Many might know Baron Fig best for being one of those Kickstarter success stories. In late 2013, they raised over $168,000 to create “notebooks for thinkers,” a project which was subsequently spun-off into an online business with a growing product line. And not content to rest on those laurels, Baron Fig launched another Kickstarter project late last year for a companion product to their notebooks: a pen dubbed the Squire. This second project was also successful, raising $145,249 – of which I contributed $50 so that I could have a Squire of my very own.
As a fan of the Retro 51 Tornado, the Squire immediately felt very comfortable. In fact, it’s easy to see that the Squire took much of its inspiration from the Tornado; the comparisons are obvious. Both have a twist-style retracting mechanisms at the top of the barrel, both use a branded Schmidt rollerball refill (though the Tornado uses a 0.7mm point, as opposed to the Squire’s 0.6mm point), and even their packaging is very similar.
Sadly, I had a couple issues with the Squire right out of the box. First, the refill that came with the pen was a dud – no big deal for me, though, because I have plenty of extra refills laying around. Second, the retracting mechanism was a bit defective. When twisted, it felt as if there were gravel stuck inside the threads, and it jammed every now and again. After a couple days, however, this kink worked itself out, and it was smooth sailing.
It took a couple weeks of use, but I grew to like the Squire quite a lot. The anodized finish looks and feels great, the aluminum body has a great weight, and I love the shape of the barrel, which thickens near the bottom before contracting at the tip – it looks like the blade of a xiphos sword (the type used for the pen’s logo). And after a while, I only had one big complaint left: there’s no clip.
It’s certainly a slick design, but without a clip, the Squire is really best used as a desk-only pen. In my everyday use, this pen rolled off tables and fell out of my pocket frequently, which is probably why I eventually lost it. And take my word for it, it’s a pretty awful feeling when you’ve realized a $50 pen has gone missing. My only hope is that it’s become the prized possession of a hapless pedestrian who stumbled onto it.
Honestly, I’ve been tempted to buy another (the Squire is now available from Baron Fig’s website for $55 for those who missed the Kickstarter campaign), but I don’t know if I could handle misplacing a second one.
- Here’s a review at The Well Appointed Desk that shows off the silver version of the pen, which apparently picks up a lot of visible dirt. I chose the charcoal version, the only other option, which I think looks cooler anyway.
- Another review at Woodclinched. Here you can see the silver and charcoal versions side by side. I guess the silver version might be better if you’re looking to match your Apple gear. Side note: it seems like I’m not the only one who prefers to have a pocket clip attached to a pen.
- A review at Office Supply Geek where he highly recommends the Squire. In fact, he prefers the pen without a clip! Well, to each their own.