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.