The Studio Neat Mark One is a lightweight, minimal pen, fully constructed from metal, even including the custom click mechanism. It’s also quite versatile because it accepts any Parker-style refill. The Mark One ships with the Schmidt P8126 rollerball but I just switched out mine for the Schmidt easyFlow 9000 M. Both are great cartridges but I’m more used to the easyFlow.
The Mark One has been in my possession for only about a week now but I’ve used it enough that I feel I can offer a brief review. Spoiler alert: It’s a fantastic pen.
What I Like
It’s extremely simple yet sophisticated.
Aesthetically, the Mark One is right up my alley. This is a personal preference but they do have other styles available that may interest you as well.
It’s lightweight but doesn’t feel cheap. In fact, in the hand, it has the balance of a much heavier pen.
What I Don’t Like
The click mechanism sometimes gets stuck.*
While the click is substantial, I wish it didn’t feel so gritty.*
Rattling can be heard when the pen is shook.
*See update below.
I’m no stranger to the interior of my pants pockets getting stained from a retractable pen, as I like to carry pen and paper on me at all times. But I didn’t account for how free flowing the ink was from the Mark One’s included Schmidt cartridge. Even though I got myself a pretty decent stain, I was able to get rid of most of it because I acted super quickly. This was 100% user error, but I mention it as a word of warning in case you were thinking of carrying the Mark One in your pocket too.
An Every Day Pen
Even though I won’t be carrying the pen in my pocket anymore, I plan to use the Mark One daily and I’m very interested to see how it breaks in and wears over time. My bet is that the click mechanism should smooth up a bit with more use too.
Overall, the Mark One is a great pen and I’m sure I’ll be using it for years to come.
As just one note on how I would improve the Mark One, I’d like to see a small counterweight added to the internals that would keep the pen from rolling freely on a desk. I feel like they addressed this somewhere but I can’t remember where or what their response was.
Update: Dan from Studio Neat sent me a replacement Mark One and I’m happy to report that the click doesn’t feel gritty at all and the pen has yet to get stuck when clicked. I guess that first pen was a lemon. Anyways, I’ll keep testing things and will update this post with any new findings.
There's a ton unpack in this video. I recommend finding a comfortable spot to sit, relax, and watch the entire piece. Just let it all soak in.
The end of an era.
It was good while it lasted.
Crying won't help.
My favorite bit (13:39 in) is listening to a worker that's been in the printing industry for 26 years, and hearing him talk about the move to computers.
"I hate to see it. It's inevitable that we're going to go into computers. All the knowledge I've acquired over these 26 years, is all locked up in a little box now called a computer. And I think probably most jobs are going to end up the same way." "Do you think computers are a good idea in general?" "Oh there's no doubt about it, they're going to benefit everybody eventually. How long it will take I don't know."
While sad that something familiar and proven has given way to modern technology, it's very wise to see the inevitability of it.
I try to share this every Black Friday but it bears repeating more frequently than that.
"The true value of a product is the least amount you’re willing to sell it for."
Look, I love discounts, but I’ve gotten burned so much in the past that if I’m ever in charge of a company and we’re questioning discounting our products, I won’t do it. Slow sales may be the problem but discounts aren’t the solution.
Bonus: If you’re looking to create some urgency in sales without resorting to discounting, check out seanwes tv 112.
I recently attended the launch of the Filson New York Flagship Store and I must say, they have quite the space. It was a packed house as they offered free raw oysters, drinks, a rewaxing demo, and a build your own debossed leather keychain station. I also got to compare my Otter Green Logger Mesh Hat next to a brand new one. Maybe I’ll try my hand at rewaxing and bring some life back to it.
Among the usual gear you’d expect to see, they had a few items for sale from their Restoration Department. These are products that most likely have been sent in for repair or replacement and the customer opted for a replacement. I saw one jacket in particular that had some great “before” photos included in a small envelope on the tag. Very nice touch. And the jacket looked fantastic as well.
Nicely done Filson. I’m sure I’ll be back.
This is one of my most favorite videos ever so please give it your attention. Disclaimer: It may start off a little goofy, but trust me, it’s completely worth your time.