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Luxury Pencil: Your Thoughts ...


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#21 dkirchge

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 02:39

The closest thing I have to an expensive pencil is the Magno 2mm lead holder I picked up on Kickstarter. Nicely machined metal with an admittedly gimmicky magnetic lead advance, but it's fun and comfortable to write and draw with.


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#22 MYU

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 19:12

There's "Luxury" implied from the pen brand itself, like getting a matching Writer's series pencil for a Montblanc fountain pen.  Or a unique one-off crafted by an artisan using precious metals.  But then there's luxury in terms of rarity.  Imagine a mechanical pencil that when sold as new was something like $25 USD.  The maker was not really breaking even on revenue, because the expense of manufacture turned out to be too high, with not enough sales to offset it.  So the pencil is discontinued.  Many years later, collectors discover this and begin to seek it out.  Once enough word gets around and scarcity is realized, the resale price goes stratospheric.

 

The "top of the line" drafting mechanical pencil ever made by PILOT was the H-5005.  It had a retail price of 5,000 JPY, which was a lot for a pencil in those days (in contrast, PILOT sold many thousands of its H-1005 model at 1,000 JPY during the 80's and 90's).  I have never seen one appear on auction (eBay, Yahoo, etc), but I imagine if it did, the cost would be well over $1,000 USD, as the "lesser" model that came behind this one has fetched $800 USD repeatedly.

 

PILOT_H-5005.jpg

Some might say, and quite justified, that this doesn't look like an exceptionally expensive pencil. Well, it was expensive in its day, but not nearly as much as a sterling silver example offered up from many brands at the time.  But its rarity has definitely catapulted it into the "uber expensive" category.

 

The other pencil that I mentioned is simply called the "Pilot Automatic".  No obvious model designation printed on it (or on the price label).

 

Pilot_VP-_MP_Automatic_YJP-2017-11_a.jpg

Pilot_VP-_MP_Automatic_YJP-2017-11_b.jpg

 

Yep, you read that right.... 80,000 JPY.  I couldn't fathom anyone would pay that much for a mechanical pencil priced at 3,000 JPY and not containing any precious metals or artwork.  That same bidder bought another one in gently used condition, for 52,000 JPY on 01/03.  Still too rich for my blood!  But I must say, I'm extremely intrigued by these pencils and would love to own one of them someday.


Edited by MYU, 03 January 2018 - 19:15.

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#23 KellyMcJ

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 13:56

The Pentel P205 is what I use.

 

That Pilot pencil is fantastic. I wish it were still $25 or even $50...I'd snap it up in a heartbeat. I love the fact that it has the little window that you can set to show what lead is inside. I haven't used some of my pencils in so long I forget what I loaded them with.



#24 MYU

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 07:04

The Pentel P205 is what I use.

 

That Pilot pencil is fantastic. I wish it were still $25 or even $50...I'd snap it up in a heartbeat. I love the fact that it has the little window that you can set to show what lead is inside. I haven't used some of my pencils in so long I forget what I loaded them with.

 

Kelly do you know about the Spoke-4 pencil?  It's made by Brian Conti of Spoke Pencils.  It uses a Pentel P20x mechanism (reliable, dependable, functional) and he has crafted around it a terrific metal alloy body.  I'm going to get one, as I think it's reasonably priced at $39 (considering the effort that a one-man shop put into it).

 

As for the Pilot, I couldn't agree more... but I'd pay even $150 for that H-5005, because it's so beautifully crafted and so rare.

 

The little lead indicator is actually a fairly common feature among certain brands and models.  The rOtring 600 for example.  There's many more too, especially the drafting models from Kohinoor, Staedtler, and Pentel.


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#25 stuck-in-time

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 16:09

As for myself, when you say luxury pencils, what came first to mind was the Graf von Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil (with the extender).

Those high end drafting Japanese pencils are very cool stuff too, but I feel those are a different kind of luxury? They are definitely very beautiful pieces of art, but they can't really be compared.

Like in my mind there are, perhaps, 2 types of luxury, the typical one being those products designed for the high society life and the other one being those highly advanced top-of-the line workhorse products.

If I had to choose one, I'll pick #2 any day!

Getting back to pencils, in my opinion, #1 would be pencils like the GvFC stuff, Yard-O-Leds, and those pencils matching their high-end fountain pen counterparts (MB, Parker, any brand). #2 would be high-end drafting pencils, mostly, like those Japanese vintages, Faber-Castell TK & Alpha-matics, and Rotring 600/800s.

But then again, there would be stuff that's kinda in-between. I'm thinking of the Pilot S20 and Pentel Kerry. As for the Lamy 2000, I'm still not sure where to put it. More to #1 perhaps?

