Earlier this month, I received this Caran d’Ache 849 Goldbar ballpoint pen as a gift. I've tried many wooden pencils from Caran d’Ache (and loved them), but never their pens, so I was really excited to try this as soon as possible.
This post isn’t going to be an in-depth look at the pen (links to many existing reviews of this model are at the end of this post), but I’m really loving the overall design, especially how the hexagonal barrel tapers to the tip without any gaps, similar to a sharpened pencil. I also like how it’s slim and relatively lightweight. But ballpoints are not my favorite type of pens, and the 849 will not be changing my opinion on that any time soon. The included “Goliath” refill writes okay, but it’s too sensitive to writing angle, and it’s in a medium blue color that I do not like.
So I looked for black gel refills! A quick search told me that there’s probably no exact match for this “Goliath” refill but that a “Parker-style” refill should be pretty close, as long as you shorten it. The first ones I found were these Parker Quink Gel refills in black. I trimmed the top end of one with a craft knife by just eye-balling it (pictured above is the shortened version, right next to the original refill).
Success! Once in a blue moon, I have to click the pen twice to get the tip out, but I can deal with that. (Your mileage may vary 😅). The 849 is a pen I really want to try using for a long period of time, so I’m happy I was able to get a better refill. And the ink flows well, too. I would’ve preferred a finer tip (this one is just labeled “medium”; see quick comparison in the last picture), but I’ve been using it with my Field Notes on the go, and it’s been working better than I expected for quick notes.
Just a few days ago, I got this Ohto Flash Dry Gel Pen refill in black 0.5 mm (PG-105NP) that could also work with the Caran d’Ache 849. A finer tip! I haven’t shortened it yet, not when the Parker refill is still so new, but it fits. It makes a faint rattle-y noise though.
Do you own any Caran d’Ache 849s? What refill do you use with it? If you know of any gel refills that don’t require trimming, let me know! While searching, I came across an adapter by a Japanese company UNUS Product Service that allows many other ballpoint refills to be used with the 849. Interesting!
- Caran d’Ache 849 Ballpoint — The Clicky Post
- Pen Review: Caran d’Ache 849 Rose Gold Ballpoint – The Well-Appointed Desk
- Caran D’ache 849 Ballpoint Review — The Pen Addict
- Caran d’Ache 849 Marinière Red + Blue – pencils and other things
- Caran d’Ache 849 Goldbar Ballpoint Pen at Amazon.com
- Parker Quink Gel Ink Refills in black (2-pack) at Amazon.com
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