There are two sorts of people in the world. Traditionalists/purists, who love the classics, and Neophiles, who are excited by the groundbreaking and the innovative. Kensa is a writing instrument that’s surprisingly for both.
It innovates but stays true to its roots, being a modern interpretation of the classic hexagonal-bodied Biro ballpoint pen. Made in a ballpoint/roller-ball pen as well as a mechanical pencil variant, Kensa appeals to traditionalists who want a writing instrument that captures their old-is-gold philosophy, and the neophiles, with its metal construction and no-nonsense mechanism that was designed to delight and to perform.
Available in three different metals, Kensa comes machined from Brass, Stainless Steel, or Aluminum, differing in weight as well as color. The lighter Aluminum comes with an anodized black finish to look positively cutting-edge, while the Stainless Steel showcases its classic metallic look. The Brass variant, however, patinas with time, looking different after years of possession, a finish that makes it look like an heirloom keepsake, or a period piece.
Kensa is available as a ballpoint/roller-ball pen or even a mechanical pencil, looking absolutely identical with their classic hexagonal body, with the exception of the mechanism on top which requires being twisted in the case of the pen, and pressed in that of the mechanical pencil. The pen is designed to work with a variety of refills, although the company swears by Schmidt’s products, while the pencil works best with Schmidt DSM 2006 lead. Both the pen and the pencil come with a detachable, fully-machined clip that adds to the pen’s metallic flair. What’s rather marvelous is the pen’s unique packaging too which was designed to be different yet employ unconventionally vintage materials. An aluminum tube with cork-stops at the end, the packaging is probably the yang to the pen/pencil’s yin, combining old and new, but in a way that seems to contrast the writing instrument’s cutting edge, contemporary appeal. Either way, as a stationery-nerd, I’m absolutely intrigued!
Designers: Tom Cowell & Phoebe Gilbert of Apt Studio
Slim, durable, balanced, and timeless in style; Kensa is a set of high quality writing tools designed for a lifetimes use.
- Pen: 12g / 0.42oz Pencil: 13g / 0.45oz
- Minimal, lightweight and strong; the black aluminium edition has been anodised for a scratch proof surface with a minimal satin finish.
- Pen: 28g / 0.98oz Pencil: 30g / 1.05oz
- Well weighted, durable and nostalgic; the brass edition will develop a unique patina with use. It has been stone tumbled for a consistent satin polish. The finish can either be left to develop, or restored with brass polish .
- Pen: 27g / 0.96oz Pencil: 29g / 1.02oz
- The same well weighted feel as the brass edition without the patina; the stainless steel edition is for a clean unfading colour and stone tumbled for a consistent satin polish.
Standing out from the crowd in more ways than one, their packaging is unique and not at the expense of the environment. They designed limited edition aluminium tubes to protect Kensa while it’s in transit. Labels on the outside give you plenty of information as to what’s contained inside, with corks sealing each end. This makes it an exciting gift to give and receive. The aluminium and cork components are durable and sustainable, so can be used as a carry case or alternatively recycled.