Icons: Caran d’Ache 849

We take a look at the 849 and some of its most memorable iterations

Back in March 2021 we took a closer look at Caran d’Ache with our article ‘Caran d’Ache: Explore the Brand’. We looked in brief at the company as a whole, its history, values and some of its more famous products. One of which stands out as one of the most recognisable writing instruments associated with the name Caran d’Ache…the 849.

Throughout its history, Caran d’Ache has produced pencils, pens and products of excellence. To date, the brand has a large variety of stationery products and arts materials including fountain pens, rollerball, and ballpoint pens, pen cases, and mechanical pencils. It began as a family owned business founded in 1915 in Geneva as the ‘Fabrique Genevoise de Crayons’.

From its inception 106 years ago, Caran d’Ache has instilled the importance of high-quality products manufactured to the highest level using talented craftsmen - even today, much of the process is completed by hand. Caran d’Ache is famed for their range of exceptional writing instruments, in fact they have a pretty extensive range of products. It is the 849 which stands out…it may have many forms but it remains instantly recognisable. Let’s take a look at the stylish, affordable and incredibly popular Caran d’Ache 849.

Caran d'Ache 849 Colormat-X Ballpoint Pen - Red

Caran d’Ache 849: A Popular Pen for the People

In the same year that man landed on the moon, the iconic 849 was released. It was 1969 and the world was changing. The 849 followed the Ecridor in Caran d’Ache’s luxury designs but it became more popular among everyday pen users due to its simpler finish and sturdy construction. The design of the 849 meant that it could take on any design, colour or finish and Caran d’Ache has fully recognised this with some incredible iterations of the 849 from recycled nespresso barrels to collaborations with well-known designers such as Paul Smith as well as releases to honour icons such as Yves Klein. The 849 made such an impact that it even featured on a Swiss postage stamp as part of a series celebrating Swiss design.


Christmas 2022 sees the release of two further limited edition 849 ballpoint pens. The colour treasure 849 warm rainbow and cold rainbow ballpoint pens are a limited edition release designed as a ‘rainbow of colours that brings out the inner child that lies in each and every one of us.’ 

As part of their Christmas 2022 Colour Treasure collection, our emblematic pen is available in these two versions. The first in an array of bright and warm colors, the second is a tribute to the cooler shades of blue and green.

Caran d’Ache makes the festive period truly magical with this sparkling and high-energy collection that delights all fans of colour. The ballpoint pens also act as a tribute to the colour pencils that Caran d’Ache is so well known for giving these limited edition pens a nostalgic spirit just in time for the holidays. Presented in a golden box, the colour treasure warm rainbow and cold rainbow are perfectly suited as gifts for loved ones.

Part of the success of Caran d’Ache in general and specifically the 849 is the brilliant collaborations, variation and also the ethos of the company. Caran d’Ache works hard to retain family business values in a competitive, consumerist world.

Caran d’Ache is celebrated for its steps to protect the environment and reduce their negative impact. For example, ensuring that the wood used in their pencil manufacturing is cedar wood from certified plantations to ensure that over-processing of trees is avoided and that a sustainable logging practice is supported as well as ensuring a carbon neutral balance.

In 1970, Caran d’Ache co-founded the Inter-Company Social Service (Service Social Inter-Entreprises, SSIE) to support the development and personal growth of its employees. This extends beyond the walls of the offices, workshops and warehouses and intp the wider community. Each year, aran d’Ache offers free training to hundreds of teachers of the visual arts throughout Switzerland and has an integration programme with an in-house workshop dedicated to supporting workers with a disability to return to the workforce. Caran d’Ache works with cultural, humanitarian and important social figures to share their values and support development.

Bestselling Caran d’Ache 849 Pens

At Hamilton Pens we are proud to be a supplier of Caran d’Ache art products and writing equipment. Below we explore some of the bestselling 849’s 

Caran d'Ache 849 Fluo Line Ballpoint Pen - Orange

Caran d'Ache 849 Fluo Line Ballpoint Pen - available in a range of four vibrant neon colours. Traditional 849 hexagonal aluminium body with chrome pocket clip makes this pen a pocket icon of style and flair.

Caran d'Ache 849 Brut Rosé Ballpoint Pen

Caran d'Ache 849 Brut Rosé Ballpoint Pen retains the traditional hexagonal shape of the famed Swiss ballpoint but has a rose gold anodised finish with matching pocket clip.

Caran d'Ache 849 Nespresso Limited Edition Ballpoint Pen

In collaboration with Nestlé, Caran D'Ache released the 3rd edition 849 Nespresso model. Using the aluminium of recycled Nespresso coffee capsules they created an alloy that retains the intrinsic qualities of the world famous 849 ballpoint pen. Produced in the Geneva workshops of Caran D'Ache, the finish on this superb 849 displays the satin purple colour of the Nespresso Arpeggio capsule.


Caran d'Ache 849 Claim Your Style Limited Edition Ballpoint Pen

Following the success of editions 1 & 2, the iconic 849 ballpoint pen has this time seized on the monochrome trend. In a blend of shiny matte textures, the body, clip and button don one of these bold and original colours. Drawing inspiration directly from nature, they whisk you off on an imaginary journey coloured with mauve or pink skies, red or rolling green mountains and clear or deep nights.

The uniformity of the shades soothes and enhances the design of what has become a cult ballpoint pen. With these six monochromes, the style is authentic, simple and unique, reflecting individual personalities.

Refillable and boasting a metal body, they are imbued with all the creativity, know-how and values of sustainability so dear to Caran d’Ache.


Caran d'Ache 849 Street Art Ballpoint Pen - Blue

The Caran d'Ache 849 Street Art Ballpoint Pen has an abstract patterning reminiscent of street graffiti. This Special Edition 849 is now sought after by collectors around the globe.

This is a small selection of the brilliant Caran d'Ache 849's available at The Hamilton Pen Company. The 849 is very collectable, performs well, has excellent ergonomic design and is available in a huge variety of styles and designs to suit all tastes. Explore the full range at The Hamilton Pen Company



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