miércoles, 1 de febrero de 2017

The Inoxcrom Caravel

There are fountain pens that by their longevity in the market have happened to the history and others that by their fleeting passage have fallen into oblivion.There are, however, fleeting fountain pens that have reached the category of myths because despite their small number of pieces, they have something that has made them special. The fountain pen that we are going to speak has a fantastic quality but it has undergone stormy circumstances that forced it to leave the market but to enter into the legend, the Inoxcrom Caravel.


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Technical features of the Caravel Inoxcrom


Length with cap: 14.8 cm
Length without cap: 13.3 cm
Positioned with the cap: 16.6.
Diameter the barrel: 1.1 cm
Maximum diameter in the cap: 1.5 cm
Material: Black synthetic resin.
Nib: Large size, # 6 steel in thickness F, M and B
Dorados: Gold of 23.9 kilátes. 
Load: Universal cartridge (two short or one long) or converter.



Caravel stainless steel nib

In 1992 the Spanish brand Inoxcrom decided to take a step forward in its catalog of writing media of good quality and competitive prices to enter the select group of manufacturers of high range and for it created with great care a pen that should be its flagship , The Caravel. This pen was designed following the trail of the brand that luxury fountain pens par excellence at that time, Montblanc and especially its line Meisterstück , whose forms were fashionable . Coinciding with the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America, the firm chose the name of Caravel and a Spanish caravel is that adorned its nibs. It also accompanied the name 1920 , which refers as the booklet (see photograph) that accompanied the box of the pen, to the decade of maximum splendor of fountain pens, which also wanted to pay homage to this fountain pens.


Explanatory booklet of the Inoxcrom Caravel explaining the motive of the date 1920
The nib was redesigned, large, size 6 and compatible with those of German manufacturers like Jowo Bock. It was made in thickness F (Fine), M (Medium) and (Broad or thick) which was new for the mark that always made them in M.

The pen originally had a three-ring decoration, which then passed to two with the inscription
INOXCROM - 1920 - INOXCROM - SPAIN

As for its operation this was by cartridge-converter, the latter being supplied by the Inoxcrom house.




Inoxcrom Caravel with its cap

An enemy appears and the pen disappears.


The pen was a revolution for Inoxcrom because it was a decided bet to enter the high range and changing the American inspiration of its previous models by a German inspiration that did not demerge in quality with a very attractive price. Everything seemed to be great but apparently and here comes the legend of the pen and the mystery, the Montblanc signature got in touch with Inoxcrom and threatened to denounce it for plagiarism. Plagiarism? The resemblance was undeniable, but fountain pens similar to the Meisterstück (form of pure, rings and black) there are several, for example the Sailor 1911 or Platinum 3776 and in fact, fountain pens with that design and there were long before the exit Line Meisterstück. The truth is that suddenly the Caravel appeared redesigned with only two rings and not three, which differentiated it even more from the Meisterstück, and today are more common with two rings than three. It seems that it was not enough and while the Sailor 1911 continues to be manufactured without problems (will it have less Montblanc power in Japan?) The Inoxcrom Caravel disappeared from the catalog.

Inoxcrom Caravel and its cap
Was the disappearance of the Caravel something predicted? I do not think so. We have already said that a pen was designed decorated with a caravel specific for this pen; Well, a greater number of nibs was ordered than the number of fountain pens actually made, which is suspect. These "caravel" nibs were not wasted but were used in a few examples of mythical models such as Sirocco, Corinthian and even the most modest Wall Street. These models when they appear with the caravel nib instead of the Inoxcrom nib with the ball of the world that is its own model, have more value.


The little sister, the Caravel II


Inoxcrom Caravel II

At the same time, a medium size model was popularly called Caravel II. This one had cap by pressure and a nib also decorated with caravel but of average size and without vent. In his ring also appeared the inscription

INOXCROM - 1920 - INOXCROM - SPAIN

The nib of the Caravel II could be just F or M.


Inoxcrom Caravel II nib

The pen was charged by universal cartridge-converter. He admitted two cartridges or only one long.

Both the Caravel I and the Caravel II could be accompanied by a Caravel pen or a pencil, being the same for both models.

Performance of the Caravel Inoxcrom


Both the Caravel I and the Caravel II have a magnificent mechanical performance, characteristic of a design and a careful construction. The international cartridge-converter system may not be as romantic as a piston, but it is the one that gives the least flaws and needs less maintenance.

Their steel nibs are really good. I have only tried the M and F and I attest that even the F slides in an invidious way. I do not doubt that B has to do the same or even better.

As for its material, the synthetic resin. It is a type of plastic of great resistance to the scratches. The copies of Caravel I know are usually very well preserved and the use marks disappear with just a rag.

Golds are practically pure gold and 6 microns thick, which is unusually large.

The Caravel II also has a great performance, although the cap is not screwed.

Price of a Caravel Inoxcrom


Originally the Caravel I was sold in 1992 for about 10,000 pesetas (60 euros). In 2017 the second-hand specimens sold in specialized forums are usually for about 150 euros. As you can see, this pen has not only retained its price in relation to inflation but has experienced a rise, as it is a very sought after piece by collectors.

The Caravel II is in 2017 around 65-70 euros. This pen is not as coveted as her older sister, but the fame of this influences in its good quote.




The Inoxcrom Caravel for its packaging, quality of materials and finishes is a pen that dresses well every gentleman and for its unique history and scarcity of copies is today recognized by all those fond of pens as a mythical model.

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