectly.
The finished nib is tested by hand and adjusted to provide life-long satisfaction. This requires a great deal of experience and skill.
The assembly of the cap is the last step of the production. The famous Pelikan clip is slipped over the end of the cap and finally the Pelikan emblem is attached.
A masterpiece of traditional and high-quality manufacturing has been completed. A piece of precision work enabling life-long pleasure in writing: classic, appealing and good.