The Mark’s Days ballpoint pen is something of a sleeper hit. We have sold them for many years now and they seem to pass under the radar, rarely getting mentioned or featured and yet when I checked the sales they are quite a hit. So I thought I would address the lack of attention and give the Mark’s Days pen a full review all of its own. With the new orange colour just arriving recently it seemed the right time to review one.
Mark’s is a Japanese stationery brand that is known for producing quite smart, stylish if unfussy notebooks, diaries and pens. Often quite innovative, they are quite Japanese in being fine, practical and well-designed (or at least they fit with my idea of what Japanese stationery is all about!). The brand also has something of a French theme about it, and this pen is part of the Days range of books and pens.
From the outset you can tell this pen is going to be a fine writer. It is a slimline pen in a satisfyingly bright colour. The range has the days of the week printed in French on the hexagonal barrel. It doesn’t come in a pen box but it isn’t aimed as a gift in its own right so that’s not a problem for me. Overall, it looks very nice although I would mark it down for being a tad too light in the hand.
I chose the orange pen as it was new, but there are six colours to chose from at time of writing so it should keep most people happy.
This is not a pen packed with features but then it is not intended to be. It is a lightweight pen, maybe too light for some, with simple push-button action to extend the nib. This is a ballpoint pen with a very fine 0.5mm point. It is a refillable pen so no unnecessary waste, and the refills come in any colour, as long as it is black. The barrel is hexagonal which means it won’t roll off the desk when left.
The key here is the fine point. Either you like a fine writer, or you don’t. I really can’t imagine someone who likes a bolder nib would be happy with this as it might feel scratchy. I do like a fine point and I would not describe this as scratchy at all. It is a consistent, even writer. The weight is, as mentioned, just a bit unusual but after a few minutes I forgot about the weight. It takes an OHTO refill and I have always had a soft-spot for OHTO pens so that is a plus for me.
Value for money
This depends on how you look at it – compared to a cheap biro it might appear a lot (£5.95 at time of writing) but it is comparable in price to other refillable pens like the Noto from Lamy. I think this is a well-priced pen that is nice enough to make you look after it. It is the kind of pen you would feel disappointed if you left it at home or it went missing, and on that basis it is good value for money.
I like this pen but the crucial is whether you like fine writers or you don’t. If not, look elsewhere. If yes, then don’t overlook this good little pen in favour of more expensive options.
There is also mechanical pencil version if that is of interest.