Friday, July 26, 2013

Tombow Havanna 100th anniversary mechanical pencil

Well this is something different! Not only is this a mechanical pencil with a cap, it is also a LIMITED EDITION! The LE Havanna rollerball and pencil series (available in red and silver) is part of Tombow's 100th anniversary celebration.

First of all, I'd like to thank the awesome people over at Tombow Europe. They were kind enough to send me the silver-coloured pencil version, so I could make this review about it.

It's just beautiful, that's the first thing that came to my mind. It comes in a simple black cardboard box, and they include a little card that states that this is indeed a limited run (it is not numbered though, they will be making them for a limited time.). Designwise, it sets itself apart from other pencils because of the fountain pen-like look, with it's capped design. Overall, I find it to be a very attractive pencil, the aluminum barel looks very nice and the pencil has a very solid construction.

From what I know, the only difference in appearance, in comparison to the standard Havanna, is the fact that they replaced the rubber band around the barrel with an aluminium one, which looks very nice, because somehow, the aluminum used on this ring has a little different appeareance in comparison to the aluminum used in the barrel! Of course, the normal Havanna series also doesn't have the '100' printed on the back of the cap! I also like the appearance of the clip, it is very no-nonsense, very sleek, just like the rest of the pen!

They also did a great job on the design of the pushbutton, it is both aesthetically pleasing: it sits almost fully recessed in the back of the barrel. And it is easy to operate. And again, it's sleek design fits the rest of the pen perfectly!

Out of the box, I didn't like the lead that was supplied with it, but hey! It's a mechanical pencil, so I just swapped it out with some staedtler 2B lead (I picked a smoother lead because it fits the overall smooth writing experience better!) After I swapped the lead, it wrote like a dream. The grip is rubberised, and therefore soft to the touch and comfortable to use. I was able to do longer writing sessions without getting a cramped feeling! Perfect!

It is possible to post the cap, and the good thing is that cap clamps on to the pushbutton, so you can still advance the lead when posted. However, I didn't  post it, as I found the pencil to be long enough without it. It is quite front heavy when not posted, but I still think it is very balanced when writing!

I mentioned earlier that the build quality on this pencil is excellent, the mechanism is completely made out of metal, and it feels very solid,  it doesn't rattle when writing (which is a good thing, because that is a detail where a lot of mechanical pencils fail!) I think this pencil is definitely of the highest quality you can get these days!

It isn't a cheap pencil at all though! Obviously, the fact that it is a limited edition does make it a bit more expensive. So if you find it to be a bit too expensive you can always go for the classic Havanna, which is almost the same! But for the price, you get a pencil that looks as beautiful as a fountain pen. I think it would be perfect for people who like to use a pencil during business meetings, but want something a little more stylish. Now for the actual retail price, I found it priced around 60 Euros/ 80 USDollars in an online store.


  1. I'm trying to find one of these in Lisbon, it's just beautiful, thanks for the review

    1. Thanks for the comment Pedro! Cultpens is currently the only place I know that sells them. You should really try it out, it's a beautiful pencil!