The Fastest Pen in the World – Porsche Shake Pen

I’m a car guy. I don’t own a lot of cars and the most I ever owned at one time was 3 old cars with a combined Blue Book value of a new small economy sedan. Growing up it was a dream of mine to get up in the morning and be able to choose what car I wanted to drive to work from a fleet of cars I enjoy driving. Do I want to drive the Jeep, or the sedan or the sports car?

I did that for a while but the upkeep, insurance and tags became more money than the sum of enjoyment I derived from it. During those short periods I never owned a German car due to the unfounded fear that maintenance and repairs are expensive so as a side benefit of this pen hobby I now own a Porsche. Ok it’s a pen and technically a Porsche Design pen that has been billed as the fastest pen in the world. Read on to see why that marketing hype may not be that big of a stretch. Either way I can now get up in the morning and ask myself what am I going to write with today, the Edison, The Bentley, or maybe that’s Bexley, or the Porsche?

Recently my friends at The Pen Company sent me over the Porsche Design Shake Ballpoint in white resin to give it a try. I wonder about the Porsche moniker being used for anything outside of the automobile realm but here is an excerpt from the Porsche Design website.

Porsche Design is a luxury brand with a particular focus on technically inspired products. The brand was founded in 1972 by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, whose products have stood for functional, timeless and purist design ever since. The products are designed in the Porsche Design Studio in Zell am See, Austria and sold around the world in the company’s own stores, shop-in-shops, high end de- partment stores, exclusive specialist retailers as well as the official online shop.

The Pen

  • Material: White Resin
  • Length Overall: 4 1/16”
  • Barrel Diameter: 25/64”
  • Weight: 1 oz
  • Street Price: $103 USD
  • Germany is stamped on the side of the tail piece but the website says designed in Austria

Packaging
Packaging is well done and what you would expect with a Porsche licensing. My usual disclaimer applies: I’m a box saver and this one stacks easy, but if you’re not a saver this one doesn’t give you any pause as being unusual. Enough about that.

The pen is in the box with the refill loaded and ready to write.

Construction Fit & Finish

This is a pocket size pen at just over 4” with no cap or clip. Three major parts that you see, the body made of thick resin, and two metal chrome ends. Looks like it could take a good pocket beating and stay nice looking. The White resin appears to be white all the way through so I suspect that would help with scratches. I would need a little more mileage on the pen though to positively confirm that.

Overall Appearance

This is a short attractive pen with gentle curves and a beefy mid-section. With the proportions and the curves of the chrome end pieces I can use a little imagination and see a little Porsche 911 in it, or maybe that’s just me not being able to let go of the car associations. I don’t know how they do that with some of the other products selling under the Porsche Design line but I think they played decent aesthetic homage to the brand with the pen entry.


Porsche design calls the barrel special edition white pearlized resin. It contrasts better than I thought it would as white on chrome.

The tail piece has a slight bump that works perfectly as an anti-roll device and it holds a vertical branding of PORSCHE DESIGN engraved in it. Tasteful and discrete.

Ergonomics

The girth of the pen fits my larger than average hand well, even with the short length and there is no sharp edges on the tail where it rests in the web of skin between my index finger and thumb. The length is probably at the length limit for me to call a pocket pen without a clip. A 1 ounce weight and a little bigger grip section near the tip of the pen makes this a comfortable pocket writer for me.

By far the most interesting feature of this pen is the tip retract and extend mechanism. It’s done with just a shake of the pen, or maybe I would call it a flick of the wrist. I’m a big fan of EDC pens being quick to deploy because if I’m going to carry it in my pocket it’s for quick notes on the run, emphasis on quick, while waiting in line, checking out or some other task that usually has people waiting behind me to do the same thing so I like to get done and out of the way.

The Shake Pen is unique and one handed it worked for me every time. This is where I would give props to the claim of fastest pen in the world. Even with a conventional one-handed click pen there is some finger re-positioning after deploying the tip with your thumb and then moving to a writing grip. With the Porsche Shake Pen you just flick your wrist in the direction of the pen’s writing tip and your writing tip appears. Sign your receipt, flick it again and tip is gone. Done, clean, slick. Here is a short video I did showing the shake in action.

Clip

No clip, proceed to next section.

Refill

The Shake Pen uses the venerable and widely available D1 format. There are a lot of good choices on D1 refills if you don’t like the Pelikan branded unit that came with the pen. It worked fine for me as a ballpoint.

Porsche Shake Pen ApartConclusion

My first Porsche is attractive, doesn’t need to be insured and the shake function is fun and practical. Deploy and retract worked every time that I flicked it correctly. If you’re a fan of the brand this pen could support that in a small way and would probably look good in the center console of your 911, Boxster or Buick. I liked the pen and have not rotated it out of my pocket carry yet. Thanks again to The Pen Company for sending this one over to try out.

