The Konstrukter Pen hails from Jesenice, Slovenia, a mining town nicknamed the “Town of steel and daffodils.” From a town named as such, you would excpet many metalworking companies, like the parent company of the Konstrukter. They manufacture industrial machinery, automotive parts, electrical components, and more. You can now add pen maker to their list of skills.
The Titanium Konstrukter Retract - Mark 1E is the result of company engineers wanting a pen that met the standards of the other work they were performing. It had to be strong, simple, and reliable to handle the various working conditions of the company’s employees, and a retractable titanium pen fit the bill.
All of the parts of the Mark 1E (along with its twist retract sibling the Mark 1P) are made locally in Slovenia. This includes the retractable mechanism, which is the key function of this pen. Taking it apart, you can tell there was a lot of work to get this design right. I haven’t seen a mechanism like this before in fact. Design doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work, and this one works well.
The barrel is kept simple with no adornments other than some thin grooves for the grip and the Konstrukter logo. The clip is really well done with just the right amount of tension and enough of a flange to get it in and out of a pocket easily. The entire pen is well balanced and easy to write with.
One complaint I have - and it’s not unique to this pen - is the barrel tip opening is wider than the chosen refill. The Parker compatible Schmidt EasyFLOW 9000 ships with the pen (Correction: G2 is apparently the international abbreveation for a Parker compatible refill. TIL.) and when in the writing position it clicks against the side of the barrel. If you have used a variety of pens for any length of time you know the sound a metal refill against a metal barrel makes. It can be annoying.
Interestingly, while I feel the tolerances aren’t tight enough, it is mentioned on the product page that the pen tolerances are loose on purpose to help with the reliability of the pen. I’m not sure how that makes sense as titanium shouldn’t wear down with frequent use. I’d rather have the pen quieter. I tested the Fisher Space Pen and Moleskine gel refills and they didn’t close the gap either.
Despite the clicking, this is a good overall product and I enjoy writing with it. It feels great in the hand and will certainly stand the test of time. At €148 ($166 USD) this is an expensive pen. I think a price point closer to $100 would be fair, considering the quantity and quality of other titanium pens in that range. It's great to see small batch products being made locally though, and I love seeing a company branch out like this.
My thanks to the Konstrukter team for sending this pen to me at no charge for review purposes.