Monday, March 22, 2010

Learn From My Mistakes

See, this is what happens when
(a) Your wife goes away for the weekend, and
(b) She actually does bring home a couple of cartons before she leaves, and
(c) You thus have unsupervised access to (i) online pencil shopping and (ii) beer, so...what could possibly go wrong?

Garrrrr!!!!!! My entire annual Pencil Budget has now been spent.

I will have to start selling things or get a second job to earn pencil-money, or go cold-turkey for the rest of the year.

Ahhh, the almost legendary Pentel Mechanica. Long had I resisted the call of the sirens, enticing me with their beauty and promise…
Pentel Mechanica mechanical pencil and beautiful scene

with their sweet honey dulcet tones...
Mechanica and singer

...luring me to wreck and ruin on the shores of That Internet Auction Place That Must Not Be Mentioned. With my beer goggles on and tuned to maximum enhancement, I was a lamb to the slaughter.

The Mechanica, now that’s a powerful name for a mighty instrument of design. There’s no messing with this pencil.
Pentel Mechanica mechanical pencil and case, carried by robot

The lead sleeve is fixed but fully protected by a retractable steel sleeve. Initially extended to cover and hide,

Pentel Mechanica mechanical pencil on background of gay lederhosen
...you twist the metal grip to retract the sleeve and reveal the full glory.
Preacher and Mechanica

Many would say a true classic.
Pentel Mechanica on background of The Magnificent Seven film still

Iggy Pop and the Mechnica
Great styling, lead hardness indicator, visually appealing grip zone, push top mechanism, removable pocket-clip, no eraser. Timeless through the ages, a pencil for then and now.

Yes, but...

The morning after...

Glad to have one…for sure. Interesting design with that extending protective sleeve…definitely. Worth what it cost me, money well spent…ahhh…now there’s the rub.

25 comments:

Time Waster said...

I love the mechanica but don't own one I like the look of the .3mm grip compared to the .5mm grip.

memm said...

Congratulations! This is a nice looking pencil ...but I really hope you will find a way to increase your pencil budget, there are still more than nine months to go..

Anonymous said...

At least you had fun whilst buying it. And making up the tooltips. What was Iggys answer?

B2-kun said...

Yikes those are pretty high prices after a quick Google search. Congrats on your new purchase and hope you find a quick way to rebuild your pencil budget!

Ovidiu said...

That was fun! It seems you had a nice weekend :).

Bob said...

Now that is a pencil to luurrve! My choice would be to get the second job or take out another mortgage.
Noted that it was started at about $195 (about £100 here in UK) on ebay so that is serious money.

adair said...

I have the 0.5 and am not happy with it. The grip does not click into place when the sleeve is retracted, so that it will begin to turn between your fingers as you write. I was so surprised, as I had expected a supremely well-engineered pencil, considering its reputation. Apparently, this is a real problem with the 0.5's. Are the 0.3 grips firm?

2nd_astronaut said...

:-) The Mechanica prices are above my pain limit, so I don't have one. But the sirens are attractive, and their songs manifold (old Hi-Unis, Pilots,...).

BTW -- What was more condemnable, spending the money or succumbing to the siren's charms?

che pablo said...

Wow, so the "beer...beer...beer...box of expensive pencils" thing happens to others too. That's reassuring. If it helps, it turns out that humans enjoy impulsive buys more than well-though-out buys. Also, that's one sweet pencil. That said, please figure out a way to keep reviewing.

Kiwi-d said...

Thanks for your comments
@Anonymous – Iggy reckons he’s tougher than me and fancies his chances with those two sirens. He reckons he can live without a Mechanica but the sirens may convince him otherwise. I did enjoy making the mouse tooltips. I have always used IE so always mouse hover on all images to see tooltips. I have only recently become aware that Firefox and other non-IE users don’t see alt tag text as tooltips, so I have just also started putting in title tag text for some images. All images in this post have title tag text so I’m under the impression all browsers should see mouse hover tooltips – assuming of course people actually read using their mouse rather than just scroll keys/wheels, etc.

@Adair – I have only used the Mechanica a little. So far the grip seems stable. I will try to remember to comment more later. Feel free to remind me in a couple of weeks.

@2nd – Well the money was for the spending, so thus I think falling for the sirens was the condemnable act.

@Others – thanks for your messages of understanding. Well my lounge floor is now covered with piles of CDs and, as my niece once said “those really big black CDs” (vinyl LPs). Sorting through what I can bear to part with. Soon the sales begin to the get some coin back in the pencil account.

Henrik said...

hey! watch it with the backgrounds! Those sirens attract all the attention. But I understand.
Have done the same thing (buying too many that is) several times. Welcome in the club!
regards
Henrik

Palimpsest said...

I do understand the call of the pencil. I also was attracted to the Internet Auction Place That Dares Not Speak Its Name to get a Made-in-Britain Staedtler Tradition. Why?

a nobud said...

