Review: BIC Orange, Ballpoint, 0.8mm

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If you pick up a BIC Orange today, it will probably feel very familiar. Introduced in 1961, it isn’t a major departure from its 1950s ballpoint predecessor, the BIC Cristal (the most ubiquitous pen in the world). In comparison, the Orange’s cap is slightly longer, the hexagonal barrel is rounded-off a bit near one end, and, of course, the pen’s barrel is orange instead of clear. The only major difference is that the Orange has a finer point – 0.8mm, as opposed to the 1.0mm of the Cristal.

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It’s a reliable and capable pen, and it’s exactly what you’d expect an economy-priced ballpoint to be. Really, there’s nothing notable about the writing experience. Search around the internet, however, and you’ll find that the Orange has its fair share devotees. For example, Lou Antonelli writes fondly of the pen on his blog, This Way to Texas, reminiscing of the time he spent using it as a child, learning to read and write. And if Amazon product reviews are anything to go by, a lot of people seem to share this nostalgia.

Unfortunately, the Orange was discontinued in the U.S. in 2000 due to “changes in market conditions,” according to an e-mail from BIC. However, it is still available pretty much everywhere else in the world. So if you’re an American who finds that the Orange stirs up the old emotions, you can pick up a pack on your next trip to Canada. Otherwise, if you’re just looking for a cheap ballpoint with a finer tip, it’s a lot easier to get your hands on a 0.8mm BIC Round Stic.

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