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The Pen of the Year 2020 is inspired by the Greek heroes of Sparta and their king Leonidas. For centuries, the small province of Sparta was the strongest military power in ancient Greece. The Spartiates’ discipline and superiority are legendary, acquired in their strict education from childhood onwards: the Agoge – meaning “leading, guidance, training”. Spartan society was moulded by the military, their fate determined by the gods: the courageous Athena was considered the most important deity alongside Apollo and Artemis. She stood for wisdom, strategy and combat and was also revered as the “guardian of the city”.
From childhood, every male Spartan went through a training system which was tough and physically demanding. Driven to bravery, perseverance, fearlessness and abstinence, they were to be made the best warriors of their time. Heavily armed with shield, breastplate, helmet and greaves, they went into battle on foot. They had to buy their very expensive armour themselves, which was adapted to their own body shape. The Pen of the Year 2020 embodies the characteristics of this armour – durability, hold and aesthetics. As a reference to the rivets on the Spartan armour, its distinctive barrel is adorned with premium diamonds set by hand. The milled, matt grip zone of the writing instruments is a reference to the warriors’ breastplate, which was shaped according to the anatomy of the body. Details such as the milled decorations on the barrel are reminiscent of the archaic patterns on the Spartans’ protective, precisely fitting battle dress.
Great wars between Sparta and the Persians, who wanted to conquer Greece, were fought at the beginning of the fifth century BC. Despite the tremendous Persian superiority, the Greeks held their ground – and the myth of the unbeatable warriors was born. One essential element of their defence was their helmet, made from a single piece of bronze. It protected the head and featured a narrow, elegant slit for the eyes and horsehair to intimidate the opponent. The spring-loaded clip on the cap of the Pen of the Year 2020 is based on the Greek ridge helmet and the powerful shape of a horse’s neck.
With their reputation as the strongest, unbeatable army of Greece, the Spartans were highly esteemed allies in the middle of the 6th century. Their battle at Thermopylae is famous the world over. Leonidas faced the superiority of the Persian king Xerxes and temporarily managed to stop him at a geographical bottleneck with just 300 Spartans. The brave warrior paid for his courageous effort with his life – but the majority of the Greeks withdrew in time and defended the country. In battle, the Spartans’ large, round shields were indispensable since they could protect the entire upper body. They inspired the lacquered inlay in the end cap of the Pen of the Year 2020, which features the lambda, the eleventh letter in the Greek alphabet. As shorthand for the Lacedaemonians – the historical name of the Spartan state – the lambda was emblazoned on Spartan warriors’ shields.
Bravery, honour and loyalty were special qualities of the Lacedaemonians. Their legendary era is reflected in the Pen of the Year 2020: the matt ruthenium-coated barrel, the grip, the clip and the lambda symbol are reminiscent of the grandeur and sophistication of their armour. Seven rough diamonds of 0.35 carat adorn the barrel of the exclusive writing instruments. As a reference to the rivets on the Spartan armour, they represent the robustness, strength and uniqueness of the bold Spartans. As the hardest natural material, the word diamond comes from the greek word adámas (ἀδάμας), which translates as “invincible”. The milled pattern on the barrel is reminiscent of the strip-style armour worn in the abdomen region. Like the end piece, the brilliant cap is polished to a high shine.
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|Brand||Graf von Faber-Castell|
|Cap Mechanism||Screw Cap|
|Complimentary||Packaged in a Gift Box|
|Dimensions||5.4" L X 0.6" D|
|Filling Mechanism||Plunger mechanism|
|Grip Material||Ruthenium coated|
|Length Capped||5.4" L|
|Length Posted||7.1" L|
|Nib Material||18k gold with ruthenium coating|
|Refills & Inks||Bottled Ink|
|Series||Graf Von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year|
|Special Features||Inspired by the Spartan soldiers|
|Warranty||Guaranteed for quality|