Caran d’Ache is a Swiss company that manufactures fine writing instruments that pay homage to the tradition of Swiss innovation, precision, and excellence. Combining several sought-after raw materials with modern technologies and expert craftsmanship, Caran d’Ache creates distinctly perfect pens down to the last detail. Caran d’Ache is, in fact, the only Swiss manufacturer of “pencils, fine-arts materials and luxury writing instruments.”
The Beginning of Excellence
Caran d’Ache opened in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1924 after Arnold Schweitzer acquired the Ecridor Pencil Company (originally founded in 1915) and renamed the company. The name Caran d’Ache comes from the pseudonym of a famous 19th century French satirist named Emmanuel Poire. That pseudonym came from the Russian word for pencil, “Karandash,” which stems from the Turkish words “kara dash,” literally meaning black stone (referring to graphite). The deep roots to writing materials in Caran d’Ache’s name are backed up in their authentic products.
In 1930, Caran d’Ache launched their Ecridor mechanical pencils in both silver and gold models. Next came the Prismalo, the first colored pencil with water-soluble lead, in 1931. Ultimately, Caran d’Ache’s first fountain pen was launched in the Madison Collection and thus began the company’s intimate workings with myriad writing instrument types. Their creativity and skill has blossomed over the years, and to this day Caran d’Ache handcrafts some of the most exquisite pens and art pencils in the market.
Caran d’Ache pens and mechanical pencils use quality materials that make for a writing instrument unlike any other. One of these materials is Rhodium, a rare metal valued approximately at 10 times the price of gold. It is an amazing material to use in a writing instrument because it does not oxidize, and therefore preserves the silver shine of the pen.
Another fine material used in Caran d’Ache pens is 18 Carat Gold. This soft metal is used to decorate, engrave, and polish each gold pen, creating unique art. Each gold nib carries the certified mark of the raw material, as well as the trademark of the craftsmen. Caran d’Ache is also one of the few pen manufacturers to use Chinese lacquer, an ancient material steeped in the traditions of Eastern craftsmanship. This magnificent glimmering lacquer goes through an incredibly complex application after the natural process of extracting the sap of a Tsi Cheou tree.
Another innovative practice at Caran d’Ache is the creation of a coat of mail for certain pen bodies to create a unique grip. This material is made from woven links of stainless steel. Once a legendary technology to protect medieval knights, now this material is also engrained in the history of one of the highest regarded companies of Switzerland, Caran d’Ache.
By combining ancient tradition and elegance with modern and artful design, Caran d’Ache creates authentic pens that live up to the Swiss standards of quality and precision. Their products inspire the timelessness and passion of an imagination that is set free at the grasp of a pen.