Bic needs no introduction. Makers of much more than ballpoint pens, their many woodcase pencils seem to rarely be exported outside of France. Similary leadholders. I would love to be able to try some modern pencils from the country that gave the world the technique of blending graphite with clay – but I have rarely seen them for sale.
The Criterium’s website says that this leadholder has been in production since 1939, and comes in plastic and aluminum varieties. I would love to get the aluminum version, but feel lucky enough to have found any model.
The 2613 has a hexagonal black plastic body, metal clutch and tip, metal clip, and a metal cap. The plastic feels quite solid, and the pencil (with full lead) weighs in at a comfortable 9.5g.
The clutch is opened and closed by pressing the cap. The cap is innovative, containing an eraser and sharpener. The sharpener is literally a hole in the cap, which at first glance appears to be just a design element. It is one of those elegant ideas that seems obvious once you know about it – yet someone had to think of this idea and design the implementation.
The grip area has grooves in the edges of the hexagonal body. I find it to be quite comfortable.
Overall, I like it. The understated look and the cap sharpener are the winning features.