The legendary four-color ballpoint pen turns fifty, and has …


Fifty years after the first four-color bicep rolled off the line, the legendary ballpoint pen is still in circulation. On the occasion of that anniversary, Bic released a gold edition. This also includes a number of interesting facts.

1. Bic releases a gold edition

A golden anniversary is accompanied by a golden four-color ballpoint pen. The party edition is already available throughout the Benelux. A special corona edition has also been made in France this year to support healthcare workers. The proceeds go to hospitals.

2. In addition to the classic, there are also special editions

The classic four-color bic – with a blue or orange sleeve – is by far the most visible. However, there are several special editions in circulation, depending on the country. In Belgium there are seventeen, including a Red Devil edition and a pen in the theme of Mario Kart. Often these are also sought after by collectors.

A golden version.

3. There are different combinations

There are five color combinations in circulation: ‘original’ (blue, black, green, red), ‘fun’ (green, azure, dark purple and pink) and ‘sun’ (yellow, orange, dark purple and pink). In addition, there is the fluorescent edition (blue, black, red and yellow fluorescent) and the HB edition (with pencil instead of pen).

4. The four-color pen is of French origin

The founder of Bic’s ballpoint pens is a certain baron Marcel Bich. Shortly after the Second World War, he started producing fountain pens. He quickly saw the potential of the ballpoint pen and in 1970 perfected the concept of the four-color ballpoint pen.

5. Production is centralized in France

Wherever you are in the world, the in-store four-color bics come from the same factory. The pens are only produced in the French village of Montévrain. Located just a few miles from Disneyland Paris, the factory produces some 200,000 four-color bics every day.

6. The pen is a kind of chameleon

Although all four-color bics come from the Montévrain factory, you will not find the same pens all over the world. Not all colors are apparently used equally. For example, the green hatch has been replaced by purple ink on the pens that are shipped to the American continent.

7. There are a few secrets associated with the pen

How the four-color ballpoint pen is made remains a well-kept secret to this day. Nobody communicates about the ink, machines and know-how. That’s because it is quite difficult to produce such a four-color ballpoint pen. The points in particular are very delicate.

8. The pen is designed practically

Nowadays, the ball on top of the pen is only used by nerve tendons to nibble on, but it has (has had) some use. When the rotary dial dial telephones were still in circulation, you could easily enter a phone number with the dot.

9. The pen lasts a long time

Speaking of nerve tendons, they will hardly break the pen. You can open and close a four-color biciclet at least 10,000 times before it breaks. So you do quite a long time with such a ballpoint pen, eight kilometers to be precise. At least if you continue to write with it when one of the colors runs out.

10. Environmental friendliness plays a role

The four-color bicycles are produced in a sustainable manner. That is why she received the label ‘NF Environment’ in France. That label guarantees, among other things, emission standards during the production process and a mandatory waste management plan.

 The legendary four-color ballpoint pen turns fifty, and it still hasn't revealed all its secrets
The ballpoint pen is still cool.


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