(writing)culture

Caran d’Ache Timegraph – A Priceless Treasure For Both Pen And Watch Collectors

I’ve always been of the opinion that pens and watches make a deadly couple. They just complement each other so wonderfully. But what about a fountain pen with a built-in watch? Sounds too good to be true? Let’s find out! 

Launched in 2019 by Maison Caran d’Ache, the Timegraph incorporates a miniature mechanical watch movement making it a very sophisticated writing implement. Note that this is not the only pen featuring a mechanical movement, if you remember our article about the Richard Mille RM S05. However, in that case, the mechanical movement was designed not to operate the timepiece, but to release and retract the pen nib. Speaking of other pens with built-in watches, Cartier has launched something similar in the past. The watch, set at the end of the barrel, had a quartz movement.

Back to Caran d’Ache’s Timegraph, all I can say is that the innovative spirit of this brand knows no boundaries. It’s remarkable what they’ve managed to achieve, considering how thin is the portion in which the watch is embedded. On top of that, they didn’t compromise on design at all. 

It takes not only courage to embark on such an adventure, but also expertise and patience, which is why it took Caran d’Ache over two years of research and development to create this pen. To make room for the ultra-thin movement that operates the watch the Swiss craftsmen had to redesign the initial dimensions of the pen. 

Looking at the pen, I am amazed at how Caran d’Ache has managed to incorporate all 145 components into a pen with a diameter of 15 mm and a length of 151 mm when closed. 

As for the mechanical movement, Caran d’Ache has joined forces with Swiss watchmaker Le Temps Manufacture SA whose ultra-thin, miniature movement boasts a power reserve of around 40 hours, a remarkable accomplishment. To feast your eyes on the exquisite timepiece, there’s a sapphire crystal window revealing the mechanism with its 18 jewels and rhodium-plated components.

Besides the mechanical movement, the pen features an innovative filling system, whereby the miniature piston ink pump is filled via an external filling mechanism. What I like to call the engine of the pen, the nib, is made of 18k gold and hand-polished to match the glossy look of the pen.

And since such an exclusive piece couldn’t be presented in any other way than exquisitely, Timegraph comes in an elegant black lacquered wooden box similar to a watch case. 

We don’t know for sure if this pen is still available, but its price at launch was CHF 40,000. However, for any collector of pens and timepieces alike, I think it would be a priceless treasure.

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