Whether at school or at the office, to write notes, draw up a shopping list or write down the most intimate words, there is a pen for everyone. We use them interchangeably every day and our desk drawers are full of them, but when it comes to being precise, to setting thoughts to paper or simply to please someone with a beautiful gift, we all have our favourite pen.

From the colour and type of ink to the pen's design, body, weight and balance, how does one choose between ballpoint pens, mechanical pencils, fountain pens and rollerball pens to find the perfect pen? Here is our advice to find the one that will accompany your most beautiful writing experiences.


Some appreciate the scratch of the fountain pen's nib against the paper, while others like the precision of the rollerball pen. The ballpoint pen is a classic favourite but has too often suffered from a down-market image, making some see it as a less high-quality product. Is this really the case?


The fountain pen for the elegance of writing

Fountain pens are delicate objects that must be carefully stored in their box after use. More demanding than a ballpoint pen, they have a certain aura that makes them the de rigueur pen at special occasions. At weddings or when penning the most intimate love words to paper, this pen with a gold or steel nib is timeless and even luxurious.

Our fountain pen nibs are crafted mainly from 18 carat gold (available in yellow, rhodium plate and pink gold plate) while others, like those from our Ecridor range, are made of stainless steel and are more rigid.

What is the main advantage of a fountain pen? It is refillable which means it will last for years, or even a lifetime in the case of our Haute Ecriture fountain pen range. 

Its main drawback? It takes practice to obtain clear, fluid and voluptuous lines. From its grip to the way it is refilled or the piston pump handled, every step contributes to the ritual of writing. Those who are familiar with writing with a fountain pen can use blotting paper when they work, though the ink washes away easily with soapy water.

It is important to note that over time with use, the nib of the pen changes shape to adapt to your handwriting. Gold nibs are more flexible than steel ones. This is why it is not recommended to lend your fountain pen to others as you risk deforming the nib.


The ballpoint pen: your perfect companion for everyday use

The iconic ballpoint pen - or biro - has unrivalled sturdiness and longevity which make it the writing tool of choice from primary school and throughout one’s life. Today, it is available in a variety of multicoloured models (from our Claim Your Style collection), using recycled materials (our Caran d’Ache x Nespresso collection) or in premium models from our Ecridor and Leman collections.
Its unbeatable advantage? A more affordable price which makes it the pen of choice at home, at school or in the office. It is suited to every occasion, from everyday use to corporate gifts.

Its main drawback? Its ink dries more quickly than a fountain pen's and it does not have the same luxurious finish. That said, these are also advantages in that they make it very practical for everyday use.


The rollerball pen for ease of writing

The rollerball pen should be tried if only for the ease of grip and comfort. At the cutting edge of writing tools, it can come with a conical nib for comfort or a needle for precision, and uses water-based ink for clarity or gel ink for brightness. Available in classic and premium versions, there is a model for every taste and need.
Its main advantage? The liquid ink together with the hard ball provides a novel gliding effect on the paper which leads to optimal writing comfort.

Its principal drawback? The ink takes longer to dry than it does with a ballpoint pen and it is very important to carefully put the cap back on the pen after use.


The mechanical pencil

Mechanical pencils combine the ease of use of a pen and the adaptability of a graphite pencil.

Its main advantage? It's easy to handle and it is erasable. You'll never need to sharpen a pencil again! Its push button provides you with a point which is always ready.

Its main drawback? The point wears down quickly if often used and it is important to have graphite recharges to hand.



A pen is an intimate gift that is suitable in many situations. For somebody close, have it engraved, decorated with their favourite colours and patterns and presented in a box. In a more formal professional situation It is possible to either give a top-of-the-range, sleek and elegant pen which can be custom-engraved, or opt for a pen in the company colours.


The sleek elegance of a writing box set

For both men and women, a pen is the natural extension of the hand. A writing box set Is a appealing gift idea. Choose the type of pen according to personality, whether a ballpoint pen or a fountain pen and make a gift to remember. 

With choices such as a limited edition writing boxes or  ballpoint pen box sets and notebooks, all that remains is for you to choose the perfect gift.


