This inkless pen lets you write forever

Some household items are constant reminders telling us that nothing lasts forever. Items like dulled razor blades. Ink cartridges that end up costing more than the printer itself. And even items such as pens.

That notion may have to be revised because of an Italian design firm. The firm is Pininfarina. They are the creators of some of the world’s most iconic car designs like Ferrari and Fiat. They debuted a writing tool that supposedly never has to be replaced. On the surface, it looks to be a vanity item. The firm has a previous model called the Limited Edition Visconti. It sells for $1,895.

Buyers can purchase the new hand-crafted writing instrument that costs about $120. It has an elegant aluminum and wood exterior. It’s called the 4.EVER Pininfarina Cambiano. Its biggest selling point is an innovative writing tip. It allows users to sketch and handwrite “indefinitely.”

What’s the idea of “indefinitely”? In this case it means the pen doesn’t use ink, so, there aren’t any cartridges to refill. The special material Pininfarina uses is something called ethergraf. It is a patented metallic alloy. It was developed by an Italian household manufacturer called Chic Trading. The company worked with Pininfarina on the project. It already showcases the technology in its original Napkin 4.EVER line of pens.

“The process involved is based on the principle of oxidation,” explains Davide Fabi, head of special projects at the Napkin division. “The writing tip oxidizes the paper, a trait that only casually resembles that of a pencil.”

You can think of oxidization as the same process that turns newspapers yellow over time. There is contact between the pen and paper that alters the writing surface. But it does not change the tool. So the claim that the pen can be used to draw infinite lines is somewhat similar to how a touchscreen stylus works. The tip does wear out over time. But Fabi says that the effect is small and gradual and that users won’t even notice.

There are a number of outlets selling metal alloy-tipped pens. They seem to work similarly. One example is Jac Zagoory Designs pen called the Beta Inkless. It costs $27.95.

How is the 4.EVER Pininfarina Cambiano’s different? Fabi says that these other pens can transfer toxic materials such as lead. Ethergraf pens don’t contain graphite, lead. or anything known to be hazardous.

“Ethergraf is an alloy obtained from different metals that are safe,” he points out. “The continuous research of our R&D brings our company to achieve rapid developments and improvements in this regard.”

As a bonus, the special edition Pininfarina pen comes with a notebook. It has paper made from powdered rock rather than wood. The pages have better integrity and they have water-resistance.