The Toledo from Pelikan has been one of their signature pens for decades. Introduced in in 1986, the Toledo was based on the classic Pelikan T111 of 1931. The cap and barrel were as used on the Souverain M400, but the band on the barrel was a sculpted overlay depicting a mother Pelikan motif.
By 1992, the Toledo was being offered in both sterling silver and vermeil, with two sizes from which to choose, the original M400 size, as well as a larger version based on the M800. The Toledo offers a very classic and understated overlay pen to today's collector.
The only trouble was, if you didn't like basic black, you were just out of luck as regards a Toledo. No longer!
Pelikan has launched a new version of the Toledo, and this time they opted to go for a bold and striking look, with the cap and barrel rendered in vivid bright red. This actually sets off the sterling overlay quite nicely, and takes a rather conservative and understated piece and turns it into an eye catching work of art.
This new M910 ToledoRed is being made in the larger M800 size, and should prove to be the perfect choice for those seeking something with a bit more flair than the basic black Toledo. While it is very likely that many of these pens will find themselves as pampered members of a prized collection, seeing nothing more strenuous than a life of ease in a safe or display cabinet, it remains to be said that the Red and Silver Toledo is very much a usable pen by any standards.
This pen retains the classic proportions of the M800, long regarded as being one of the "ideal" modern pens for day to day use. It's big enough to be comfortable during long periods of use, yet remains light enough to both use and carry in even lightweight pockets. The piston fill mechanism is simple, reliable, and allows for a large ink capacity. All these traits have led to the adoption of the M800 as one of today's "standards" when it comes to a high end pen. The M910 Toledo Red carries all of these characteristics forward, adding only a barrel band in sterling silver.
The overlay is not nearly heavy enough to make a noticeable difference in the balance of the pen itself. For one thing, it is of course centered on the barrel, which makes for good balance no matter the weight. However, in addition to being centered on the barrel, the band is thin enough to make for a minimal addition to the weight of the pen overall. I'm sure it's slightly heavier, but my admittedly imperfect pocket scale was unable to give me a readable difference.
In addition to a nearly perfectly sized and weighted pen, the Toledo also gives you the wonderful Pelikan 18K nib/feed combo. For those who have yet to try out an M800 in person, this simply means that having to worry about whether the pen will write is a non-issue. A good part of the popularity of the M800 is due to the generally excellent nature of the nib/feel combination. Smooth, just soft enough to give some flexible feel, and utterly reliable with a wide range of inks. So in other words, should you decide to ink up your new M910 Toledo Red, you should have a trouble-free experience. Unfortunately for me, the option to ink up the sample we received was not in the offering!
Based on the looks of the sample, and my experience with Pelikan M800 pen in the past, this is one that I am not going to have any trouble at all recommending. Whether to use everyday, or simply to collect. (My vote would be for the former!)
copyright 2007 Mike Stevens
Images copyright 2007 William Riepl