If you like stationery, you have probably come across the Drehgriffel by now.
Leuchtturm’s Officially Leuchtturm1917, but I will also use Leuchtturm without the number to shorten the name. first reincarnation of the century-old Drehgriffel has been around for about two years. When it was released, its beautiful design won the Red Dot Design Award in 2020.
The first reincarnation Drehgriffel, designated the Nr. 1, is sold as a gel pen and accepts G2 style refills.
As is common for Leuchtturm1917 products, the pen is designed in Germany and made in Taiwan. I bought my Drehgriffel in July 2021 from CultPens for £18.50. Given what is going on in the UK and around the world, it comes as a slight surprise that the price has not changed in the last twelve months and is still £18.50 at the time of writing (July 2022). The price is in line with what you would be expected to pay for similar pens and normally you can’t find the pen much cheaper in the UK – unless there is an offer, like the current offer for £15 by The Paper Collective.
Innards and design
My Drehgriffel came with a Leuchtturm1917 branded, Japanese-made black gel refill in 0.5mm.
I love the design of the Drehgriffel. It has an old feel to it, thanks to the shape, the pastel-y colours and the old feel of the writing on the pen’s body.
The pen feels extremely well made and has an aluminium body with some plastic insides. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a clip, so mine spends its time on my desk, rather than in my shirt pocket.
Leuchtturm has recently released the Nr. 2 version of the Drehgriffel. This version won the Red Dot Design Award 2022 and is the mechanical pencil version. Where the Nr. 1 had a white grip section and twist head, the Nr. 2 sports these elements in black. Despite my love for pencil I have not bought one yet as it is only available in 0.7mm – a rather big lead diameter for my handwriting which I prefer to be small (to get more on the page).
I won’t do a review of the Drehgriffel Nr. 1 as there are already several reviews out there (you can find a list at the end of this blog post), instead I’ll tell you a bit about the Leuchtturm group that owns Leuchtturm1917. The company has been around for more than 100 year and, like Rotring, they are from Northern Germany (Hamburg). For many years their main business was linked to products for collectors of stamps, coins and other items. Lucky for us stationery fans they started Leuchtturm1917, which by now has branched out from notebooks and diaries to also include nice pens. The Leuchtturm group also own Semikolon and other brands, but most interesting for readers of this blog will probably be their brand Stilform.
If I want to simplify an explanation of what Stilform does I would boil it down to the following: Stilform uses Kickstarter to finance the production of pens made from Aluminium. These pens use a magnetic mechanism to hold the cap in place, similar to the one made popular by the Montblanc M. They are nice but a bit chunky, with a choice of (Bock) nibs. Their fountain pens don’t contain glue or plastic. I bought some of their accessories and my favourite, with a permanent space in front of my monitor, is their wooden pen holder, a bit like a pen tray for one pen.
Other blog posts about the Drehgriffel (in chronological order)
- Journals and Jottings (7/2020)
- Comfortable Shoe Studios (9/2020)
- Well Appointed Desk (3/2021)
- Writing at Large (5/2022)
|Officially Leuchtturm1917, but I will also use Leuchtturm without the number to shorten the name.