La Maison Caran d'Ache (The House of Caran d'Ache) is named after the Russian term "karandash," meaning "pencil," which comes from the Turkish root "kara tash" that refers to black stone. It has been located in Geneva since it's inception in 1915, when graphite found in the mountains of Switzerland gave rise to the first Swiss pencil factory. Just nine years later, Arnold Schweitzer acquired the company and renamed it Caran d'Ache.
In 1929, Caran d'Ache debuted the world's first mechanical pencil, Fixpencil, with a patented clamp mechanism. Prismalo, the world's first watercolor pencil, continued Caran d'Ache's innovative trend, revolutionizing the art of drawing and illustration.
In 1953, Caran d'Ache expanded from pencils to include ballpoint pens in their Ecridor line. This expansion continued in 1970 with the launch of the Madison line, including Caran d'Ache's first fountain pen.
It didn't take long for their fountain pens to earn acclaim, and, in 1999, their pen, La Modernista Diamants, was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most expensive in the world.
This feat was followed in 2010 with the 1010 Diamonds fountain pen, adorned with white gold and more than 850 diamonds, created in tribute to high-class Swiss watchmaking. In the same year, Caran d'Ache opened their first flagship store in Geneva.
2015 marked Caran d'Ache's centennial, which they celebrated with the release of their Anniversary Collection.