Hermès Nautilus Pen

I’ve been squirrelling away, getting my new blog ready to go,  but have just squeezed in time to share this Hermès Nautilus Pen, which I saw on Dezeen.

Hermès have teamed up with Japanese pen gurus, Pilot and Australian designer Marc Newson to launch the first item in their upcoming stationery line.

It’s a capless, retractable fountain pen, made of aluminium and stainless steel. It has a rhodium-plated white gold nib, and will come in 6 nib widths.

The idea is that it looks very simple from the outside, but is hiding a very complex mechanism that allows the nib to be retracted by twisting.

Now, if I’m completely honest, I don’t really like the way it looks, I think it’s kind of bulky and not very sophisticated. However, I do think it’s a positive thing that luxury fashion brands and famous designers are concentrating on stationery.

Anyway, I’m probably not the demographic they’re trying to impress as it’ll be retailing at about £1000, so…

 

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Mark’s Inc. Tous Les Jours ballpoint pen

I was recently buying a couple of things from Bureau Direct and needed to add something else to my basket for free shipping so I thought I’d get a wild card item… I chose the Tous Les Jours ballpoint pen by Mark’s Inc. P1040768
It’s a very lightweight 0.5mm ballpoint pen. It’s USP comes in that it has the days of the week listed around the side, each with a suggested activity.

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Spending the last 2 years doing evening classes in French has finally come in handy!

It translates as:
Monday – watch a film
Tuesday – listen to a CD (bit old school…)
Wednesday – Read a
Thursday – Write a poem
Friday – Buy a ticket
Saturday/Sunday – Go on a little trip

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As I said, it’s very light, and actually, as you can see in this picture the body of the pen is a pencil casing. I really like how it writes; the line comes out incredibly thinly, and feels precise. I don’t generally like to use ballpoint pens very often, but this one could change my mind. The only negative thing about it is that it’s kind of noisy. The actual pen part rattles around inside the casing.

At £5.95 it’s actually extremely expensive, for what is essentially a biro. But I do like it and it’s a bit different, so maybe it’s worth it. I also recently reviewed another Mark’s Inc product, the Pensée sticky note rolls.

Pencils you meet in the pub: Graf von Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

Please forgive the AWFUL picture (it may have been taken at about 1am, after a few wines…) but I met a guy in the pub last night who had one of these:

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A Graf von Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil. It has a protective cap (which also serves as an extender when posted on the back of a short pencil), with clip, a changeable eraser and a built in sharpener.

It is a thing of beauty. He was given it as a gift and mentioned it was pricey, but that still didn’t prepare me for the £200 pricetag!! Even a pack of 5 refills is £36!

Here’s a much better picture (from Cultpens.com):

As you can imagine, a tipsy Tessa was quite excited to discover this, and it is something you’d treasure forever. Even so, i don’t think I’ll be getting one any time soon…

Now… A Millionaire’s Pen that You can Afford to Carry: 1930s & 40s Parker Pen Ads

How cool are these old Parker adverts?!

A guy on eBay is selling loads of ads from old Life Magazines and I found a couple of Parker Pen ones that I thought would make good prints to put up in the house.  I’ve scanned them so I can share them with you.

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This first one; “Now… A Millionaire’s Pen That You Can Afford to Carry and Can’t Afford to Miss” is for the Parker Vacumatic fountain pen, from 1937.  The wording is all so brilliant; “It holds 102% yet is Slenderized for Restful Balance”. I especially love the picture of the “noted Millionaire’s pocket” with Parker Pens in it. Do open up the pictures and zoom in so that you can read it properly.

Parker Quink

This second one; “This is proves pen failures can be avoided!” is for Parker Quink, from 1944.  The selling point of this ink is that it contains “Solv-x… cleans your pen as it writes!”. Again, do zoom in and read it properly, there are some real gems in there – proper Mad Men stuff 🙂

This makes me wish advertising was still like this – they REALLY worked to sell it to you!

 

Huckleberry Woodchuck Bullet Pencil

I’m definitely not the first stationery blogger to talk about Huckleberry Woodchuck’s bullet pencils, but now that I have finally got my hands on one, I couldn’t not share it.

It came all wrapped up like a present, so extra brownie points from me already:

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And the message: “enjoy a small piece of US history” is lovely – and so true! This feels like a real gem. For those that don’t know, Huckleberry Woodchuck restores vintage bullet pencils. Bullet pencils – a bullet, hollowed out and repurposed as a holder for short pencils – were used as promotional giveaways in the US, I think often by farming companies.

The one I got is SO GOOD! I’m very pleased with my choice:
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The silver part is the pencil holder and the rest serves as cap.
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You then take off the cap and post it on the back, so you have a longer, more comfortable pencil to use.
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I always carry a pencil in my handbag, as I prefer to write appointments in my Hobonichi planner in pencil, and then go back and decorate in pen (on the rarity I have time). Anyway, my pencil always end up a. blunt and b. writing on everything else in my bag, so this is a great solution. Plus it takes up less room than a full-sized pencil.

The one I got is particularly special as it’s interactive. As it was described by Huckleberry Woodchuck:
“On the outer label it lists common problems along with a number that corresponds to a bible verse that is revealed when you twist the outer label. Really neat and perfect for your sunday school or sermons.”
I must say I’m not remotely religious, but this doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the messages it gives, and the fact that this is a really unique and quirky item!

Here are the problems it lists:

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So for example, it says:
When you are feeling lonely turn to no. 1
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You twist it so that No. 1 is showing and the message reads:
Lo, I am with you always. Matt. 28:20

Pretty cool, huh?

They are beautifully restored, with new erasers, and everyone’s favourite pencil – the Blackwing 602. And of course, every one is different – always a good thing. Check out the shop here. Plus mine came with a little spare pencil stub, which seems to be a Musgrave 100 (and actually, this was an introduction as I’d never heard of this company before).

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At present, Midori seem to be the only company making new bullet pencils, however, I know that there are a couple of companies looking to produce new (and improved?) versions. There’s currently this kickstarter by Metal Comb Works – which also has the option of a stylus on the end, and I have heard that Huckleberry Woodchuck is in the process of developing one too. Episode 10 of Erasable talks about bullet pencils this week too.

Strange that such a great things stopped being produced, but I for one am glad bullet pencils are back.

Sharpie Metallics

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As a “grown up”, I don’t have many reasons to buy metallic felt tips, but I actually needed something to write on black card with, and when I saw that Sharpie had metallic range, I though they could be just the thing! You can get a pack for a few pounds, so it’s not too much of a gamble.

The packaging is standard Sharpie packaging so nothing  exciting there. And actually, the caps of the pens really don’t do the colours justice. When I saw them, I felt worried that the colours weren’t going to be very metallic… However, when I cracked them open I soon realised that they were just what I was hoping for!

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Not the best photo, but hopefully you can see that they come out really well, strong colours with lots of pigment, and they write really well. They reminded me of the metallic pens (perhaps by Pilot?) I used to covet when  was a kid, except you used to have to shake those and then push the nib against the page to release the ink. The only problem with these, as you can see, is that the gold one has dried out, which is a shame, so I guess I’ll have to get in touch to tell Sharpie I got a dud!

The reason I’d got these was because I’d bought these gorgeous cards from Greenwich Letterpress (which I visited on my NYC stationery shop crawl), but didn’t have anything to write on them with.

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So now I’m able to jazz them up and use them!

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