Review: Palomino Blackwing Pearl

IMG_0084    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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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6 comments

  1. Faber-Castell didn’t make the Blackwing 602. A W Faber was a German company headed by Lothar Faber. The company set up a factory in Brooklyn during the Civil War headed by Lothar’s brother Eberhardt, who eventually cut ties with the parent company. A W Faber was registered in the US in 1870. All German companies were confiscated and sold off to US owners at the end of WW1. A W Faber made the Castell line of pencils in Europe and eventually became Faber Castell. Eberhardt Faber in American ownership made the Balckwing and the brand was taken up by Sandford and then Newell Rubbermaid and the name , but not the company, was sold to Staedtler. Faber Castell bought the name back from Staedtler and registered a US subsidiary of Faber Castell in 1994. Faber Castell is not part of the Newell Rubbermaid group.

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