Notes: First thing’s first, go check out my review of the stainless steel, unclipped version of this pen here. There’s plenty of photos of that pen (including uncapped and in hand) that will represent the proportions of the pen. It’s largely the same pen, except this one is made from aluminum and features a new clip. Do these two seemingly small features really change the pen all that much to justify another? Read on to find out!
Let’s start with the differences between this new edition with clip and the older stainless steel version I reviewed last summer. This pen is aluminum. While I liked the hefty feel of the stainless version, it was a but too heavy for me – especially as a pocket pen. I think the aluminum version has just the right balance of heft and feel. It’s still got some weight to it, but it practically disappears in your pocket. It’s more comfortable for longer writing sessions as well. The Kickstarter project does offer a titanium version, which I think will be slightly heavier than the aluminum version, but still less than the stainless.
The biggest difference between the last pen I checked out and this one is the clip. Sure, a clip might not seem like a huge change, but I can say with confidence that it makes a big difference in the overall functionality of the pen. The last version just kind of bounced around in your pocket while carrying. Some may be totally fine with this, but I much prefer the clip. Keeping the pen clipped onto my jeans pocket makes it easier to grab, it prevents it from rolling on a table, and this particular clip has one more feature. The refill for the Schon Design pen is changed via a brass set screw in the back of the pen. The clip juts out just enough so that you can remove the screw with the end of the clip. By integrating this tool into the pen, you don’t have to use any additional tools to swap out the refill.
I also like how the clip is designed for the pen and vice versa. Instead of just simply screwing on a clip, there’s a small flat spot machined in the top of the pen so the clip lays flush with the cap. It’s these small details that make the pen stand out from the rest. The pen is made entirely in the US (even the brass set screw) which is just plain cool. Ian, the designer does a ton of cool work, so make sure you give him a follow on Instagram. Whether he’s making his own watches or improving his popular pocket pen, it’s fun to see.
The Clip Pen is now on Kickstarter for what I believe is a reasonable $45 for an aluminum base model. You can snag one in black anodized for an additional $4, a polished stainless steel version for $72, or a titanium version for $125. At the time of publishing, there’s 11 days to go in the project and it’s already been funded by over 500 backers! Ian at Schon Desisgn is no stranger to Kickstarters, so back with confidence.