Concept: 2 out of 5
Execution: 3 out of 5
Yeah, but: It's an acquired taste.
The Long Version: It's been four years since I reviewed my Caran d'Ache 849 in its snazzy "Metal X" slick finish. I've rarely carried anything else in the intervening years, and it shows in the finish – but those scrapes and marks are well-earned. I carry my pen clipped in my back pocket, alongside whichever pocket knife I'm carrying that day, so it's constantly up against very hard and typically square-edged tool steel. I actually like the pen more now that it shows some wear and personality – so much so that I've bought another one.
This new 849 in "oh-my-effing-god Orange" called to me from its shelf at Swipe. The colour amuses me. This pen has proven almost impossible to lose, either when it's next to me on my black desk or when I've left it on the far side of a large room. Orange is a tough colour – it's too easy to get it wrong and come away with something unappealing, and even when it works there's a lot of variation. The orange in my large Timbuk2 bag is more of a copper-yellow, my Blaze Orange toque has a lot more red in it. Even my mug in Pantone's 2012 Colour of the Year, 'Tangerine Tango', doesn't manage to out-orange this Caran d'Ache. Awesome.
Hopefully I'll be back in another four years with another update.
last updated 9 feb 2013