Share this project


Share this project

We love Hi-Tec-C pens!  Pen Type-A is a stainless steel replacement for the Hi-Tec-C's cheapo plastic housing.
Pen Type-A is the original stainless steel ruler sleeve and ultra minimal pen.
Pen Type-A is the original stainless steel ruler sleeve and ultra minimal pen.
Created by
4,048 backers pledged $281,989 to help bring this project to life.

the adventure continues ...

Hey Backers!

Lots of you saw the pen featured on today. It's a stainless steel pen in a ruler sleeve that bears an uncanny resemblance to Pen Type-A. Thanks for your emails and messages bringing this to our attention. This was a complete surprise to us when we saw it. Just to be clear, we are not affiliated with those pens in any way, except that we immediately recognized Allen from the images on their site. He is the US half of the two person duo we hired to manufacture the pens in China. (He hugged us when we last saw him!)

We’re looking into this and we’ll update you when we find out more.

Thanks for all your support. The adventure continues!


Remaining pens will be shipping out shortly (early next week).  We did have a small delay with the screws we've been waiting for.  The family run Vermont shop had a family emergency, but they're back on their feet and screws are shipping to us in the morning.  (We've all had a tough week, but theirs was definitely the worst. Our thoughts are with them).  Once we have all those screws, we'll assemble them and ship them out.

lots of love

time for sleep

che-wei + taylor


Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Missing avatar

      Diego Robledo on October 6, 2012

      Just received mine today! It's awesome! Thanks!

    2. Missing avatar

      Andrew on September 18, 2012

      Just got mine today and I absolutely love it! Great work guys!

    3. Victor Carrano on September 13, 2012

      Received mine today. I have been a critic of the numerous delays in this project, but this pen is a work of art! Great feel, great weight and balance and the ruler case just completes it. Thanks!

    4. James Almeida on September 10, 2012

      that Torr pen sucks....

    5. Missing avatar

      Brian May on September 7, 2012

      Adam, when they say "remaining pens will be shipped" what they really mean is "the remaining pens we have here in the shop that we can piece together and ship out. The rest of the pens that the Chinese plant is holding hostage OR the VT company hasn't shipped out yet, those will take another N~ months."

      Eventually I figure pens will show up, though I bet the squeekiest of us wheels will probably be in the last batch :)

    6. Missing avatar

      deleted on September 4, 2012

      The author of this comment has been deleted.

    7. Missing avatar

      Peter Gibson on September 4, 2012

      Ok, I get there have been problems and that those problems lead to delays, but when you do finally get around to updating again please to give false hope like you have in the last few updates. It's excruciating to wait patiently so long only to have your hopes lifted by saying the remaining pens will be shipped within a week then destroyed when you are still waiting over a week later. It's downright cruel. You've got to stop over promising. I'm actually fine waiting for a high quality product. I just don't appreciate being toyed with.

    8. Jan Schröder on September 4, 2012

      Its been more than a year now... and the countdown still tells me:
      What's going on there?

    9. Zeb Feldman on September 4, 2012

      Where is my pen, I have been waiting a year.

    10. Matt Hauth on September 3, 2012

      Any update on shipping status?

    11. alexischoy on September 3, 2012

      steven tyler smoking torr pen, such a shity pen.

    12. Marie-Andree Poisson
      on September 1, 2012

      Sorry, got my dates wrong. 11 days later :)

    13. Marie-Andree Poisson
      on September 1, 2012

      And that 3 days later (8/14/11), there are 1475 left!

    14. Don M. Wong on August 31, 2012

      If you randomly type in a name like "John", you can see by the shipped status and # of pen till shipment, all orders up to 8/03/11 were shipped it seems.

    15. Johnny Tran on August 30, 2012

      As Eddie Tsai asked, how do I check the status of my order? Please update.

    16. Eddie Tsai on August 29, 2012

      how do i check the status of my order?...

