This is the catchily named Koh-I-Noor Toison D’Or Clutch Pencil 2mm 5900. Toison D’Or means Golden Fleece and that means that this is a posh pencil (at a very reasonable price). Toison D’Or is French; Koh-I-Noor is Persian(?) for Mountain of Light (it’s a diamond) and the company is Czech. Linguistically speaking this pencil is keeping its options open.
It’s a 2mm clutch pencil, as the name suggests. The clutch mechanism works well and I find that 2mm is a good size for drawing with. It’s also a fairly standard size so all kinds of hardnesses are available. My pencil came with HB lead but I swapped it for 2B.
The barrel is metal, hexagonally shaped, and looks like the kind of pencil you used to find in your grandad’s pencil case. (The one he kept in his shed.) Classic. The construction is okay – there is a wobble and rattle here and there. I think this pen can get away with it because it just reinforces its back of the shed drawer vibe. The push button unscrews to reveal a scary looking but utterly functional sharpener.
I love clutch pencils because there is something deeply fundamental about them. They hold onto a length of lead for you so you can use it to draw and write. This pencil gives me great pleasure. It makes me feel as if I’m continuing a tradition. It’s comfortable to hold, it does what its job and it makes me want to pick it up and use it.