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The Unboxing & Reveal of Leuchtturm1917’s Drehgriffel Ballpoint pen (2020)

Today’s review is a particularly exciting one because we’re literally holding history in our hands. Yes, Leuchtturm has revived their 100-year-old Drehgriffel pen! We love how the presentation box kit we received from them is so reminiscent of Leuchtturm. It’s shaped exactly like the journals they have become so famous for. 

Each pen comes in a beautiful triangular box that includes a leaflet explaining the history of the Drehgriffel as well as a short instruction on how to refill the pen. But before you make that decision to get one, let’s break it down for you. 

Unlike its incredibly complex name, the Drehgriffel isn’t all that complicated. It’s the opposite in fact. The mechanics of the pen comes down to only a simple twist- from opening, closing and refilling. This feature is further highlighted in its name as ‘Dreh’ means ‘Twist’.

Writing History

First introduced in the 1920s, the Drehgriffel is the perfect blend of old meets new. The design of the word mark Drehgriffel is derived from a handwriting script taught in German schools in the same year it was produced. This contrast reflects the long history of this pen despite its modern appearance. 

Fast forward to 2020 and the Drehgriffel is making a polychromatic comeback with 9 exciting colours that have become synonymous with Leuchtturm journals. 

Leuchtturm prides itself in its great paper quality and their longing for the perfect partner to their journals are what gave birth to a combination of not just a great writing instrument but a design icon that is both a novelty and classic. That is why it is not just a pen. 

The ins and outs of the Drehgriffel

The very first thing you’ll notice about the Drehgriffel is the rainbow of colours it comes in. For long time Leuchtturm fans, it’s a welcome sight as that means you can now pair your favourite journal with its corresponding pen and pen loop. If you’re looking to mix things up, you may also do so! We love how each colour can contrast nicely with each other. Imagine a powder pink journal with a denim pen! Super pretty!

Besides the beautiful contrast of colours between the body and white trim of the pen, the other most distinguishing feature of the Drehgriffel is its hexagonal shape and functioning knob. With the combination of its ingenious centre of gravity and soft refill, the pen sits comfortably in your hand. As a testament, it has even won the coveted Red Dot 2020 Design award and the Good Design award 2021. 

The marriage between aluminium and brass also contributes to one key feature of the pen- its weight. The pen is light at 15g, making it indeed the perfect pair to your journal as you’re not weighed down while you’re on the go. 

Now that we’ve taken a look at what’s outside, let’s delve into the insides of the Drehgriffel. To open the pen, you’ll need to twist the knob in an anti-clockwise direction. You’ll find that the ink is blue as that is the default colour used by all primary school students in Germany – something that is also standard in many German pen brands. 

When you remove the G2 refill, be careful not to lose the spring that is attached to it. The refills are currently not in stock but you can get your hands on them in October. For those who prefer black ink, that will also be coming out at the same time. According to our sources, fans of gel pens can also look forward to the gel version of these beautiful pens! However if you’re not too fussed about the brand, you may also get replacement G2 refills in multiple colours and sizes from Monteverde and Kaweco. The latter of which has black gel refills. 

Drehgriffel VS similar pens

For some of us, our whole lives are documented in writing and that is why you want to make sure you find the best pen for you. To do that, you’ll of course have to well, write. Head down to the Cityluxe workroom and try the new Drehgriffel for yourself. Let us know if it lives up to the awards it has been given! With that in mind, you’ll also want to try out the other pens we have. To give you an idea of what comes close, we’ll be comparing similar pens to the Drehgriffel. 

Let’s start with the Ystudio brassing portable ballpoint pen from Taiwan which prides itself as its namesake says; a pen with a unique hanging function that enables you to hang it on around your neck or bag. The pen is significantly heavier than the Drehgriffel – double in fact in weight at 32g as this premium pen is made purely from brass. In comparison, the ystudio pens are slightly longer.

Our next pen is also from ystudio and it is the ystudio brassing ballpoint pen. It also carries some weight to it at 33g and has the same twist action feature as the Drehgriffel. 

An interesting comparison was the Kaweco Special ballpoint pen. Kaweco is also a German brand with roots dating back to 1883. It’s renowned for its iconic pocket fountain pens and unique hexagonal design which has remained unchanged for 109 years.This particular one has the usual click function that most ballpoint pens have and is slightly lighter than the ystudio pens at 21g.

Another Kaweco piece is the 11g frosted sport ballpoint pen. It also comes in many different colours and is shorter than the Drehgriffel. Whilst it makes for a harder grip due to its short stature, it makes up for it with its weight.

Monteverde is known for their high quality and elegant writing instruments, and there is no doubt that this tool ballpoint pen is beautiful. It also features a hexagonal shape and comes in many different colours. It weighs a hefty 36g and is the heaviest of the lot.

We’ve tried and tested the Drehgriffel and needless to say we love it. It writes smoothly and the grip is good. It’s indeed the perfect companion to a Leuchtturm journal and it makes writing so much more enjoyable even when it’s for work! But don’t take our word for it; try it yourself and you’ll see why it’s not just a pen.

Personalising your Pen

Don’t stop at just picking out your favourite colours. Get your Drehgriffel personalised too! The engraving process brings out the beautiful silver aluminium body hidden beneath and is a nice contrast to the brightly coloured ballpoint pen.

Check out our full review:

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