Monday, November 7, 2011
Over 30 years ago Marvy Uchida introduced this long, sleek plastic barrel pen with a micro-fine tip and dye-based ink that adds some pop to the color. My favorite was the purple, but all the pen colors were beautiful and I was hooked. I think part of the attraction was the name, Le Pen--as if it came straight from Paris even though the barrel is clearly marked Japan. Another part of the attraction was the clean design of the pen itself, just a slim round barrel and blunt-cut cap so unlike the BIC ballpoints we used for work, school, and home.
Although I see these all the time at various stationery store, I hadn't thought to get one until a burgundy Le Pen showed up in last month's Lost Crates shipment. And it's just as I remembered it--the tip seems a bit porous and flexible, more like a sponge than a nail, and the line width looks wider than the claimed 0.3mm. I will definitely have to do a line match up to see where this Le Pen fits on the width scale, but for now it seems more like a 0.5mm or 0.7mm and that may preclude it from really fine line work.
But Le Pen retains its smooth writing style, and just has a great hand feel. The burgundy color seems very red, not as brown as some in that shade. The indented barrel end and very tight click-fit cap, as well as the indented silver clip, add to the overall attractiveness of the design. I remember now that it was one of my favorite pens, and I'll be looking for more to add to my collection.