A Minimal Pen That Will Last You a Lifetime
A sleek, minimal, solid metal, American-made retractable pen designed to last a lifetime
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Mon, December 10 2018 4:59 PM UTC +00:00.
"...there is pleasure in contemplating an object that must clearly contain many intricate parts, but appears as a single piece of milled metal."
- John Pawson, renowned minimalist architect, user of my writing tools
I decided to design this pen because I was looking for a pen for my own use that was extremely durable but also sleek and minimal, and I couldn't find anything that fit my style. So I decided to design a pen that perfectly combined everything I was looking for.
This retractable pen perfectly matches the design, engineering and quality of my solid metal mechanical pencil, a campaign I launched in 2017.
I've always loved taking things apart and trying to figure out how they work. So when I became a mechanical designer, I challenged myself to make products that don't easily reveal how they're put together. This has lead to a unique design style that results in products that are highly engineered on the inside, yet sleek and minimal on the outside.
It’s important to me that you know who I am and that I’m committed to keeping your pen alive for many generations. Please check out my past campaigns to get a good idea of how I like to run things. And please add any questions or thoughts you have to the comments section and I'll get back to you personally.
The Important Details:
- 100% Metal: no plastic in sight and machined from one solid piece of metal, resulting in incredible strength and durability
- 100% Made in the U.S.A.: both the pen and refill
- The pen comes with a pressurized Fisher Space refill, ensuring that the ink will always flow, but it will also take any G2 Parker style refill.
- Custom self-lubricated hardened bronze mechanism with its own spring, allowing you to enjoy a smooth click for decades to come.
- Perfectly balanced: each pen is tested for weight balance from end to end before being assigned its unique serial number
- Individually blended and finished by hand to create a sleek, seamless appearance
- Quality guaranteed: as with my other products, if you ever have any issues with your pen, send it back and I will fix it for you or make you a new one. Simple as that.
How is it so different from other pens?
Custom Solid-Metal Mechanism
I've custom engineered this mechanism using the same durable material as aircraft bearings, allowing it to provide a smooth click for generations. It's designed to be hidden entirely inside the pen, creating a continuous, sleek metal outer surface.
The same high standards I used in my career in aircraft engineering have been applied to the design and engineering of this pen.
I only use the highest quality metals. These metals are normally found in high-end watches, not pens. No rolling, stamping or pressing is used. Instead, the pens are machined down from one solid piece of metal making them incredibly durable.
The same highly skilled American machinists that have been making airplane parts for generations are manufacturing this pen.
I use the same approach that is taken when designing and manufacturing a luxury watch. The result is a product that is so well made and long-lasting that it’s considered a classic.
I've designed this pen to last you a lifetime, but I know things can still happen. So I back it up with a very simple policy: if you ever have an issue, send your pen back and I will fix it or make you a new one.
‘Buy Once’ Philosophy
I’m a believer in buying one quality pen instead of hundreds of plastic ones. A little less plastic floating around the world has to be a good thing.
Why Make a Custom Mechanism?
Instead of using soft small plastic parts like you find in most pens, the custom mechanism I’ve designed uses a 1 mm steel ball bearing and a track. The track is cut into the outer surface of an aluminum bronze cylinder that is in turn connected to the knock (the piece you push to retract the pen), and as the knock is pushed in and out the ball moves around the track until it becomes locked in one of two positions: in or out.
The advantage of this type of mechanism is that it can be assembled inside the pen instead of at the end of the barrel, keeping it completely hidden and allowing the pen’s outer surface to remain seamless and continuous. It also allows me to keep the outer diameter of the pen to a comfortable 9.5mm.
The result is a smooth, durable and invisible mechanism.
With this type of mechanism the pen does need to be held close to vertical when clicking it. This takes a little getting used to, but it’s well worth the advantages of durability, sleekness and overall diameter.
This custom component has taken a huge amount of engineering, testing and tweaking to get just right, and I’m extremely proud of the result. I'm confident it is going to last many years.
Design Standards: It's all about attention to detail.
I’m obsessed with using the highest quality materials and engineering standards to produce the finest, most functional writing tools possible.
I design neutral and restrained products that leave room for your self-expression, removing all unnecessary design elements so that you’re not burdened with non-essentials.
I believe that making products aesthetically pleasing is integral to their usefulness and that the products we use every day affect our person and well-being.
My focus is not on making things the quickest way possible, but on making quality items that will last you a long time. That means not only using the highest quality raw materials, but also designing products that are void of any design features that may go out of fashion or could appear antiquated down the road.
I design products that are compatible with earlier components, making it possible to order replacement parts so that as things change, the products you own adapt.
I'm committed to maintaining direct contact with you and ensuring that every comment you make about our pen and our service is heard loud and clear and acted upon.
