Thursday, April 23, 2015

Caran d’Ache 100th Anniversary Collection

In 2015, Caran d’Ache celebrates its 100th anniversary: 100 years of creativity, quality and innovation.

The company was founded in 1915 as the “Fabrique genevoise de crayons”. Then in 1924 it was acquired by Arnold Schweitzer and renamed “Caran d’Ache” in honour of the famous French illustrator, Emmanuel Poiré. The company initially specialised in graphite and coloured pencils and diversified its activities to include wax oil pastels, mechanical pencils and the first ballpoint pens. The decades that followed, when the manufacture moved to Thônex in 1974, saw the development of international sales with original lines of artists’ materials and fine writing instruments. As the unique Swiss manufacturer of pencils, fine arts materials and luxury writing instruments, Caran d’Ache is rightly seen as an exceptional company.

From its earliest days, concern for people and the environment have been central to its values. All the pencils are certified FSC. The company methods received certifications that prove its commitment to environment. Through its support for the arts and its commitment to sustainable development, Caran d’Ache combines corporate responsibility with its devotion to excellence and high quality. To meet this important ambition, every design is not only artistic but also symbolises the synergy of traditional and unique art crafts. In the workshops, more than 90 skills are involved in the creation of unique products admired around the world. Their daring and inventive designs draw on a century of expertise and promise a brilliant future.

As a token of this commitment, the Caran d’Ache Anniversary Collection pays tribute to five flagship products that represent a whole range of collector’s objects and timeless icons.

The Caran d’Ache Anniversary Collection
The Caran d’Ache Anniversary Collection consists of emblematic products that honour each creative area in the company. They are accompanied by the historical icon, “Bonne Mine”, created in the 1920s and reworked for this occasion. Each of them is presented in an embossed paper box with material and design both inspired by authentic boxes of the 1930s. Caran d’Ache presents the five essential products in chronological order: Technograph, Fixpencil, Prismalo, Ecridor and 849.

In the beginning was the pencil: a Caran d’Ache pencil for every trade, every use, and every passion. This was how the company developed its expertise in working with graphite, the basic material of the Technograph. The Technograph’s exceptional covering power makes it the essential tool for all lovers of graphite and pencil drawing.
Architects, designers, writers and schoolchildren all rely on its wide range of grades and its famous precision. In today’s ephemeral, digital world, the Technograph remains the timeless benchmark for putting thoughts down on paper.

What do the Fixpencil, Heidi and Berne’s Zytglogge clock tower have in common? They are all Swiss cultural emblems that have featured on a postage stamp! Fixpencil owes this honour both to its hexagonal shape, that has become the famous signature of Caran d’Ache, and to its excellent technical performance.

Designed in 1929 by a Geneva engineer, Fixpencil was the first mechanical pencil with a patented clutch mechanism. Its incomparable quality together with regular innovations have made it a real collector’s item admired by millions of people around the world. Its success is also due to the quality of its leads offered in a wide range of diameters and colours that meet the needs of countless artists, engineers and designers.

Open a box of Prismalo, admire the sparkling metal, the colours and the gold letters, savour the soft aroma of cedar wood… Every time is just like the first time, with Prismalo never failing to produce its unique sensations. Since its launch as the world’s first water-soluble pencil in 1931, it has introduced whole generations of artists and schoolchildren to the magic of watercolours. Its huge palette of shades, as well as the fineness and hardness of its leads make it simply indispensable.
For decades, Prismalo has been associated with another Swiss icon, the majestic Matterhorn. And now, to mark the 100 years of Caran d’Ache, it presents an exclusive assortment of 25 colours. Its embossed paper pencil case, directly inspired by the red and gold of the 1930s, symbolises this synergy of tradition and modernity.

With its noble materials and a mechanism of typically Swiss precision, the Ecridor ballpoint has represented the fusion of an authentic style and contemporary efficiency ever since 1953. To enhance the pleasure of holding it in the fingers, it is finely engraved with its original chevron representing courage and reliability, a demonstration of Caran d’Ache expertise in guillochage.
Its famous hexagonal profile is highlighted by the sparkle of precious metal, making the pen a timeless icon of elegance and finesse. Ecridor is a superb writing companion.

Created in the year that man first stepped onto the moon, the 849 was clearly destined to have a great future. This contemporary icon of Caran d’Ache reflects the intense cultural and creative activity of the 1960s. Chic and cool, it has the famous hexagonal form inspired by the shape of a pencil for great writing comfort every day.
Metallic and hard-wearing, it offers the benefits of the famous Goliath giant cartridge, manufactured in the Caran d’Ache workshops. This enables the 849 to produce up to 600 A4 pages of smooth handwriting, making it a writing instrument with real autonomy. With its colourful body constantly reinterpreted by famous designers, its role can change every day. To celebrate the company’s centenary, the 849 pays tribute to its pencils and dresses the rainbow in the colours of Caran d’Ache.

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