wynfrith hat auf deine Bilderserie geantwortet“You may remember that I made a quick review of Caran d’Ache Alchemix…”

I thought you liked and used the 849 as your carry pen? Also over the long term a fountain pen with a converter and bottled ink will cost less. It is not disposable, bottled ink versus ballpoint refills ounce to ounce is no question of which is cheaper, plenty of inexpensive fountain pens that work well, and can customize to what ink and nib you prefer. Just a thought.

I like my old 849 like I like an old Mercedes 200 (123) – it’s a workhorse. But recent ones are not as well made, and honestly I’ve been dissapointed by a lot of recent Caran d’Ache products (the worse was the Alchemix…). But the Goliath ink cartridge is not up to date compared to the competition. What was still state of the art at the beginning of the naughties is feeling like a gritty Bic Cristal now, when you have so many inkgel, rollerball, pressured cartridges, etc. available. I really like both my Kaküno and Pluminix from Pilot, but they are not efficient writing tool when I’m outside, and certainly not GMP-approved.

wynfrith hat auf dein Foto geantwortet“@wynfrith I’m stuck with Windows 7 at work, and i have a brief…”

Mac Mini is what I want! How is it?

You’ll have to wait about a week to have a serious answer. I have it only for three days, and I only found the correct screen adaptator yesterday, and I’m working almost non stop till monday, when I’ll have the time to really play with it. I have three goals for it : scanning my old negatives, make another dropbox point and video editing (my current computer is driving me crazy). But the first impression is very good, it’s quite fast and it’s not as frustrating as iOS to use. (Note à mes lecteurs francophones : un point bonus pour vous si vous être capable de me dire pourquoi j’ai choisi Cayenne de Parabellum pour illustrer  cet article).



Bought a new main pen for work and EDC, a Caran d’Ache AlCHeMiX (I’m not drunk, this is the correct way to capitalize it).

After a little more than a month writing with it, here is a quick reviews of pros and cons of this new entry-mid level offer from the pen manufacture of Geneva.

First, the good things:

– the body is heavy and feel well balanced in the hand

– price is correct (CHF 62,00.-, about $65). It comes with a Goliath ink cartridge and a flattering metal flatbox

– Goliath ink cartridge is of course old school compared to what Japan produce today (I think about Mitsubishi), but it’s still nice and very durable

– mechanism is very, very, very nice to use, both the sound and the haptic feeling (can I say “haptic” about something analogic?)

– you can have this pen in several options of noble modern materials

– a very good waranty

And then, what let me down a little bit:

– it’s far more thicker than a Caran d’Ache 849 (my old red one) or an Ecridor

– the new “medium blue” is banal. I prefer the old greenish tint. But I can live with the new one.

– some sloppiness in the finish, which is really troubling at those level of prices. It’s a general problem at Caran d’Ache, you can really see and feel a difference between pens produced seven or ten years ago and today production. I blame it on the anglo-saxon business model invading Switzerland and fucking it up since several years, but maybe it’s just they are now employing more French workers

– in the third photography, there is a very visible drip, evoking the famous orange peel paintjob of the 80s’ Peugeot
– in the fourth pic, there is something almost invisible but very annoying when you got the pen in your hand: the metallic cap isn’t perfectly aligned with the body. Itr’s truely nagging, you can really feel this kind of slight irregularity, almost a gap under your fingers. Once again, I could live with it if it was a thirty cents Chinese pen, not on a Caran d’Ache
– in the fifth pic, you can see that one of the most critical part of the pen in term of strenght, is made in fucking grey plastic. I’m pretty sure the choice of a brass or aluminium barrel would have sunk the company because of added cost of at least twelve cents a pen (see what I was saying about anglo-saxon business model earlier?)

– pocket clip seems flimsy, particulary since this pen is the size of the Hindenburg; it’s more a feeling than anything, but I’m not very confident about the durability and reliability of this little metal piece

– a huge confusion/deception about the nature of the materials of the barrel. My pen was sold as wood, but I think it’s “wood”, instead. Maybe  plastic or resin? I don’t know. It don’t feel cheap at all, mind you (apart for the bad finish), but it’s better to be upfront about it. 

In the end, if only Caran d’Ache take its job seriously, and with minor tweaking (better clip, metal inside, attention to detail) it has the potential of being of future classic pen. For the moment, I regret not having bought a vintage Ecridor.



Yellow, is this me you’re looking for ?


Swiss things.