It has arrived! The whole was very well packaged in a small Swarowski box (yep, pun intended).
Original packaging, almost pristine.
The Janus was wrapped in some paper, that felt waxed or something.
And here behold: the Janus 4048!
And it looks totally unused!!!
The paper it was wrapped in.
And a last shot.
I think I’ll do a video when I’m using it first. Stay tuned!
I said to myself I’d never review the original Blackwing 602. Myths are narrated by a fireplace and not reviewed by some young ignorant. Well lucky for me Palomino set out to copy… erm, revive the legend and give me an opportunity to review a pencil that pretends to be another. I could have chosen to review the Palomino Blackwing 602 first, but by trying the three of them side by side I found more similarities between the Pearl and the original BW 602, than that one to the Palomino BW 602.
But lets start with the appearance. And the Pearl just wins every beauty price a classic pencil could gather. The lacquer is gorgeous, there’s this nacreous tint to it, that just shines. The black font used is smaller than on the Palomino BW 602 and there’s no catch-phrase on the back (good thing). The ferrule is exactly the same as on its brother (the cousin being the orig. BW 602), as is the eraser, both of very nice quality. The lead of the Pearl is a bit thicker between its wood-coffin, the line where the two halves of the wood meet are apparent.
The performance of the Pearl is good. It produces a really dark line, you don’t need a lot of pressure to push it beyond 2B territory. First thing I noticed is that even if a nice point lasts long, sharpened with a CARL Bungu Ryodo, the point easily breaks under the pressure. And the point leaves a lot of dust (as seen in the picture). The lead runs smoothly and lends itself to some really expressive sketching. Due to its fat nature the lead easily smears, but it’s still fine and manageable. I like it.
So I tried the Palomino BW 602 just to get a feeling of the difference and it felt harder, still smooth and left a less darker line, but somehow it felt more at home in my hand than the Pearl. Trying the FaberCastell Blackwing 602 I was surprised to find that the Pearl is much more like the original BW 602, than the wanna-be Palomino BW 602 tries to be. Only difference is the “stickiness” of the lead. The original BW 602 feels more adherent to the paper, where the Pearl has less of that effect. So the original BW 602 stands unrivaled, although Palomino has through their attempts produced some really good pencils, they circle it well, but can’t quite put their thumb on it.
Nevertheless does the Blackwing Pearl’s performance leave a really positive feeling. I will surely use it more often to darken things and areas, but I dont’ see it as a “draw-it-all pencil”, more like a 2B brother to the Palomino Blackwing 602, that one being the HB of that set. But you can’t beat the fashion statement that the Pearl delivers when you draw in public!
Pencil Holders are a pencil-lovers best friends, because they help you getting the most out of your beloved pencils. So I had been looking for pencil-holders for some time and bought some from Derwent which are quite nice simple stubby things that are too light and short for my gusto. Biggest complaint is that they can destroy the lacquer of pencils like the Mitsubishi Hi-Uni, especially on the top. (The MONO100 you see in the piture below wears the marks of the Derwent) So browsing through my at that time newly discovered Jetpens site, I discovered the Staedler 900 25. At first by looking at it (and its price) I thought this is like a luxury model of a pencil holder, but I couldn’t be more wrong. It is not a luxury item, it has become an absolute essential item in my arsenal. I have three now, including the strikingly beautiful blue Limited Edition.
The price of 30$ is in fact a bargain. The 900 25 does everything right: it’s large enough for most pencils (7,5mm round/triangular/hexagonal), it closes firmly (no budging), yet it does this softly on the lacquer (no nasty bruises), it feels heavy enough without being to hefty, doesn’t slip with its knurled grip and it’s super-useful with its small dial so you can see what kind of pencil is in the holder. And it has an even more useful eraser with sorts of a protection (you screw it down to show the eraser, and screw it up to protect the rest). A colleague of mine tested one recently and he has immediately ordered a bunch too. Another thing I like to do is putting the pencil the wrong way in, so that it is protected, perfect for freshly sharpened points. I looked at other models of pencil-holders but none can compete with the feature set of the 900 25 and don’t get me started on the dreadful “Perfect Pencil” pencil holder, whose mid-priced version comes at the same price as the 900 25. Conclusion: Get it!
Super cool Woodclinched Pencil Vector Pack for FREE! And there are plans to release the bunch as t-shirt! WANT!