I love a good ballpoint pen. There is something about its ease of use. Mainly, it's ability to function well in more situations than other pens. That makes me reach for one more than you think.
Ballpoint pens get a bad rap, and rightfully so on many occasions. Over the years I've figured out some of the good ones. The ones that I enjoy picking up and using. The ones I keep coming back to. The Caran d’Ache 849 is one of them.
I'll never forget the first time I used an 849. Not because it knocked my socks off and changed everything, but because I hated it. Specifically, I hated the refill. The Caran d’Ache Goliath ballpoint refill is supposed to be a big selling point, and mine was a turnoff based on its performance.
At the time, readers assured me I had a bad refill, and it turns out they were right. I've used the Goliath many times since and it works wonderfully. It happens sometimes, and I'm always open to second chances, especially when it seems like an outlier.
What made me stick with the 849 was the style of the pen. That's what drew me in, and that's what keeps me coming back.
The 849 is perfectly sized for all-day, every-day use. The aluminum body gives it a sturdy, yet lightweight, feel, and the knock mechanism works smoothly and quietly.
The Caran d’Ache 849 Claim Your Style ballpoint was created to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of their famous ballpoint. To allow these pens to standout from the other 849 pens, the Claim Your Style models are available in six colorways, each featuring an eclectic mix of shades on every part of the pen.
With all of the great options, claiming my style proved to be a difficult task. I would have been happy with any of them, but I was able to narrow it down to two before claiming the Turquoise model for myself over the Green. I’ve been very happy with that choice. And no, I don't need a second one.
In fact, this is the only true 849 I own right now. Others have crossed my desk, and I made sure to send them out into the world as gifts or giveaways because I want others to experience this excellent pen. For me, I upgraded to the fancier silver-plated Ecridor model. Same 849 shape, more Caran d’Ache classic style.
With the Ecridor, I use the medium blue Goliath refill with great success. For my Turquoise 849 I swapped out the stock Goliath refill for the Jetstream SXR-600-07. I knew they were somewhat compatible, but I thought I would have to trim down the end of the Jetstream for a good fit. I didn't. It fit perfectly with no modification whatsoever.
Swiss-made Caran d’Ache products fall under the luxury stationery category, with price tags to match. Standard model 849’s are around $25, with this special edition Claim Your Style priced at $38. Other editions run the pricing gamut depending on materials and availability. And, if you get hooked on the Goliath refill, those will set you back anther $9 a pop.
I'm ok with all of this. The 849 is an enjoyable pen for me, and I use it frequently. With the addition of the Claim Your Style models, I can match my aesthetic to my writing experience even more. I love this pen.
(Goldspot provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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