Wow, I guess I'm not the only person with a pencil budget=D

Mydogbarry said...

I know you're not American, but is this similar and a good price?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Pentel-mechanica-graph-0-5mm-Mechanical-Pencil-PG5-AD_W0QQitemZ110505090683QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item19ba9dde7b

2nd_astronaut said...

Pffft, similar :-)
The PG5 is actual production (http://www.jetpens.com/product_info.php/cPath/340_307/products_id/1194) and costs 500Yen, while Mechanica is discontinued and did cost 3000Yen (http://f36.aaa.livedoor.jp/~pencil/mpwiki/wiki.cgi?Pentel).

So for reasonable persons they are similar, but not for a collector captivated by sirens...

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Mydogbarry. I don't know why that seller is associating the word mechanica with that pencil. Regarding similar, well the PG5 is a good pencil, but doesn't have the protective sleeve of the mechanica. 2nd_astronaut is probably right, "So for reasonable persons they are similar, but not for a collector captivated by sirens..."
As for the price...no comment...search around and you'll quickly know more than me.

Kiwi-d said...

Well, this story of my booze-addled internaut expedition seems to have captured your attention. Yesterday was a new record for number of visitors in a day.

Adair said...

Mydogbarry: the PG5 has proved superior in my experience without that annoying protective grip that does not click into place firmly. The PG5 and PG3 (there is even a PG2)are excellent instruments at a reasonable price---more than I can say for my Mechanica! If you must have a retracting sleeve, try the Pilot Vanishing Point mechanical pencil, also superb.

Germ said...

Lady in the first photo is cute. nummy num num.

The mechanica... I have mixed feelings about it. I have had both the 0.5mm and 0.3mm. While they are of high quality, for me, I felt something was lacking. They are far above most pencils out there, and well worth some good coin, but I am not so sure they are all that.
But, I no longer own mine, so probably should get another, and really put it to task and have a more solid basis for opinion. (didn't use it all that much for the brief time I had them)

Beer, internet sales, and lack of supervision do not go together. :) I have been a victim of this as well. I have a Platinum Pro Use Ballpoint because of it. hehehe.

Kiwi-d said...

The lady from photo 1 is from a footwear catalogue - those white shoes cost most than a Mechanica :-)
Seeing I've run out of pencil money I could try re-defining the polemic in terms my pencils, the wifes shoes, and that these two should have some parity.

2nd_astronaut said...

Since a few weeks I also have a Mechanica (the 0.3mm)... I had to buy it to be able to comment here :-)

This protection sleeve is cool and unique (I think). By the way, the mechanism is quite robust: I thought that it is a cap and pulled like mad (yes, I didn't read your review carefully -- you mention that one has to *twist*). Fortunately I didn't wreck the expensive thing before writing a single word...
Also nice are the various accessories you got for 3000Yen (now more): box, etui, tie.
But: the barrel and the clip just feels cheap for me. The shiny barrel plastic reminds me of give-away advertisment ballpens... but that's a matter of taste, of course.

I didn't testwrite it so much until now, so I have to limit my observations on the look for now.

Kiwi-d said...

Hi 2nd - well I'm glad to hear you are exploring as an astronaut should...but I'm not so sure this counts as learning from my mistakes :-)

Gary said...

Glad to see you got one of these, Dave. I also had a moment of weakness and bought one as well... managed to get one in the original box with paperwork, in mint condition at a little below market value. A really great writing instrument. Looks great, feels great, and of course performs flawlessly. :-)

1962PENCILS said...

The barrel is made of polyacetal resin, It may feel like cheap plastic but it is in fact another high-end industrial "resin", http://www.sriconsulting.com/CEH/Public/Reports/580.0950/.
When it comes to drafting pencils it's also cosidered to be an historical landmark because it was invented by Mr. Yukio Horie, the founder of "Dai Nihon Bungu Kabushiki Kaisha" (Japan Stationery Co.), now known as "Pentel". I have both the .5 and .3 models and they are among the best drafting mechanical pencils i own and have ever used. I agree current prices are highly inflated but i also think they still are a good investment. There are other vintage mechanical pencils out there which are far expensive than these and of much lower quality, after all it's another question of demand and supply.

Ricardo.

VFG said...

It seems there are 2 versions of the Mechanica. Both were made in Japan but there was also an 'export' version. You seem to have the local version, with the Pentel and stylish 03 etched on the metal nose below the grid. the one I just got from an old shop in Texas, unfortunately, seems to be the 'export' version and it's the same as the one pictured in leadholder.com. These are the most wonderful pencils. Also got a original Uchida Drawing Sharp S from the early 80's that has the name lead size and model etched on the metal barrel. The nose is made of hig end resin as well as the 1st Kent Drawing Sharp D the most precious one. Anyway, glad you have the nicest Pentel Mech.. Might try get the Home version and sell this one later... thing is this one came with the box and everything. Still happy. 95% happy. Salutations from Portugal.