Making the Ajoto Pen
Ajoto make simple tools with emphasis on craftsmanship and have created a beautiful black and gold pen exclusively for M&B. With strong philosophical values and a clear design process, particular attention has been paid to how the pen has been made. A pen with a great story – so much passion and attention to detail has been put into the making of this important tool for everyday use.
A small company located in Manchester, Ajoto have minimised the complexity and focused on the quality of the pen with a unique and specific purpose for each component. In todays mass-produced world we are totally unaware of how anything we use is made and we are completely disconnected from the manufacturing process. Ajoto have attempted to rectify this by placing as much importance on the production of their pen as in the finished product. They have collaborated closely with knowledgeable and skilled people who are at one with the tools they use and want the end user to be aware of the manufacturing story behind each of their brilliantly functional pens. Traditional techniques have been combined with the latest technology to create a pen with the source of every single piece known.
‘It was amazing to us how disconnected we are as a society to manufacturing and how difficult it is to see and understand actually how most of the products we use today are actually produced.’
Ajoto thoroughly explored the design and production process of each element of the pen and spent over two years refining every detail with the finest manufacturers in the UK and Europe. 14 suppliers are involved in making the pen and packaging, which are then checked and assembled in house.
The pen body is precision machine carved from a solid bar of aluminium in a factory in Brighton using the same process used for medical and aerospace components, shot blasted and then anodised black in High Wycombe to give a protective matte finish. A screw produced from lead-free brass on CNC lathes allows for the ‘twist’. The small pitch thread ensures that the nib of the pen doesn’t retract as the pen is used and it has been refined so that a single twist activates the pen. A simple and decisive gesture that is immaculately designed, the twist mechanism is held together with a custom screw with ‘make your mark’ etched into it.
Aluminium is notoriously hard to plate, so for the pen top Ajoto worked with an aerospace quality registered factory who, after preparing each part by hand to create a satin finish, then plated the tops with 14ct gold in specialist tanks. Custom springs designed to achieve the precision required are made in London and are subtly tapered from each end to increase stiffness. Each bespoke part has been brilliantly manufactured for a unique purpose.
'Fundamentally our aim is to provide our customers with a deeper connection with their products and the people who make them.’
It is nice to know where every element of this small but visually impressive tool is made and we think it is a pen of the highest quality. A beautiful tool with a unique story beginning with the materials used, the attention to detail and dedication to the production process continues down to its packaging; an anodised laser-etched aluminium box and cork tray formed and moulded in Portugal using the waste cork from wine stopper production. The outer paper wrapping by one of the best manufacturers of specialist papers in the world is traceable back to managed forests in Scandinavia and Portugal and foil embossed with copper foiling plates before being die-cut on a converted Heidelberg Press that is over 50 years old.
A truly beautiful pen, we love that Ajoto have placed such importance on its making and are so excited that they have created a very special exclusive one for us here at M&B.
Images by Ajoto
Quotes by Ajoto
Video by Ajoto