The Caran d’Ache 849 is iconic in the stationery market, making that leap from stationery nerds futzing over inscrutable details into the trendy design world. It’s metal with a slim profile, available in a rainbow of colours, and its design is timeless. It has a very nice click on the back of it. It’s a ballpoint, so alas, it does write like one, but on the Swiss upper end of smoothness, and of course you can get refills for it. It is an elegant, reliable everyday carry pen for your bag or to pull out in an office meeting.


Every once in a while, Caran d’Ache releases a special edition or two or more, sometimes a whole set, and they’ve recently released a Dark Violet and textured Fluorescent Yellow Pastel. They have coordinating colours—the Dark Violet has yellow writing on it, and vice versa—so if you had someone in mind with whom you wanted to be pen pals, this is a great duo.


The Dark Violet is lovely, and reminds me a bit of the Lamy Dark Lilac, although that might just be because both have the word dark in them.


But my real love, of course, was immediately for the textured neon yellow. I don’t think I’ve ever written a blog post about these pens, even though I do actually have a couple of them. It’s a great classic, an old standby, they look beautiful in the pen case. I always thought I had more than I need—how many “emergency” ballpoints do you really need in life? But I am someone who likes my pens to have friends and allies and family members and so I had to add this to my collection. Now that I have two matching ones, a neon yellow that’s smooth and shiny and the matte special edition one, I have no choice but to share them on the blog.


The top pen is the standard line Fluorescent Yellow 849, and the bottom is the pastel yellow special edition.



We continue on, the sun shining after a recent downpour. I’m getting back into the swing of things, finding my way into a new routine. I seem to have both more and less time than before the third baby, time slowing down and expanding in different ways now, although the to do lists seem to be getting longer and longer.


Tuna has a recent vet visit, where they checked on some of his numbers, wondering how he’s still alive. He’s been inside for the last little while, and I think it’s wearing thin, this whole indoor cat existence. He’s meowing at the door, meowing at Chicken outside, meowing from the wrong side of the window sill as he watches Chicken rolling around on the hot deck in the sun, meowing at the window, meowing at the wind. It’s pathetic and heartbreaking, so I then have to scoop him up in my loving arms and squeeze him and offer him some treats.



As a small aside, these Caran d’Ache 888 pens are really excellent writers, at their price point especially but they also objectively write really well.

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July 07, 2022 — Liz Chan

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