The emotion of a personalised pen

Through hours of manipulation and use, a history will develop between you and your pen as it becomes a loyal companion providing exquisite sensations, from its feel in your hand, its regularity, its angles and the touch of its cap, the sound of the nib against the paper… 

Imagine your delight if you were to receive (or gift) a personalised pen. Choose among the available options, initials in sleek letters, first names, te date of a first meeting or letter exchanged, a wedding anniversary or even just a few simple and evocative words. 

The refinement of a luxury model

In a precious moment, a luxury pen enters your life forever. The quality of the execution is reminiscent of precious metalwork and the combined know-how of the craftsmen that conceived the pen make it one of a kind. 

Precious materials: ebony wood, 18 karat gold, rhodium-plated silver, palladium, Chinese lacquer, etc.

State of the art techniques: engraving, hand-polishing, lacquering.

With their incomparable design and exclusive partnerships, the Haute Ecriture pens make a unique and timeless gift. 


A pen as a corporate gift

Selecting a gift in a workplace environment is revealing in two ways: It shows both the attention and care focused on the person receiving it, their worth, and the elegance of the person gifting it.

The company pen is everywhere from congresses to product launches to anniversaries, and retirements and such are occasions for a corporate gift. Choose between timeless or contemporary, unique and personalised, the choice of a pen reveals the quality of links built over time.



Selecting the right pen allows you to be sure of having the best handwriting. The medium used but also the hand’s suppleness, writing habits and desired finished effect are all elements to consider when it comes to choosing a pen.
For a traditional, applied and even artistic effect, the fountain pen is undoubtedly the best writing tool at your disposal. Getting the ink flowing and making it work properly requires care and careful positioning of the fountain pen. In order for the ink to not bleed through, the weight of the paper used must of at least 120-160 gsm.

A ballpoint pen on the other hand can be used on almost all types of paper. It requires a certain amount of pressure from the hand to leave a mark on the paper. It is the tool of choice If you want a permanent, unfalsifiable result as it is almost impossible to erase the ink without damaging the paper.
Between these two options is the rollerball pen. Its elegant writing effect is closer to the fountain pen while its ease of use is superior to the ballpoint pens'. These advantages make it a particularly good pen for lovers of writing, students and children who are learning to write. 



If writing with different pens feels different, it’s because the processes used are different. So how do pens work and how does that affect choosing and using them?
Pens adapt to the thickness and weight of the paper. Depending on these, different types of paper feel different to the touch known in French as "la différence de main". To choose a pen is first and foremost a question of experience and sensation. It is also important to choose the right type of paper to prevent any ink bleeding through.


Fountain pen and capillar action

An ink cartridge or refill, usually blue or black is inserted into the fountain pen and allows the erasable ink to flow to the nib.The lines drawn will vary according to the amount of pressure exerted on the pen and the type of paper which will change the gap between the two tines of the nib. When the ink runs out, it is easy to recharge it by adding another cartridge. In the case of a pen with a piston pump, you simply recharge it with an inkbottle.
  1. 1. Nib
  2. 2. Feed
  3. 3. Nib section
  4. 4. Body
  5. 5. Top of body
  6. 6. Piston converter
  7. 7. Clip
  8. 8. Cap
  9. 9. Top of cap


Ballpoints made of tungsten carbide

At the tip of the ballpoint pen is a small tungsten carbide ball inserted in a brass tip which is connected to a cartridge of the same size as the pen. The rough edges collect the ink which flows and leave it on the paper where it dries quickly and is hard to erase.

Liquid ink for fluidity

Rollerball pens work in the same way as ballpoint pens, the difference being that the ink flows more easily. The tip of the pen which also holds a tiny ball is connected to a cartridge in the pen's body which releases just the right amount of liquid ink for soft lines.
  1. 1. Body
  2. 2. Refill
  3. 3. Clip
  4. 4. Body insert                         
  5. 5. Push button
  6. 6. Spring

Swiss madeSwiss made

Our colour and writing products are manufactured in our workshops in Geneva since 1915.


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