pencil


uni star in F

The uni☆star in F

My thanks go to Yumiko for sending me these.


More Vietnamese Monos

The bottom of the box

This is just a quick follow up, linked to my previous blog post about Lexikaliker’s investigation into the Vietnamese Mono 100s1.

The familiar box…

The Vietnamese Mono…

If the Mono 100 is now made in Vietnam then it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Mono (without the 100) is now made in Vietnam, too.

You can see the Made in Vietnam blind stamp against the light (open in a new tab to see clearly)

..and the Dong-A Fable

I would have liked to compare the Japanese and Vietnamese Mono, but everywhere where I thought I’ve seen a non-100 Mono in our house it turned out to be the similarly looking Dong-A Fable2, a pencil that has made a few appearances on this blog since 2009.

The Tombow Mono and the Dong-A Fable

Mono’s history

Well, 1963 is not only the year Terry Farrell, Jadzia Dax in Deep Space Nine3, was born. It is also the year the Mono was released. It was ‘kind of’ a successor to the Homo, which was released in 1952, but wasn’t liked by Tombow anymore, or should I rather say: they didn’t like the name anymore, after the

‘diparaging slang-term “homo” became well-known in Japan’ (Tombow Pencil 100 Year History Project Committee, 2013:p.38).

Mono display from the 1960s. ¥60, seen on the display, was the original price, later lowered to ¥50. (Picture from Tombow)

In 1967, for Tombow’s 55th anniversary, the Mono 100 followed ..and two years later there was a Mono eraser, too. I don’t want to bore you with more details, but if you’re really interested, let me know in the comments and I’ll write up more when I have time.

Mono box from the 1960s (Picture from Tombow)

References

Tombow Pencil 100 Year History Project Committee. (2013) The 100 Year History of Tombow Pencil. Tokyo, Tombow Pencil Cp., Ltd.


I bought this dozen straight from Japan and paid just under £9, I think.

Unless otherwise stated pictures in my blog are taken by me. Well, this is one of those ‘otherwise stated’ occasions. The pictures marked as such are from Tombow’s book “The 100 Year History of Tombow Pencil”. In January 2015 Tombow Europe granted me permission to use them in blog posts.

  1. English translation here. []
  2. To me the Fable is more common than the Mono. A fate I probably share with very few people outside Korea. []
  3. I just had to add a Star Trek fact. []

A mysterious pencil 4

Just a quick Seen in the wild post.

The lastest X-Files episode seems to have featured a Derwent Graphic pencil. I have only seen a few minutes of this episode so far, so I’m not sure whether this pencil will make a repeat appearance.

Christopher Logan using a Derwent Graphic pencil? (Image © Ten Thirteen Productions / 20th Century Fox)

A Derwent Graphic pencil? (Image © Ten Thirteen Productions / 20th Century Fox)


I believe that the use of the image, taken from Episode 2 Founder’s Mutation of Season 10 of the X-Files, shown in this blog post, falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


Graf von Faber-Castell Journal and Paper 1

gvfc-journal1Today: a noble notebook and pencil.

Graf von Faber-Castell, that’s Faber-Castell’s posh product line started in 1993. Back then our favourite count, Anton-Wolfgang Graf von Faber-Castell, introduced this line as part of Faber-Castell’s reorientation. As a pencil enthusiast I am quite happy that the Graf von Faber-Castell line has not neglected the humble pencil. There was a Graf von Faber-Castell version with only an eraser cap, a pencil extender and the perfect pencil and there were some other pencils along the way, like the fluorescent Graf von Faber-Castells.

This Graf von Faber-Castell Journal and Pencil set is available for free with most purchases from The Pen Company’s Graf von Faber-Castell line. I got it free of charge when I recently placed an order with them.

gvfc-journal-open2

 

The pencil included in this set is one of their fluted pencils with a silver plated end cap. I assume it is silver plated, not solid silver, but I am not 100% sure. These pencils are a bit harder than the very old Graf von Faber-Castell pencils, but certainly softer than a Faber-Castell HB pencil. In any case they are a pleasure to write with while keeping the point fairly well.

