Caran d’Ache 45 multipen

Caran d'Ache 45 multipen

This post continues on two other articles about vintage multipencils. (The Faber-Castell 33/78 four colour pencil and the Caran D’ache Tricolor.) I mentioned their quality construction, as well as the relative complexity of their mechanisms.

Caran d'Ache 45 multipen

Well, I got further with them than I did with the Caran d’Ache 45. The 45 was advertised online as a multipencil, but when it arrived, it turned out to be a multipen – three ballpoints and a pencil in a classic looking barley pattern housing.

Caran d'Ache 45 multipen

Octagonal shaped, each writing implement is selected by sliding a corresponding switch. The implement is retracted by clicking the cap.

Caran d'Ache 45 multipen

Caran d'Ache 45 multipen

So now the fun starts. First the obvious. I can’t find any way to advance or replace the pencil lead, and suspect it is all manual. That’s okay – at least it works.

Caran d'Ache 45 multipen

Now the ballpoints – they are dried up. Easy to replace, right? Unfortunately, no. There seems to be a standard mini-ballpoint format that is used by pocket pens and multipens, but it has two differences from the 45’s format. First, the modern format is longer – which can be remedied with a side-cutter. But, the 45 is a clutch leadholder on the inside, and it wants the format of the original. The 45 does not properly grip the new format.

The original, between modern examples:Caran d'Ache 45 multipen

So, I fear this potentially amazing writing instrument is a paperweight, unless someone out there has some ideas for finding a replacement ballpoint refill.

This post is also a cautionary tale about proprietary formats for writing implement refills – pen, pencil, or other.

21 Replies to “Caran d’Ache 45 multipen”

  1. I’ve wondered what would be involved in refilling an existing ball-point tube. You’d need some solvent that would clean out the old but not damage any plastics (or be corrosive to the metals). Maybe an ultrasonic cleaner or syringe-type sprayer. Fresh ink and a way to put it in the tube—Maybe a long needle syringe inserted all the way up to the ball and continuously dispensed as it is retracted, until the ink tube is filled to the right level? The ink is viscous enough to probably require an enormous needle diameter so it would be possible to squeeze the syringe.

  2. I have the exact same multipencil – in gold and it is a 47.

    If you ever find out where to get the refills, PLEASE do inform me!

    Best greetings from Austria!


  3. Wondering whether anyone has found ballpoint refills for this pen, or whether anyone has had any success modifying other manufacturers’ refills to fit this pen.

  4. Ho anch’io la bellissima penna multicolore,è la 46 in argento. Tempo fa ho mandato una e-mail alla CARAN D’ACHE richiedendo i refill di ricambio e non ho ricevuto nessuna risposta.Per una penna così prestigiosa , la ditta, dovrebbe rimettere in produzione i refill di ricambio perché, come me,in giro per il mondo ce ne dovrebbero essere ancora molte.Forse unendo tutte queste lamentele e facendo pressione alla CARAN D’ACHE si potrebbe ottenere un buon risultato.
    Saluti e grazie Alberto

  5. Hi, Alberto,
    My Italian is not excellent, but if I understand you correctly, you want as many people as possible to ask Caran D’ache to produce refills.
    If you start an action, I am highly interested, since I have the same problem.

  6. I also have a Caran d’Ache 45 with ballpoints that are dried up. I also have some unused refills but these are dried up. I would very much like to be able to use the pen again. Mine also needs some tlc as the action does not work reliably. Anyone know who might service this pen in the UK? Gavin

  7. Hi all. Ciao tutti!
    I have my father’s silver Multi pen 45. Same problem solution? Contract replacement refills with China. If we can get a big order in place , we can do it????

  8. Hi,

    I just found out, that mine is a “47”. If it takes the same refills – I am with you and our order!

    Greetings from Vienna,


  9. Actually these refills are available through Caran d’Ache customer service in Switzerland (not elsewhere). Not inexpensive and 12€ for shipping but OEM quality. Contact their customer service on the (Swiss) website. Very responsive in my experience.

  10. My 45 model is for three different colored pencil leads and one ballpoint refill. I have no problem advancing the lead by simply turning the “clutchng” part that holds the lead and this advances the lead in or out. On mine only one of the sliders is for a ballpoint refill. And I cannot get my refill to eject from the pen. Although I’m afraid that even if I did, I will have the same problem everyone else does in that there doesn’t seem to be a refill match for this pen/pencil.

  11. I sent the 45 to Caran dáche in Ginebra in Switzerland
    They retur me clean but tell me that they havent the refills
    Is possible other solution,

  12. Anyone figure this out yet? I have been talking to Caran HQ and they have no idea what im talking about… even sent them pictures :-)

  13. Robb Alton I have inherited the same model and the ballpoint refill was tricky to get out initially. Push the slider all the way down and while holding it fully down also press the release button so that the gripper is fully dilated. You should now be able to work the ballpoint refill out though it may be stiff due to a bit of corrosion. No, I don’t have a fix to the problem of finding ballpoint refills.

  14. I was just gifted a 45, which is their 4-colour ballpoint. Has anyone found a solution to replacing or refilling the refills? This would be such a cool pen to use.

  15. Tina (and others interested in this type of refill),

    There were conflicting reports here from 2018 about direct support from Caran d’Ache – JP says they obtained a refill, but Castillo seems to have received just a cleaning. Others don’t seem to get a response.

    I tried some reverse image searching, but didn’t find anything. Another issue is not knowing the name or designation of the refill. The modern standard small ballpoint pen refill is the D1.

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