Length: 140 mm
Diameter: 9.5 mm
Titanium: 28g (.99 oz)
Stainless Steel: 44g (1.6 oz)
Copper: 48g (1.7 oz)
Bronze: 48g (1.7 oz)
Here is a great list of Parker type G2 refills courtesy of Ana over at the Wellappointeddesk.com:
Diplomat EasyFLOW Ballpoint Pen Refill
Faber-Castell Ballpoint Pen Refill
Faber-Castell Scribero Gel Ink Roller Refill
Fisher Space Pen Refill, PR Series- Colors (Bold, Medium, Fine)
Fisher Space Pen – Universal Ballpoint Refill
Foray (Office Depot) Ballpoint Refill for Parker (Medium)
Itoya Aquaroller Refill (0.7 and 1.0mm)
Kaweco Soul G2 Refill 1.0mm
Kaweco Sport Roller Ball Pen Refill
Moleskine Ballpoint Refill
Moleskine Gel Refill (0.5 and 0.7 mm)
Moleskine Roller Gel Fluorescent Refills
Monteverde Ceramic Gel Refill (Broad)
Monteverde Needle Point Refill (Fine)
Monteverde Soft Roll- Colored inks (Medium)
Monteverde Soft Roll- (Superbroad, Medium, Ultrafine)
OHTO Needlepoint Ballpoint Pen Refill PS-807NP
OHTO PS-205NP Extra-Fine 0.5mm Ballpoint Pen Refill
Parafernalia Ballpoint Pen Refill
Parker Ballpoint Pen Refill (Broad, Medium, Fine)
Parker GEL Ballpoint Pen Refill (Medium)
Parker Quinkflow Ballpoint Pen Refill (Medium, Fine)
Pelikan Giant Ballpoint Pen Refill 337 (Broad, Fine, Medium)
Pentel KFLT8 Ballpoint Pen Refill
Platignum Standard Ballpoint Pen Refill
Premec Parker-Style G2 Gel Refill (0.4, 0.5 and 0.7 mm)
Retro 51 Tornado Roller Ball Refills (REF5P) (Made by Schmidt)
Schmidt 9000M EasyFlow Pen Refill
Schmidt P8126 Capless Rollerball (Fine)
Schmidt P8900 Super Bowl Refill (Fine)
Schmidt P900 B Ballpoint Pen Refill (Broad, Medium, Fine)
Schmidt P950M Megaline Pressurized Ballpoint Pen Refill (Medium) Schneider Express 735 Pen Refill (Broad, Medium, Fine)
Schneider Slider 755 Pen Refill (Extra-Broad, Medium)
STABILO EASYgel Refill
Stabilo Ballpoint Refill
Tombow BR-ZLM Ballpoint Pen Refill
Visconti Ballpoint Pen Refill AA49 1.4 (Broad)
Visconti Gel Refill (Broad, Medium, Fine)
Which material should I choose?
Titanium is as strong as steel but 45% lighter, all while being unaffected by metal fatigue and cracking. These are the main reasons why titanium is used for parts that spend thousands of reliable hours in the air inside jet engines. Not only is it strong and light, but it has great corrosion resistance. It really is an incredible material.
Stainless steel’s excellent resistance to corrosion and staining and low maintenance is why it's the most used material in the high-end watch industry -- making it a great choice for a pen. Your stainless steel pen will keep its clean sleek look even in the harshest environments. The pen is not too heavy, but heavy enough to feel the heft of quality. It will not dull or patina over time. It is very easy to take care of and will become a trusted member of your life.
Copper is one of the few metals that occurs in nature in directly usable metallic form as opposed to needing extraction from an ore. Copper on its own can be soft and dent easily, so by adding tellurium we make it stronger and easier to machine. It also offers natural antimicrobial properties for those worried about germy hands. Copper will patina over time.
Bronze has been used for centuries to make ship fittings and seafaring equipment and more recently found its place firmly in the high-end diving watch industry. It has a vintage-like matte patina, which differs from pen to pen depending on the owner's environment and lifestyle, making each pen beautiful in its own right. Its most outstanding property is its ability to resist corrosion even in seawater. Bronze weighs about 10% more than stainless steel. It reacts with oxygen, which results in its distinctive patina. This is the only bronze C52100 pen out there: a bronze typically reserved for high-end watches
Huge Thank You’s
Christine from Moth To Flame. As always she manages to make a smooth looking video from lots and lots of outtakes. Thank you.
Russell Reed for his Incredible engineering knowledge and a keen eye. Thank you.
Risks and challenges
There are always risks when turning an idea into a physical product. This is my third time launching a Kickstarter and although they have been a little past due, I have always made sure to deliver a top-notch product as promised. I believe I have set a more than manageable timeline, aiming to under-promise and over-deliver. The best way to see how the past campaigns have gone and hear what the reaction to the products was when they arrived is to read the comments sections of those campaigns:
I'm a pretty open book. If you see an issue or have a question please add it to the comments section of this campaign for all to see.
Here we go...Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!