If there is a pen company that seems to fly a bit under the radar in the pen community, it is ACME Studio Inc. You may have seen or heard about them from time to time, but they don't share the same limelight as companies like Lamy, Pilot, or Montblanc. Perhaps it is because they go about creating pens in a different way and for a different purpose which is most intriguing.
ACME Studio was founded in Los Angeles in 1985 by Adrian Olabuenaga and his wife, Lesley Bailey whom initially started offering limited collections of jewelry by renowned artists that were on the cutting edge of design.
In the late 80's Acme began offering accessories like wrist watches and leather goods, but it wasn't until 1997 that they began creating unique and interesting designs for fine writing instruments. What is really incredible about the company is that they look at the pens as almost a canvas and their offerings consist of collaborative efforts with artists, architects, and various designers to create truly limited edition pieces. For more information on their interesting history, here is a link to the Who We Are page on their website.
They let me know that they are revamping their website early next year, but it is still up to take a look at their current line at www.acmestudio.inc.
I was recently in correspondence with some representatives from ACME who were kind enough to send me one of their pens that had caught my eye since early this year...
The pen they sent is called the "Hatch" roller ball pen by Brooklyn based designer Karl Zahn. What a fascinating pen! It is called "Hatch" due to the intricate design patterns etched into the all brass barrel and, shall I say, this thing looks phenomenal. It reminds of Art Deco which I have a soft spot for.
The main premise behind Karl's design is the use of the brass material. ACME doesn't commonly use brass, but this pen is touted as ACME's first ever anti-microbial pen. Metal surfaces high in copper (like brass) naturally kill bacteria and microorganisms that come in contact within a matter of hours. The understanding may not have been perfect, but these qualities have been known since antiquity. I've read recently that many hospitals are "modernizing" by adding more copper surfaces to ward off the spread of disease. It even kills MRSA which is pretty amazing. Some have even referred to "Hatch" as the "physician's pen". All this anti-microbial talk aside, the brass is stunning.
The pen carries a lovely weight and is heavy, but I wouldn't consider it too heavy. It has some heft, but I personally don't feel it is enough to cause fatigue in writing.
It comes loaded with a Schmidt Ceramic Safety Roller (#888) which writes great. One thing about this refill that might appeal to some is that for a roller ball it lays a fairly fine line. The pen has an internal rear spring which allows for some refill variation. The Safety Roller is a similar size to a lot of your favorite office gels like the Pilot G2, Pentel Energel, and Uniball Signo 207. All of these fit without problem, so this adds a level of customization if you have a preference.
The cap snaps into place with an internal spring mechanism of sorts and posts comfortably on the back of the pen. With an all brass pen you might think that posting the cap would make it unbalanced; it does not. It is odd to say as it is usually never the case, but I prefer to write with the cap posted.
The pricepoint on "Hatch" runs just over $100 so it isn't necessarily cheap, but it is an extremely unique piece that feels great and has a beautiful aesthetic. If you're looking for something interesting, check with your local pen shop to see if they might have "Hatch" in stock for you to take a look at. ACME's line is full of extremely artistic pens that may definitely appeal to you too.
They even offer some pens to play on nostalgia that our good friend Mary Collis at From the Pen Cup can't seem to get enough of. You should give her recent review a read of her showcasing her newest additions to her ACME Crayon roller ball collection. Very cool! She also shared a pic on Instagram of nearly the whole set.
Thanks again to ACME for sending me "Hatch" for review. Overall, I'm impressed and intrigued. Make sure to peruse ACME's offerings as you might find something interesting and new for either yourself or as a gift for someone.
On a side note, ACME offers a fountain pen conversion kit that fits this pen, but has a black grip section. I'm tempted to get this as I think a fountain pen version of "Hatch" would be amazing!