A stainless steel pen, 8cm long. However when you unscrew the top, the 'nib' is a solid piece of metal. There is no ink, yet this pen will write on virtually any type of paper.
How does it work?
In the Medieval period, artists and scribes often used a metal stylus in order to draw on a specially prepared paper surface. Generally known as Metalpoint, or Silverpoint when the stylus was made of silver, artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer and Rembrandt all used this technique. http://www.silverpointweb.com/index.html gives a lot of information about how it works.
The pens we sell are a modern version (and do not use silver). The solid metal 'nib' consists of a metal alloy, that leaves a mark on most types of paper. If you use the sort of paper typically used in printers and photocopiers, the pen leaves a mark that looks as if it was made by a pencil. However the line will not smudge, and cannot easily be rubbed out. This has a number of advantages, especially if you are left handed!
Since there is no ink, there is nothing to dry out, so the pen will work just as well in 25 years time as it does today.
I would guess that in time the nib would begin to wear down, as you are leaving a small amount of metal on the page. However this has got to be a much slower process than with a pencil, which wears down pretty quickly. The designer tells us that if the point becomes slightly blunt, you can 'sharpen' it again using sand paper.
The metal alloy nib is relatively soft, so it is advisable not to drop the pen. Otherwise you may snap the nib off.
If you are planning to write the definitive 21st century novel, I would recommend a regular pen. However as a scientific curiousity, we like this pen a lot.
The pen comes in a very smart, circular, silver coloured metal presentation tin, and would make a very unusual gift.