The Magnificent Seven - The Final Showdown
Faber-Castell Alpha-matic and TK-maticby Pencil Paul
Well I have left the best till last, these are my all time favorites. I wanted to show the alpha range, so here we have I feel the finest mechanical pencils available. The sheer quality of manufacture becomes immediately apparent as soon as you handle these pencils.
The silver TK-matic shown was purchased in 1980, the year of inception to the German market and it has worked flawlessly for me throughout all the years of sweated magazine print deadlines, rattling around in the bottom of a brief case, running for the train in rush hour, bomb threats, 3 day weeks, power outs, being dropped and borrowed! In fact the whole gamut of working life in a busy London studio. It has never missed a beat or fluffed a line, this pencil deserves a medal for outstanding devotion to duty! It is the only true draughting pencil in The Magnificent Seven, having a lead sleeve for use with rulers etc, and was often used with blue 0.5 lead for print proof marking up, a job that is now of course done on screen. The pencil itself is a solid, reliable heavyweight, that is made from stainless steel with the cunning auto lead advance feature, which is shared by all pencils shown here. As you write/draw the lead advances according to usage, you don't have to worry about leads till fitting a new one, which is just a question of pumping the cap button till one appears at the point. The cap is removable to access the small eraser with cleaning wire which I have never had to use, and the lead store below within the body. The knurled grip is superbly positioned and I feel the whole mass and ample weight of the pencils 26gams improves accuracy and control.
The other pencils shown here have been acquired along the way from various sources. These are all general use mechanical pencils in the alpha-matic range, lacking the drafting sleeve. Again the build quality is top class and they range in finish from the maroon red plastic, to the charmingly named 'Bronce' and to the most expensive 'Titanium' almost black finish. All are equally fine and able pencils. I would recommend anyone wanting the best in an 0.5mm pencil to seek out any one of these superb examples of German excellence. Was it Oscar Wilde who sated that "one never regrets purchasing quality"?
|Faber-Castell Alpha-matic and TK-matic Mechanical Pencils|
Paul - Thanks very much for showing these fantastic pencils from your collection. Perhaps after some rest at the saloon and bunk house 'The Magnificent Seven' may ride again?