When the Pentel B100 45th Anniversary Pen Set first crossed my eyeballs sometime last year I knew I would have to get a set, but that wouldn’t be the easiest task. They were made in France for the Japanese market and ended up being bought at a shop in England. How’s that for worldwide!
My good buddy Myke stopped by Present & Correct in London last year before I arrived for his wedding to buy me a set. I’m not sure what I was more excited about - these pens, his wedding, or exploring London for a few days with my wife. Oh, who am I kidding. It was the pens!
These pens bring back memories of a young Brad rummaging through unused desks in my dad’s workplace in search of stationery gold. Often times, I left empty handed, but on a good day I’d score a few pens and mechanical pencils. The Pentel Sharp Mechanical Pencil was always a big score, followed closely by the Pentel B100. Why the B100? It was like a marker in rollerball from.
It still is, which is both its good side, and its bad side. It is designed to be a writing, editing, and sign pen for those times when big, bold lettering is required. It is more consistent and durable than most markers, and stands out on the page more than a ballpoint.
For this set, Pentel produced 7 colors in retro-styled barrels. Black, red, and blue are the standards, with orange, green, purple, and brown added to the mix. And they are all fantastically saturated without running or bleeding all over the page - similar to what I would expect from a marker.
The rollerball tip is marked as 0.8 mm on the barrel, but the actual line on the page is in more of the 1.0 mm to 1.2 mm width. If you are looking to write in small places, this is not the pen for you. But everyone - even me - needs a good marking pen from time to time.
As I alluded to up top, the only real kicker is availability. Present & Correct still has them in stock for £22, but a quick Google search shows them available at the London Graphic Centre for a MUCH cheaper £9. If you don’t need all of the colors and want only black, Amazon has a 10-pack for under $10. With a bit more digging you may be able to do even better.
The Pentel B100 is a trip down memory lane for me. It’s not the best pen, and it’s not the best price, and it’s not easy to acquire, but it makes me smile. I have fun when I break this set out to draw, doodle, and highlight, and they are something I always want to keep handy on my desk. Now, if I could only get my hands on a half dozen of the orange ones I would be thrilled.
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