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An Elemental Review Of Graf Von Faber-Castell Elemento (L.e)

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#1 sannidh

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 09:53

I am happy to share a review of the Graf von Faber Castell Elemento Fountain pen, which is incidentally my first limited edition fountain pen.

 

I have also replicated the content with some additional pictures in my blog, since the images are/will be reduced to a smaller thumbnail after a short-while by the image hosting service. Below is a link to the same:

 

Review of Graf von Faber-Castell Elemento

 

ELEMENTO L.E

 

To be honest, the Elemento seems so alluringever since I have got an Intuition. Its yearning could only multiply with time. A sale was good enough to trigger my purchase as I could not wait long to catch hold of the pen. Incidentally, this is my first numbered (limited edition) fountain pen, delightfully so with a wooden barrel.

Elemento, incidentally was designed to celebrate the 250th anniversary of my favourite fountain pen company - Graf von Faber-Castell.  It also marked the release of a few other similarly sized wooden models of intuition. The Elemento range comprises of individually numbered propelling pencils (250 pieces), ball point pens (1500 pieces), roller-ball pens (1000 pieces) apart from these fountain pens (2500 pieces).

 

PRESENTATION (6/6)

 

One of the best parts of the presentation is a big hand-crafted wooden case in wenge colour, housing the entire collection. There is also a similar box which holds only the fountain pen. I was not able to get this case due to certain shipping constraints. However to my absolute delight, the Faber-Castell company sent me a spare wooden box, which usually is meant for the Intuition Wooden/Platino editions.  Many thanks to Nicole, who handles marketing at Faber-Castell for APAC/MEA regionwlEmoticon-star2.png?imgmax=800

 

elem%20000_zpsev8dffig.jpg

 

The pen comes in a small cardboard box, which has an L.E number attached to one of the smaller faces of the cuboid. Along with the pen, there is a brochure which narrates a bit of Faber-Castell’s ‘since 1761’ history, along with alluring pictures of the Perfect Pencil, before it delves further into the elements of the Elemento range.

 

1-design_zpsh7eqpsw1.jpg

 

 

DESIGN (6/6)

 

This is probably where firms like GvFC revolutionize the past, present and future of design. A dazzle of platinum deeply resonates with the subtlety of discernible olive wood grains in the barrel.

 

elem%20005_zpsa2quef3g.jpg

 

The barrel is made of cross-grained olive wood (Stimholz in German), where wood is cut into discs, perpendicular to the height of a tree. This renders both strength and elegance to the wood. You can notice some heavy varnishing on the barrel, so that any chance of staining is well-eliminated. The wood is said to be fitted onto the barrel in six individual elements, for the sole purpose of transforming it into a fountain pen. A contour of colours ranging from honey gold to reddish brown, garnish the barrel while the black lines running across the length of barrel give it a distinct elegance.

 

elem%20014g_zps5gwwfcom.jpg

 

On puling off the cap, you will instantly notice a singularity of the barrel, running sans any joints. A super-sized two-tone nib is divulged with a golden-silvery sheen glistening with the platinum coated trims. Towards the nib end, the singular barrel narrows down to a slightly concave section, to form a comfortable grip. The cap is friction fit and closes onto the barrel, with an audible click.

 

elem%20006_zpskpo9sl7j.jpg

 

At the other end of the barrel is a glittering crown, which can be twisted to disengage the nib and filling system. You can find the GvFC coat-of-arms logo embossed on its finial, earlier used to represent complete achievement in heraldic tradition. And, why not!

 

elem%20012_zpskypyedqi.jpg

Once you reach the end cap, you will notice a disc of olive wood adorning the finial and rendering a finality to the wooden barrel.The cap is engraved with GRAF VON FABER – CASTELL, encircling the wooden finial insert. Below at the cap band, it says GRAF VON FABER – CASTELL on one side and HANDMADE IN GERMANY on the other. ‘Handmade’ because there are over a hundred steps in the entire manufacturing process of this pen, a majority of which are carried out by hand. The clip shines in consonance, with a highly efficient yet visible spring loaded system.

 

1-cap_zpsuxqy60xs.jpg

 

As a Limited Edition (L.E), a number, i.e XXXX/2500 here, is etched at the end of the barrel section, which attaches to the nib & filling system insert. And while writing, you can always observe a subtle reflection of the L.E number, rhyming in cadence with your script, on the visible metallic end of the insert.

