When it comes to Japanese pencils, we make no secret of the fact that they are generally really special and to many people, superior to almost any others. One story in particular that we often tell is that of the Tombow Mono 100. It first came to be in 1967 (happy 50th birthday!) and was created to be the higher-end version of Tombow's already popular Mono line, formerly called the Homo-graph. Designed by famed Japanese designer Takashi Kono, the Mono 100 was given a bold white stripe over its end and a super glossy finish. What makes it so premium is the fineness of its core--which contains 10 billion particles per cubic millimeter, to be exact. Though made to be the answer to rival Mitsubishi's premium Hi-Uni, which was released only a couple of years prior, the Mono-100 certainly has a personality of its own. The popularity of the Mono pencil has since led to the name being used for many other Tombow products including erasers and correction tape.
The Mono 100 has had many different siblings over its 50 years of existence including its current ones, the Mono-J (J for 'junior), Mono-R (R for 'regular) and Mono Professional which is a made for the US market. Fair warning: we've recently noticed that the Mono pencils are no longer made in Japan, but rather in Vietnam. The quality seems to be the exact same, you'll just notice that on the back of the pencil instead of saying "Made in Japan FOR hi-precision DRAFTING" it just say "FOR hi-precision DRAFTING).
Regardless of where they're made, the Mono 100 is a fine example of Japanese style and commitment to innovation and for that reason, it's on of our all-time favorites. We recommend trying it in an F grade--you'll be pleasantly surprised by its point retention and smoothness.