This series of pencils is kind of an oddball. Most other series (besides the original P203/P205/P207/P209 pencils) have a purpose behind them that you can see. For example the PF330 series for Film and the Sliding Sleeve pencils. I am not sure what the purpose behind this series was, nor why some of them had the odd short carry clip on them.
This short carry clip, comes out the bottom of the band, which will make the pencil sit almost 1/2″ (12.5mm) higher out of the pocket. When I first received these pencils, all but one of them used this short clip, so my assumption was that this is what these pencils came with, and someone changed out the clip on the one that used the standard clip. I have come to find out in corresponding with other collectors, that it looks like some also came with the standard clip, as they received a bunch of them with that.
The time these were available also seems to have been very limited, probably starting around 1990-91 for the Generation 5 pencils (based on the scarcity of these) and probably ending in the late 90’s with Generation 6. According to some correspondence, it looks like the Generation 6 pencils were released around 1992.
I first acquired all of my P210 series pencils in March 2010 from about 3 different sources. I could only get 1 each of the Generation 5 pencils, but got a bundle of 5 of each of the Generation 6. Even now, you can still easily get Generation 6 P215 & P217 pencils off eBay, so this supports my supposition that the Generation 5 pencils were only manufactured for 1-2 years in low volume and the Generation 6 pencils were produced over a longer period and/or at a much higher volume.
P215A Generation 5 Black
The first version of the P215 is the “A” version in black that matches the P205. The only differences are that the text is in gray instead of white and the short carry clip.
P215N Generation 6 Gray
The common version of the P215 that you can find now is the “N” Gray body with white text. Mine came with the short carry clip.
P217C Generation 5 Blue
Of the P210 series I own, this is the only one I purchased that had a standard clip on it. This Generation 5 uses the same body as the P207C, only with gray text instead of white.
P217C Generation 6 Dark Blue
Again, the Generation 6 version of the P210 series changed from the color of the P200 series. This P217 is still a “C”, but it is dark blue with white text instead of the lighter blue. It is even darker than the PS315C.
P219G Generation 5 Yellow
The Generation 5 of the P219 is the same yellow as the P209, but again with gray text and the short carry clip.
P219B Generation 6 Red
This last P219 pencil really stands out in red (code “B”), with the white text. Again the change of color from Generation 5 to Generation 6. The only reason I can think of to do this would be to prevent confusion between the P200 series and the Generation 5 P210 series.