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Twist/Culture (et al.)

Maker: Pelikan.

The first of what developed into an extremely diverse line of youth pens was introduced in 1986 as the Twist.  Unlike the later pen of the same name, the P10 Twist was a pen with a fairly conventional silhouette. The youth element lies in its use of the same sort of steel point at the contemporary Pelikano, and in the low-cost plastic trim.  This includes the clip, which is just recognizable as a Pelikan’s. In the Twist, body and trim were always different colours, which could produce some shocking combinations.  There was also a version of the P10 sold in the Netherlands which went under the name Studio and which had the tail of the pen in the same colour as the barrel.

Some of the Studio models also had printed decoration on the cap, which presaged the P20 Twist released in 1988. These pens were essentially the same as the P10, but had printed bodies. The prints were initially just the sort of abstract blots and geometric figures which were popular in the 1980s, came to include representational art of all sorts.

In 1990, the P20 was redesignated the Culture, and was given a plated metal clip and plated point, although the body was otherwise the same as the previous Twist. There was also a P21 Collection, which is almost indistinguishable from the P20 except for having PEN COLLECTION printed just above the mouth of the cap.

In 1992, while the P20 and P21 were still in production, the P22 was released.  Initially called the Moovie (because this was, as in the Collection, printed on the cap), it was renamed the Culture in 1996, and in both these guises it brought back the earlier plastic clip . The Culture was the final shape of this slowly evolving pen, and in 2001 it finished its development with the introduction of a flattened derby and an un-Pelikan-ish rectangular clip.

The later P22 could be considered a transitional form to the P23 Gallery, and thus the Gallery could also be included on this page, but frankly I think this one has stretched far enough already.  The P22’s section was a consistent shape with the preceding pens, while the P23 is altogether a new form.

The writing qualities of these pens are extremely predictable, sharing the same points as Pelikanos and the lower-end Signum which was also its contemporary; smooth, fairly wet, perhaps a little spring in some examples. Unless one has set a task of getting one of every pattern (and good luck to that person), it’s an excellent rugged-duty pen; sturdy enough to take out into the garden or project shop, cheap enough that if it comes to a bad end it won’t be mourned.

If you are anxious to pin down your P10, P20, P21, or P22 in the areas of pattern name and date of manufacture, I highly suggest a look at the vast illustrated page of them which appears on Pelikan Collectibles.

Production Run: This gets a little complicated–

  • P10 Twist: 1986 – 1989.
  • P10 Studio: 1987 – c. 1988.
  • P20 Twist: 1988 – 1993.
  • P20 Culture: 1990 – 1996.
  • P22 Culture (domed cap): 1996 – 2001.
  • P22 Culture (flat cap): 2001 – 2004

Cost When New: My sources elude me in this. Not a lot.

Size: 13.3 cm long capped, 16.0 cm posted, 12.1 cm uncapped.

Point: Steel.

Body: Plastic.

FillerCartridge, capacity approx. 0.6 ml X 2 or 1.4 ml (international pattern).

Pelikan P10 Twist in Black/Mint.

This colour combination Is very evocative of the age of the pen.


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