Friday, August 9, 2019

Bic participates in Tour de France

 It was very nice to find out that BIC the well known stationary producer is part of the Tour de France since 1952
Then and now

Thursday, August 1, 2019

A Tour de France Opinel or two

After this special tour, and the stages in Savignon I just had to buy a new Opinel knife. On the last day of the Tour, I made a visit to Decathlon and got the t
raditional No7 Opinel with a Carbone blade.
First thoughts about the new Opinel are similar to the ones I had with the No8 I already own. Even though back then I didn't think I would buy a second one, here I am.
The first impression is a bit discouraging, it is hard to open the blade and rotate the locking ring. But now I know it's limitations and what is good for, and I am not as harsh with it. It is a 100 year design so it is normal to have some limitations. So with the confidence gathered from the previous Opinel, I started tinkering with it and broke it, as I didn't take notice that Opinel had changed the design of the locking ring. Now it only locks clockwise and the new ring has a slot in which it turns.

The nice part about the Carbone is that the blade came very sharp out of the package, while the stainless needed a lot of sharpening.
Even though the blade is shorter with only one centimeter the feel in hand is totally different. The knife is not only shorter but thinner. It is more suitable as an EDC knife and I like this size 7 a lot.
If you plan on doing food preparation I will still carry the number 8 as it is more versatile.

So I have 2 memories from this Tour, 1 damaged no 7 Opinel and a second no 7 Opinel that I didn't destroy yet. But for 7 $, or 6.3  is not a tragedy.


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Tour de France souveniers


If you fancy Le Tour and stationary you can get this yellow pencil case from the official Tour de France webshop. Being the 100th Tour it is even more tempting.
You can keep in it pencils and fountain pens, or if it is not your cup of tea you can store your energy bars, rice cookies, and suncream.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Tour de France souveniers

The 100th tour just spent some time in the mountains and valleys of the region Savoie in France. A lot of things happened, even shortened stages due to meteo conditions, snow in July.
The entrance in the Savoie region happened with the climb on Col du Galibier, 2642 m. From the end of the 18th stage until the 20th stage Le Tour visits very beautiful places and hard climbs: Col de l'Iseran, Val Thorens.
Col du Galibier: Lenght 18 km/ height 2642 m/ gradient 7%/ total elevation gained 1245 m
Col de l'Iseran: Length 16 km/ height 2764 m/ gradient 5.9%/ total elevation gained 950 m
Val Thorens: Length 36,5 km/ height  2233 m/ gradient 4.9%/ total elevation gained 1906 m

So why not get a souvenir from Savoie, from the well-known knifemaker Opinel.
An engraved Opinel for 24$
or a distinctive shirt color Opinel (yellow, polka dot or green)

Friday, July 26, 2019

Bic Galet eraser test

Another post, another eraser, another test
This time the BIC Galet eraser is put to the test against polymer HB and 2B, lead from HB to 6B, charcoal, and color pencils. A standard copy machine paper was used, nothing fancy.
The Galet is a soft eraser comparable with the Factis S20, but not as grippy. It has a large oval size and does not come with a protective paper wrapping.
It did a fantastic job on the paper, erasing with no problem the polymer leads (rOtring), and the leads HB to 6B (Koh I Noor except the 3B which is Faber Castell). It has the tendency to smudge the lead a bit, so if you have to make precise passes it might not be the best in the bunch.
It did a very nice job on the charcoal, even though it did not erase it completely most of it is gone. Even the colored pencils were no match for this Bic beast. A very faint trace of color is left on the paper. It outperformed the Factis S20 in the erasing test.
But it has negative points in my opinion. The first is the price. It is way higher than the Factis S20, at almost 1 euro per piece. For this amount of money, you can get about 3 Factis S20 or 2 Faber Castell Dust Free.
Like the Factis it produces a large amount of erasing dust.

You can also check out Factis S20 review and an eraser competition

Friday, July 12, 2019

Accessorize - fountain pen and watch combo

I think this is a bit of an extravaganza when it comes to watches and fountain pens. Both the watch and the fountain pen are hard to get as they are not in production anymore (Seiko actually announced that they will reissue the watch)
I am talking about the Seiko Alien watch worn by Ripley in the Aliens movie, designed by Giugiaro.


In my mind, I immediately thought maybe there is an equally interesting fountain pen designed by Giugiaro.
After a little research on the internet, I found out that Giugiaro actually worked with 3 stationary companies. The companies are Aurora (Italian company based in Torino), Parker and Sylvapen. Not much information is about what products made by these companies were his design. I wasn't happy with this answer so I looked for the fountain pen some were else.
The watch has a bold design, is a chronograph what makes a lot of sense based on the fact Giugiaro is known especially for his car designs. The dial and subdials have a feeling that they were taken out of a car. And the bold colors combined with the sterile silver case make it unique. Not to mention the buttons on the side...


