Handcrafted: BENU

Handcrafted: BENU

Handcrafted: BENU

As technology continues to develop, more and more of our everyday activities are becoming automated. From supermarket checkouts, to ordering drinks to your table, to appointments with your GP, it’s becoming increasingly possible to go about your days without any human interaction whatsoever. And while this is good news for any robots reading this, most people remain aware that certain things still require the human touch.

In our Handcrafted series we’ve been showcasing some of the amazing and intricate work our different manufacturers carry out by hand. This time we’re looking at BENU. They’re relatively new kids on the block, but with decades of experience in other fields such as jewellery and watchmaking their founders are no strangers to detailed, handcrafted works of beauty. Here’s how they do it.

Drawings and Prototypes

Each BENU pen begins life as an idea. These ideas then start taking shape in the form of drawings and sketches by BENU co-founder and chief designer Alex Semanin. Each idea gets carefully drawn out by hand, the most interesting of which will then make it to the prototype stage, where it becomes a physical object for the first time.

Testing By Hand

The chosen prototype is duplicated so that different people can try it out and get a real feel for it. Feedback comes from multiple testers of various ages and with different writing habits, to get a broad sense of how the pen writes. This data is collected and may then be used to make tweaks and changes to ensure each pen goes on to become the best version of itself - this may mean the process is repeated three or four times to make sure they get it just right.

Colour Experiments

BENU’s signature style is all about colour, so it’s important to spend a lot of time experimenting with different pigments, colourants and various foils to achieve the desired outcome. Each experiment is carefully logged in detail so that if the findings are good they can be easily and accurately repeated. The resulting mixture also has its physical properties tested to make sure it is durable and its colour long-lasting.

Quality Control

After this new cocktail is moulded, shaped and stove-finished, each component is thoroughly inspected and imperfections are taken care of. Sharp edges are turned, burrs are removed, specks are cleaned, rough finishes are buffed - you get the idea.

Final Assembly

Assembly is an intricate, multi-stage process carried out by hand by a team of experienced jewellers. Fitting together the different components of each pen requires a steady hand and a keen eye for detail, especially to ensure every facet is exactly aligned. The pens are then hand-fitted with Schmidt nibs at the Schmidt factory in St Georgen, Germany. Some are then individually hand-painted, before being varnish-coated multiple times, and then polished to perfection.

Finished Product

Final testing and  quality control is then carried out - again by hand - to ensure every single BENU pen is as faultless as the last. Each pen is then hand packaged in original and recyclable plastic-free packaging.

From initial conception right through to the final touches, the BENU team are hands-on throughout. The end result is an eye-catching piece of craftsmanship that scores top marks for both form and function. When it comes to something as tactile as a writing instrument, and with this level of care and attention to detail, BENU proves once again that good handcraft is simply unbeatable.

Other blog posts in the Handcrafted series:


Bomo Art

Stamford Notebook