California Republic was established by the Anglo-Saxons after they rebelled against Mexico. It was annexed by United States after 29 days from the establishment day.
Well, actually I don't know much about the history of California and California Republic. So let me focus on the wood-cased pencil Palomino produced by California Republic Stationers.
The flag of the State of California is composed with a star and a grizzly bear. The star is in the logo of California Republic Stationers. The bear is printed on another product of this company, Golden Bear.
The name of today's review item, Palomino is the name of a horse breed from the southwest of U.S. That's why there's a horse printed rather than a bear.
Graphite pencils and colored pencils are in the Palomino lineup. The graphite pencils come with the range of 2H, H, HB, B and 2B, and the HB grade has 2 models - with & without eraser attachment.
The eraser-tipped HB grade model - that I prefer to get - has gold-colored ferrule and white eraser.
What the impressive thing is, the length of eraser-tipped model and non-erasered model are same.
The quality of the eraser is quite acceptable as an attached-to-pencil eraser.
The cap of the non-erasered version is pretty tidy. Out of the blue, even the German-made quality pencils have cracked or pitted caps sometimes, the cap of the Palomino is quite close to perfection.
However the most surprising thing is that this proudly American named pencil is made in Japan. Well, there is some logic to it all when you consider that California Republic Stationers is a subsidiary of California Cedar Products Company. I assume the wood of Palomino is Californian cedar.
The graphite lead of the Palomino seems to be Japanese-made. Yes, when I tried test writing - I strongly believed that it was made in U.S.A. at that time -, I thought the feeling is so similar with some mid-quality Japanese pencils.
California Republic Palomino 시필 (HB)
The HB grade of Palomino is similar to the STAEDLTER Mars Lumograph B. It is seldom scratchy, - I mean, not 'never-scratchy' - but smooth enough to be compared with other mid-quality Japanese-made pencils. The quality wood is sharpened well. I've experienced a few lead breaking while I sharpen with my hand sharpener.
Regardless of the hardness grades and the existence of attached eraser, Palomino comes in orange and blue colors. I'm sorry but the performance of my camera is not good so that the pictures don't show the real colors. The orange color of Palomino is a bit more red, and the blue color is a bit closer to the light purple.
Six Palomino pencils are packed in the transparent plastic package. Both of pre-sharpened and non-sharpened models are available, regardless of the barrel color.
You can also find a dozen of Palominos packaged in a wood case.
I think California Republic Stationers wanted to make Palomino more luxurious, but unfortunately, the quality of the wood case is not as good as I expected.
The case has some metal parts seems to be made in Thailand. As you see, the quality is not very good. You may see the lid doesn't fit to the body.
It's a bit disappointing, but the quality of wood is acceptable. The arrangement of the eraser-attached pencils is quite interesting.
For me, it's an irony that so-American named company's best pencil and its case are Japanese-made or Thai-made. It reminds me of that one of the best Korean brand pencil, MunHwa DeoJon is now produced in China.