Despite being set in the USA, Skydance’s The company behind Top Gun: Maverick, Jack Reacher and Star Trek Beyond (i.e. Star Trek 13) new animation “Luck” features what seems to be a Staedtler Noris.
In case you wonder why a Noris, or should that be ‘a 3D model of a Noris’, made it into this scene: The movie was produced by an animation studio in Madrid which explains the appearance of a very common European pencil in a story set in the USA.
To celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Noris Staedtler has created a special page for our ..certainly my and maybe also your favourite pencil favourite pencil. You can find it in the ‘Highlights’ section of Staedtler’s website (it’s part of the the ‘Discover’ menu item).
I wish this important brand and pencil could have been in the limelight a bit longer – by Staedtler featuring the Noris anniversary article on their landing page for a few weeks – especially in countries like the UK where the Noris is very popular and people might appreciate this special anniversary The 120th anniversary of the pencil with then umber 120.. Addendum: I have been told that that the Noris anniversary pages will be expanded throughout the year.
The special Noris web page is a great read with lots of historic details plus some quirky titbits thrown in, like the record-breaking Noris color pencil that is more than 450 meters long or the giant Noris Obelisk in Barcelona. Unfortunately the translation into English seems to have been done by a computer, which resulted in the occasional information hiccup, but that doesn’t detract from the enjoyment you get from all the details. Addendum: My understanding is that Staedtler will get the translation issues fixed.
When I saw the Noris 511 120 Sharpener, mentioned in the previous blog post, my first thought was that Helmut Hufnagl was probably involved in the development of this sharpener. Two reasons: like the 562 300 PB ruler it is suitable for left-handed users no wonder Staedtler won an award for non-discriminatory corporate culture and like the 512 60C sharpener the 511 120 tries to provide a mess-free experience, thanks to the cap. The similarity to the Sonic Ratchetta is another thing to notice. The 511 120 , like the Ratchetta, has a ratchet mechanism. This also means you can sharpen without having to ‘regrab’ the pencil and it makes the sharpener easier to use for left-handed users. In the West, the Sonic Ratchetta seems to be more commonly available than other sharpeners of a similar design. Similar sharpeners are being sold under other names (Bostitch, Paperpro and more), but as far as I can tell the original version was not the Sonic Ratchetta but was the SDI Buggy, first released in 2013. (You have to watch that video!)
The maestro did it again
I feel lucky and privileged to have been able to not only get answers to my questions about this sharpener but to even some additional information, directly from Mr Hufnagl. As suspected this sharpener is really his brainchild and even though it is being produced at one of the two factories were Sonic Ratchettas/SDI Buggies, etc, are being made, the Noris 511 120 is a different product, i.e. has different specs.
Super sharpener, Super 5
The whole ‘looks similar but is different’ situation reminds me a bit of the Super 5. The fantastic Super 5 fountain pen looks quite similar to Kingsley’s Dex and thanks to Scribble I found out that both of these, and also the Manuscript Master, use Helit bodies. These pens are however quite different in terms of ‘feel quality’ and even function: while the Dex feels cheap and plasticky the Super 5 is a great pen to use and has a very special nib. They are quite different even though both use Helit bodies. As mentioned previously, Helit is actually owned by Maped which brings us back to the topic of sharpeners: The 511 120 isn’t out yet, but I am looking forward to finding out how it will perform.
Mr Hufnagl asked different kinds of users to test the new sharpener. Doctors / GP practices and hairdressers were particularly impressed with this sharpener. Different employees were sharing pencils, e.g. to write down appointments, and ratchet mechanism made sharpening easy for left-handed users while the shape made the sharpener easy to clean (think Covid). Pupils from secondary schools also loved this sharpener.
I’m really looking forward to the 511 120. It certainly seems worthy of sporting the Noris’ colours and is a great addition to the Noris line in the Noris anniversary year.
It’s 2021 and the Staedtler Noris, Staedtler’s pencil with the article number 120, is 120 years old this year.
One of the new anniversary sets from Staedtler’s web site, released for this occasion, looks extremely desirable: it contains a new sharpener that will be available soon. The article number will be 511 120, a nice nod to the Noris’ number.
Staedtler’s keeps trying to allow your pencil case to stay mess-free: Similar to the 512 60C from 2017, the new sharpener can be closed to prevent graphite and wood shavings from falling out.
Are you sitting comfortably? Good: the 511 120 will display when the pencil is sufficiently sharpened and will have a ratchet function to make it suitable for left-handed users. I am not left-handed but like how Staedtler cares for all users – like they did when they introduced the 562 300 PB ruler. The sharpener will be suitable for pencils with a diameter of up to 8.2 mm. I can’t wait for the 511 120 to hit the shelves in the UK …finally some good news in these sad times.
Previous Bleistift blog posts have shown examples of fictional Sicilian detective Inspector Montalbano using Staedtler’s Noris pencil.
As it turns out, he is also happy to use the Noris stick ballpoint pen, as can be seen in the picture above, taken from the last episode of 2020: The Safety Net (original title: La rete di protezione).
The Noris stick seems to be particularly popular in Italy. Here are some photos from a tv ad campaign
Unfortunately, this pen are not very common in the UK. I assume its speciality is the long brass point, which should make it easy to have a better view of what you are writing.
The images in this blog post have been taken from the RAI TV series Il commissario Montalbano and from Italian TV ads for the Noris stick. I believe that the use of the images shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.