08 June 2011

Low Cost in Spain

The already described Zande-Phondex’s copy of the Sheaffer’s No Nonsense pen is not the only inexpensive pen in the Spanish market.

From left to right, Zande-Phondex "Pluma estilográfica", STYB "Compact", and Auchan. All of them below €5.

Their nibsunmarked that of the Zande-Phondex.

French supermarket chain Chain offers its own brand of pens. The company does not declare which company actually manufactures them. This Auchan pen uses short international cartridges and could easily be transformed into an eyedropper. Actually, its translucent body makes it especially suitable for the transformation. The rigid steel nib –engraved with the company logo— is iridium tipped and performs admirably.

The Auchan's pen in green. Other colors available.

STYB is one of the few examples of pen companies in Spain. It is the successor of the historical brand Jabalina, founded in 1948 in Albacete (Spain) by Juan Sánchez Navarro. Several fountain pens can be found on its catalog, the cheaper of which is the model Compact.

Auchan's pen nib, engraved with the company logo.

Quite similar to the Auchan pen, its construction quality is clearly cheaper. A major difference is the nib—the STYB’s is just folded and uses no iridium. As a result, this pen’s feeling is rougher than the competitor. Both pens have similar prices—slightly below €3.

STYB's folded nib.

STYB Compact pen presentation.

Therefore, the Zande-Phondex remains as a much better deal than the rest—much lower in price while performing very well.

Zande-Phondex's version of the Sheaffer's No Nonsense.

The market of inexpensive pens —say, below €5— is very reduced in Spain. The distribution of these products seems to be quite erratic, which is very different with the usual presence of cheap Japanese pens in supermarkets and stationery shops in Japan.

(Aurora 88K – Diamine Evergreen)

Bruno Taut
June 6th, 2011
[labels: STYB, Auchan, Zande-Phondex, España, mercado]

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