Porsche Design Flex Pen by Dom Miliano

Dom MilianoDom Miliano taught photography for seven years. His photographs have been published by AutoWeek, Cavallino, Excellence, Forza, Corvette and Bimmer Magazine, Porsche Panorama and in several automotive books.

A quality writing instrument can do for your penmanship what a fine automobile can do for your driving experience—put a smile on your face! So while most people can make do with what I call hotel pens, you, after all, aren’t most people, are you?

In my world, my wife drives an eleven year old Saturn and writes with the cheapest pens available. Her job, teacher in an inner city school with on-street parking, demands that she commute in what I consider a disposable car. Her choice of writing implements— free bank pens, the previously mentioned hotel night-stand stick pens from my business travels and dollar-a-pack specials from Odd Lots— is both personal choice (she doesn’t want the responsibility of a good pen) and common sense (things tend to walk away at her school). She also has Palmer Method quality writing skills so even if she writes with a golf scorecard pencil you can still read every word easily.

I, on the other hand, have the penmanship that rivals the scribbles of the Unabomber so my writing can use all the help it can get. Naturally, as a car guy, my taste in quality writing tools leans heavily toward car-linked or “marque” pens. My favorites come from the Porsche Design people and, like the cars, are unique, high quality, and built to last.

Porsche Design Flex Pen

Obviously, Porsche AG doesn’t make the pens on the assembly line with the 911s, Boxsters, Cayennes and Panameras. Instead, the pens are envisioned by Porsche Design and then they partner with quality pen makers to produce them. For as long as I can remember, 250 year old German pen and pencil maker, Faber–Castell, has been creating Porsche Design pens and mechanical pencils. I think the coolest of these are the ballpoint, mechanical pencil, roller ball, and fountain pens made from race car braided steel brake lines called, not surprisingly, TecFlex. All of my track driven Porsches have these nearly indestructible brake lines installed and I think the cool way the braided material flexes as you click the pen to extend the ballpoint refill or slide out more pencil lead is inspired. They make two flavors: stainless steel; and, stainless interlaced with strands of gold wire (definitely not to my taste). And, despite their German heritage, these pens take standard refills. The ball point pens use the ever popular Parker style and the mechanical pencils take standard .5 mm pencil lead. The roller ball and fountain pens take standard refills as well, available on line from quality vendors like The Fountain Pen Hospital in NYC (my favorite pen store).

List price of the TecFlex ballpoint pen is $225 but discounts are available from many quality vendors. As with all expensive luxury items scams exist so shop wisely.

In 2011 Faber-Castell lost the Porsche Design contract to another quality German pen maker, Pelikan. I have several Pelikan pens and they are well made. Also, as far as I can tell, for now Pelikan will continue to make the same pens like the TecFlex for Porsche Design but if this model strikes your fancy, you might consider getting one now— you never know when or if the line will cease production. Pelikan has come out with a new Porsche Design model—one that was never made by Faber-Castell—so, who knows how things will progress.

In addition to Porsche Design, other pen makers are crafting car-related writing instruments. In future articles, we will talk about these and many of the other car maker inspired pens, including lower cost models that you can buy from your local car dealers.