#26 The Blue Knight

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 19:45

The closest thing | have to a Luxury pencil is a Diplomat Aero mechanical pencil. I don't really use it too much. I tend to hold the view that the best mechanical pencil is the rotring 500/ 600. I think the general design of drafting pencils is perfect for most writing tasks 

 

If there were "non luxury" fountain pens that wrote as well as a "luxury" ones I'd gravitate towards them. But whilst things like a CP1 write nicely there are better pens out there.



#27 MYU

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 05:12

As for myself, when you say luxury pencils, what came first to mind was the Graf von Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil (with the extender).

Those high end drafting Japanese pencils are very cool stuff too, but I feel those are a different kind of luxury? They are definitely very beautiful pieces of art, but they can't really be compared.

Like in my mind there are, perhaps, 2 types of luxury, the typical one being those products designed for the high society life and the other one being those highly advanced top-of-the line workhorse products.

If I had to choose one, I'll pick #2 any day!

Getting back to pencils, in my opinion, #1 would be pencils like the GvFC stuff, Yard-O-Leds, and those pencils matching their high-end fountain pen counterparts (MB, Parker, any brand). #2 would be high-end drafting pencils, mostly, like those Japanese vintages, Faber-Castell TK & Alpha-matics, and Rotring 600/800s.

But then again, there would be stuff that's kinda in-between. I'm thinking of the Pilot S20 and Pentel Kerry. As for the Lamy 2000, I'm still not sure where to put it. More to #1 perhaps?

 

Very good points to ponder.  I agree with you about the 2 categories of luxury mechanical pencils... those being deliberately high-end for heritage design and precious metals/gems/woods, and those for super high quality function.  I've stayed away from Graf von Faber Castell for fear of hurting my wallet!  LOL.  Have you seen the rOtring 800?  It's sort of in between this category... certainly heritage design, but while missing precious metals, gems or woods, it has a luxurious look to it wearing matte black clothes and augmented with gold appointments and the iconic red ring.  The Pilot S20 makes nice use of wood.  Have you seen Mitsubishi's Precious wood series?  Beautifully done.  The Lamy 2000 probably leans more to category #2, despite missing a special grip for drafting use.


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#28 KellyMcJ

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 05:34

 
Kelly do you know about the Spoke-4 pencil?  It's made by Brian Conti of Spoke Pencils.  It uses a Pentel P20x mechanism (reliable, dependable, functional) and he has crafted around it a terrific metal alloy body.  I'm going to get one, as I think it's reasonably priced at $39 (considering the effort that a one-man shop put into it).
 
As for the Pilot, I couldn't agree more... but I'd pay even $150 for that H-5005, because it's so beautifully crafted and so rare.
 
The little lead indicator is actually a fairly common feature among certain brands and models.  The rOtring 600 for example.  There's many more too, especially the drafting models from Kohinoor, Staedtler, and Pentel.


I haven't. I'll check it out. Thanks!

#29 Darkman

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 13:27

I haven't. I'll check it out. Thanks!

 

I do enjoy the Spoke 4 that I bought over the holidays...

 

https://spokepencils...-pencil-model-4

 

I bought mine after reading a review on Clicky Post at:

 

https://clickypost.c...num-review-09mm

 

-DM



#30 KellyMcJ

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 13:45

 

I do enjoy the Spoke 4 that I bought over the holidays...

 

https://spokepencils...-pencil-model-4

 

I bought mine after reading a review on Clicky Post at:

 

https://clickypost.c...num-review-09mm

 

-DM

 

How heavy is it? I have one pencil that I thought I'd love but really don't like because it's heavy...and those look like they'd be even heavier, being metal. However, balance may have a lot to do with this.



#31 MYU

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 21:58

 

How heavy is it? I have one pencil that I thought I'd love but really don't like because it's heavy...and those look like they'd be even heavier, being metal. However, balance may have a lot to do with this.

 

From what I understand, it's not as heavy as a rOtring 600.  But there's also a Spoke-3 pencil made completely of titanium.  It's a touch more expensive at $45.


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#32 Zookie

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 19:08

I love pencils, all types and price ranges. While I have more pencils than fountain pens, I'm still on the hunt for the "perfect one".

That being said, having some time on my hands, I went to Staples to see if there was anything new.

There wasn't anything but some #2 Staples brand (very nice colors btw) made in Vietnam so I purchased a few. I can't believe it, and almost hate to admit it, but these are the smoothest, darkest, #2 pencils I've used in a long time! I'm really enjoying them  :D 



#33 MYU

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 01:40

^ You won't find much of a mechanical pencil selection in stores.  Most of them are the cheapies.  Of course, the Pentel P205/7/9 is like the VW Beetle of mechanical pencils.  Cheap, easy to maintain, and just goes forever.  But not luxury.  Far from it.

 

The best places to find mechanical pencils are on-line.  Jet Pens has some wonderful models available from Japan.  Amazon and eBay offer many as well.

