Graf von Faber-Castell: Prime example of German Precision
Faber Castell is a very interesting brand for a multitude of reasons, the first being that it is the oldest brand in America. They were the fifth name on the first record of brands in the United States and the first 4 brands ahead having been dissolved made Faber-Castell the oldest brand in the US. The Company was originally known as A.W. Faber and was run under this name for over 100 years, eventually a daughter inherited the company and was made to keep her name as to keep with the brand. She ended up marrying a count with the last name Castell and they decided to hyphenate their last name which later transferred to the brand. The brand is originally German and started manufacturing pencils in 1761, flash forward to today, the brand is in its 9th generation and has grown to manufacture a multitude of writing products at every price point. In this blog I am going to highlight some great writing tools for every price point along with some unique items that Faber-Castell produces so lets get right into some pens and stuff!
Faber Castell has always had quality and natural materials in mind which can be seen throughout all price points of their products but is especially prevalent in their higher end products. Every year the brands higher end line, Graf von Faber-Castell, comes out with what they call the “Pen of the year” which is themed and uses very unique materials. Some that stand out to me are the models from 2008 and 2011 which use wood filigree in a herringbone pattern, citrine gemstones, and Jade inlays to evoke the beauty of the natural world. These are quite a bit more expensive than their other lines but it allows them to create a pen that uses the absolute best quality materials to make a truly special pen that commemorates the year. These are luxury items as well as writing instruments and are going to command a price to reflect that, the previous editions are hard to find now as they are out of production, the newest 2020 edition is based on Sparta with the Ruthenium model priced at $3,900 and the Black Edition priced at $5,400.
Possibly the most iconic GVFC pens come out of their mid to upper price range and those pens are the classic, more specifically the Anello and the wood classic models. Pictured on the on the top is the Anello in a rose gold trim which is quite an elegant looking pen. The name Anello means ring in Italian hence the inlaid ring design on the barrel. I will admit the Anello is a bit of an acquired taste at least in my case, I prefer the snakewood classic model pictured above. The integration of wood into the high end pens from GVFC makes sense due to their beginnings as a pencil manufacturer and they are one of the few brands that really gets a wooden pencil right. These pens can be quite slim for some hands and the section can be slippery but those are both a matter of preference and no one can deny the classic and iconic look of the GVFC Cap with its unique clip and coin top. My biggest drawback to this pen is purely aesthetic, the fact is that these are very shiny pens and with this being the case, they are fingerprint magnets. In terms of performance, this is one of the smoothest gold nibs I’ve used however the size of the actual nib is a bit small compared to some other pens in this price point but other than that these are exceptional writing instruments.
The next step down in price would be the Guilloche and Tamitio models which look similar to the classic line butuse resin in place of the natural wood. The Guilloche models are equipped with an 18k gold nib which is super smooth and writes well out of the box, the Tamitio on the other hand, is equipped with a stainless steel nib however it is very well adjusted and fairly smooth for a steel nib. The Guilloche has a similar cap compared to the classic but it is slightly smaller and not as pronounced while still providing the iconic GVFC look. The Tamitio on the other hand is a little thicker in the cap and is not quite the same as the Guilloche or classic caps. If the Slim profile of the Guilloche or classic doesn't float your boat, the Tamitio is quite a bit thicker and may be more comfortable in bigger hands. These models are also available in more colors than the previously mentioned models due to their resin construction which allows for more color choices. If you like the looks of GVFC but just don't want to shell out more for the natural materials and slightly nicer feel in hand these are great options and strong writers when compared to other pens in their price bracket. For the Guilloche you are looking at somewhere between $350-$415 and $225-$290 on the Tamitio which I feel are reasonable prices for what you get.