Caran d’Ache


Fresher 6

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.

Image © Caran d’Ache

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.

Image © Caran d’Ache

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.


Caran d’Ache 849 Claim Your Style 3

The latest addition to my Caran d’Ache 849 Claim Your Style collection has arrived. I couldn’t resist getting a turquoise one myself after getting one for my wife earlier this year and seeing how beautiful the colour looks. To properly claim it as my style it is again engraved with a computer-related font. The Pen Company did another excellent job with their free engraving. I’m also always amazed how quick they are. I ordered it in the afternoon and it arrived the next morning, engraved exactly how I wanted it.

Funnily enough, just this week The Well-Appointed Desk just posted a review of the 849 in exactly this colour. The Pen Addict also reviewed this colour in the past.

I fed my new 849 with Schneider’s Slider 755 XB – extra broad and blue. A very smooth refill that offers a lot of line variation compared to normal ballpoint refills, but that, of course, doesn’t lay done a line quite as nice and saturated as a gel refill.

Last year I made two videos about the 849 which might be of interest to you.

One about using gel refills…

…and one that is more generic.


£10,000 per night, including pencils 6

If you want a holiday in style (and with nice pencils!) check out the Grand Resort in Bad Ragaz, featured in the BBC TV series Amazing Hotels.

A night there can set you back £10,000, but this will get you 600 m2 of floor space and some nice pencils: You get three Caran d’Ache Edelweiss pencils in HB, a Staedtler Mars plastic eraser and a Pelikan ruler.

Caran d’Ache, Staedtler and Pelikan (Image © BBC)

Luckily, these days the Caran d’Ache Edelweiss pencil is much easier to find than in 2012 when I did a review here on Bleistift – There seem to be several online shops inthe USA and in the UK selling this pencil now.

You can watch this episode on the BBC iPlayer (if your location allows). The screenshot was taken at 22 min and 58 seconds into the episode.


I believe that the use of the screenshot, taken from the BBC series Amazing Hotels, falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service


2019 contest and 2020 wishes

Bleistift Blog is wishing you all the best for 2020.

If you want to start the new year with new mechanical pencils (from Caran d’Ache, Faber-Castell, Lamy and BIC) you still have a few days left to take part in the Stationery Wiki:Mechanical Pencil Day Contest 2019 (..if you read this blogpost on the day it was published).

The pencils that make up our prize for the mechanical pencil day contest

All you need to do is to improve an article or maybe even create a new article to have a chance of winning.

Good Luck – for 2020 and for the contest.