So here we go, my first fountain pen review. I’m not really an organized person when it comes to this stuff. I don’t have a mind-map or pre-planned structure for this. I’m winging it and I hope it works out and I hope you like it. Feel free to give me any constructive criticism in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This pen represents a few firsts for me. This is my first Graf von Faber-Castell and also my first “luxury” pen purchased in a brick-and-mortar pen store. All pens previous to this were purchased online through eBay or online merchants. I had really tried to buy a pen in a store before but couldn’t bring myself to pay full retail price when I knew I could get it significantly cheaper online. One such incident (story time!) was in the summer of 2012 when Katie and I went to Chicago for a two day super-tour. Katie agreed to go with me to Century Pens and I had money in my budget to buy my first store pen as a souvenir–that would soften the price blow. I looked at some vintage pens that were nice but out of my price range and I thought about getting a Conklin Mark Twain crescent filler–but the price for a steel nib…. anyway, I settled on a Lamy 2000. I got the friendly clerk to dip a broad L2K and I scribbled a bit on a pad he had there–very nice. But the price–it was full list of some $199 at the time (I think) and I knew I could get it cheaper from Goulet Pens even including shipping.
I get it–retail stores have way higher expenses than online retailers do–rent is way higher and you probably need more staff. Still, as you can probably guess, I didn’t buy the pen. It’s a great shop and I do suggest you visit when you are in the area and I hope to be at a stage in life one day where I don’t care as much about saving a few dollars but yeah–for now every dollar saved is a dollar that could be put towards another pretty pen, am I right? Well, things changed this past holiday season when I was visiting family in Montreal. On Boxing Day we were near the pen store Stylo and I decided to have a look around. My new approach was to ask the clerk to only show me pens on final clearance. This proved to be a winning strategy and I was drawn to this pen that was on sale for $120 less than MSRP. I actually took out my smartphone and couldn’t find a better price anywhere.
I gave it a day to think about it and research it. I decided I liked it and wanted and went back to buy it. The store owner was there and he dipped it up for me and it wrote beautifully. Super smooth and wet with just a little bit of tooth. I tried to get him to bring the price down even more or throw in some ink (worth a try, right?) but he wouldn’t budge. I told him I’d take it so he cleaned it up a bit and adjusted the tines a bit too so everything was perfect. Boxed and bagged the pen for me and off I went. I recall he dropped the pen box as he was bagging it but the pen was ok so no points lost there.
The pen itself is a medium sized pen and is made of smooth cream resin on the body and black resin for the cap. All trim is platinum plated. As I mention in the video the pen has a very cool way to fill. You untwist the end capto push the nib and converter out of the solid barrel. This gives it a seamless body which I find quite elegant. I can say, hands down, that this is the best implementation of a cartridge / converter filling system in a pen. I like how the nib comes out of the body so you can fill it without getting ink on the body of the pen–which is convenient as it’s ivory coloured.
The nib is a great performer and is one of my favourite broad nibs. The flow is perfect and the line wet giving lots of pooling and shading. It’s a two-tone 18k nib in number 5 size. The wood bodied Intuition pens have the larger number 6 size nib and I’m so happy with this pen I might keep my eyes peeled for one though I’m not sure I want to worry about wood potentially cracking in this variable Canadian climate. Anyway, my only complaint is that the pen can be a hard starter if capped for a while. I’m guessing the pull cap doesn’t have an inner cap or somehow there isn’t an air tight seal on the nib so there may be some starting issues. Once it’s going though you have no problems with it for the duration of the writing session. Great nib.
The pen also posts very securely and deeply and is well balanced and easy to write with for long sessions in this configuration. I’m paranoid about scratching pens though so I prefer to use it un-posted. There’s a spring loaded clip that works well and has great tension and looks fantastic.
Fantastic, yes this pen looks fantastic. There’s nothing about the overall design of this pen that I can complain about–it’s stunningly beautiful from every angle. This pen loves the camera and has been featured heavily in my instagram feed (here’s an example)
So yeah–go buy this pen. Drying out a bit is the only issue I’ve had and only detail I can complain about. That also might just be my pen–maybe others seal better? Oh and you’ll notice in my video, it takes quite a bit of effort to pull off the cap and gives a very satisfying click as it snaps
How did I do? Should I get into ratings or should I break this into sections? All feedback is welcome–well, as long as it’s polite anyway. 😉