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Faber Castell 884 - Review


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#1 piembi

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 15:38

First Impression
Last Sunday was my lucky day. I won one of my drool pens from ebay: A vintage Faber Castell green striped. A few days later the postman brought my pen and I could not believe it: it was a 884 - the bigger size! And even better: the pen was in fabulous condition. There had been some blue ink residue inside that flushed out easily. No clogging, no staining, just plain blue ink. Thanks to H. Kunstmann from Munich (that's the personalization), who took good care of her/his pen!

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Appearance/Finish
I don't know if it is Celluloid but it could be. The pen is greenstriped and translucent. This makes it possible to see the piston moving within the barrell and to see the ink. You see the threads of the cap as well and IMO this is very appealing. The dark green striped barrell with a dark green monochrome piston knob and section has a classic und understated look. And it simply feels good, not like the plastic feeling of some modern pens.

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Design/Size/Weight
The pen has an old fashioned torpedo-like shape with an open nib and two cap bands: one at the end of the cap, the other one is part of the clip. The 884 is the biggest Faber Castell I have so far. I have a 661 all black and a 883 green that is in need of a replacement nib. The 884 is about the size of the Pelikan 400. For me this is the perfect size. Like the Pelikan the Faber Castell is a leightweight pen, exactly what I prefer.

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Nib Design and Performance
The nib is a huge open nib, about the size of the MB 146 nib. It is a 14K duo tone nib with the typical Faber Castell engraving. Nib size is M. Compared to the vintage Pelikan 400 M nib this one is a bit stiff but it does have some flex as soon as one applies just a little bit of pressure. It is one of those nibs that make vintage German pens so desirable - one of those nibs I have never had with a modern pen.

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The Filling System
The pen is a piston filler. I was lucky, the pen had not been clogged or stained by red or black ink. The previous owner, Mrs. or Mr. Kunstmann, took good care of the pen. Just a good flush and the pen was ready to use. The piston moves freely and the pen fills easily. I love piston fillers because they hold a lot of ink but sometimes it makes me nervous to have such a beauty with a piston because I cannot repair piston issues myself :(

Cost
As I have said in the beginning: Last Sunday had been my lucky day! The pen had been 30 Euros, including shipping! OK, I was looking for this very pen for a long time and more than one had been out of my price range. So maybe my patience has been rewarded with this little beauty :).

Conclusion
I love this pen! It is beautiful, in very good shape and performs flawlessly. This will be one of my favourite pens and for sure a keeper. It would have been a 10/10 if the pen had been a modern pen and were still available.

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#2 tanburi

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 15:49

This must be what they call 'luck' :)
Cogitamus non ideam sed per ideam.

#3 DougS

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 15:51

Beautiful pen and quite a lucky score! It appears to be a nice wet writer, too. Congratulations, and am I ever jealous.

--Doug

#4 jar

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 16:08

Great review of a Great Pen.

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#5 piembi

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 07:58

You are right. I was very lucky!!!!

#6 breaker

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 16:49

nice pen and nice review
Cogito ergo sum

#7 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 08:59

I have a 883 F. Mine is a simple black, with a wonderful size 2, maxi-semi-flex/'flexi' 14 K Supra nib.

I just soaked many of my cork dead Osmia pens for three and four days instead of the one I'd tried before.
The 883 came to life, as did a mdl 63...BBL with the normal #3 nib...that still had the gold wash in the pattern of the Osmia name and #3. The nib was not 'a gold washed/plated nib, just the pattern. It surprisingly had a maxi-semi-flex/'flexi' BBL nib. The nib is thin; a writing nib, not a signature nib.
To balance that out my BCHR 76 with a large perhaps size 6 Steel Supra nib EF, was only semi-flex instead of the expected maxi-semi-flex/'flexi' of the Supra nib. If I hold the pen high, just after the first knuckle it writes F, if I hold it low in the web of my thumb it writes EF.

The last of the 4 that came back, is a Osmia mdl 62 ML....OM...

BBL and ML....Osmia/Boehler used Broad Broad Left, for OBB, in they also had BBR, and ML is OM left. That way you know exactly what nib you are buying with the obliques.

There is now war in my top 6 nibs; nine are fighting it out now... Three of those Osmia nibs which had been rated as in my top 11 are now active and not just dip and wish.

Piembi's 884 is absolutely fantastic looking; a grail pen. :puddle: Top of the line, bling nib too. :drool:

I'm going to try to re-hydrate another Osmia a marbled one and a Boehler...It will take some 4 days to know if they too can be saved for a while. I'd only tried one day cures. :headsmack:

I have to re-cork some day. I always knew that.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 27 November 2011 - 09:00.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#8 Gerd W

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 11:29

Very appealing pen! After all it's a Faber-Castell, a great and historic brand. I am sure, it's perfect for your nice and accomplished writing. Congratulations!

#9 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 14:05

No, it's an Osmia...first, last and always. Faber Castell then made second tier pens. Because of their then pencil empire, they had the money to buy out Osmia for the first class name. They started in 1936. A Boehler brother left the company in 1938 starting a new pen company that lasted until the '70's.
1951 Faber Castell completed buying up controlling interest in Osmia.


Very shortly after Faber Castell took over they did away with the little diamond on the top of the cap. Next the Osmia clip, then Osmia on the side of the pen, and finally when nothing else was left, all that remained was the Osmia Diamond on a nib with Faber-Castell's name on it...the diamond told folks...yep...that's still the 'good' Osmia nib.
Then by the late 50's Osmia was erased totally.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#10 Gerd W

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 14:52

No, it's an Osmia...first, last and always. Faber Castell then made second tier pens. Because of their then pencil empire, they had the money to buy out Osmia for the first class name. They started in 1936. A Boehler brother left the company in 1938 starting a new pen company that lasted until the '70's.
1951 Faber Castell completed buying up controlling interest in Osmia.


Very shortly after Faber Castell took over they did away with the little diamond on the top of the cap. Next the Osmia clip, then Osmia on the side of the pen, and finally when nothing else was left, all that remained was the Osmia Diamond on a nib with Faber-Castell's name on it...the diamond told folks...yep...that's still the 'good' Osmia nib.
Then by the late 50's Osmia was erased totally.

Yes Bo Bo, you`re right, strictly speaking it is an Osmia. That fact unfortunately escaped me. Without doubt both, Osmia and Faber Castell made great products and I would be glad to own such a pen. (Though I do already have an Osmia with the Osmia name). Thanks for clearing.

#11 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 20:32

I have both my self...it's just they did it wrong. Why buy up a name, in this case Osmia; it's like BMW I think it is who bought up Rolls and then put a statue of Beckenbaurer on the hood, instead of Emili, and then removing the RR and the second gas tank and so on.

I don't know....the ball point was coming in, and some one didn't upgrade or the product would have been able to hang with Kaweco, Geha and Pelikan.

That sort of upset me later, even if my first Osmia-Faber-Castell 540 was a O-F-C and not a pure Osmia. This was inherited, and did not go to the flea market...only because my wife was wiser than me...look it up on the Internet...and I suddenly had a collection.
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German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#12 kubrandl

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 17:25

Kunstmann, Munich was a big shop or reseller. We could find it on many different pens. Brands like Kaweco and other elder German ones. I have never seen it on a Osmia pen so far.

Gerhard








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