The Ecridor is one of Caran d’Aches traditional writing instruments, a part of their history. It is available in a wide range of decorative styles (rhodium plated, gold, with Swarovski crystals, different engraved patterns, etc) and writing formats – fountain pen, rollerball, ballpoint and pencil.
My Ecridor mechanical pencil is the silver-plated, rhodium coated, chevron design. Fine straight lines are engraved along the length of the body and then rows of chevrons are superimposed to complete the design. Rhodium is a very expensive, shiny hard-wearing member of the platinum family, often used to plate silver to stop tarnishing. Lots of silver and white gold jewellery that is made from, and described as “silver” or “white gold”, is actually rhodium coated so you are looking at rhodium, not silver or white gold. Medic Alert even makes a range of silver rhodium coated bracelets. People with some medical conditions like diabetes or who take Warfarin often have problems with silver tarnishing, so the rhodium coating stops that. (No, I don’t wear a Medic Alert bracelet. Somehow I just trip across this sort of stuff and it gets filed away for future recall. But as a conservationist in New Zealand I am well aware of rats, and Warfarin is just diluted rat-poison, so I’m familiar with that. OK, enough of an aside, back on track now!)
The Ecridor is a made from a solid metal body. Maybe it starts out as a piece of hexagonal bar stock, has the tip section machined down, the centre drilled out, and hey presto, we’ve got a pencil. Of course, that’s just a theory that I personally like, could be complete rubbish. Anyway, this construction means the Ecridor has a good solid heavy feel to it, especially for a pencil of this size. Although it’s not “super-heavy”, it’s heavy enough that if you drop it onto your desk everyone in the office everyone hears and you worry about the desk being damaged. The hexagonal shape is very reminiscent of woodcase pencils. Overall this is a very classy “understated” pencil - art deco chevron styling, shiny silver finish, hexagonal body, good solid weight - a look and feel that I really like.
The engraving on the body is just deep enough so that you only just feel it when you grip the pencil, but it’s enough so that the grip is reasonably good despite the relatively smooth metal finish. The hexagonal body is a bit wider than normal woodcase pencils so this helps with the grip. The pocket clip is a fixed design but is quite strong and springy. The pencil mechanism is a push top ratchet, taking 0.7mm lead and there is a small eraser under the top button with a needle to help in the unlikely event of a lead jam. The lead sleeve is an angled cone, for writing rather than draughting, and it isn’t retractable, so this is not a particularly pocket-safe pencil.
The Ecridor comes in a simple nice red presentation case. The “CdA” logo is stamped into the pencil body just above the pocket clip, and “Caran d’Ache Swiss Made” is stamped into the top cap.
- Best Point – Good solid look and feel.
- Not So Good Point – Would prefer the sleeve to be retractable.
- Price range – High.
Dimensions- Length 131mm, width 8mm across the hex faces. Balance point about 75mm up from the tip