Sir Paul Smith switches up Caran d’Ache’s classic ballpoint with six new duotone designs

The classic Caran d’Ache 849 ballpoint pen receives the stripey Paul Smith treatment, with vibrant colour combinations that evoke the designer’s approach to fashion

Paul Smith Caran d'Ache pen cases and pens in pink and yellow, and purple and blue
(Image credit: Caran d'Ache)

Sir Paul Smith brings his inimitable sense of colour to one of the prime progenitors of colour, Swiss manufacturer Caran d'Ache. This is the fourth collaboration between the British designer and the 100-year-old maker of fine art materials and writing instruments, and this time the focus is on the 849 ballpoint pen.

Paul Smith Caran d’Ache 849 duotone ballpoint pen

Paul Smith Caran d'Ache pen and case in green and black

(Image credit: Caran d'Ache)

The collection consists of six examples of the 849, each finished in a new duotone colour combination, drawn from the seemingly bottomless well of Smith’s palette. The 849 series is an acknowledged design classic, a hexagonal barrelled pen with separate clip, available as pencil, fountain pen, rollerball and ballpoint.

Paul Smith Caran d'Ache pens touching

(Image credit: Caran d'Ache)

It’s the latter that has been given the Paul Smith treatment, with each of the new duotone designs referencing the designer’s famous stripes, stitching and other strongly contrasting colourways. It moves the collaboration on from the original set of ten 849 pens in a hitherto unseen colour palette.

Paul Smith Caran d'Ache duotone 849 pens in blue and grey, and blue and green

(Image credit: Caran d'Ache)

The new colourways are carried over to the metal cases, which also bear the gold-plated signature of ‘Caran d’Ache+Paul Smith’, while the Swiss-made pens have lacquered bodies and a chromed pusher and clip. 

Paul Smith Caran d'Ache pen and case in red and pink

(Image credit: Caran d'Ache)

Sir Paul Smith’s passion for colour and contrast informs everything that comes out of his atelier, as well as his diverse collaborations, ranging from a classic Mini to a conceptual Mini, to work for Boffi, Braun and Porter.

Paul Smith Caran d'Ache duotone pens and cases from above

(Image credit: Caran d'Ache)

The designer is a longstanding fan of Caran d’Ache and has used the company’s products for many years. The latest collection showcases the Swiss company’s admirable ability to express its colour capabilities in a variety of ways. 

 The fourth edition of Caran d’Ache + Paul Smith is available now from Caran d’Ache and Paul Smith points of sale and stores as well as at 

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.