I'd like to compare two corresponding pens, similar yet unique, each having traits the other lacks, each outstanding on its own, the Caran d'Ache Varius Metwood (rosewood) and the Graf von Faber Castell Classic in Pernambuco.
When you are first introduced to this couple you can see the basic similarities, both have wood bodies, bright finished caps and end pieces, are about the same length, both are slim and simple.
Closer inspection shows that one is a smooth hexagonal body while the other is a round ribbed body and a "nail" cap. The clips (and we will return to them later) are also different, one being a simple spring and the other a heaver hinged clip.
Both pens have screw caps and there you find more differences, the GvFC Classic takes only about three quarters of a turn to cap or uncap while the Cd'A Varius takes just over two full turns.
Both pens are cartridge converter pens and the GvFC Classic takes over ten full turns to separate body and section while the Cd'A Varius takes far fewer turns but has an o-ring to keep the section and body secure.
The GvFC is slightly longer, wider and heavier than the Cd'A Varius.
Also, while both sections are slim and concave, the section on the GvFC Classic is longer. In addition, you can order different sections for a Graf von Faber Classic pen, the standard Platinum plated one, a Sterling silver section or a resin section.
Now let me go back a moment to the clips. Both slide over fabric easily and hold securely but as I mentioned, the one of the GvFC Classic is hinged and spring loaded. In addition, underneath the sprung part of the clip GvFC has cut a series of ridges to help keep everything secure.
Both pens post securely and when posted the GvFC Classic is just slightly longer.
Another difference is that the converter on the Caran d'Ache Varius is a screw in type while the GvFC uses a push fit converter.
Both write smoothly, are reliable, come in a variety of nib styles and widths, both carry a lifetime warranty but only Graf von Faber Castell has an online link to buy spare or repair parts.
Which do I prefer?
Well I own more GvFC Classics than Cd'A Varius and the GvFC has a lower MSRP than the Cd'A products, but I keep finding one of my Varius pens inked and when I have both a Classic and a Varius inked it always seems the Varius runs out sooner. Since both are equally wet and it doesn't seem to matter whether the Classic is a fine and the Varius a medium or the Classic a medium and the Varius a fine, I feel like the Varius must get used more.
Regardless, it would be hard to go wrong with either.
Edited by jar, 24 March 2013 - 15:32.