    17. Mark Holland on August 26, 2012

      Mine were exactly as shown in pics and finished really well. Looks like shape ways haven't quite it spot on every time at their end

    18. Pieco on August 24, 2012

      They'd better be able to prove that they actually have filed for a patent before posting that on their website, or they're liable for $500 per offense, and anyone can sue them for it. "Per offense" can be construed to mean each marking on their product, or possibly, each time someone saw that on their website. IANAL, but if they haven't actually filed, they could be in for a world of hurt. Do a google search for "false patent marking"...

    19. Mark Holland on August 24, 2012

      Just wanted to make an URGENT note. They have PATENT PENDING on their site now, CW&T you NEED to get this patented before they do!!

    20. Ben Woolf on August 24, 2012

      "I wonder how long it will be before we see knockoff pocket friendly sleeves?"......Er about as long as it take to download the free, open source model......You really are a prize doughnut aren't you. What will you do when this project is finally complete, go find another Kickstarter project to post your snide, bitter diatribe? .... God help them..

    21. Missing avatar

      John on August 24, 2012 - Reference for when they figure out what happened and fixed it.

    22. Missing avatar

      John on August 24, 2012

      I went to check their site to see if there were any updates to their blog posting (which was in response to the knock-off allegations). Looks like their site was hacked– also ran a story on this issue, and has removed the sale. Looks like this guy is doomed to failure, and for good reason.

    23. John Luker on August 23, 2012

      I wonder how long it will be before we see knockoff pocket friendly sleeves?

    24. Missing avatar

      LonerVamp on August 23, 2012

      It's one thing to get knocked off by your overseas manufacturer. It's also one thing to be inspired by a design independently or have someone think up nearly the same idea, or even to find out that 30 years ago someone else had the same idea. It's another issue entirely when your own business partner decides to capitalize on your own work and ideas and poison the whole relationship. What a snake.

      It might not be illegal, strictly speaking, but it's terribly unethical and just plain sleazy.

      You might want to think about opening this update up even to non-backers, if that means him and his company names get indexed and and nothing said in here is clearly libelous. Perhaps anyone searching about it will see the hits and think twice about doing business with.

      Also, this is a lesson that is at least nice to learn while on Kickstarter. If you had decided to open your business via other means of investing/finance, you might not only be stabbed in the back, but also on the hook for investment repayments and/or debt.

    25. Missing avatar

      Brian May on August 23, 2012

      I try to not be "that person" but I told you so.
      I told you that you would see your product manufactured from the Chinese company and you can bet there has been a slight alteration to the design in order to get around patents, assuming you even have a patent on the design and if you do, I doubt you have it both in the US and in the UK.

      Sad and predictable and even worse you probably signed a contract that had their best interests at heart and not yours.

    26. Mark Holland on August 23, 2012

      I moaned to fab. Com and a lot of other people commented today and they sent me an email to say that due to the dispute they have pulled it! Small win but still the war to go!

    27. okester
      on August 23, 2012

      Whoops, a link to the blog entry has been removed, but one can still see remnants of it at the direct url:

      Ahem. I'll stop commenting now... :D

    28. okester
      on August 23, 2012

      So, since I'm aware how dynamic the content is online, I often get screencaps of potentially fleeting sightings, just for future reference. And now, the entire blog entry at Torr Pens has been removed, so, for those who missed it, or hadn't seen it, you can still get an inkling of what was there:

      Also, is there some legal requirement to not sell a similar product as one you helped create for someone else until after a year after payment for the first product was made? Just wondering, since Torr Pens popped up on Fab a year and a week after this project ended...

    29. Luke on August 23, 2012

      cw&t - I am sorry that you are having to address a situation like this, especially when it involves someone (who I can only assume) was considered a friend.

      I received my pen a little over 3 weeks ago and I absolutely adore it. It's the only pen I use at work and it is constantly getting noticed, giving me an opportunity to talk about not only about the Kickstarter process, but to tell the story behind it and share some of the fascinating insights and struggles you have allowed your backers to be part of.

      When I originally backed the pen I wasn't expecting to receive all of the behind the scenes information and I think keeping the current situation in the public eye is brave. You have handled yourselves with dignity and been forth coming during this process and as such you have made it a memorable experience for all of us.