 

 

My "favorite" mechanical pencil collection has grown quite a bit.  This is just a sample of a few top favorites:

 

PILOT_MP_Favorites_01.jpg
 
PILOT_MP_Favorites_02.jpg
 
From Left to Right (and Top to Bottom):

  1. PILOT Stainless Steel Twist Retractable 0.5mm

  2. Mitsubishi Jaguar silver stripe grid 0.5mm

  3. PILOT Stainless Steel black stripe 0.5mm

  4. PILOT H-2005 retractable 0.5mm

  5. PILOT Stainless Steel Double-Knock retractable 0.5mm

  6. PILOT MYU black stripe stainless steel 0.5mm

  7. Mitsubishi W-Knock retractable 0.5mm


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#34 stuck-in-time

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 06:41

 

Very good points to ponder.  I agree with you about the 2 categories of luxury mechanical pencils... those being deliberately high-end for heritage design and precious metals/gems/woods, and those for super high quality function.  I've stayed away from Graf von Faber Castell for fear of hurting my wallet!  LOL.  Have you seen the rOtring 800?  It's sort of in between this category... certainly heritage design, but while missing precious metals, gems or woods, it has a luxurious look to it wearing matte black clothes and augmented with gold appointments and the iconic red ring.  The Pilot S20 makes nice use of wood.  Have you seen Mitsubishi's Precious wood series?  Beautifully done.  The Lamy 2000 probably leans more to category #2, despite missing a special grip for drafting use.

 

I have seen the 800s in stores but not actually held in in person. But I do own a vintage 600 ballpoint, and they certainly does give off that classy vibe. Still looking for a bargain on the 800, like the 600 I got for $7  :) Secretly hoping the same of GvFCs too...

 

Is the precious wood referring to the Pure Malt series? If so, yeah, I've seen and tried them, and they are quite nice, but sadly not really my type of design, so I passed on them. I might pick them up in the future though. I prefer a more industrial design, especially with straight barrel profiles.



#35 Algester

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 12:34

GvFC mechanical pencils are definitely on the bill theres also YardO-led but luxury is also a bit you know... subjective

#36 alanshutko

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 15:24

 

I have seen the 800s in stores but not actually held in in person. But I do own a vintage 600 ballpoint, and they certainly does give off that classy vibe. 

 

 

 

Offtopic (though I love my rOtring 600 pencil)... There are Fisher space pen refills that fit in the 600 ballpoint!



#37 MYU

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 17:35

 

I have seen the 800s in stores but not actually held in in person. But I do own a vintage 600 ballpoint, and they certainly does give off that classy vibe. Still looking for a bargain on the 800, like the 600 I got for $7  :) Secretly hoping the same of GvFCs too...

 

Is the precious wood referring to the Pure Malt series? If so, yeah, I've seen and tried them, and they are quite nice, but sadly not really my type of design, so I passed on them. I might pick them up in the future though. I prefer a more industrial design, especially with straight barrel profiles.

 

The 800 has the same heft as a 600 and quality function as well.  The retractable tip is extended by rotating the "knob" on the back end of the pencil (which has some knurling to it, like the front).  Because of that rotation, "rOtring Japan" left off the lead indicator. While that improved the aesthetics, it became a knock against the 800 from being a quality drafting instrument.  A 600 for $7... but that's not adjusted for inflation.  ;)  Occasionally the 800 is below $30 USD on Amazon.

 

Yes, you're right -- I'd forgotten the name when I posted but it is "Pure Malt."  I've not bought any of them, for about the same reason as you -- the barrel contour is a bit too far from industrial quality.

 

I've shied away from Graf von Faber Castell, because they're so costly.  But I agree, many of their models are probably the best implementation of a luxury pencil with industrial / drafting aesthetics.


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#38 sidpost

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 17:46

 

... Occasionally the 800 is below $30 USD on Amazon. ...

 

I'm waiting on mine to arrive.  At the time, I found a 'warehouse deal' that I thought was a good buy and jumped on it as I really like the 600's and would like one I could pocket carry.  Today I see they are <$25 new (black 0.5) so, if a rOtring 800 interests you, now could be a good time give one a test drive.  I generally prefer the 0.7 pencils but, it was black which is my favorite color in the 600's so, if I really like it I could see a 0.7 joining it at some point.

 

The Retro 51 Hex-O-Matic is another one I would like to try sometime but, the only way that will happen is if I buy one and have it shipped to me.  It sure looks tempting though.


On a quest for better pencils and pens in rural East Texas.   :)


#39 Darkman

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 21:41

 

How heavy is it? I have one pencil that I thought I'd love but really don't like because it's heavy...and those look like they'd be even heavier, being metal. However, balance may have a lot to do with this.

 

Mine is configured with a matte black aluminum barrel and 9.2mm titanium grip and weighs 19g.

 

-DM



#40 chravagni

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 17:13

The closest I have to luxury is a Pilot H-2085 with the grip in wood. I have many others by many brands, but such a warm feeling only with this one.

Chiara

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Edited by chravagni, 17 January 2018 - 17:13.







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