A few of you who have been following my progression from "new to fountain pens" to connoisseur of all things Graf Von Faber-Castell might have picked up on my ambition to own the whole range of GvF-C Classic fountain pens. Recently I had an opportunity to get a little closer to that goal with the addition of a matching pair of ivory Anello Classics, the fountain pen and rollerball. They've inspired me to write a review so here goes:
In the course of my GvF-C obsession I have had plenty of opportunities to look at pictures of the ivory Anello but I hadn't seen one in person. In fact if I'm honest it wasn't top of the list of my favorite Classics. It seemed a little plain in the photos I'd seen but when my new pens finally arrived in the post I was blown away!
Like all Classics the Anellos come in a very nice wooden display case with slots for 3 pens. It looks as though someone has put a lot of thought into the design of the boxes. They're very well put together and the pens look great in them. At the moment I don't have anywhere appropriate to put them but a couple of Classics in their display box would complement any wooden desk set or alternatively look great on a bookshelf. Also supplied is a small cotton draw string bag, something that's a thoughtful and practical addition for transporting your pens, particularly when keeping more than one in a confined space as they will save your nice platinized metal parts from getting scratched.
As for the pens themselves the ivory resin sections have a subtle cream (you might even describe it as ivory) colour that I hadn't picked up on in the photos I'd seen. Each of the sections are separated by small platinized rings and the overall effect is great, understated and elegant with just a little flash.
It looks and feels very well engineered in the hand and the pens have a little bit of heft to them that I really like, not at all heavy but when holding them you get the definite impression that they're solidly built. Like the rest of the Classic line the ivory Anello has platinum plated metal parts, including the signature GvF-C fluted cap with the best engineered clip I've come across on any pen.
The fountain pen comes with the standard dual-tone (yellow and white gold) 18k nib engraved with the GvF-C crest. Visually the rollerball grip section is pretty standard, though one nice thing is that unlike so many other pens the fountain and rollerball are the same size and use the same cap. I really like having a matching pair instead of the rollerball being the smaller, poor relation to the fountain pen as is often the case.
Now for the important part, where the pen hits the paper, starting with the fountain pen. The medium (which I chose) nibs on GvF-C pens are said to be just a touch on the broad side which suits me fine, the broader the better as far as I'm concerned. But you should be aware before you buy one that a medium might not be the best choice if you're going to be using it for fine line drawing or writing in the margins. My other GvF-C medium nib is on my Guilloche and line width is pretty uniform though the Guilloche writes a little wetter.
Classic nibs in general are very smooth, apparently owing to a 100 step hand run-in process. I don't know about that but every time I go back to a Safari or my Invincia I really feel the difference. Once I got comfortable and brave enough with the pen to give it a little bit of pressure I was also impressed with the line variation I got. I wouldn't go so far as to call it semi-flex but there's enough wiggle room to give me a few choices and make my handwriting look a bit more interesting. (When your writing looks like mine every little bit helps).
The rollerball on the other hand is nice and smooth like you would expect from a quality pen. It's a straightforward setup utilizing GvF-C branded rollerball refill cartridges with one nice addition, there's some sort of springy widget inside that acts like suspension for your pen. When you apply pressure to the paper the rollerball cartridge travels just a tiny bit back into the pen and seems to regulate the pressure of the pen against the paper. I quite like it.
Finally, having owned several Classic FP's before I had some insight into what I was getting, but the ivory Anello was a pleasant surprise. They had a great visual impact I wasn't expecting and I think they may now have become my favorite pens. I couldn't be more happy with them and although I have some nice pens on their way, including a pernambuco Intuition (I'm quite looking forward to that one) and a titanium Anello, both with broad nibs, something tells me that the ivory Anellos will remain very high in my regard.
P.S for those keeping score at home I am getting quite close to my goal of owning the entire Classic range. After the recent arrival of my grenadilla (with a B nib); finally identifying my rare and now discontinued silver plated Classic (with a nice OB nib, short review on its way); and once my titanium Anello arrives; I'll only need the sterling silver, platinum plated and ebony and gold Anellos to complete the collection. I'm not quite sure what I'll do when there are no more mountains to climb but the more I think about the new hardwood Intuition series the more they seem like sirens beckoning me toward the rocks
Edited by phrenzy, 22 February 2012 - 06:06.