Daily Archives: 14 April 2011

Quick on the Draw 13

What a nice surprise. I was just just driving home from work when I turned the radio on and heard the end of “Quick on the Draw“, a programme from Radio 4’s In Business series of programmes. This programme picked up two topics that The Economist covered over the last few months: Staedtler vs. Faber-Castell and the Mittelstand. Today’s Radio 4 programme featured an interview with Axel Marx, Managing Director of Staedtler, and Count Anton-Wolfgang von Faber-Castell. Axel Marx talked about the Wopex and Count Anton-Wolfgang von Faber-Castell talked about the perfect pencil and the luxurious Graf von Faber-Castell collection. I only heard the second half, but hope to listen to the whole programme on the BBC iPlayer soon1. I am not sure whether the content can be accessed outside the UK, though. If not: the programme will be repeated on Sunday, 17th May 2011, at 21:30 on BBC Radio 4. Even if you are outside the UK you should be able to listen to Radio 4 live over the Internet.

You can also read comments about this programme from the presenter Peter Day on his In Business page.

Two more comments:

  • It was nice to hear people speaking with a Franconian accent on the radio, even though the accent was not very strong.
  • I was not surprised to hear Count Anton-Wolfgang von Faber-Castell in this programme. He is the one who is often representing Faber-Castell in the media. Last month there was a rare chance to see his brother – in a children’s programme on the TV channel of the public broadcasting authority for the German Freistaat (Republic) of Bavaria. The programme (“Ralphi”) explained how pens and brushes are manufactured and Faber-Castell was represented by …not Count Anton, but Count Andreas von Faber-Castell, who settled in Australia in the 1970s.
  1. According the the information currently displayed on the BBC iPlayer page the programme will be available online until 2099, if I access the programme with my phone the programme is said to be online for about 300 more days …but usually programmes are only available for a week, so I would not be surprised if this programme will disappear from the iPlayer []

Staedtler’s bling pencils

New from Staedtler for 2011/12 and only available while stocks last: limited edition pencils in six colours. They are triangular shaped and their blingness comes from 3D silver stamps on the barrel that are said to look like crystals1.

I assume there is some similarity between the “crystals” on this pencil and the raised dots on Faber-Castell’s Grip 2001 – even though the position of the crystals on the barrel of Staedtler’s pencil does not seem improve grip.

  1. I assume the silver stamps do not cause problems for the sharpener. []