 

gvfc-journal-inside
gvfc-pencilThe notebook you get is clothbound and has thick, creamy paper in a kind of slightly yellow shade of light beige. It feels quite different to the ordinary white from most notebooks. Despite the smooth surface the paper is taking the graphite on very well. I am spelling this out because some smooth paper, like the one found in the original Field Notes, is very smooth and doesn’t work well with pencils – as if the paper is too smooth and not abrasive enough to get the graphite off the pencil and onto the paper. This Graf von Faber-Castell paper does however feel very smooth to the touch but is ‘abrasive’ enough for use with HB pencils. The writing experience on this paper is just excellent. It’s a shame you can’t buy these individually, but since they’ve been around for at least five years I hope that we will still see this notebook as part of some special offers in the future.


This blog post has been published on The Pen Company’s Blog, too. Just to spell it out, I have not received any money for writing this blog post.


Deli No.7083 HB 1

Shanghai

Shanghai

The Deli 7083 at Carrefour

The Deli 7083 at Carrefour

Yet another blog post related to my recent visit to Shanghai.

You might remember the Chung Hwa Drawing Pencil 101, together with the Chung Hwa 6151 it forms the pencil backbone of Shanghai. Whenever you see a pencil in Shanghai it usually is one of these two – and they are made in Shanghai, too.

…but what happened? Deli dared to enter Chung Hwa’s home turf – disturbing the natural order of things.

…and what a pencil they sent to threaten Chung Hwa’s hold on its home territory: it’s the Deli No.70831.

The Chung Hwa 101 in its natural habitat

The Chung Hwa 101 in its natural habitat

Price

I bought the 7083 in the Carrefour in Shanghai’s Hongkou Dragon Dream Shopping Centre and paid 11.80 元  (~$1.80; £1.25; €1.65) for a dozen HB pencils. They were also available in 2B and 2H.

The Chung Hwa 6151 in its natural habitat

The Chung Hwa 6151 in its natural habitat

Appearance

Let’s look at the appearance first. The 7083 looks like a pencil with a very thick layer of paint. The paint seems to be applied very well, except near the end of the pencil, which seems to have been dipped in just a bit too much paint. The 7083 has an unusually large diameter for a modern pencil. The paint job and the large diameter make it feel like a much better pencil than what you’d expect from a pencil with this price tag.

Deli No.7083

Deli No.7083

It is dark green like the Chung Hwa 101, but there’s also a similarity with another pencil. The shade of green used is virtually identical to the one used for the Castell 9000.

Deli No.7083

Deli No.7083

Lead

The 7083 lays down a very dark line and feels very smooth, even creamy when writing – but just to put this into context, we are talking about a very cheap pencil. The 7083 is not as good as the big boys, like the Mars Lumograph. Nevertheless it is very good and probably the best pencil I have tried in this price range.

If I had to compare to a pencil that is well known I would compare it to Staedtler’s Mars Lumograph in B. Point retention is very similar, but in direct comparison it is ever so slightly lighter than the Lumograph in B and slightly less smooth and erases slightly worse than the Lumograph in B2.

It writes well even on paper that is not good for non-soft pencils, like the original (‘Kraft’?) Field Notes.

Deli No.7083

Deli No.7083

Wood

The wood is slightly red, similar to the one used for the Chung Hwa 101 and when you knife sharpen the 7083 you notice that the wood is harder than cedar wood.

Deli No.7083

Deli No.7083

Conclusion

A great pencil that is nearly as good as much more expensive pencils. It has a strong paint smell, similar to other Chinese pencils, but for this price you probably won’t be able to find a much better pencil.


Price: December 2015

Exchange rates: January 2016

Please open images in a new tab/window to see them at full resolution.

 

  1. I assume the product number is derived from the last digits of the bar code before the heck digit …or maybe it’s the other way round. []
  2. In case you wonder why, based in these statements, I don’t compare it to the Lumograph in HB: It is still much closer to the Lumograph in B, which shows you how minute these differences are. []