I can't relate to what kind of pencils they manufactured 60 years ago, but I can
tell you that these ones are beautiful to work with, depending upon what your
requirements are. The pencil quality itself is extremely good, and the eraser
design pure simplistic genius.
So here are the pro's and con's:
Pro's: Beautiful quality pencil, smart (replaceable) eraser design, very rich,
black stroke (pencil marks on paper)
Con's: Very soft lead, and as the other reveiwer noted, this requires frequent
sharpening. Also, due to the lead being so soft, it also smudges a bit more
I use them for making general notes when working at my desk and love them for
that purpose. I've never owned or used a pencil that generated such a deep,
rich, black line. They're unusual and I always get comments when people see
them. If I'm drawing or sketching, I use mechanical clutch pencils that were
traditionally used for drafting purposes, and in those I can use whatever
range/grade of lead hardness I need to fit the purpose.