      Thank you

    30. Mr. Dave on August 23, 2012

      It's one thing to independently design a similar product, or to use one idea as inspiration for another. But it is quite another to "borrow" so heavily from a client/business partner. Allen clearly has issues with understanding the ethics implicit in his handshakes and hugs. I hope this case is so widely publicized that he has problems securing future contracts with others who are looking for outsourcing assistance. I don't wish harm on anyone, but bringing someone down a notch or two is not always a bad thing...

      Jon D, this is Kickstarter - you are not purchasing established products here. Manufacturing delays are very nearly inevitable, and if you can't deal with that w/o going mental, methinks it's best to not use this service again. CW&T has put forth superhuman effort to get your pen just right - let it be and appreciate it for what it is when you do finally get it.

      CW&T, you bit off a lot when you decided to implement this design, and I for one appreciate your candor, persistence and attention to your product's near-perfect quality. My guess is that if you made a profit on this project, it wasn't what one would normally expect given your level of hard work and pain. It would have been easy to walk away from this project, or settle for an inferior quality, just to get things out the door and off your backs. You've shown an extremely high level of integrity, and I for one appreciate that. You have my full support. I received my pens not too long ago - they are perfect and the envy of all of my friends who appreciate fine craftsmanship. Thank you!

      Yes, it looks like Torr's blog on this item is shut down. Now all they have to do is shut down the entire product page. I'm a big fan of Kickstarter - I love the concept and I've been very impressed with the items I've backed. I'm now even more impressed with the sense of community, and evidently the idea of "backing" a project extends to much more than being simply a customer. Kudos to you all!

    31. okester
      on August 23, 2012

      It looks like the comments on that blog entry are getting moderated/unapproved now. I only noticed after making another comment, and then seeing that the 30+ previous ones weren't all there. Decided to at least get a screencap of the ones which were kept (although, now, it looks like even those have been unapproved or awaiting moderation again):

      Oh, wait, another refresh, and it says that comments are now closed on that post....

    32. Ben Woolf on August 23, 2012

      @Shawn Sims - Great work, well done for putting this together.

    33. Sam Fellig on August 23, 2012

      My hear dropped when I saw this on Fab yesterday. It's a terrible situation, and it should be a warning to other Kickstarter inventors. As the founder of, this is one of the difficulties we're trying to tackle.

      Best of luck!

    34. Nat Ken Cole
      on August 23, 2012

      @Jon DuCoin
      1. The exposition of your "questions" belies not only your understanding of Chinese forgery, but also your ability to debate. Did you even read your 3rd point?
      2. As @Ben Woolf commented earlier, companies successfully outsource to China all the time; but to take it a step further, knockoffs are almost always laughably poor in quality and even mimicry. Most consumers avoid counterfeit goods like the plague. And legal recourse is near impossible, you say? That's interesting because these little watchdog entities known as the US Customs and Border Patrol, the Department of Homeland Security, and even the United States Secret Service (to name a few) would like to say otherwise.
      3. Your spelling and grammar are atrocious, making it difficult to give credence to your diatribe in the first place.
      4. I also like bullet points.

      @ cw&t -- I've had my pen for a little over a month, and it was worth the wait! Thank you for your dedication to your product. This pen will certainly be a hand-me-down in my family. Well, that is if I ever get married and have kids... At least I can rest assured I have the first part of that formula securely covered.

    35. Mitch Cave on August 23, 2012

      An interesting reply from the other guys:

      "Thank you for your email.  We appreciate and respect your concern over the authenticity of this product.

      What you may not know is that Torr Classic and the Pen Type-A project featured on kickstarter share a design pre-cursor: a combined pen and surgical ruler designed in the ‘80’s (…).  

      Design is a combination of inspiration and innovation, evolving over time.  The Torr Classic design has similar inspirations, as well as its own innovative and distinct design features that give it a legitimate identity far more complex than a mere knock-off could.

