Monday, October 17, 2016

MB&F Astrograph Limited Edition

Switzerland based horological laboratory MB&F in association with luxury writing instrument maker Carand'Ache has created the Astrograph, a limited edition writing instrument collection which reflects the limitless creativity, respect for traditions and impeccable quality of both brands.
The Astrograph adventure began four years earlier, when Maximilian Büsser revealed his idea to Caran d'Ache's creative teams: to let his childhood dreams of travelling in space unfold in a writing instrument. His meeting with Caran d'Ache paved the way for this idea.  Developing Astrograph was truly challenging. Four years of gestation and discussions were necessary to perfect the technical concept. The result of this collaboration is the futuristically designed body of an instrument that comprises a multitude of innovative features among a total of 99 components: a "detent" system of vertical stabilisation, launch-pad box, magnetic figurine... It took a whole year to develop the final model. It takes more than 500 manual operations to produce each writing instrument, genuine proof of an adventure.
The innovative design of the Astrograph, together with the many challenges that were overcome throughout the development of each of its component parts, have led to the creation of the most complex writing instrument ever made in the Caran d’Ache workshops.
The slim, curved body of the Astrograph, is immediately reminiscent of the outline of a space rocket. Its fluid design is accentuated by a chequered pattern, enhanced with anthracite lacquer – a particularly delicate process carried out by craftsmen and a speciality of Caran d’Ache. The proportions have been designed to ensure that the whole body is perfectly balanced so that it rests perfectly in the hand.
The structure is articulated by an ingenious mechanism inspired by penknives: a miniature lever – the entry door to the rocket, concealed in the ring of the pen – activates the simultaneous and symmetrical lowering of three stabiliser legs. These, just like the miniature ladder than runs alongside the "thruster engines" have parts that are sandblasted, satin-finished and rhodium-plated. Once the stabiliser legs have been deployed, it is possible to stand Astrograph up, vertically, ready for take-off.

The Astrograph rocket also comes with a miniature figurine of an astronaut. Rhodium-plated and magnetised, it will attach to any part of the body of the instrument, ready to "climb on board".
This writing instrument may be placed in a vertical position, pointing towards the stars thanks to the presentation box in the form of a launch pad has been specially devised for Astrograph. The instrument unscrews to reveal a fountain pen inside the fuselage.
Astrograph is available in three finishes: high-gloss rhodium, sandblasted matt rhodium or anthracite ruthenium. These limited editions are aimed at those who love unusual objets d’art – and at those who have managed to keep hold of an essential part of their childhood dreams.

The Astrograph limited edition is available in three finishes:-
High gloss rhodium finish, available as a fountain pen
Sandblasted matt rhodium finish, available as a fountain pen or roller pen
Ruthenium anthracite finish, available as a fountain pen

In homage to the 99 new components specially developed for the Astrograph limited edition, 99 fountain pens and roller pens are numbered: "1 in 99 pieces".

Technical details
Fountain pen
This writing instrument is fitted with an ink pump, but may also be used with cartridges. The pen nib is made from rhodium-plated 18-carat gold, available in size M.  Other nib sizes are available upon request.

Roller pen
This writing instrument is fitted with a Caran d’Ache roller pen cartridge.

Pen body
The rocket-shaped pen body is rhodium-plated and either highly polished or sandblasted matt, or plated in ruthenium anthracite. The chequered pattern is made from anthracite lacquer.

Connected to the base of the "engine", the ring is decorated with the logos of Caran d’Ache, of MB&F and of Swiss Made.

The base of the "engine" is plated with ruthenium. The stabiliser legs, the joints and miniature ladder are polished, sandblasted, satin-finished and rhodium-plated. The sides and edges are highly polished.

Generic numbering: "1 in 99 pieces" is engraved on one of the spacecraft's stabiliser legs.

Magnetic miniature figurine, silver and rhodium-plated, that can be attached at will to the body of the writing instrument.

"Launch pad" box
Design inspired by a spacecraft launch pad. Circular shape, the box is fitted with three articulated legs which allows the writing instrument to be kept inside or displayed outside, held in the middle in a vertical position.

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