Reviving the Blackwing: The All New Palomino Blackwing 602

Palomino Blackwing 602Reviving the Blackwing: The All New Palomino Blackwing 602

Well folks I have some exciting things to share with you in this update. We’ve recently received the first small production batch of the new Palomino Blackwing 602 model. This is just 5000 pencils with the next 25,000 schedule for arrival early in June. But more about the availability of this pencil in just a bit, for now let me tell you about this new product.

First, we are very pleased with the new 602’s lacquer finish which reflects the traditional blue-grey grey finish of the Eberhard Faber product during its later years of production, but with an even more distinctive gunmetal grey brilliance. The earliest production of Eberhard Faber product dating to the 1930s actually sported a darker black finish more similar to our existing Palomino Blackwing product. In response to feedback of many 602 fans we have revived the famous slogan “Half the Pressure, Twice the Speed” and finished off the design bytopping our pencil with a black eraser giving the overall design a simple elegance. Understandably this is a departure from the pink eraser of the Eberhard Faber product that some would prefer, but we have provided this option among our eraser replacement pack options. Sorry I’ve not had time to get decent quality photos shot of the pencils before getting this post out.

Even more exciting is our specially formulated graphite core which has been developed to provide the Blackwing’s well known smooth glide while offering a significant improvement in wear rate vs. both or Palomino Blackwing and the Original Eberhard Faber product. One of the key concerns expressed by those customers doing extensive hand writing with our initial Palomino Blackwing pencil was that despite the extremely soft and smooth feel some customers would like to see an improvement in the wear rate to reduce sharpening frequency. The challenge has been to improve the hardness and reduce the wear rate without sacrificing much in smoothness and as little blackness as possible. We were looking for a firm and smooth formulation to complement the soft and creamy smooth performance of our existing product.

During our formulation and evaluation process with our Japanese graphite producer we performed a set of technical bench tests to develop objective measurements of the wear rates as determined by the length of line drawn per millimeter of wear under constant pressure. This is a mechanical testing device used routinely by our supplier to assure production batches meet established standards for each graphite grade. Our results indicated that the new PB 602 graphite core provided at least 25-35% more extended life vs. our existing Palomino Blackwing and approximately 15-25% greater line length than the original Eberhard Faber 602. So we have improved wear rate substantially versus both items. Of course we give up something in darkness by creating a harder, firmer lead, but the new product compares favorably with the original.

As indicated in my Timberlines post last Fall about graphite performance we’ve found no objective, scientific test that measures smoothness of lead. Each person has their own writing angles and forces reflecting their own writing and drawing style and posture. Based on the more subjective personal testing a number of us involved in the development of this pencil have completed it’s our assessment that the our new 602 model has only a slight loss of smoothness versus our existing Palomino Blackwing pencil and has comparable to slightly improved smoothness vs. the original Eberhard Faber 602. Clearly in the end you all will have to be your own judge on the smoothness characteristic as with your overall assessment of these pencils.

We’ll be officially introducing the new PB 602 model along with a fully redesigned lined of retail packaging for our entire range of Palomino and Palomino Blackwing pencil products the marketplace at the National Stationery Show in New York In just a few days. Our goal is to make our products more widely available by focusing on developing a retail dealer network that appreciates the fine quality and performance of our growing range of. If you have a favorite local stationery shop, artist supply store, bookstore or other gift or specialty retailer you think would be ideal for this product please let them know to drop by our booth if they happen to be visiting the show next week. At the show we’ll also be introducing a line of luxury notebooks and sketchbooks under the Palomino and Blackwing labels as well as FSC Certified notebooks under our ForestChoice brand. But more about these developments in a later post.

As to launching on and actual initial shipments we expect the final packaging production to be complete in the next week and will begin packing pencils as soon as we receive the packaging. This is a photos of our packaging production proofs just received this morning in time four use at the Stationery Show. We have not yet determined if we’ll drop the existing gift box or continue to offer that option on We expect to initiate sales of the PB602 on or about June 1st providing all goes to current plan. To be notified about when the new Palomino Blackwing 602 goes on sale on make sure to register on our site here.

Finally, we are thrilled to see that our efforts at Reviving the Blackwing have now been covered in the latest issue of Fortune Magazine now on the newsstand. We’re hoping we’ll see increasing press coverage as a result of our launch at the Stationery show this next week.
CLICK HERE to purchase the Palomino Blackwing 602.

9 replies
  1. standardfilmco
    standardfilmco says:

    Stephen Sondheim, Frank Lloyd Wright, Leonard Bernstein, John Steinbeck, E.B. White, J.D. Salinger and John Lennon, to name but a few, used this pencil. So, why take half-measures!? Your company already makes the finest pencils around. If you’re going to go to all the trouble of reproducing the 602 do it right. GIVE US THE PINK ERASER!!!!! As one voice, among the thundering masses who have spent years mourning the loss of the 602, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  2. standardfilmco
    standardfilmco says:

    Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Frank Lloyd Wright, Leonard Bernstein, John Steinbeck, E.B. White, J.D. Salinger and John Lennon, to name but a few, used this pencil. So, why take half-measures!? Your company already makes the finest pencils around. If you’re going to go to all the trouble of reproducing the 602 — do it right. GIVE US THE PINK ERASER!!!!! Last time around you left off the HALF THE PRESSURE TWICE THE SPPED, asking Fortune Magazine, “Who can write or draw legibly twice as fast anyway?” Well, if you’d done your homework you’d know that the Blackwing 602 was designed for stenographers whose concern about speed was obvious – thus the imprinted motto. Presumably this is why they were adopted early on by people who notate quickly; architects, songwriters, fiction writers etc. For them it was a useful first draft “sketching” tool to get it down fast. Thrilled you’re going to fix the motto and the paint color. As one voice, among the thundering masses who’ve spent years mourning the loss of the 602, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. However, I must repeat GIVE US THE PINK ERASER!!!!!

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I cannot wait to try The Blackwing 602, to enjoy writing with one of the best tools in the world. Functionally, I am looking forward to being very impressed, and will stock up.

    Aesthetically, for the most part, it looks fantastic. However, what was the designer thinking with the black eraser. To me, it looks horrible. Yes, I will be buying replacements (pink and white), but what was the point in the black eraser? To sell more re-fills? Because it looks *cool* (it doesn’t).

    I won’t gripe too much, but I hope you take on the feedback of so many customers in your future design considerations.

    A loyal customer.

  4. Carl L. Williams
    Carl L. Williams says:

    I have recently placed an order for another supply of the 602 after my initial small order when the pencil was re-introduced. It is a wonderful pencil, and I have designated it as one of my “go-to” pencils.


  5. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Love these PBW 602’s. The darkness is the same as a Palomino ‘HB’ but with increased smoothness and the wear rate is much better than the PBW and also significantly better than the Palomino ‘HB’.


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  1. […] been quite a while since Palomino brought out their Blackwing 602 (which I’ll call the 602) to go with their regular Blackwing (I’ll refer to it as the […]

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