The guys over at Studio Neat have once again decided to enter into the fickle world of stationery products with the Mark One Pen (pledges start at$50). They launched the Kickstarter a few days ago and it was backed almost instantaneously. The Mark One is an all-metal pen covered in a ceramic coating available in black or white.
I was lucky enough to get one of the prototype pens in ceramic white with a copper click mechanism. The pen does not have a clip which makes the pen aesthetically gorgeous but it does tend to roll around a bit. I clearly must not have a level surface in my house or office because this is a bigger issue of not having a roll stop than not having a clip. Being a girl means seldom clipping a pen to anything.
The Mark One is designed to hold the well-loved Schmidt 8126/27 refill and Parker-style refills. It’s well-loved by everyone but me. Generally speaking, for note taking, grocery lists and random purse pens, I keep a few gel pens handy. None of them are Schmidt refills.
As the “refill queen,” I immediately tested several different refills with the Mark One, including a Tofty D1 adapter so that I could use a Zebra 0.4mm Gel refill. I was able to easily swap out standard ballpoint, rollerball and gel style refills from Parker, Monteverde and the coveted Moleskine 0.5mm Parker-style refills with no issues. I did repeatedly shoot the spring across the room several times though. Don’t lose it. The Mark One really likes the spring it ships with over haphazard springs culled from other pens. Trust me on this.
Compared to other non-fountain pens in my collection, the Mark One is wider but not heavier. The ceramic coating makes it smooth but not slippery. The copper click mechanism looks good next to the rose gold of the Caran d’Ache and makes it look puny. The Mark One is only slightly wider than the Baron Fig Squire. The click mechanism is notable on the Mark One. When I was putting the pens away, the Caran d’Ache and Mark One both have easy to close click mechanisms making them perfect on-the-go pens. While I love the look of the Baron Fig, the closing mechanism makes it a two-hand operation and less likely to be chosen when jotting down a quick note when I’m out and about.
So, I probably don’t have to tell you that the Studio Neat Mark One is a project worth backing if you like rollerball, ball point or gel pens. You probably backed the Panbook project or listened to the Pen Addict podcast or the most recent episode of Thoroughly Considered on RelayFM.