As kids, many of us transformed our pens into rockets and set off into outer space during a particularly boring moment at school. With the launch of the Astrograph, a mechanical rocket pen, our childhood imagination is now a reality. Here’s a roundup of the creative odyssey called Astrograph.
Picture this: A mechanical rocket pen, complete with rocket-shaped fuselage, miniature astronaut, shock-absorbing “switchblade” landing gear and a case designed like a launch pad. That’s Astrograph for you.
Aboard the Astrograph
The Maison Caran d’Ache and the horological laboratory, MB&F, have combined their expertise for a unique creative odyssey: the Astrograph writing instrument.
The slim, curved body of the Astrograph resembles the outline of a space rocket. Its fluid design is accentuated by a chequered pattern, enhanced with anthracite lacquer – a particularly delicate process carried out by craftsmen and a speciality of Caran d’Ache. The proportions have been designed to ensure that the whole body is perfectly balanced so that it rests perfectly in the hand. The structure is articulated by an ingenious mechanism inspired by penknives: a miniature lever – the entry door to the rocket, concealed in the ring of the pen – activates the simultaneous and symmetrical lowering of three stabiliser legs. These, just like the miniature ladder than runs alongside the “thruster engines” have parts that are sandblasted, satin-finished and rhodium-plated. Once the stabiliser legs have been deployed, it is possible to stand Astrograph up, vertically, ready for take-off. The Astrograph rocket also comes with a miniature figurine of an astronaut. Rhodium-plated and magnetised, it will attach to any part of the body of the instrument, ready to “climb on board”. Just for fun, a presentation box in the form of a launch pad has been specially devised for Astrograph. This writing instrument may be placed in a vertical position, pointing towards the stars: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… We have lift-off!
The instrument unscrews to reveal a fountain pen inside the fuselage. The fountain pen is “launched” from its “base” to join the hand that will write the rest of the story, setting down on paper dreams of space, speed and conquest.
Astrograph is available either as an 18K gold-tipped fountain pen (3 finishes in ruthenium, rhodium or sandblasted rhodium) or a roller pen (sandblasted rhodium), each limited to 99 pieces – reflecting the 99 components of Astrograph, quite simply the most complex writing instrument Caran d’Ache has ever crafted.