Hi Kickstarter! Last year we launched Panobook, a notebook for your desk. We are back again with a new project that pairs perfectly with it: Mark One, a minimal, durable, retractable pen.
This is Mark One, in a nutshell:
- Minimal design. No superfluous details, not even a visible logo. Clean, simple, elegant, and it comes in two colors.
- Durable. The entire pen is made out of metal, and coated with a robust ceramic polymer coating, which gives the pen a great feel in the hand.
- Retractable. We wanted a click pen for our favorite refill, and we went to great lengths—including a custom mechanism—to make it happen. Satisfying as heck to click.
This whole journey started when we discovered a fantastic refill, beloved in the pen world: the Schmidt P8126 rollerball. It quickly became our favorite, so we thought, “we should make a great pen for this refill.” So that’s what we did.
Keep scrolling to learn more!
Perhaps unsurprising if you know us, but our design goal from the beginning was to design a pen that was both minimal and beautiful. Mark One has a completely seamless (literally) design, with no excess ornamentation or logo. This seamless design was quite an engineering feat, and involved designing a custom mechanism that can screw in from the back. The pen comes in two colors: black or white, which both have a slightly textured, matte finish. The metal plated nocks provide a nice little accent to each. We wanted the pen to be sophisticated without looking overly tactical or masculine.
It was also important for us to make something long lasting. Mark One is incredibly durable. It is made entirely out of metal; even the custom click mechanism is metal (more on that below). The pen is coated with Cerakote, which is an extremely durable ceramic-polymer coating. It gives the pen a really nice, matte feel. This pen should last a lifetime.
We decided early on that we wanted our pen to be a retractable click pen, but getting there was another story. There are many off-the-shelf click mechanisms we could have used, but none of them were quite right for what we wanted, so naturally, we are making our own mechanism. It is made entirely out of metal and, as far as we know, it is the only all-metal mechanism on the market that has an actual "click" action. It's extremely satisfying. We are quite proud of it!
Mark One ships with our favorite refill, the Schmidt P8126 rollerball. This is a fantastic cartridge; the ink flows smoothly and dries quickly. This refill was popularized by the Retro 51 Tornado, and we wanted to make a pen that... didn't look like that. If you've never used this refill before, you're in for a treat.
However, Mark One will accept any Parker style refill, which, if you are not a pen nerd, just means there are many options for pen cartridges that our pen will accept, like the Fisher Space Pen ball-point or various gels. This list from Well-Appointed Desk is quite comprehensive.
Here are the details of the pen, however things may be tweaked slightly as we move to production.
- Dimensions: 128mm long, 11mm diameter. (5in x 0.43in)
- Weight: 25 grams (0.88oz)
- Aluminum body and mechanism. Nickel and copper plated aluminum knock.
- Cerakote coating, matte finish. See technical specifications for Cerakote here.
- Included Refill: Schmidt P8126. Black ink with 0.6mm tip diameter.
We've had the design concept for Mark One for a while now, even before we launched the Panobook campaign (you can actually find early prototype Easter eggs in the video if you look for them). Once that campaign was a success, we knew a pen would be the perfect follow up. Although the design of the Mark One looks simple, we spent countless hours tweaking the geometry and design, and we reworked and redesigned the mechanism multiple times. It was a long journey to get to the current design, and we can't wait for you to use it!
Since everything about this pen is custom machined, there is a sizable upfront cost, as well as a minimum quantity needed to get this off the ground. If you are interested in supporting your new favorite pen, hit the green button to help bring the Mark One into existence.
Thanks for your support!
Risks and challenges
We are Kickstarter veterans, and have successfully funded and delivered 7 projects in the past. Even though we have never made a pen before, which will certainly bring it's own challenges, we do have some familiarity with the manufacturing process, which involves using a Swiss-type CNC lathe. We have manufactured parts using this process for both the Cosmonaut and Glif in the past, so it is not uncharted waters for us. Every project has its own delays and hiccups, but we hope our record has shown we always deliver what is promised.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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