Founded in 2012 in Taiwan, ystudio is a brand I started seeing pop up in my various feeds only within the past year. They create simple, timeless stationery, primarily from brass. The few products they focus on would look wonderful on any desk, which is why you may have seen them picked up by several design magazines and blogs.
KOHEZI of Amsterdam asked me if I was interested in checking out the ystudio lineup, and the Brassing Ballpoint jumped out to me as a must try. It features a solid brass barrel with a black coating that can wear down over time, or be helped along a bit with the included sandpaper. It ships with sandpaper? Yes it does.
I wasn’t aware of that at first, thinking any wear pattern would form over time. I didn’t even notice the sandpaper when I first open the box either, but once it fell out of the included insert I thought “Aha! This will be fun!”
And fun it is, but before I get to brassing it up I have to say this is an excellent writing pen regardless of any additional features. They weight and balance of the brass barrel is great, and the hex style is wide enough to give you a comfortable grip between ridges when writing. The refill is exposed by twisting the end cap into the barrel where it stays put due the additional threads and spring on the mechanism. And it looks cool to boot.
The refill it ships with is the Schmidt P-900, which is about as good of Parker-style ballpoint refill as you can get. The black lines are clean, smooth, and dark. The entire setup is a joy to use.
But let’s get to that sandpaper! It is extra fine 600 grit, which is all you need to quickly remove the black from the ridge peaks to reveal the underlying brass. I went for the area around where my fingers grip the pen at first, then added a little shine up towards the top rear of the barrel. My first pass was simple, and it looked great.
For this review I wanted to go a little further and push what I could sand off. Trying to get the flat areas between the barrel ridges to shine proved to be a much tougher challenge. I could remove some of the black off, but I’m far from a full brass ring around the grip area like I was hoping for. I was really pushing hard too!
I can get it there I’m sure, but it looks pretty cool as it is right now.
All in all, this is a very good pen and is priced fairly at around $77 for a full brass barrel. It works well, feels great, looks fantastic, and has the added touch of allowing you to make it your own. I look forward to checking out what ystudio is up to in the future.
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