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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Refills* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) 1

Retro 51

The stationery community has been writing a few Retro 51 articles on stationery.wiki. When I tried to make the information in these articles semantic1 I came across a few issues.

One issue is related to Retro 51’s refills, one related to their categories, lines and editions. Luckily the users in The Pen Addict’s Slack channel are extremely helpful and knowledgeable when it comes to Retro 51 so the confusion with Retro 51’s series, categories, lines etc has been solved.

The other issue, relating to their refills, took me a while to figure out. This was probably not helped by the fact that I don’t own a Retro 51.

The short answer is: I think Retro 51’s rollerballs accept standard G2 refills, which means you can turn them into rollerball, gel or ballpoint pens.

Here are some of the bits of information I found along the journey. They might be old information for you, but since I am more into pencils and fountain pens than refillable non-disposable rollerballs a lot of this was new to me.

ISO standard

Refills are standardised in the ISO standard 12757.

ISO 12757-1 is for general use, i.e. there are not too many demands on the ink.

ISO 12757-2 is for documentary use, i.e. for writing documents that are required as evidence and the standard also looks into things like how the ink is coping with bleach, etc.

Refill overview

Confusion

There seems to be contradictory information on the web when it comes to the G2 refills. This is probably not helped by the fact that Pilot has a pen called the G2. Based on what I have seen so far G2 and RB refills tend to get confused.

The G2 standard seems to have its origin in Parker’s Jotter refills, which came out in the 1950s.

I have produced a little table with further information about these refills. It also includes average writing length per refill based on the information by Premec. Other refills may vary.

TypeDiameterLengthNameAvg writing lengthInk charge
D
D1 mini
2.3557.1 or 67.0multicolor
marker
350 m0.1 g
Japan Style2.9-3.0variable600 m -
2000 m
0.22 g - 0.32 g
Spezial3.061.0 or 66.5
X103.05106.8ballpoint standard
X203.05106.8ballpoint standard
large capacity
C13.05117.4ballpoint
international
0.8 mm:
2200 m
1.0 mm:
1900 m
0.4 g
B33.05132/103
63/43
ballpoint
stick refills
1700 m0.375 g
A23.20106.8ballpoint
standard
G13.20106.8ballpoint
large capacity
G26.0098.1ballpoint / gel
large capacity
0.7 mm:
400 m (gel)
5000 m (oil based)
0.7 g (gel)
1.1 g (oil based)
RB6.30110.0standard rollerball0,5 mm: 500m
0.7 mm: 400m
0.8 g
130.8 (stick)
110.5 (retractable)
gel refill0.7 mm:
450 m (stick)
600 m (retractable)
0.7 g (stick)
0.9 g (retractable)

For more information about refills see The Well-Appointed Desk’s Epic Refill Reference Guide and The Refill Finder.

The diagram is from Qniemiec, translation by Francis Flinch and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

  1. To allow exciting queries like the one producing this table. []

Professor T’s Noris

Since Summer I’ve been trying to write a blog post about real, fake and imagined Staedtler Noris pencils in the UK, but I didn’t manage yet to get all the information together.

Luckily, it’s the holiday season, so even though the blog post about the real, fake and imagined Noris is still a while off, we managed to have a bit time to spare and watched some telly.

Discovering another Noris is of course a great bonus if you watch telly and this time the Noris makes  its appearance in several episodes of the Belgian TV series Professor T.

Here’s an animated GIF. If it isn’t animated on your device you might have to click on it first.

Just to set the record straight. The TV series is called Professor T., but the Staedtler Noris belongs to inspecteur Daan De Winter, played by Bart Hollanders. Here he’s seen playing with his Noris while waiting in the hospital. He seems to like this pencil as he is using it in other episodes, too.

While writing this blog post I realised that there’s a German remake. I wonder whether the remake also features Staedtler’s Noris.

In the UK Professor T. is being shown as part of Channel 4’s Walter presents series. Walter presents started with Deutschland 83, a TV series with Faber-Castell’s 9000.

Here a proper video, depending on your device it might play better or worse than the animated GIF.

I have added this Belgian Noris to the Noris in the Wild page.


The screenshot/animated GIF in this blog post has been taken from Episode One of Season One of the original Professor T. TV series. I believe that the use of the screenshot shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


Merry Christmas 4

Where I’m from Christmas Eve is the ‘main’ Christmas day, so today is a good day for me to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas.

The big character on the left of this Christmas card means ‘dream’, the ones on the right mean ‘fortune’.

As a little bonus: here’s a link to an article I found today – from the Guardian. It contains references to coloured pencils from Berol and Faber-Castell, the A4 paper size, Myriorama cards and more.