A Pen Addict reader requested months ago that I review a pen from the Caran d'Ache 849 series, and I was more than happy to oblige. I had my eyes on this pen for a while, and it didn't take much for me to hit the buy button.
I ordered the Black Metal version from Amazon and the photos don't do justice to how great looking this pen is. And honestly, I didn't expect anything less from a company that manufactures very high end pens. The 849 series is a way for us common folk to get in on a well-made and highly-respected Swiss pen.
The hexagonal aluminum barrel enhances the clean lines of the pen, and the chrome clip and knock add a sharp touch. My only issue with the design is that I would prefer more feedback from the knock. Maybe it is a Swiss thing, but there is no audible feedback when engaging or retracting. It is more of a squish-down, squish-up feeling and I would like to hear a more solid click when the ballpoint is engaged.
About that ballpoint ink cartridge - it is terrible. The tip is scratchy and there is a lot of white space in the line. That is normal ballpoint cartridge performance, but I expect more from a company like Caran d'Ache. I will be looking for a suitable replacement soon because this barrel deserves to be used.
One sentence review: The barrel is built to last but swap out the refill to protect your sanity.