This is a public service announcement. <Muzak playing in the background>
Many of our citizens have already been affected by a new type of fraud. The shameless fraudster don’t stop their relentless efforts to cheat us out of our well deserved stationery, working on schemes to exploit our deep desires for luxurious writing instruments.
The latest victim of the fraudsters is one of the staple pencils found in the office supply cabinet of bankers and dictators of small countries, the Graf von Faber-Castell Eine Cassette * hochfeiner Taschenbleistifte * Nr. II, versilbert.
Luckily, the forger behind this fake pencil that offers incredible resemblance to the original Graf von Faber-Castell made a tiny, but important mistake. This means that the fake pencil can be spotted without the need for carbon dating:
Unlike the real pencil, which is inscribed “Graf von Faber-Castell” the forger must have been a bit too much of a Tom Selleck fan and inscribed the cap ‘Magnum’. Open the picture in a new tab to compare the details. They also seem to have used a TiTi Kyung In T-Prime which had repeated appearances in this blog since 2009.
If you have any tips that could lead to the arrest of the forger please contact the Posh Stationery department of your local anti fraud organisation.
Just to spell it out to avoid misunderstandings: I can’t say this is a popular pencil (it’s not a popular Montblanc model) so I doubt anyone (other than myself for the photos in this blog post) would create a fake version.
Just a very quick post showing you my new pen roll. I’ll call it BUBM pen roll, just because there’s a BUBM BUBM stands for Be Unique Be Myself, with it being an imperative I would have gone for Be Unique Be Yourself. logo on the roll. My pen roll was advertised as a “Cable Organizer Roll Up Bag Storage Case for Tool Batteries Pen Earphone”.
I bought it for £3.59 (~$5.15; €4.55) from eBay, including postage. The same item was being sold for a lower price by other sellers, but these cheaper ones would have come directly from China and would have taken a long time, this one was already in the UK.
Material-wise it reminds me very much of Nock products. I compared it to the Nock pen case I have. The Nock product does look more sophisticated, but I can’t say I am surprised ..and for the price I paid the BUBM pen roll is extremely good value for money and quite well made.
If you use it for pens it will usually be big enough, but very long unsharpened pencils, like the TiTi Kyung In T-Prime in the photo above, are a bit longer than the 17cm of the case.
I noticed that some of my pens and pencil slid out of the pen case when the roll wasn’t stored horizontally in my backpack – only wider pens and those with a rougher surface (unpainted pencils) stayed where they were. The surface of painted pencils doesn’t seem to have enough friction and pencils are rather slim, so they won’t be held in place – unless you put a lot of them in one slot – so if this was a dedicated pen roll it would make sense to have narrower slots, but as this is more of an all purpose pen roll the wider slots make more sense.
Well, let’s go a bit off topic then and look at other uses for this pen roll.
Off topic: Swiss army knives
Here’s an example where I used the pen roll for Swiss knives. I’ll go even more off topic by giving a short explanation of each of the knives.
The first knife from the left is an Elinox. Elinox was Victorinox’s economy line and this is the last knife my father used at work. I don’t know what happened to the ones he had before, maybe they were too ‘used up’ and he got rid of them. This one’s blade is pretty ground down from sharpening it with the tools in his joinery. As a kid I was so used to Elinox knives that I thought the Elinox logo is the ‘normal’ logo for Swiss army knives. When I first saw a Victorinox I thought they must have recently changed the logo. I also thought only the real posh knives come with tooth picks and tweezers, because Elinox knives didn’t have those.
The second knife form the left is a Swiss Cheese Knife from Victorinox. I got it a few years ago when Switzerland Cheese Marketing AG sent them out for free if you bought Swiss Cheese and sent them the bar codes, plus postage. Luckily this promotion was open world wide, so I could send them bar codes from cheese i bought here in the UK, I just had to send them together with the postage in Swiss Franks.
The third knife from the left is a normal Vicorinox Spartan. Maybe my father’s Sunday knife, but I should date it to be sure.
The fourth knife from the left is Wenger‘s equivalent of the Spartan, I think it’s called Hunter. My wife got it many years ago, but she already had a similar one so I got it.
The last knife is a Swiza. This is the D04 version. which has a screw driver instead of a cork screw. Swiza only started selling knives similar to the well known Swiss army knives a few months ago.
A quick note on the link Victorinox – Wenger- Swiza: Victorinox and Wenger make/made Swiss army knives, but Swiza, originally a clock manufacturer, is fairly new to the world of knives. Their knives have not (yet) been used by the army, so Swiss folding knives might be a better term to describe Swiza’s knives. Like Wenger they are from the Canton of Jura.
A few years ago Victorinox bought Wenger. In the last few months two things happened: Victorinox started selling Wenger knives under their own Victorinox name (Delémont Collection) and a former Wenger CEO has started to make knives again, now under the Swiza brand.
To be honest: the Swiza knives look better on pictures than in reality. They aren’t bad knives at all, but what makes them interesting is probably the fact that they are new. For use in the UK they are not great as they have locking blades which means they are “illegal to carry in public without good reason”.
Please let me know if you liked the off topic part of this post and whether you’d like more or less off topic, i.e. not stationery related, bits like this in the future