Cleo Skribent Messograf Ballpoint Pen
The Cleo Skribent Messograf is one of the more unusual pens in our catalogue, to say the least. Cleo Skribent themselves describe it as
a Swiss Army knife disguised as writing implement, though they do go on to point out that it isn’t Swiss, and it isn’t a knife.
Where the Messograf scores over more mundane pens – even Cleo Skribent’s own fountain pens – is that it is also a vernier caliper, with imperial and metric scales along its barrel that allows one to measure – well, stuff. The clip unit forms the sliding jaw of the caliper. It’s best at taking outside measurements, as the jaws of the caliper do not cross, but it can be used to measure anything up to about 9.5-10cm – about 3.5″ – without the lower jaw and clip falling off, to an accuracy of 0.1,mm.
If the moving jaw is pushed down the pen until the clip protrudes beyond the point there is a separate scale on the lower part of the body that allows for the measurement of tyre-tread depths. There is also a thread scale built in.
This pen is perhaps not in the same category as the other Cleo Skribent pens which we at Write Here stock, but if what you are looking for in a quality writing instrument is that you can leave it in the glove-box of the car for six months and it will still write, and that it can tell you when your tyres need renewing, this is the pen for you. After all, what fountain pen could claim these abilities?
To be serious, the Messograf is a humourous nod by the manufacturer toward their roots; Herbert Wurach founded Cleo Schreibgeräte in 1945, in a garage, and what better tribute could there be to such an origin than to turn a pen into a garage instrument? The pen body is made of chromium-plated brass, and is a sort of flattened hexagon in cross-section that is surprisingly comfortable to hold. The matt-finished clip is attached to the sliding jaw with two brass rivets, and the ball point retracts with a click-action button. The Cleo Skribent Messograf takes a Parker ballpoint refill.
- Millimeters (to 0.1mm accuracy)
- Thread scale