The limited edition “Claim Your Style” Caran d’Ache 849 ($40) in vert comes in the same molded enamel clamshell case that most 849s ship in. It makes for an impressive presentation as a gift and the price point on an 849 is such that its a great gateway pen for friends, family and co-workers.
The “Claim Your Style” series features mixed colors on the barrel, knock and clip to create fresh modern statements on a classic pen barrel. The Vert model (the Vert colorway is currently sold out but there are several other options available) features an emerald green body, electric blue clip and metallic red knock.
As with all 849 pens, the proportions are petite and similar to Caran d’Ache pencils with the hex barrel and slender width. For many, this pen might be too slim for long writing sessions but, within our community, I think ballpoint pens get relegated to filling out forms in doctors’ offices, signing receipts and the occasional dashed note so I don’t think its a deterrent that the 849 is slender and more petite overall. It makes the pen pocketable and easy to stash in a bag or purse pocket.
For a ballpoint refill, the medium blue Goliath is a super smooth refill. Not as smooth as a Uni Jetstream refill but a good option if you want to have a pen in your bag, car or on your desk that can be used on just about any surface and does not require any maintenance. It’s a pen that you can have on your desk that a co-worker can comfortably borrow without the “oh, no! I can’t use a fountain pen!” moment. And you’ll still impress them with your sense of style.
By default, the Caran d’Ache 849 ballpoint pens ship with a medium blue Goliath refill. The Goliath refill is pretty much the same as a Parker-style refill with a perfectly flat end (no fins). I swapped out the refill a couple times to see how the pen performed with a black fine Goliath ballpoint refill ($9.25 each) and a Kaco 0.5mm black gel refill. The Kaco is a Parker-style refill and seemed to fit and activate the knock mechanism just fine. The black fine Goliath refill is designed to fit so there were no issues using it either. I prefer the silky, dense black line of the Kaco refill but the roller on these refills can be hit or miss and if you get any oils on your paper from your hand or lunch, you can get skipping.
All this is to say that if you don’t own an 849, you now have some very colorful reasons to add this pen to your collection. If the Limited Edition pricing is a bit steep for you, the standard color options are available for a significantly lower price ($20 each).
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3 comments / Add your comment below
Thanks for the tip about the Kaco refill – that was a new one for me. But it raised a question in my mind: the Kaco looks like a standard Parker G2 refill, i.e., with the fins on the knock end. If it worked fine in the 849, wouldn’t other Parker G2 refills work as well (I’m thinking specifically of the Jetstream Parker-style)? Over the years I’ve seen some reviewers say the Parker G2 works in the 849 and others say it doesn’t. That element of doubt is what has prevented me from adding any 849s to my collection.
Stephen, any Parker G2 should work in the CdA 849. I do this all the time. You just have to make sure you load it properly. That’s why some say it works and some say it doesn’t. Make sure that the fins on the back of the cartridge interlock with the little juts on the metal “plunger” inside the pen (the metal extension that is connected to the knock). If they interlock, the Parker type refill works great. If the plunger is just sitting on top of the refill, then the refill is too long and it causes issues. This can be a little confusing without showing pictures, but I hope this helps.