A few years ago, Ian Schon, an engineer and product designer from Massachusetts, challenged himself by designing and fabricating a pen from scratch. The first pens were made one by one in his garage and were shared with friends and family. The project went through multiple design iterations, until Ian decided to produce a run of 1,000 units. Funds were raised through a Kickstarter campaign.
While the original pen was only available in aluminum, Schon DSGN pens now come in a variety of materials, including stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, brass, and copper. All pens are turned from solid bar stock. They are no longer manufactured in Ian’s garage though. The pens are made in small batches, using a combination of modern manufacturing and traditional hand finishing. All machining, finishing and assembly is done by local businesses in Massachusetts.
Staying true to the theme of this blog, I went for the brass version. Instead of ordering the pen directly from Ian, I got in touch with his stockist here in Germany. Sascha Stölp operates the online store Writing Turning Flipping and kindly enough sent this pen to me to try it out without any obligation to buy it. (Spoiler alert: I bought the pen.)
The most characteristic feature of the pen is that it has a one-piece body. To replace the ink cartridge, you have to remove the set screw that holds in the refill. If you do not have a flathead screwdriver handy, you can use the tip of the stainless steel pocket clip, which is a clever solution. The Schon DSGN pens use Fisher Space Pen pressurized ink cartridges.
This pen is not your ordinary ballpoint pen. Overbuilt in a positive way, this pen will probably outlast you. Weighing in at substantial 90 grams, it feels good to write with. When capped, it measures 101 millimeters long and, when posted, it extends to an impressive 145 millimeters. Designed to be a compact and dependable writing tool, this pen also adds a stylish touch to your everyday carry kit.