Baron Fig has been keeping things pretty fresh each quarter or so with new releases, generally with an interesting theme. All I have to say is that when I first heard about this edition I was immediately smitten by the idea...
The new edition dropped yesterday and is called the Lock & Key, and is a limited edition Squire and Confidant notebook set with a clever, "puzzling" aesthetic.
When Baron Fig reached out last week with an invitation to review, it was certainly an instant "yes" not only due to the good looks of the set, but also due to the fact that they are doing something different this time around with the Squire: Brass.
But, we'll get to that in a minute.
The first thing you notice about the set is the contrasting, and very traditional (even a little vintage) color scheme of the dark green and gold foil. It gives it a somewhat important appearance, even if it isn't anything official in real life, but I think that adds a bit to the initial appeal to this edition. It has a bit of mystery and magic that gets the imagination going which I think they did really, really well.
Something Baron Fig is known for is packaging which can either be good or bad depending on which camp you're in. There is the anti-packaging folks that feel it is unnecessary, while others enjoy the presentation as part of the experience.
I traditionally tend to sway in the "less is more" category myself, but for an edition like this I would tend to make an exception all things considered.
The Squire rollerball pen comes in a dark green cardboard tube with the profile of the pen printed in a gold foil outline and is called The Key. The top of the tube is also adorned with a gold foil skeleton key logo that plays a role in other areas of the design.
The Confidant is kept in a nicely printed dark green cardboard box that is covered in a debossed gold foil maze and is called The Lock. Also stamped on the center of the box is a large lock logo.
Inside the box you'll find a pamphlet wherein there is a poem about the lock as well as a gold maze leading to it. Surrounding the maze are various symbols... What do they mean? Do they play a part in the riddle?
Underneath you find the green, canvas Confidant that is also debossed with the maze and lock, but this time no gold so it blends in a bit more with the book.
On the inside cover the gold maze is back with the strange symbols littered about and a space to write your name or a small note. The pages are an ivory color and contain a dot grid in a light grey. Gold dots might have been a little much...
I have to say, the entire experience is fun.
Every lock must have it's key and, in this case, the pen is the key that unlocks whatever secrets or mysteries that may be (or end up) inside.
Upon opening the tube where The Key is kept, the brass looks shiny and bright and pairs perfectly with the gold accents throughout. Etched in the side of the barrel is the skeleton key.
And, what's this? A series of symbols, below where the pen is resting with corresponding letters. Surely used to unlock the mystery?...
I have acquired a few of the Squire pens, all of which are made from aluminum, so the use of brass as the material made me very excited. Changing colors on a pen is one thing, but changing materials is another. Different materials have various weights and properties that can adjust the experience greatly. The aluminum Squires are excellent pens, but I was thrilled to hear that they had branched out. Hopefully more to come like this.
I would consider the Squire to be a moderate to small sized pen. Not really small or "pocket" per se, but not big by any means. By shape it is a sort of teardrop being wider in the grip section, but then gently tapering down in diameter as you move towards the knock.
The pen uses a twist mechanism that extends the popular Schmidt P8126 rollerball refill that has been branded Baron Fig. This refill is popular due to its consistent, dark lines.
By weight The Key is 1.8oz, moderate for a brass pen (some go as high as 3oz) which is more than double its aluminum counterparts. But, due to its more compact size and what I consider to be comfortable ergonomics it isn't tiring to use.
Being raw brass, this pen will patina and tarnish over time which will take away its bright and shiny appearance, but can be polished back to a shiny glow if needed.
All Squires are clipless by design, so if you require one you're out of luck.
One last thing that surprised me in seeing the release yesterday was the price. For both The Lock and The Key as a set they are asking $77 with free shipping within the US. Considering their Squire pens (the aluminum ones) are normally $55 and the Confidant is $18, to add a new material that sometimes seems to add a considerable premium over aluminum to the mix this set feels like a good buy to me. And for me the overall experience/aesthetic they created was great.
Special thanks to Baron Fig for providing Lock & Key for review! Visit their site for more details if you are looking to pick this set up.