Monday, 14 January 2013

TomBow Oceanic Mechanical Pencil review

Designed no doubt with an aquatic animal in mind the TomBow Oceanic is a member of the mechanical pencil group of graphite organisms. However, it has fallen a victim to consumer climate change in the pencil world and has sadly become extinct, or so I thought until I received it in a sleek box that came all the way from Germany.

Not everyone would fall in love with the Oceanic’s fat circumference but the pencil won the Design Plus award in 1993 because of its unique appearance. It does look like a fish. Its 13cm body is made from some hard material that feels rough and yet it is fine, smooth, and reminding of rough velvet. Tombow Japan is discreetly written on the body - turning grey and almost vanishing as you rotate the pen or catching the light and glittering. In between these two words floats a simply drawn shape of a fish leaving behind it a single wave - logo perfection!

Like every self-respecting fish Tombow Oceanic has of course a tail. Its tip is made from the same hard black material but the rest of it is made of soft foldable rubber. Press the tip of the tail down and the rubber creases while the pencil lead is renewed. Open the tip of the tail and the tinniest of erasers is revealed. There is no clip. The Oceanic rolls on its fat belly so it shouldn’t be left unsupervised.

With the wide grip (some 12mm or more in diameter) the Tombow Oceanic sits comfortably in the hand and its fine lead produces smooth writing. Palimpsest is pleasantly impressed with this fish of a pen. It is a great writing instrument to carry around not only to write with but to be used as a conversation piece (should a conversation piece is needed). Its sleek case doubles as a pencil case, too. Off to swimming writing with the fishes.

See also Dave's Mechanical Pencils review here


  1. Dear Lito,
    What a fantastical pencil! I love the idea of writing instruments too dangerous to be left unattended.... I think I have a few that fall into that category... ;) I do like a fatter pen/pencil these days. I find that they are more comfortable in the hand after a time... perhaps a fish is in my future!
    Warm regards,

  2. I have a few Yasutomo/Niji grip 500 and 350 pencils available. They are new but old in my private collection. Never been used. If interested let me know. I might let a few of them go to collectors.

  3. Hi, I'm looking for Yasutomo/Niji grip 500.