Caran d’Ache 849

I’ve got a fair amount of thoughts about this pen… but first, here it is:

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Pretty sweet, I’d say!

The hexagonal aesthetic of Caran d’Ache as a brand is something I can get behind. I have two bottles of their ink (having sold off a third) and the slanted bottom is something I really appreciate — not just for the aesthetics, but also for the practicality.

Similarly with the pen: the hexagonal profile is something that has clearly been throught through with some care. The pen barrel is machined to a smooth finish while having enough texture to avoid slipperiness. It’s rounded enough at the sides so it doesn’t poke against the hand, while the flat sides are wide enough to avoid rolling on a table. There’s also something very satisfying about the act of rotating cap and barrel so the sides line up before setting it down, and I feel like this pen demands that level of attention from the user.

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Cartridge/converter disassembly.

The pen itself, as one would expect at this price point, is a cartridge/converter pen. The single cartridge of Idyllic Blue came included, and the nib is a simple arrow-style affair. The whole design of this pen actually reminds me of the Montblanc Slimline, which sports a similar nib and section shape; in fact, their weights are quite similar.

This pen posts very well, since the end of the barrel is grooved to fit the cap perfectly. (You can find this in a cheaper pen — Muji’s offering has a similar design.)

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Close-up of cap and barrel.

The arrow nib also functions admirably: it is firm, almost a nail, and has a true EF point. I stuck the cartridge in and after a minute or so of waiting, the pen started writing smoothly, with no hard starts at all. It does tend to dry out in about half a minute if left uncapped though.

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A slightly architect-y quality.

I definitely think this pen is ultimately worth the original retail price of just under £50, just for how solidly it’s built and how pleasantly it writes. A solid higher-end starter, in my opinion!

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