The Caran d’Ache 849 ballpoint is not a pen that you hear talked about a lot. It’s one of my favorite everyday ballpoint pens, and I wore it every day to work in the White Flint store for 10+ years. The 849 is a sturdy, reliable workhorse of a pen. Did you know that the mechanism on the higher-end Varius and Ecridor ballpoint models feel just as smooth as the click-action retraction on the 849 ballpoint? If you can’t tell by this endorsement, I’m clearly a fan. When I saw the new Caran d’Ache 849 XL Ballpoint, I had to get it right away.
First of all, Caran d’Ache calls this pen the 849 XL “Roller”. It’s very important to clarify that this pen does not have a removable cap (which would make it a rollerball). However, the 849 XL comes with a gel refill which makes the pen write like a rollerball. This is the first 849 to come with a Parker Style refill standard (instead of only using the Caran d’Ache Goliath ballpoint refills). As I usually recommend the Monteverde Parker Style ballpoint or gel refills, it’s also worth noting that the Faber-Castell XB ballpoint refills fit.
Secondly, my only disappointment is that there’s no green color. The Caran d’Ache 849 XL Ballpoint is available in five colors: Black, White, Blue, Red, and Grey. As you can see in the pictures, I got the grey one. I’ve shown it next to some of my other Caran d’Ache pens for size comparison. I like the matte finish on the aluminum barrel in each color. It’s a very industrial and modern looking pen overall.
Finally, this 849 XL’s size is noticeably different with a 28% larger body (unlike the Parker Jotter XL with a whopping 7% increase in size). The dimensions are 137.2mm x 10.4mm. This translates to a very comfortable writing experience. As the mechanism adds weight to the pen, the 849 XL ballpoint is a bit back-heavy. I like the way that helps the pen stay seated in my hand with the uneven balance.
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