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Anyone Here Familiar With Ballograf, The Swedish Pen Company?


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4 replies to this topic

#1 MYU


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Posted 07 March 2018 - 16:51

Ballograf got started by a duo of Austrian inventors who set up shop in Sweden. Why Sweden? The year was 1945 and with both Germany and Austria still in a terrible state from the war, Sweden was a good place to do business with an intact infrastructure. Ballografverken one of the first to produce a push button ballpoint pen (no need for a cap). They were the first to produce an archival ink in a ballpoint cartridge. Ballograf was a huge success in the Nordic countries and eventually spread to other European nations. They have also produced fountain pens and mechanical pencils.

The famous BIC corporation recognized Ballograf's fine quality pen products and bought the company in 1959. See that logo on the clip? It looks like a generic symbol of a person, similar to what BiC has used. The same logo appears on their other writing instruments, like the Epoca. Later in the 2000's, BIC divested itself of the Ballograf subsidiary and put it back into the hands of Swedes. Today, Ballograf produces more than 4 million writing instruments per year, with a workforce of only 30 employees!

I came across my first Ballograf pen while attending a software conference in Zurich Switzerland. At such conferences there are usually all kinds of free things given away by vendors as part of marketing efforts and company branded pens is one of the more common items to be found. I ended up with a white Ballograf ballpoint pen, lightly branded for some company and "EPOCA" engraved on the metal band. Immediately I recognized it was not just another cheap capless ballpoint pen, despite being made of plastic. It came with a quality polished stainless steel clip, button cap, and nose cone. I've had it for over 10 years and the Ballograf branded "Made in Sweden" ink cartridge still works! It looks to be Parker style in terms of shape, but the back end isn't the same and it won't fit in the pen (it may just require shaving down the back plug a bit).

When I searched around to learn more about Ballograf, I saw they have an interesting line of pen and pencil designs, but not really marketed to the USA.  However, you can find them on eBay and occasionally on Amazon.  But it seems to enjoy the full breadth of their offerings, you have to look to Europe.

I recently got an Opus II set with pen and pencil.  This was sent to me by Ballograf in thanks to my enthusiasm for one of their now discontinued mechanical pencils.  I have to say that I'm very impressed with the quality.

Here's the older Ballograf Era mechanical pencil:



This is the newer Opus II:




So if you ever spot a Ballograf branded pen or pencil, take a moment to check it out.

[MYU's Pen Review Corner]   |   "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small

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#2 aeba



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Posted 08 March 2018 - 15:35

Ah, Epoca. Simple, cheap-ish pens which just work. If Ballograph would have gone with a standard Parker G2 refill,, they would give Parker Jotter very good run for it's money.


Edit: Hmm, Rondo, and few others apparently could use Ballograp "Easy flow" refill, which looks like a Parker G2 aaand "The refill combines the qualities of a ballpen with the advantages of a rollerball." What did Schmidt say about their Easy flow refills... "SCHMIDT® easyFLOW combines the advantages of the well-known ball point refill with those of a roller ball refill creating a completely new market segment in the field of writing instruments." Coincidence?


Welp, I need to buy few new Ballografs (Elox, Scripta, and possibly one of those Opus II's) when I find the money.

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#3 MYU


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Posted 08 March 2018 - 19:10

^ I have to say, the Ballograf Easy Flow refill that came in that Opus II ballpoint is very nice.  It seems to be a more modern ink formulation as it does flow easily, not requiring much pressure, and produces a nice thin line without any feathering.  It's definitely not a gel ink, but glides like one.  A comparable refill is the BRFN-30 from PILOT.  I haven't tried the latest Schmidt, but I can tell you that they're notorious for prematurely drying out.


EDIT:  By the way, I can't edit my original post (this is a terrible drawback of this forum software -- the OP should be able to edit their first post indefinitely to correct for mistakes or provide additions, but you're given only a day to make corrections!).  I wanted to point out that the pencil's "pusher" (push-button) isn't normally sitting so low in the body.  This was because I'd unscrewed off the front end when I took the photo.  But I wanted to make a clear distinction between the two writing instruments.  The pencil does have a lead size indication on it, as a raised metal band around the top edge of the pusher.


Some additional details on the pencil and its double-clutch mechanism:



Edited by MYU, 08 March 2018 - 19:17.

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#4 mr T.

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 22:39

 If Ballograph would have gone with a standard Parker G2 refill,, they would give Parker Jotter very good run for it's money.

There are at least three types of Ballograf refill. The oldest ones (on the right) have a small flat top), the newer ones have a larger flat top and the newest pens are fitted with a 'Parker style' refill. All of these refills are made in Sweden by Ballograf. There are also Bic ballpoints that are rebranded Ballograf Rondo pens. These rebranded Bic pens (sold als 'Bic Select') have a 'Parker style' refill with a barrel that is made of plastic. The Bic refills are probably made in Germany. 

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Edited by mr T., 13 March 2018 - 22:40.

#5 dcwaites



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Posted 13 March 2018 - 22:45

A Ballograf BP was my second 'serious' pen. The first was a Chinese Parker 51 homage called a Dragon 666.

The FP wandered off decades ago, but I still have the Ballograf.




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