The Pilot Dr. Grip Center of Gravity, made with a grip so good that it won an award from the Arthritis Foundation, the Lamy 2000, with its brushed fiberglass-and-stainless steel body, the Rotring 800, with its hexagonal body and the Uniball Kuri Toga, with its auto-rotating mechanism, are some examples of cool mechanical pens. More can be found at the Jonathan Veley Mechanical Pencil Museum and similar locations.
Apart from its grip and long-winded name, the Pilot Dr. Grip Center of Gravity is notable for its excellent balance. The Lamy 2000 is a minimalist, black-and-silver torpedo with no visible seams or logos to mar its pristine body. It even comes with a needle in case the lead jams. The all-metal Rotring 800, decorated with gold and red trim, has a knurled metal grip and a lead that can be retracted by twisting the top, which protects it in case the pencil needs to be pocketed. The Uniball Kuri Toga is probably the coolest of the lot. Apart from its auto-twisting mechanism, which keeps the tip sharp, the device comes with a special toughened lead and an unique transparent body.
Mechanical pencils have appeared in literature dating as far back as the sixteenth century. However, what is probably the oldest mechanical pencil in the world was found in the wreckage of the HMS Pandora, a British ship that sunk in the closing years of the eighteenth century. The first patent for these devices was issued in Britain in 1822. Tokuji Hayakawa, a metal worker and Charles Keeran, an inventor and businessman, are credited with the groundbreaking mechanisms that led to the development of the modern mechanical pencil.