Pens and Pencils | Reviews and Data

The Most Expensive, Most Collectible Vintage Mechanical Pencils

Pentel Kerry Sharp Pencil
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You might not have guessed it, but vintage mechanical pens are incredibly collectible and can get incredibly expensive… much more so than most pens!

Here are some of the most sought-after mechanical pencils from history (well, mostly from the 1980s and early 1990s). This list will focus on rare pencils designed mostly for drafting work, not pencils they are diamond encrusted or made of gold. These pencils’ value comes from their design and scarcity, not their precious materials.

Luxury brands will not be eligible for this list, rather it will be focused on Pilot, Platinum, Staedtler, and similar work-focused brands. The list will also exclude limited edition pencils, like the highly collectible Pentel Smash pencils in their various limited colors.

These are the coolest, most desirable mechanical pencils of all time. Don’t be sad if they can’t all be yours! We’ll follow each pencil up with a modern alternative so you can get something like the vintage pencil, but for much less money.

Pilot Automatic H-5005

This is perhaps the most famous of the Pilot Automatic pencils, which is one of the most famous of the collectible pencil lines. The H-5005 is notable for it’s handsome, full-metal design, double-knock design (which is sometimes called a “Vanishing Point” by Pilot enthusiast, similar to the fountain pen), and geometric design on the grip.

Faber Castell Alpha-matic

The Faber Castell Alpha-matic is a rare, automatic pencil that is highly sought after, especially in its rare “Bronce” (which means Bronze) finish. This pencil is a true automatic and was sold in a number of versions. The changes from one model to the next is simply the barrel, with versions including:

  • Red (Plastic)
  • Green (Plastic)
  • Bronce (Metal)
  • Titanium (Metal)
  • Executive (Metal)

The Executive versions have black barrels and polished gold clip and center bands, instead of the matte silver used on the others.

These pencils are wonderfully made with no plastic parts whatsoever.

There is an excellent explanation of these pencils on the DMP site.

Pentel Mechanica

First released in 1968 the Mechanica pencils are known for their metal grip which can be twisted to extend a protective pipe over the writing components. It’s sort of like the opposite of a double knock pencil — the whole front end is protected by something extending as opposed to the pipe being hidden away.

These drafting pencils were sold in 0.3 mm and 0.5 mm sizes, and shared a number of components with cheaper Pentel pencils, so they are on the light side and aren’t fully metal. They did include very cool looking packaging, which will greatly boost the price if included today. Other features include a removable clip and rotating lead hardness indicator.

The original price for these were 3000 JPY.

Rotring 600 Gold

One of the most famous mechanical pencils of all time, the Rotring 600 its rare gold finish (sometimes known as the Rotring 600G or 600 KS) is the twist-to-extend version of the Rotring 600 with all metal hardware.

While the pencil is uncommon and still expensive, it’s been devalued by its re-release as the Rotring 800 mechanical pencil, which is quite similar and can be hand for around $35.

Mitsubishi Hi-Uni

The Hi-Uni series of pencils has become increasingly rare and desirable over the past few years, but the people’s collection is slowed by the types of these pencils and their confusing names. Despite this they remain rare, wonderful items.

  • Hi-Uni 3-3050 – Carbon fiber composite body
  • Hi-Uni 2.0mm – Less rare and desirable than the rest

Pilot Sprinter

The Sprinter is one of Pilot’s coolest pencils of all time. The pencil’s body is made of a single piece of flat, coiled wire that is wound like a spring over the pencil’s internals. The design is beyond clever and completely unique. Two version of this pencil were made, a full spring version and a partial spring one.

More Pencils

More vintage masterpieces that we will expand on soon…
  • Pilot H-2003 Double Knock
  • Pilot H-2105 Double Knock
  • Pilot H-3003
  • Pilot H-3005

Honorable Mentions

These are pencils that are rare and expensive, but not quite in the “hall of fame” with the ones above, either because they are easier to find or, more often than not, less desired by collectors. The prices of these will sometimes propel them into the above group if the pencils are in NOS (“new old stock”) condition and the packaging is intact.

Pilot Automac E500

The E500 is an automatic pencil that original retailed for 5000 JPY. It has a cool all-black design that is somewhat reminiscent of the modern Zebra X-701 ballpoint. These don’t hit auction very often and don’t have the level of demand of the pencils above.

Faber Castell TK-matic-L

The Faber Castell TK-matic-L is the all-metal version of the more popular, less expensive TK-matic. The TK-matic is mechanical pencil which is popular with collectors in its own right, but the plastic barrel lowers the value with collectors. A good condition TK-matic can be had for under $75 so people still buy them to be used as working pencils where the TK-matic-L is rarer and more expensive so they are generally sought by collectors.

Platinum Z

This is a minimalist mechanical pencil that has earned itself a place in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) permanent collection. The pencil’s writing tip can be hidden away or extended with a twist, and the spring-loaded clip is mostly hidden as well. This is a highly designed pencil that doesn’t loo like much more than a metal cylinder when it’s not in use.

Staedtler Micromatic 777

This is more of a sub-niche as most collectors opt for Japanese pens, not German ones, but this Micromatic is still a valuable pencil with a unique design that companies haven’t attempted to replicate.


  • Micromatic 777 15 – A rare, very good looking mechanical pencil with an ornate metal grip and a metal body.
  • Micromatic 777 25 – The same grip as the 777 15 but with a brushed metal body in silver.
  • Micromatic 777 75 – The 24K gold-plated, fully gold-colored version of the 777. Originally sold in a pen and pencil set. With the brushed body, like the 777 25, but in a deep gold color.