Any connection you have with pens and cars?

Remember: Write something nice……

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Can a Pen Be Worth 10x More Than Another Pen?

Pen Value All Math is the one subject from school that I have used the most throughout my life. I was good at basic math but algebra and trigonometry, not so much. As I accurately, but naively, forecasted I have not used either of those last two in my real life. I don’t really apply a lot of math skills in supporting my hobbies but the overall price does play a role and I go by the very loose rule that more money buys higher quality and/or more exotic material.

After buying the last wrist timepiece that tickled my fancy (ok Amazon recommended buy that I bit on) I realized I paid 1/10 of what I invested in the watch now sitting right next to it on the dresser. I paused briefly and thought to myself did I get 10 times the enjoyment out of that watch over there?

In the picture above I dug through my hobby piles and found some examples of pairs that had a roughly 10x cost difference. Of these items, the watch duo is probably the easiest to pick out the 10 timer. From a practicality perspective the one on the left keeps time just as good as the one on right that costs 10x more. The one on the right certainly has more features and probably the aluminum construction and electronics cost a little more than the rubberized plastic of the Timex on the left. Quality I can’t speak to, though time may reveal a difference.

Pen Value WatchesThe pocket knife pair is a Chris Reeve Sebenza and a Cold Steel Tuff Lite. Both are very sharp, cut great and are built well enough to last through anything I will ever need to do with a knife.Pen Value KnivesYes the Chris Reeve fit and finish are better and the action is smoother. I thought later about a flashlight duo, another hobby of mine, but I think for this exercise you get my parables attempt.

Pen Value PensSince this is a pen blog I’ll focus on the pen comparison. The purple pen is a Lamy Safari, a very popular fine writer. I bought my first Safari, a different one, after reading positive recommendations that are plentiful for this model pen. I was not impressed with my first one and mistakenly assumed due to the price that a $30 fountain pen would always write like the first example I bought. Even that was not my first fountain pen disappointment before I really knew anything about sometimes finicky nibs.

The darker colored pen is a Visconti Homo Sapien that I truly love and it easily qualifies for the 10x cost factor compared to the Lamy. The material in the Visconti is some kind of million year old ancient sacred volcano lava that cures major illnesses (/hyperbole> and what Visconti calls a DreamTouch Palladium nib. I’m sure the material that makes up the Visconti costs more to harvest and process than the molded plastic and steel of the Lamy, but 10x as much?

Both of these pens are winners in my book regardless of price and will have a place in my EDC rotation for a long time. I have purchased, and subsequently sold, pens in both price ranges that just didn’t float my boat. I find that to be part of the joy of the hobby. I love how the Visconti feels in my hand, the balance, the size and the nib is the perfect balance of wetness, width and smoothness for my tastes. This second Lamy has been an equal joy to use, the shape is comfortable in my hand, the weight is different but the balance is good and the nib? Yep the perfect balance of wetness, width and smoothness for my tastes. A repeat performance every time I use it for 10x less money.

So why did I buy the Visconti? I bought the Visconti before I added this particular Lamy to my collection but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Visconti’s reputation, the uniqueness of the material, a palladium nib are some of the factors that drew my attention, my research and eventual purchase. It doesn’t write 10x better than the Lamy and I don’t think its quality is 10x better either. The Visconti had traits in a pen I had not experienced before and was willing to try them at the sale price I was able to reach. I’m very glad I took another shot at the Lamy Safari club, this one confirms to me that all the great recommendations for this pen were for a pen like this one, not the first one I owned a couple of years ago. Recurring theme: I am so glad both pens are in my collection.

My goal for this post was to give a real world example that one doesn’t have to spend a lot of money to thoroughly enjoy the fountain pen hobby. You may not like either of the pens discussed here but I’m sure there is a pen in all price ranges that will bring you joy using it every day.

As a last example I just spent twice the purchase cost of a pen to have the nib tuned. I made the pen myself so the purchase price was really for the kit. Total investment now is about $50 and I’ll put it up against any $50 pen I own in pure writing enjoyment. Probably not the wisest financial decision but I’m sure glad I did it.

Dr. Jonathon Dean did a much more in depth, fact based post here on a similar topic of the value of pens. If the economic side of the pen hobby really interests you I would encourage you to subscribe to Dr. Dean’s blog at peneconomics.com. He’s a lot smarter than me in this area.

Whatever the financial investment is in your pens I hope you take the opportunity today to enjoy them.

Remember: Write something nice……

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