The muted fate of the book Stationery Fever was somewhat of an enigma to me – it had so many references and contributions from prominent online presences that I thought it must have smartly set itself up for success. It even examined some of the issues with the new “Blackwing”. I’ve heard the publisher didn’t treat authors or photographers as they expected. That is sad to learn, as the book has a lot to offer, and introduced me to several very interesting stationery products and stores, including the Neri leadholder, the subject of today’s review.
Made by Iterno Italiano in conjunction with Parafernalia and designed by Giulio Iacchetti, this leadholder has a striking minimalist design.
The leadholder takes 5.6mm lead, and is available in black, anthracite, and aluminum. The version shown here is the anthracite. The body is aluminum. There is also the Neri S, a 3.15mm version in a wider colour range. And a ballpoint also joined the family. A matching lead pointer would be a nice accessory.
A writing implement usually leads one’s eye to the point of contact – the point, the nib, the brush – but the Neri is different – it has a striking feature – a giant brass screw.
The simple design is very appealing. Having seen various complications over the years – the Neri is simple in contrast. (The Parafernalia association surprised me. Parafernalia in particular are known for exceedingly complicated products such as their Revolution pencil.) The Neri is a holder for a 5.6mm lead, with a large brass screw to hold the lead in place. That’s it, only two pieces!
How well does it work? I believe there is one serious problem. This mechanism doesn’t have a piece on the other side of the screw to hold and thus centre the lead. So the lead is kept in place by the screw on one side, and hugs the leadholder’s opening on the other side. It is off centre or askew.
The feel in the hand is a personal matter. I’ve both liked and not liked it at times. I’d recommend trying it in person before purchasing.
Overall, the product has great design, but for me the off centre lead is a letdown.
2015 was the 100th anniversary of famed pencil maker Caran d’Ache. We’re a little late noting this, but belatedly wish them congratulations! For the anniversary, a few commemorative items were offered, including a special version of their famed Fixpencil.
The Fixpencil, which we looked at in 2008, is arguably one of the most iconic writing instruments around, having been recognized in a Swiss stamp.
Some of the other items (e.g. fancy fountain pens) weren’t really my cup of tea, and the pencil commemoration (for the Technograph) just seemed to be four standard pencils in a cardboard box. Fortunately, this special Fixpencil seemed appealing, and came without an outrageous price.
The pencil is a standard 2mm Fixpencil, but with a special design – silver colouring, a 10cm ruler, and colour leads:
Of special interest is a multilingual brochure that outlines the stories of Caran d’Ache products. The text is light on facts, but the illustrations are great!
Did you buy any of the Caran d’Ache 100th anniversary products?
Lamy has many fans in the stationery world, and justifiably so. Their products are associated with reliability, good value, and a commitment to good design.
Here is a Lamy Safari you’re not going to find in any stationery store: a 2.0mm mechanical pencil. The one pictured is a custom modification by isu, the author of both the uncomfortable chair, and the uncomfortable chair 2. Why two blogs? I am not sure. Maybe there are even more.
In a great confluence of events, Stationery Magazine issue 10 just arrived from Japan. We took a brief look at the first issue almost a decade ago. Although I do not read or speak Japanese, the annual magazine has such great photography that it is still worth picking up if you’re someone who reads blogs like this one.
Guess who is featured in issue 10? The master modifier himself!
Thank you isu for the great pencil!
I wonder if Lamy could be persuaded to add 2.0mm to their lineup?
The David Hayward Design 5mm Brushed Nickel Scribbler is a very well made leadholder/clutch pencil with an incredible heft. At 66 grams, it is heavy and dense, and by far the heaviest handheld writing implement that I own.
The aesthetic is one of simplicity, with clean lines and surfaces. It is a design for designers – it dares you to not pick it up and start drawing.
Ipenstore was kind enough to send some items for review. The products are from their “Rosetta” line, which I take to be an in-house brand. I’ve ordered items from Ipenstore in the past, and have always been happy, especially with their range of unusual items and expert packaging.
They sent me a 2.0mm leadholder in a mechanical pencil format, a combination pointer/eraser, and some lead refills.
The pencil has a blue plastic body, and metal knurled grip. It does resemble the product of a well established manufacturer. The eraser pointer is a handy combination to have.
The cap also has a built-in pointer.
The 4B leads are okay. They shine in price: under $4 for the box of 12. That’s a fraction of the price of the top brands.
Overall, the Rosetta products offer entry into the 2.0mm drawing realm for a reasonable price. The metal knurled grip is a distinguishing feature.
P.S. More Rosetta products in the future.
I’ve been enjoying some Zebrano wood writing implements from e+m Holzprodukte of Germany:
A ruler with embedded lead pointer, a ballpoint pen, a pencil extender, a 5.6mm leadholder, a 1.18mm mechanical pencil, and a 5.6mm leadholder.
A couple of the historic shapes (the all wood 1.18mm and 5.6mm pieces) are less practical, but all of the implements are very pleasing to look at and hold.