I think the best bet for a fountain pen to go with the Alien watch is Rotring 600.
It matches the simple and unique style of the watch. Sharp corners on the barrel and cap with knurled elements on the grip, cap and barrel end. A nice hint of yellow on the cap and nice golden nib and the traditional Rotring ring and the writing in red.
It looks very much like a tool but at the same time is a thing of beauty and I could say a cult has been formed around these beautiful instruments.
If you have other suggestions please let me know in the comments. You can add pictures as well.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Factis Softer S20 eraser review

The eraser that I put today to the test is an older Factis Softer S20. I have been using it for around a year now, and I cannot complain about it. It performs decently in everyday situations.
As it is advertised, it is a very soft eraser. It even broke where the paper wrapper meets the eraser.
Because it is so soft it does not harm the paper, but it leaves a lot of residue behind it. This is my biggest complaint. I do not recommend it for "home" use as you will go through a lot of trouble to keep the carpets eraser shavings free.
And I do not compare it with the so-called dust-free erasers, but with regular ones.
It erases very well the polymer leads HB and 2B. The paper is clean after, with no smudges and no marks of previous writing.
On the softer leads 4B, 6B it left behind a very faint trace of lead, but most likely it is not noticeable if you are not looking for it.
The charcoal and colored pencil were not erased completely.

Just for comparison, I have erased the left side of the paper with the Factis 36R. It is a harder eraser, but not too hard. The erasing qualities are similar. I think in the 4B and 6B it performed a bit worse but overall there is no major difference. What is a plus, is the fact that less residue is left behind.
The price is very good. The S20 is about 30% cheaper than Faber Castell dust free small eraser, and half the price of the full dust-free eraser. But because it is so soft and brittle I think it should be compared with the small one in terms of longevity.
The 36R is even cheaper, about 3 times cheaper than the Faber Castell dust free small eraser.

In conclusion, Factis are not bad products, but definitely, have some issues. If you like to do Sudoku before bad time, definitely do not buy the S20.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Gutberlet manufacturer of mechanical pencils for Rotring and Staedtler?

Fact: In 1995 Gutberlet GmbH acquired the rights to the Kaweco name.
Enter the Gutberlet site and you are welcomed by an outdated, plain looking site of an unknown manufacturer.
If you look at the products you are up for a treat
"Components for pens – technical components – decoration foils / heat-transfer-foils – packaging – OEM-production for pens."

"Push pencil aluminium with 0,3/0,5/0,7 und 0,9mm leads"

rOtring Tikky T (first version)
rOtring Esprit

Staedtler 925 25 03
Staedtler 925 05 and Staedler 925 65

Staedtler and Rotring




All of the images were taken from the Goultberg presentation portfolio link


Related post: kaweco OEM

Friday, May 24, 2019

Faber Castell Grip pen case

I have been looking for a replacement pencil bag for my daily carry. The one that I have is 20 - 30 years old, and it came apart. It was a simple design small and portable that can carry 2 writing instruments and a very small eraser. I loved it for these qualities.
For some time I have looked at options that can replace it. After searching for one (in stores) I came to the conclusion that I will need to adapt to what is available nowadays. What I found was either bigger, smaller or I didn't like the design. I would say I am a "minimalist" at heart, but In reality, I am a bit of a collector (to be read: hoarder). So I was looking for something simple to fulfill this task and something that can accommodate 2 pencils or pen  + pencil and a small eraser. I wanted something not too big that can be easily carried around and would not look too sophisticated or too childish so I can use it everywhere, meetings or just lugging some pens and mechanical pencils around.

So, in the end, I went for the Faber Castell Grip. It is a very simple pen case that can hold about 3 instruments without becoming bulky.

It is made out of textile material that looks to be heavy duty. It has written Faber Castell on the front, the logo, and some dots (which are supposed to be the grippy part of its name).
The cool feature of it is an elastic band with which you can attach it to a notebook. I find it practical and quite a unique feature.
Many times I use the elastic band as a bookmark.
The pouch comes in 2 sizes. The slim one that I chose and a larger one that looks more like a students pen case. It comes in 4 colors gray (the one I have), beige, blue and red. All of the colors are muted and look quite nice.
The model I chose is a small and slim pencil case. You can put 3 writing instruments in it, an eraser, maybe a box of leads, and maybe a sharpener if it is a small one.
I have been using it for almost a year now and I enjoy its looks and practicality. First I had doubts about the fact it is not rigid, and I got worried that some of the writing instruments I have might get damaged in the luggage when I am traveling. But the reality is that always when I have the pencil case with me I also have a small notebook. So the notebook offers mechanical resistance to the pencils and fountain pens that are inside the pencil case, as I always use the elastic band to attach it to the notebook.
I like the elastic band as you just pull out of the bag both case and notebook at the same time without searching around.
The negative part is that the pencils are free to move inside the pouch, which can lead to scratches in some cases. I have experienced this myself, so you have to choose writing instruments that do not get scratched easily or do not have sharp edges that can damage their siblings.





Thursday, May 2, 2019

Seen on Escape Room

It has been some time from the last spotting, but the seen on screen is back with what looks like a Bic 4 colors pen, with a white body and gray grip section

It looks like a very cozy workplace for Ben. He is really a minimalist, having only the strict minimum on the work desk.
Phone, paper + Bic 4 colors pen, remote control for watching Mr. Miagy tips and trick, cigarets and let's not forget the drinks. You need to keep hydrated.
I am not going to ruin the movie with other spoilers. Apparently, you can get your ass kicked like this guy