For many years there hasn’t been much going on in terms of new Caran d’Ache mechanical pencils. There is a lot of choice when it comes to ballpoint pens but there wasn’t much to look at in terms of affordable (<£50) mechanical pencils (there are unusually many in the ‘above £500’ range, though).
In recent years this changed to some extent with the 849 mechanical pencil being available in a few new colours and editions, e.g. Black Code. There are, however, not many shops here in the UK that actually stock these.
Today a new pencil joined the Caran d’Ache offering, available in a set with a ballpoint pen as a limited edition, the Set Fresher.
I am happy to see more mechanical pencils from Caran d’Ache, even though it is basically just the same pencil in different colours. I wish they’d do something else, e.g. offering a 0.5 mm version, but for now, just seeing more colours are a nice change.
Caran d’Ache seems to be starting the different colour limited editions game for their mechanical pencils and lead holders, or maybe not starting it but taking it up a notch, while Lamy is by now really good at the ‘new colour game’. Every time I think I won’t buy another Safari they come up with more good colours: last year the re-release of the original colours, this year the beautiful strawberry and cream colours, with matching clip etc.
Kaweco is also really good at this, with a mix of happy affordable colours and more posh looking ones that are slightly more expensive.
In terms of new innovation there have also been some news.
The new Kurutoga Dive is not only rotating the lead like previous versions, but is also advancing it. It is a capped and a limited edition. I wonder if the cap is there to protect the mechanism when not in use. Maybe the front is not as sturdy (in the current version) as previous Kurutogas with less complicated mechanisms. If that’s the case there might be a regular version without a cap in the future. This thought might explain why this is a limited edition: maybe they want to see first how this mechanism fares in the real world, or the manufacturing process isn’t automated enough for mass market production and some manual labour is currently involved in assembly which doesn’t make it quite mass market ready yet….
I believe that the use of the images in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.
6 thoughts on “Fresher”
I really like the look of that all-black Caran d’Ache pencil, and would probably stump up for one if they did a similar colourway of the Fixpencil. Sadly, it seems they only have one limited edition Fixpencil, and it’s a collaboration with Nespresso.
I agree completely about Lamy. Even though I’ve found my perfect Safari, I still really struggle with temptation every year. This year’s beige one is especially lovely!
The neon lime is beautiful. I really like the matte ones, too, and the ones where clip etc are in one colour. The USA had a white/red edition recently, also good but not available here 🙁
CdA had a few other limited editions recently. One is currently on offer: https://www.pensense.co.uk/product/caran-d%60ache/limited-edition-alfredo-haberli-plum-fixpencilr-mechanical-pencil and https://www.pensense.co.uk/product/caran-d%60ache/limited-edition-alfredo-haberli-ochre-fixpencilr-mechanical-pencil
Recently there was also this one: https://www.penciltalk.org/2021/01/caran-dache-yves-klein
Love the strawberry safari, but I’m on a Kaweco Sport binge at the moment…just love the utility of being able to throw it in my pocket, something the safari can’t match. The new iridescent Sport looks interesting. I’m with you about a 0.5 CD’ACHE. I also think CdA play the premium game too much with their products.
I can’t believe I forgot about the Klein Blue limited edition. I was sorely, sorely tempted by the Fixpencil. In the end couldn’t really justify the cost of it.
Speaking of the Klein Blue editions: only two pens and a sharpener remain for sale. The sharpener has 10% off and is now ‘only’ £180! (I’m happy with my Carl Angel 5 Royal, thankyouverymcuh.)
My current black Fixpencil cost me, I think, £13 about 2010 or so, and still works perfectly. I think it’s grown more attractive with age as it’s developed a patina – wear on the paint around the opening, a loss of polish on the clip.
I plan to buy a couple more of the ‘key lime’ Safaris so that I have a lifetime supply of them. The Safari pens fit my Theory of Loseable Sunglasses: they’re cheap enough that I can carry one about without worry about breaking or losing it, but because they’re so cheap, they tend not to get lost or broken.
That patina is really nice! On the way to looking like the stonewashed Kawecos 8^)
Do you like any other Safari colours?
I’m pleased with how the Fixpencil is aging. It’s getting better with age, which isn’t something that a plastic object really does. They don’t patinate in an attractive way – just wear out. Or, worse, turn a horrendous yellow which is a pain to treat.
I think my favourite patina is on Sean Flynn’s Leica. The way the paint has worn off the brass is just beautiful. I don’t think there’s a modern camera that would age up so nicely.
I try to avoid looking too much at the new Safari colours – too much tempration to buy them, and I can’t really use more than one or two pens at any given time. The beige one in this post is the nicer and hardest-to-resist that I’ve seen in a long time.
My only other Safari is this 2019 ‘mint glaze’ edition. (It’s sold out at Jet Pens, but they have lots of excellent photos.). It’s lovely – though I have it in a broad nib and wish I’d gone for medium instead.