Review: Caran d’Ache 849

The Numbers:
Weight: 17g
Length (capped): 14.1cm
Length (uncapped): 12.3cm
Price: USD$51.95 from Goldspot Pens
Body Material: Aluminum
Nib Material: Steel
Filling Mechanism: Cartridge/Converter
Colours: White, Fluorescent Yellow, Fluorescent Green, Fluorescent Orange, Fluorescent Pink, Sapphire Blue, Black

Intro:
My thanks to Goldspot Pens for sending me the Caran d’Ache 849 for review.

Caran d’Ache is a Swiss manufacturer of art supplies and luxury writing instruments. Personally, it is a brand that belonged on the high end of things due to the price of their products. But here comes the 849, it is Caran d’Ache’s entry level fountain pen. Priced at USD$51.95, it is a lot more affordable than what Caran d’Ache is traditionally known for.

Packaging:
The 849 comes in an eye-catching red box with the Caran d’Ache logo printed in white. Opening it you’ll find the pen inside. It’s a very simple packaging but for its price point, I am not expecting anything more than this. It is functional and it is compact, exactly what I’d prefer from packaging in general.

Performance:
The Caran d’Ache 849 is a slim hexagonal shaped fountain pen. Mine came in bright fluorescent yellow, or what I’d call highlighter yellow. The bright yellow is accented by a silver coloured metal clip that hugs the side of the cap. It has a polished silver coloured end and a finial. The finial has a hexagon emblem on it.

The tension on the clip is of the right amount of tension. It’s not so tight you can’t lift it with a finger or so loose you’d not trust your pen to the clip.

The snap cap popped open and close easily. It has a particularly satisfying snap on closing. The cap spins around on its barrel easily. It is not particularly anything inherently negative about it but personally I’d prefer that it doesn’t do that.

Once the cap is off the first thing I notice is the long slim grip section. It is slimmer than anything I am used to. It is not uncomfortable per se but it does take some getting used to. I know this grip section will not be comfortable for everyone so I’d advise buyers to test before buying. There is a significant step between the barrel and grip. And I’ve noticed something about the grip especially when I let my friends and colleagues try the pen.

I tend to push fountain pens to my friends and colleagues to try. That way I can see what people who are not particularly stationary inclined tend to prefer. One thing I’ve noticed for the Caran d’Ache 849, people tend to consistently choose this over any other fountain pens I might have on hand. Price is not the determining factor when they try it out. Many have cited the narrow grip as one of the main factor, other than the writing experience. My theory is the narrow is very similar to the traditional Redleaf style ballpoint pens than tend to be what’s supplied in offices and purchased for school because they’re cheap.

The Caran d’Ache 849 takes a standard international cartridge or converter but it doesn’t ship with a converter so I popped in one of the many standard international converter I have. The pen takes it without any problems.

Now comes the nib. The Caran d’Ache 849’s stainless steel nib is tiny and leaf shaped. Even though it is small, it sort of fits the slim profile of the fountain pen. It comes in EF, F and M nib sizes. I was provided a F nib which writes wonderfully. I really enjoyed the writing experience it provides.

Conclusion: The Caran d’Ache 849 is an excellent introduction to Caran d’Ache pens. The slim grip is something to get used to but with the writing experience it provides it is well worth the effort to seek out a 849 to try out.

Once again, my thanks to Goldspot Pens for sending me the Caran d’Ache 849 for review.

Pros:

  • Smooth writing experience
  • Cap can be posted
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Slim grip can be a hit or miss

Posted on August 24, 2018 and filed under Fountain Pen, review.