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May 13, 2021 3 min read

Wingback products are designed for any journey, from commutes through the capital to adventures along the Jurassic Coast. Here we scratch under the surface of our limited edition tungsten carbide range.

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The Black Steel Collection 

The tools you carry everyday should be useful, be built for the long haul and become valued companions on your journey. We believe our machined range of the Mechanical Pen, 100ml Hip Flask and Key Cache epitomises these values.

Nevertheless, as soon as we launched them in 2019, we began experimenting with new materials and finishes, from powder coating to chemical blackening, to improve the products further.

Then last year, in the year that shall not be named, we believe we struck gold – or black – with tungsten carbide. Now we’re re-releasing our Black Steel Collection for a limited run, with the addition of our latest creation, the Designer’s Mechanical Pencil.

Shop the Black Steel Everyday Carry Collection by Wingback
"The Wingback Black Steel Collection has been designed to be in service for generations"  ~ Wired"


Beneath The Surface

Aesthetically, Black Steel rivals the exotic look of Damascus steel or titanium, with a sub-metallic lustre that reveals a glimmer of the steel beneath the surface.

But it doesn’t just catch the eye. Our Black Steel finish also serves a vital purpose in protecting our products for the long haul.

Wingback Mechanical Pen in Black Steel

Wingback Mechanical Pencil in Black Steel

3.5x Harder Than Titanium

It’s applied using a technology called magnetron sputtering, usually reserved for luxury watches and military-grade tools, where multiple nano layers of tungsten carbide carbon are deposited onto the stainless steel surface in a matter of seconds.

The resulting 3um thick surface has a Vickers hardness of 1200 VPN, 9x harder than stainless steel and 3.5x harder than titanium. Our Black Steel finish also has incredibly low friction (< 0.1) due to the carbon added, ensuring the sliding surfaces of the mechanism are satisfyingly smooth.
Tungsten carbide carbon has a surface 3.5x harder than titanium
Tungsten carbide has a surface 3.5x harder than titanium

Tungsten carbide carbon has a very low surface friction

Heirloom Quality

The combination of a high surface hardness and low surface friction means the Black Steel Collection will be scratch resistant to virtually anything you will put in your pocket. Parts and mechanisms should never need to be maintained, let alone replaced.

Pleasingly, and reassuringly, they will work as well for you today as they would for a grandchild who might inherit your collection in decades to come.


Wingback Mechanical Pencil in Black Steel

"With Wingback's use of the ultra-tough and ultra-sleek new finish, the collection enhances durability, performance, and scratch-resistance in a distinct, one-of-a-kind aesthetic." ~ Everyday Carry

Wingback Mechanical Pen in Black Steel

Limited Edition

To reduce the time, cost and energy required to apply the Black Steel finish we developed a proprietary process with our workshop partners in Cambridge, England. However it is still a complicated process. For that reason we can only release the collection for a limited run each year.

You can explore the full Black Steel Everyday Carry Collection here. If the product you want isn’t available now, you can sign up to our wait list and we’ll notify you as soon as Black Steel is back in stock.

Black Steel Everyday Carry Collection by Wingback

Wingback Mechanical Pen and Mechanical Pencil in Black Steel

Have you put our Black Steel Collection to the test? What did you make of it?

We're always looking for ways to improve our designs, so if you have any suggestions on other surface finishes we could use, please leave them in the comments below.

You can shop the Black Steel Collection here.

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