      Torr Classic evolved as a sleek and sophisticated men’s gift that accepts widely available ink cartridges, sports a secret compartment to store notes or messages in, and rests in a beautiful bamboo box.  Torr Classic is a unique brand and gift.  The design is patent pending, and to the best of our knowledge it does not infringe on the work of anyone else. "

    36. Shawn Sims on August 23, 2012

      I can't believe that this happened and is hard to watch after everything CW&T went through during this whole process. I have learned so much just witnessing this Kickstarter come to life, so we had to share this story on NOTCOT and round up some the images and links.

    37. Matthias E Zeitler
      on August 23, 2012

      And go FAB for reacting quickly. They have soem great stuff and I woudl think that they didn't realize that the design belongs to someone else.

    38. Ben Woolf on August 23, 2012

      @Jon What a bitter little man you are. If you want a pen in a hurry go to Rymans. You funded a project, you should expect a few problems. I have funded several Kickstarter projects, they are all late. if it wasn't for the guys impeccably high standards and refusal to compromise you would already have your pen. With regards to Chinese manufacturing, many businesses are successfully outsourcing to China (Apple do it). Serious question, would you be prepared to pay twice as much for the same pen if it was manufactured in the US?.........Didn't think so. Jog on Mr Bitter.

    39. Ben Woolf on August 23, 2012

      A small victory - FAB have pulled the Torr pen from their website - go backers!

    40. Missing avatar

      Jon DuCoin on August 23, 2012

      It would appear that IF the 'others' that are now selling the pen ARE the actual original manufacturers. They just aren't the 'original' designers. Since the original designers, who I'm still waiting for my pens for over 1 year now, think they were cheated, a few questions: 1. What was negotiated in your contract? 2. You didn't think Chinese companies ever change what's in a contract, in fact that's EXACTLY what many of them do, and the ink isn't even dry. 3. The allure of cheaper manufacturing costs seems to be lost when your designs get knocked off & the legal recourse is near impossible.
      All of these negative comments about the pour delivery wouldn't be happening IF the original designers, the "benefiters" of this kickstarter had done a little research prior to running over to china for the hopes of cheap costs.
      So now their design is knocked off, TOO BAD.
      Where's my FN Pens?
      btw, pay your own legal fees with the interest made off of all the oversubscribed kickstarter funds.
      oh, btw, WHERE"S MY PENS?

    41. okester
      on August 23, 2012

      Posted the following comment at the Torr Pens blog entry (

      Is this a situation similar to how Diplomat pens can provide the Spacetec offerings from Germany which are similar (if not identical) to those from Fisher Space Pens? or…

      Similar Fisher pens include the astronaut, grip, futura (discontinued, iirc), bullet, telescoping, and zero gravity pens (and for a few, the names weren't even changed) - so is this a deal where products can be made which are similar to another company's design and no credit or recognition (or compensation) is given to the folks from whom the design was "borrowed"?

    42. Dan Gellert on August 23, 2012

      Harsh. Humans let us down... again - it always astounds me when it sinks this low. A previous comment mentioned pitching in for potential legal fees to fight... I'm in if you are.

    43. Missing avatar

      Jeeto Butalia on August 23, 2012

      I just sent the Fab team a note via the contact us link. I noted the Fab item via URL and the CW and T shop and KS URL too. Hopefully Fab will recognize that they are not selling an authentic item, and remove the item and possible cancel all orders. But I'd imagine it will be left up to CW and T to report the rip off to the authorities etc.

    44. Missing avatar

      François Blavoet on August 23, 2012

      Sadly it is not uncommon at all. I know a company that had to deliver false factory plans to the chinese authorities in order to do not see a copy of their factory implanted.
      Is there any way to report them on Fab ?

    45. Missing avatar

      Nick on August 23, 2012

      At least you were an inspiration...

      When did you put your retail price up to $150?

    46. Missing avatar

      Henri Clinch on August 23, 2012

      Unfortunate to hear the pen design appears to be stolen.
      When you say remaining pens, do you mean remaining from the current batch, or this is now the final shipment of all backers' pens? Just checked the pen estimator for myself and it said "2011-08-13 1165 number of pens left to ship" so maybe the estimator isn't accurate?

