The Caran d’Ache Ecridor is a nice ballpoint. It’s very similar to the 849, and I received on as a gift from Muller Martini a long time ago. I liked it enough that I wanted a fountain pen to go with it, and bought an Ecridor fountain pen.
I’ve shown it above in a tarnished state – it seems to get that way pretty fast in storage. The discoloration around the grip is a side effect of poor tarn-x usage. Below is is shown with the ballpoint (different pattern) with both in reasonably good polish. Strangely, both keep their polish well and don’t tarnish in use. Only in storage. Current Ecridor pens in silver are touted to be tarnish free.
The build quality is very good. It’s a heavy metal body and cap plated in sterling silver. It’s not easy to keep it polished, but it’s worth the (sometimes substantial) effort to shine it up if storage leaves it gray. The nib is extra fine, and that is a smidge finer than a Namiki fine and definitely finer than most European extra-fine nibs. The pen takes cartridges or a converter. I’ve never tried their cartridges, and the converter is the ubiquitous screw-type. Doesn’t hold as much ink as a Pelikan piston filler, but the pen writes fine enough that it’s not much of an issue.
The interesting thing is that the cap does not post. It also doesn’t have any mechanism to align itself with the body – they’re both hexagonal, so if you’re prone to a little OCD having them misaligned you may find yourself nudging them into alignment. The funny thing for me is that while I rarely post a cap, for some reason I notice it a lot more with this one. Maybe I post more often than I think.
The nib is not super smooth, but is more than competent. If I wasn’t so lazy, I’d put some chromium oxide on some leather make it sing. The grip is slim, like a Rotring 600 ballpoint.
The clip is a strong spring type. I’ve been surprised at the durability of the clip on my Ecridor ball pen – I’ve been convinced it was sprung a few times but it is still in perfect order. The reveal is maybe 5mm. If you carry pens in pen sleeves, this one is likely to be difficult to pull out.
The Ecridor is a minimal design. Slim, thin, short, and sturdy, all while being very well made and very high quality. It’s worth it’s price. Whether or not it’s a good pen is up to you.