Mysterious Mono 100s

Sean and Gunther are the detectives of the pencil world. While Sean has specialised in solving cold cases Gunther is investigating up-to-date issues.

In Gunther’s latest blog post (in German / automated English translation from Google here, from Bing here) he is having a closer look at the new Vietnamese made Tombow Mono 100s.

Mystery solved – thank you, Lexikaliker.

I support his hypothesis that the blind code on the pencils is in the format YYMM. I bought most of my Mono 100s in 2009 and the blind codes of my Monos start with 08 and 09.

In case you wonder about my photo: After some of the original occupants of my Mono 100 case moved out the remaining Monos invited the two Faber brothers to move in.


8 thoughts on “Mysterious Mono 100s”

  1. How do the Mono 100s compare to the Mono Professionals in your estimation? I have a wide range of Mono Pros and it is hard to imagine a nicer drawing pencil outside of the original Blackwing 602 (not the Palomino ones!).

  2. Thank you for your comment.
    I don’t know how they compare, I haven’t really done a comparison of these as I don’t have that many of them, so I don’t tend to use them too often (so that they last longer ;^P )

    I guess you like the Mono Pro more than the Mono 100. What is the difference for your way of using them?

  3. @Ninth Wave Designs: I’ve used both the Mono 100s and Mono Professional quite a lot, and I liked both about the same. If there was any difference between the graphite cores, I couldn’t tell. The overall standard of the finish on the Mono 100s is nicer than the Professionals — thicker lacquer, better imprints. I’d guess that the Professional leaves off some of the polish to make them more affordable as a working pencil.

    It’s disappointing that they’ve started outsourcing the production of the Mono 100, especially since the quality isn’t the same. Mono 100s are pretty much my favourite ever pencils, partly because I always knew they would be of truly excellent quality.

  4. I use them almost exclusively for writing, with the occasional doodle. As such, my preference runs to the HB, B, and F grades.

    A more creative friend of mine used Mono 100s for drawing, as they were available in the local art gallery gift shop before it closed for renovation. She took the other grades of Mono Professional from me — I bought a mixed dozen — and switched to using those instead. She said there was no noticeable difference and they were cheaper than the Mono 100s.

  5. …and I guess they are a bit nicer to the environment as you don’t have those plastic ends for landfill (unless they get collected).

  6. Thank you Koralotov for the information on the comparison. I have only one Mono 100 HB to compare, whereas I have a wide range of grades of Japanese produced Mono Professionals. I can’t tell the difference in the core in the sample I have between the two lines – they seem identically smooth and fine. I use them for drawing primarily, and as I mentioned, they are my favorites. I am sad to hear that the quality has suffered with the Vietnam production, but I put away several dozens of these when I originally got them, so they should last me a while!

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