    47. Matthew Morse on August 23, 2012

      Okay guys... This is about to get weird. A couple weeks ago, after receiving my Pen Type A I posted my thoughts over in the Comments section. You can read them if you'd like... A short time ago (sometime between then and now), I received an email from someone named Allen. I didn't know him from Joseph's house cat, but assumed he got my information from Kickstarter. This is what he said:

      Hi Matthew,

      Sorry that you do not love the Pen Type A. I can imagine that after waiting for about one year, one's expectations grow. But please remember, that eventhough the Pen Type A is just a pen, it is also a manufacturing marvel.

      I assure you, the "big, bad, Chinese manufacturer" is not really a big bad Chinese manufacturer at all. In reality, this manufacturer has parted seas to help CW&T redesign their product to be manufacturing-friendly, has spent much of its own money to ramp up, and has jumped through many hoops to make this project work. Unfortunately, when people have no manufacturing experience nor any business-sense, they tend to make a lot of mistakes, and then find it easier to just blame others (especially those that are unable to speak up for themselves) for their own shortcomings.

      As a backer, would you have any interest in hearing directly from this "Chinese manufacturer"? I do not want to stir the pot, but am more of just interested to hear what you think, since you have been vocal (during both the ups and the downs). And at least for now, please do not share this with the kickstarter community.


      My initial response included my original quibbles with the pen and the whole lengthy process, but I also felt it necessary to defend CW+T in some way. This is what I had to say:

      I would definitely like to hear from the manufacturer to better understand the problems (and their appropriate solutions) incurred during prototyping, manufacturing and shipping. I gave CW+T the benefit of the doubt for a long time, but it seemed that every update was just more excuses. I had very high expectations for the pen and my expectations were met, and exceeded. It's a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. Was it worth $50? Absolutely. Was it worth a year of waiting and excuses? Not really. But then again, thanks to the modern marvel that is the internet, I have that twenty-something "I want it now" attitude so I'm probably being a bit of a brat about it. :)

      I do appreciate the level of detail put into this pen. As I spend more time with it, looking it over, touching it, examining the pieces and parts, turning it in its holder, I find that I am more and more impressed. I didn't expect that at all, and for that, I am truly happy. I probably wouldn't recommend it to a friend, unless CW+T gets their manufacturing under control. If they do, then I think they've got a product worth buying and I'll purchase them as gifts in the future.

      I do think that a lot of these issues could have been avoided through manufacturing close to home. In this case, it's the US. I'm not knocking Chinese manufacturing. But with an object that has these tight tolerances and fine details, I would have wanted to be able to keep an eye on things via a short drive to a manufacturing facility close by. Not via Skype or email or chat. And certainly not through hundreds of products that failed to meet my specs. That was my key argument all along.

      But yes, I'd love to hear from them if they have something to say. I'm interested in their thoughts on how this could have gone differently and how it could have been better. What made it hard, etc.


      And, finally, he wrapped up with this:

      Hi Matthew,

      I will reach out in a few weeks then, and we can chat in more detail.

      And I am pleased that you are impressed with the craftmanship of the product. It is definitely precision manufacturing and engineering. Most people don't fully understand what goes into making such a product, as that type of manufacturing is so far removed from the average consumer.




      I'm assuming this is the same Allen at Torr pens. Apparently, his idea of "reaching out" is to rip something off. These emails took place on August 7, which tells me he was eyeballs deep into the manufacturing process of his own shitty pen by this point, yet he talks about CW+T and the Pen Type A as if it were some grand creation.

      This man is a hypocrite and a liar. I'm ashamed that I even indulged his first email with any response at all. I assumed he was working with CW+T and wanted to make sure that the frustrated backers had a chance to better understand the process. Unfortunately, I was wrong about him.

      I hope you can resolve this guys... Sucks to see that hasn't pulled the product yet.

      PS. Parker Pens suck and so do the Fisher Space Pens.

    48. Brandon Eley on August 23, 2012

      Did you guys patent your pen design? I really hope so... then at least you are protected and have the law on your side.

    49. Missing avatar

      Brian Kieffer on August 23, 2012

      That sucks that your own manufacturer knocked off your product. Someone in the comments there suggested that they might just be selling the rejected components. That would be even more shameful if true.