In last week’s episode we watched Tuff Writer’s Mini Click and Operator take on the forces of evil and once again send Skeletor crying for his mommy. If you found yourself liking the build of the those pens, but wanted something a little less intimidating and more refined, they’re back with a Kickstarter Campaign that might interest you. Read on for details on the Retro-Click Executive Pen.
The Retro-Click will be available in a number of metals including Zirconium, Copper and Brass. The model I’m handling is Polished Titanium. This isn’t the David Guetta variety, this is real deal Grade 5 Titanium. With one of the highest strength to weight ratios among metals, this Titanium makes for a smart option for those who want a beefy, yet light pen. This pen features Tuff Writer’s signature 416SS Swiss-machined advancing mechanism. It’s their smoothest mechanism to date, they basically took R. Kelly’s voice, filtered out the creepiness and made a pen. My plebeian tongue can’t even begin to properly explain what that is, so I’ll quote directly from the site:
“What makes this 416SS mechanism so special?”
Mostly the material choice and time consuming manufacturing process refinements. Virtually all high-end pen mechanisms are made from brass and plated (easier and cheaper to manufacture but not as durable as ours), we decided to go nuts and machine it out of 416 stainless steel (a much harder and more durable material). This meant we had to have it Swiss-CNC’d which, while more costly, means we can hold much tighter tolerances (less than .0005″ all day long on the Citizen L-20). The G-Code programming done by our friend’s shop re-traces the race toolpaths to debur all edges, taking more time but it also means that the chrome steel bearing glides smoothly and the mechanism cycles like butter. It’s much more expensive and time consuming to make it this way but it really is pretty awesome. Plus, the 416SS and chrome steel will wear better and last much longer than plated brass. It’s complete overkill for a pen mechanism but hey… if you’re going to make one, might as well make the best.”
The pen also features a tensioned clip and comes with a Fisher Black Medium cartridge, but will accept any Parker style due to the adjustable internal spacer. These pens are all made from start to finish in the United States. The Retro-Click I’m using weighs, including ink, 1.6 oz (40g) and measures just over 5.25” – Expect heavier pens with the other metals.
The Retro-Click offers a much different feel than other Tuff Writer’s I’ve worked with. Where as the Mini-Click in Brass is like plowing a M1 Abrams through a Bloomingdale’s, the Retro-Click is more like cruising in a B29 on a really nice beaded cushion. I prefer this design over the o ring grips on my Mini-Click (2 of the o rings have since disappeared somehow) The circumference of this pen is great and makes gripping it easy. The Fisher cartridges are of course great. Just today my co worker needed a customer to sign off on an invoice and grabbed a cheap Bic that had been sitting in our work truck all night in freezing temps and it wouldn’t write, my Tuff Writer which had ALSO been sitting in the truck wrote like a charm. You know when you grab a pen and do the preliminary circular test doodles? Not anymore.
The clean, uncluttered lines are just so easy on the eyes. This pen doesn’t get the, “Wow, this pen is solid, can you even take this on a plane?” retort. When customers use the Retro-Click, it’s more of a delayed response after they’ve signed. Something along the lines of, “Hmm…nice pen” And sometimes that’s what you want, understated quality. What I also enjoy is this pen isn’t a presumptions $800 Mont Blanc that you’ll fear taking out of your bag. In Goldeneye when Q gave 007 the grenade pen, I’m pretty sure if the explosive detonated inside of a Tuff Writer, only a wisp of smoke would have exited the barrel and Boris would have still remained invincible.
As I pretty much figured, Tuff Writer once again executed a brilliant pen. In a world of card trick Mages, they’re pretty much Alpha Wizards. You can tell they’re passionate to an almost inappropriate degree with writing instruments. If you already have a Tuff Writer, I’m not quite sure you’d need this pen, as it feels pretty similar to their Mini-Click in some respects. The retail on the Titanium Retro-Click is a hefty $150, however through the Kickstarter campaign you can get it for a steal at a $100 pledge, that is definitely worth it.