In the realm of innovation, engineering prowess, and a distinctive approach to design, Swiss craftsmanship stands unsurpassed. Caran d’Ache, a paragon of Swiss ingenuity, seamlessly amalgamates these qualities into their three remarkable lines: Ecridor, Leman, and Varius. While the Ecridor and Leman lines echo classical refinement, it’s the Varius line that unfurls the avant-garde within the boundaries of tradition. Join us as we explore the evolution of this line, a journey that spans years of transformation and refinement.
To be honest, my initial encounter with the Varius line left me unconvinced. Aesthetically, it appeared somewhat dated, out of sync with contemporary sensibilities. However, the passage of time has revealed the exceptional growth in quality and conceptualization Caran d’Ache has undergone over the last decade. This evolution is most evident in the Varius Collection, a testament to the brand’s commitment to excellence.
For a profound analysis of the Varius line, let’s dissect the Varius Ivanhoe—a flagship rendition within this distinguished collection. To truly understand the extent of its transformation, we juxtapose a Varius from the 2000s with its modern counterpart.
Undoubtedly, the vintage Varius holds its charm, yet upon a critical gaze, its design language seems less mature. Caran d’Ache has painstakingly reimagined and refined the Varius over the years, culminating in a more poised, balanced, and elegantly shaped masterpiece. A glaring difference lies in the clip design—a once shorter, fixed-on-metal clip has now evolved into a longer, sleeker version affixed internally with a flexible spring mechanism. This evolution not only adds complexity but also confers reliability and durability over time. Other elements of the pen have undergone nuanced changes, subtly rejuvenating the design without betraying its essence.
But beyond mere design, the Varius line has a distinct raison d’être: the exploration of materials and manufacturing expertise. While the Ecridor draws from guilloche on metal, and the Leman mesmerizes with translucent lacquer over intricate guilloche, the Varius delves into a realm of exquisite materials—Carbon Fiber, Wood, Leather, Ceramic, Laque de Chine, and more. This collection serves as a captivating odyssey through these diverse materials, each imbuing the model with fresh spirit while harmonizing seamlessly when viewed collectively. Some incarnations, like the Peter Marino, Trophy, and Kengo Kuma editions, are limited or special editions, garnering resounding success. Even regular editions—owing to their intricate manufacturing—often find themselves temporarily sold out, awaiting a replenishment by Caran d’Ache.
Among the most intriguing regular editions are the Carbon Fiber, Silas with Silicon construction, and the Rubracer, a homage to the watch industry. Notably, the ceramic variants in black or white stand as testament to precision and innovation.
The Varius line’s allure lies in its collectible potential. Displaying them side by side evokes a sense of treasure, a testament to their timeless appeal. What sets this line apart is its ability to retain its core identity while continually innovating around it—an artful equilibrium between iconic status and dynamic evolution.
The Fountain Pen boasts dimensions of 136.3mm when capped, while the Ballpoint measures 135.1mm. With a diameter of approximately 9.7mm—variations arising from materialization and pen shape—it offers a comfortable writing experience. Weights ranging from 42g to 50g, dependent on material, contribute to a palpable sense of quality and value.
Price-wise, the Varius line spans a spectrum, starting at around CHF 520 and scaling up to CHF 1,900 based on the chosen material. It’s a testament to Caran d’Ache’s commitment to offering a range that caters to diverse preferences and budgets.
To immerse yourself in the captivating world of Caran d’Ache’s Varius line, explore their exquisite collection on their official website or through authorized retailers worldwide. This line is a symphony of Swiss innovation and design, an invitation to celebrate both heritage and progression in the realm of writing instruments.