Mark Two: A Minimal and Durable Pocket Pen

Created by Dan Provost & Tom Gerhardt

Mark Two is a custom machined, all-metal pocket pen small enough to take with you, but extends to a full length when in use.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Monthly Update
over 1 year ago – Sat, Sep 26, 2020 at 11:36:31 AM

Greetings friends! 

Time for another Mark Two update. Here is the latest: 

The first round of production samples are complete. This includes the pen parts, the custom magnet, and the clip. They are sending them to us to evaluate closely, and we will let them know of any issues / modifications (there always are). You can see pictures of the parts below.

The body and tip (slightly unscrewed).
The clip.
The end cap of the sleeve (the most complex part).

One thing we noticed from the pictures they sent. The body and tip color did not match (see the image below). They used magnetic 400 series stainless steel for the tip, but 300 series for the body. They were unclear that they needed to match exactly, they assumed that the body was going to be coated so it didn’t matter, but it very much does! Just an example of one of the many unexpected things that come up when trying to bring something to life. 

Mismatched steel parts.

Aside from fixing any mistakes, the thing we are honing now with the production samples is the machining finishes and tolerances. There are lots of things on this pen that need to be very precise. Two of the parts are press fit together so they need to be just right. And the body needs to appear seamless, so the finish and machining on that needs to be perfect. 

Once everything is looking and working great we will be able to move into production. Should hopefully only take another round or two of samples to get there, things are very close already with this first round. 

Additionally we have been looking into packaging for Mark Two. At the moment we are exploring molded bamboo pulp packaging. Aside from being really cool, it is a very sustainable solution, and something we haven’t done before, so always fun to try something new. 

Anyhow, that’s it for now. Hope everyone is well and enjoying some cooler weather. 

Until next time, 

Tom & Dan

Monthly Update
over 1 year ago – Sat, Aug 29, 2020 at 09:54:54 AM

Hey folks! 

Time for a monthly update for Mark Two. Here is where we are at: 

We have finalized our dimension drawings for the Mark Two parts and sent them to our manufacturer. Our manufacturer will order custom tooling they need to make the parts. Then, they will make some production samples and send them to us to review. We will likely have some small changes to make after we receive the parts (this is generally always the case). Once we make the changes, we will receive new samples, and continue this process until everything is perfect. When we arrive at that point, production will start. 

We are not sure when exactly to expect the first batch of production samples, it will likely be a few weeks. So expect that in the next project update! 

In other news, Dan had a new baby last week, family is well and healthy! 

Until next time, 

Tom & Dan

PS. We wanted to bring your attention to a couple Kickstarter projects from participants in our Studio Neat Mentorship Program. DriveSlide, which is a nifty accessory for attaching hard drives to your laptop, and November 9, 2016, a gorgeous art / photo book. Check them out! 

Thank you!
over 1 year ago – Fri, Jul 24, 2020 at 01:39:07 AM

Hey lovely backers, 

THANK YOU! We didn’t know what it would be like to launch a project in the middle of a global pandemic, but we are thrilled this project is moving forward and we are excited to work on it. So thanks, as always, for your support! 

In maintaining the delicate balance of keeping you informed about the project progress without flooding your inboxes, we plan to send project updates at a roughly once-a-month cadence. So expect the first update in about a month! If you are interested in more frequent updates, consider following us on Instagram, Twitter, or especially, subscribing to our podcast

For now, you can just sit back and enjoy following along with the project. We won’t be sending out the survey to gather your mailing address and any addition add-ons you might want until much later. 

If you know anyone that missed out on the Kickstarter, we opened up a pre-order store where they can get on board and follow along with project progress. 

Until next time!

Tom & Dan

over 1 year ago – Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 03:39:55 AM

We weren’t sure what the response would be launching a Kickstarter campaign in the middle of a global pandemic, so we are super pumped about how things are going so far! We reached our funding goal about 3.5 hours after launching, and it was a personal record for most raised in the first day (just edging out Mark One). So thank you, thank you, thank you!

If you have never backed one of our campaigns before, welcome! We hope you enjoy the ride. We will be doing project updates roughly once a month, to avoid inundating folks’ inboxes. If you would like more frequent updates, follow us on Instagram or Twitter, or subscribe to our podcast. And speaking of the podcast, we just recorded a new episode talking all about our thinking behind the Mark Two.

We typically don’t do any paid advertising and generally rely on word of mouth, so if you know anyone that would be interested in Mark Two, please send them a link to this project!

To answer a couple frequent questions: if you want to back for multiple pens, just add +$85 (for black+silver) or +$105 (for black+black) to your pledge total. Keep the shipping cost as is. Or, you can just wait until we send out the address survey, at which point you will have a chance to add on additional pens at the Kickstarter price. We will also have an option to add on extra Schmidt Mini refills.

That’s all for now, we look forward to having you all along for the ride!

Until next time,

Tom & Dan

PS. Our buddy Jeff coincidentally launched a Kickstarter project the exact same day as us, for an analog productivity system for your desk. A perfect companion to our first pen, the Mark One. Check it out.