Whether you know the refills you love and want the perfect pen to put them in or the materials you adore and want a pen made from them, we have the ideal pen for you.

After making pens for nearly a decade and getting years of input from pen lovers, we took all of that information and made the smoothest, best functioning pen yet: The Retro-Click!

What is the Titanium / Zirconium / Copper / Brass Retro-Click?

It’s an all metal clicky pen made entirely in our small shop in the USA (perpetually sunny Phoenix, Arizona to be more specific). The pen is designed to be both functional as well as perfectly balanced. It’s made to be durable but at the same time has a simple, timeless and elegant design. The pen uses a stamped clip (spring steel or titanium) to keep it securely in place. Any Parker style refill will easily fit into the pen as it has a length adjustable internal spacer. It will accept cartridges from Fisher, Foray, Parker, Waterman and many others. Best of all, the pen uses the latest version of our now famous 416SS Swiss-machined advancing mechanism with a chrome steel ball bearing cam design for silky smooth operation. It is quite possibly the world’s finest pen click mechanism available.

What’s awesome about this pen?

Short version? The Retro-Click is nearly perfectly proportioned and balanced. The sleek and elegant look is both classic and timeless. The internal dimensions are different from any we’ve made before and you can feel it in the incredibly smooth functioning of the pen.

Finally, the pen features the latest version of the now legendary 416SS mechanism.

Zirconium (Zircalloy 702)

Zirconium is a refractive metal typically used in industrial applications and more recently, jewelry. It’s natural color is similar to Titanium but by application of intense heat and oxidization, a black ceramic like Zirconium oxide layer is formed. Because the surface of Black Zirconium is so hard (typically around 8 on the MOHS scale or the hardness of Sapphire and Ruby), it is extremely resistant to scratching. This oxidized zirconium alloy material provides the beneficial surface properties of a ceramic (reduced friction and increased abrasion resistance), while retaining the beneficial bulk properties of the underlying metal (fracture toughness and ductility). It’s also somewhat dangerous to machine as the chips have a tendency to light on fire… a lot.

Titanium is about 45 percent lighter than steel, 60 percent heavier than aluminum and stronger than either of them. It’s not easy to machine and a total pain to drill (especially through solid barstock) but the finished pens are light, durable and look a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Designed to survive the end of civilization and well through the zombie apocalypse (or at least until the dwindling ratings cause AMC to cancel it), this is one of my favorite exotic materials.

Copper (C145 Tellurium)

Ever changing and vibrant. With a great feel and weight in the hand it patinas and changes over time making each pen unique.  In addition, the material has excellent thermal conductivity giving it a warm feeling compare to the “cold” of other metals.

An old-work material with a classic, ageless feel, Brass has unsurpassed machinability. No material of comparable strength machines faster and produces better surface finishes than Brass. Throw in moderately high strength with good corrosion resistance and you have a phenomenal pen material. It exhibits a beautiful luster when polished yet is elegant and timeless when aged. Brass exudes character.

What makes the 416SS mechanism so special?  

You mean other than the blood, sweat and tears (so, so many tears) that went into making it? The materials and more importantly, the design. Until ours, most pen advancing mechanisms were made from plastic or brass (easier and cheaper to manufacture but not nearly as durable). Our mechanism is machined out of 416 stainless steel (a much harder and more durable material). But the material is just the start, we designed a new race profile which actually is machined in multiple steps at multiple depths. This is a much more time consuming but also fundamentally better way of machining the race. We then used the highest available precision chrome steel balls for the cam-ing action. When we started we used to think this was overkill but seeing some of the mechanism failures and reliability problems experienced by other pen makers using lesser mechanisms, we’re pretty sure this is the right way to go.

What refills can I use in this pen?

  •     Diplomat EasyFLOW Ballpoint Pen Refill
  •     Faber-Castell Ballpoint Pen Refill
  •     Faber-Castell Scribero Gel Ink Roller Refill
  •     Fisher Space Pen Refill, PR Series- Colors (Bold, Medium, Fine)
  •     Fisher Space Pen – Universal Ballpoint Refill
  •     Foray (Office Depot) Ballpoint Refill for Parker (Medium)
  •     Kaweco Soul G2 Refill 1.0mm
  •     Kaweco Sport Roller Ball Pen Refill
  •     Moleskine Ballpoint Refill
  •     Moleskine Gel Refill (0.5 and 0.7 mm)
  •     Moleskine Roller Gel Fluorescent Refills
  •     Monteverde Ceramic Gel Refill (Broad)
  •     Monteverde Needle Point Refill (Fine)
  •     Monteverde Soft Roll- Colored inks (Medium)
  •     Monteverde Soft Roll- (Superbroad, Medium, Ultrafine)
  •     OHTO Needlepoint Ballpoint Pen Refill PS-807NP
  •     OHTO PS-205NP Extra-Fine 0.5mm Ballpoint Pen Refill
  •     Parafernalia Ballpoint Pen Refill NO LOGO
  •     Parker Ballpoint Pen Refill (Broad, Medium, Fine)
  •     Parker GEL Ballpoint Pen Refill (Medium)
  •     Parker Quinkflow Ballpoint Pen Refill (Medium, Fine)
  •     Pelikan Giant Ballpoint Pen Refill 337 (Broad, Fine, Medium)
  •     Pentel KFLT8 Ballpoint Pen Refill
  •     Platignum Standard Ballpoint Pen Refill
  •     Retro 51 Tornado Roller Ball Refills (REF5P)

What are the pen dimensions?

     Length: 5.40 inches

     Thickness: .430 inches

     Weight: 1.50oz (Ti) to 2.50oz (Cu)

Who are we?

We’re Tuff Writer MFG. I’m Jack the designer, in-house pen fanatic and head machinist. There’s Peachy, she provides moral support and project management. Tom does the assembly and shipping.  Gene helps with assembly as well as answering all airplane related questions. Last but not least, Joe helps to keep things organized and puts stuff together.  Together, we form Voltron… er, I mean, Tuff-Writer.

Why are we funding it on Kickstarter?

Because we’re found it to be the best way to not just launch a new product but also to get community and enthusiast involvement to help make the pens better (seriously, the design is a direct outcome of requests and comments from previous backers).  Heck, this entire project is the result of feedback from our previous successful projects (thus, you have no one to blame but yourselves) but we still need your help.

Risks and challenges

With the successful completion of five (5) projects already (along with a few collaborations) we have a pretty good idea of what it will take to get this one completed and delivered. As usual, we’ve already completed functional pre-production units, done quite a bit of the groundwork and secured materials suppliers. We believe that doing all of this work ahead of time has allowed us to significantly mitigate most project risks in terms of completion or delivery (this ain’t our first rodeo). The 416SS mechanism has now become the gold (or stainless steel in this case) standard for push button pen mechanisms. We feel that his latest version when combined with the new internal pen profile is better and smoother than anything else available.

Since all post-machine finishing (blasting, tumbling, polishing, etc.) and assembly is handled by us, we’ve got it covered.

With Tom, Gene, Joe and myself hand assembling every single pen, Peachy handling Q.C. and herding all of us knuckle-draggers, we’re confident in being able to meet our projected delivery timelines and exceed your expectations.

Our experience in high-quality, small run manufacturing and order-fulfillment gives us the experience and tools we need to complete this project in a timely manner and deliver a truly amazing reward to our backers, something unique that you just can’t get anywhere else (seriously, I looked).