The Caran d’Ache company was founded in Geneva in 1915 by Arnold Schweitzer after he purchased the Ecridor Pencil Factory. The name of the company was changed to Caran d’Ache in 1924. The company was primarily known for mechanical and watercolor pencils, but they created the iconic 849 ballpoint in 1969. The review today is of the new Caran d’Ache 849 fountain pen in fluorescent orange.
8/10 Packaging: The packaging is reminiscent of a box of pencils. The box has a red lid with “Caran d’Ache Geneve” in white lettering. The white bottom of the box has a label that has “Made in Switzerland”, “Caran d’Ache”, and “849 Fount. Pen metal orange fluo F” in three languages. The lid of the box pulls off to reveal a W-shaped cardboard pen bed with the pen resting in the middle. One branded ink cartridge is included; however, there is no converter included with the pen.
8/10 First Thoughts: The pen is really, really, orange. The white pen bed really makes the color stand out, and it is definitely an attention-grabber.
7/10 Design: The pen has a faceted hexagonal body, with a steel clip and finials. The body is slightly thicker than a yellow #2 pencil, but is comfortable to hold. There is a small stamp in black above the clip that says “Swiss Made” and another stamp in black under the clip the reads “849 Caran d’Ache”. There is a sticker on the end of the pen with the letter “F” for fine point and the barcode for the pen. The cap snaps securely, but spins freely once closed or posted. When posted, the pen becomes a bit too long and back weighted for my preference.
8/10 Nib Performance: Engraved on the nib are a hexagon with an O, as well as the letter “F” for fine nib. The nib at first seemed smooth and stiff, but with a bit of pressure the nib flexes a bit to a medium. It is by no means a “Flex” nib for calligraphy, but it does give a bit of variation to your normal writing.
7/10 Filling System: C/C, but the converter is not included and needs to be purchased separately.
6/10 Value: The pen has a retail price of $65, which I think is a bit high for what you get. I think if a converter was included with the pen and it had a price point around $50, then it would be a good value.
44/60 Overall: I think the design is unique and a wonderful attention grabber. The all-metal body feels solid as if it will last for generations. The only drawbacks are that the cap spins when posted and capped; if there were a notch or a taper to prevent this, it would have improved my opinion of the overall design.
Name: Caran d’Ache 849 fountain pen fluorescent orange
Length: 5.6 inches (134.8mm)
Posted: 7 inches (177mm)
Diameter: .4 inches (11.3mm)
Weight: 17 grams
Filling System: C/C
Pros: Slight flex to the nib, light but strong aluminum body.
Cons: Converter not included, cap spins when capped or posted.
In the same price range:
Twsbi Vac Mini
“Make your mark”
Eric Aycock (Pengeek13)