The Montblanc Leonardo Sketch Pen (Which is a pencil.)

Leonardo Sketch Pen
Is this the sexiest, most exciting pencil ever?

Years ago, an article in Pen World detailed the background of the wide lead clutch pencil resurgance. The invention and design of a new lead clutch mechanism was followed by success in selling it to the leading innovators in the writing implements trade.

The ultimate expession of that idea is the Leonardo Sketch Pen – which is a pencil. For me, it was a gift upon a special occasion. Not just a gift – an ubergift. You like whisky? Here’s a bottle of Ardbeg Provenance. You like cars? Here’s an Aston-Martin. And here’s what we have for pencils – the Montblanc Leonardo Sketch Pen.
Leonardo Sketch Pen box
As befits such an object, it is beautifully packaged in a presentation box. The top half contains the manual, a small sketch book, and a refill lead. The lower half has the pencil and a protective leather case.
Leonardo Sketch Pen box opened
The pencil itself is beautiful – black and gold, with a heft and design that makes other clutch pencils look very pedestrian. It handles very nicely, and it really conveys a sense of luxury.
Leonardo Sketch Pen accessories
What’s it for? It’s not for writing an essay, but it is great for sketches, drawings, flowcharts, and small bits of jotting. The lead width and pencil heft make it easy to quickly draw any length line. The cap, itself a small work of art, contains a sharpener for pointing the lead. In practice, the lead’s width means that there will be various edges varying from thin to wide, for producing different types of lines. But the initial point stays sharp for quite a while with an HB lead. Montblanc also provides 4B leads for darker, richer lines, and of course one can use third-party leads.

I’ve never seen another pencil with such a “wow” factor. A year old, it’s still a thrill to use.

[A note to readers: This blog may soon be going offline for a while.]

26 Replies to “The Montblanc Leonardo Sketch Pen (Which is a pencil.)”

  1. I bought the Leonardo Sketch Pen yesterday and I LOVE IT! I’m a graphic designer/artist/writer and this is the best pencil I’ve ever had (and usually I hate pencils). Fountains pens have usually been my best friends, but now I have a new BFF!

  2. Excellent post. Currently looking for the MB Leonardo sketch pen. I’m not an artist and can’t really sketch/draw all that well, but I think this pen might be intriguing enough to help me think my scribbles are sketches.


  3. Do you know where I can find Montblac Leonardo SketchpPen-sized third party leads?


    I love the pen…but want softer, blacker lead.

  4. Also…when I bought the Leonardo…it did not come with a manual and a sketch-book…does anyone know where/from whom/how I can find one?


  5. Kit,

    There was a recent discussion over at Dave’s Mechanical Pencils about Leonardo leads. I would recommend getting a 4B lead from a Montblanc boutique or dealer, since the 5.6 mm leads from art supply stores don’t fit.

    As to the manual and sketch book – if you bought a new pencil, they should have been included in the box. I don’t know if Montblanc sells spares, but they would be your best bet. The items are nothing special – the manual information is online, and the refill mechanism isn’t complicated. But I can understand wanting the “complete set.”

    Good luck.

  6. Darn! (but thanks)

    I bought the Leonardo before they packaged it so well…just the Pen-cil,

    And, I just went on-line and ordered some 6B 5.6 leads, and some cool ones that are colored…and now, I guess…I wasted my money. I bet Montblanc did that on purpose! I need leads that are darker and softer than the 4B.


  7. Cheapjoes does sell a 2B (only) 5.5 six-pack. By a company called “Grafitti” from Ehler’s in Germany. But, they can not be found (by me!).

  8. I’ve an extended collection of fountain pens and pencils but every day I use the Leonardo Sketch Pen. With this masterpiece it’s possible take notes, write articles, capture ideas and so on… and I’m not a designer… The penknife (embedded in the cap) is not so efficient, however it’s sufficient to use a small sheet of sandpaper and you can go everywhere!


  9. I love this pencil, As an artist & designer it is a must for all forms of sketching just makes you feel good just looking at it, even before you have it in your hand. I love affair waitng to happen when you touch the paper.

  10. Creatacolor makes a 5.6 mm black lead called “Negro” that is black like a colored pencil but not waxy its wonderful. Not as much smudging also. But I’m gathering that 5.6 mm wouldn’t fit? that montblanc made thiers 5.5mm. thats a shame because I was going to buy it just to use the Negro leads in—Oh well.

  11. I have used the Leonardo for some time and often buy packs of third party 5.6mm leads and charcoals. Simply fold a piece of medium coarse sandpaper around five to six leads and roll them on a flat surface- this will reduce the diameter until they fit.

  12. Has anyone managed to find a pen refile that will fit the MB Leonardo Sketch Pencil. If so please advise which ballpoint or rollerball pen refile would work. I love the fact that it has such a unique look and feel – if this could be achieved I would buy a second one to convert into a pen and keep the origional as a pencil. It’s always nice to have the matching set!

    Any ideas are welome.

  13. the WOW factor is unmatch. I have collection of pens including Leonardo-Pen (Pencil) but whenever I take this out I do not feel like keeping it back but at last it is pencil.

    Can any body give me some hint on putting a clam on this.

  14. I bought a beautiful Leonardo Sketch Pen before they packaged it in a square big blue box, and yet with a little furrow to support it on the drawing table.
    I’d like to know if it is still manufactured, or if only the new model (without the furrow/slot) can be purchased. And which one do you prefer?

  15. I love the way the Leonardo looks but have not seen/held one in person. Can you really use it like any other pencil to write things,or is it just for “scetching” ? Thanks! Tony.

  16. Hi Guys
    Are you all still happy with your Montblanc Sketch Pen? I’ve seen that the posts and reviews are all about 2 years old and I am planning to buy one. It is expensive (at least in my country) and I want to make sure that this is a very good purchase.

  17. although the mont blanc sketch pencil really is beautiful, the real reality its a pencil folks, you can get a khor noor sketch pencil at any art supply store for 10 bucks an its pretty sweet, but come on a 500.00 dollar sketch pencil really, only if it belonged to picasso himself would i but it, kinda absurd to pay that much for a pencil, the real magic in art it not the instrument you draw with but the inspiration you create with an that comes from within. welp Ill tell ya you can do alot with 500.00 bucks think about it .

  18. I have a MontBlanc Leonardo Sketch Pencil which belonged to my late husband. He was a great collector of all things MontBlanc. I want to sell it and was wondering if anyone could give me any advice on how much it is worth and how I go about selling it. Any comments would be appreciated. Thankyou. Anne Robinson

  19. Anne, I would be interested in purchasing the pencil from you. I’m starting arts school soon and would love to have a great sketch pencil to use. Any idea of what you would like for it?

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