 

elem%20016_zpsiyeoyetn.jpg

 

 

FILLING SYSTEM (6/6)

 

Once the crown on the barrel is rotated anti-clockwise to disengage the nib & filling system, you would notice a rather classical CC filler system. The nib has a screw fit, and inserts into a metallic sleeve like most of the Faber-Castell fountain pens which I have seen till date. The nib sleeve has threads which synchronize with the inner threads on the metal insert of the barrel, both ending up with octagonal cross sections. The converter has a metallic band which friction-fits into the nib section although it does not fit a FCD Ambitionsection. With a reasonably high converter capacity of 0.8 – 0.9 mL, the ink does last for quite a while! My usual bias towards piston fillers has always been negated by the relatively higher capacities of Faber-Castell converters.

 

1-fill_zpsxd5umrg9.jpg

 

 

NIB (6/6) – ALL THAT MATTERS

 

The giant two-tone nib with an usual iridium tip is run by hand, and it comes in four main sizes – EF, F, M & B along three special widths – BB (extra-broad), OM (L) & OB (L).

 

The tail end of the nib specifies the size and below it rests the composition (18 ct, 75% Au) of the gold-alloy used. A golden decor runs along the shoulders of the nib and it converges across the outer tines onto the iridium tip, while the rhodium silvery finish diverges from thebreathless slit (There is no breather hole on this nib!) across the inside of the tines and over to the tail. A cross hatched border segregates the rhodium and gold decors. Then, there is a dazzling white coat-of-arms logo resting above the tail-end. This one is a fine nib and writes superbly butter smooth with no hint of feedback.

 

elem%20018_zpsrciomce6.jpg

 

 

PHYSICS OF IT (6/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING

 

With a cylindrical wooden body, it does give a superb feel with a comfortable weight, without posting. The overall capped length of around 13 cm is more than a typical Pelikan m2xx/4xx. The total weight of Elemento has a significant contribution from the cap but is quite well-balanced otherwise. You would not love to use the pen posted, though.

elem%20019_zpsges68cnn.jpg

Uncapped Length ~ 12.5 cm
Posted Length ~ 16.9 cm
Nib Leverage ~ 2.3 cm
Overall Weight ~ 40-45 g

 

While it’s not posted, Elemento compares well with a Pelikan m800, which I feel has a slightly flatter and bigger nib.

 

elem%20020_zpsjnbvvqsd.jpg

 

 

ECONOMIC VALUE(5/6)

 

Although the Elemento retails at more than USD 1200, it is available at lower street prices. With end of season clearance sale, I was able to get the pen at a good discounted price. I would not undervalue the rating by much, because in the end the Elemento is a kind of masterpiece in itself.

 

OVERALL (5.8/6)

 

I adore the distinctly granular olive wood design and the remarkably superlative appeal of Elemento, given the contoured gradient of reddish brown to honey gold colour. This pen is blessed with a butter smooth fine nib which delivers a relatively wide but wet line. The line width closely resembles with a Pelikan Fine nib. For a Waterman Florida Blue ink, it takes around 14-15 seconds to dry. I could not find any line variation with horizontal and vertical strokes for this one. Below is a written review of the same:

 

elem%20021_zpsjj6biuoe.jpg

 

It was fun reviewing the Elemento. I hope you enjoyed it.

 

Best,

Sonik


Edited by soniknitr, 21 April 2015 - 13:03.

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#2 hari317

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 10:00

Very nice presentation Sonik, the pen looks lovely. The converter I believe is a re-branded Schmidt K-5. The same one but with yellow plating came with my Porsche design tec flex pen, the pen is made by GVFC. :)


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#3 sannidh

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 13:06

Very nice presentation Sonik, the pen looks lovely. The converter I believe is a re-branded Schmidt K-5. The same one but with yellow plating came with my Porsche design tec flex pen, the pen is made by GVFC. :)

I never knew it was a Schmidt one, but I did have a funny feeling about the converters of both intuition and elemento, as the FCD converters are somewhat different. Thank you for your remarks, Hari !  


Edited by soniknitr, 21 April 2015 - 13:08.

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#4 AG_ORD

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 19:14

What delightful eye candy to start my day soniknitr!  The beautiful presentation box really does set up the sequence of experiences quite nicely...



#5 sannidh

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 02:09

What delightful eye candy to start my day soniknitr!  The beautiful presentation box really does set up the sequence of experiences quite nicely...

 

Thank you so much AG_ORD. The pen is a delight :) .

 

Best,

Sonik


Edited by soniknitr, 22 April 2015 - 02:10.

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#6 Frank C

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 02:23

Thanks for the review. I purchased one of these on the 'bay. It is a beautiful pen. I haven't filled ink with ink, yet; I'm still trying to decide which ink to use. 


"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel
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#7 pavoni

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 06:02

Another superb review Sonik, and of a quite beautiful pen.  Your words certainly do the pen justice.  Congratulations on your first LE and many thanks for sharing so generously. :thumbup:

 

Pavoni.



#8 sannidh

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 11:19

Thanks for the review. I purchased one of these on the 'bay. It is a beautiful pen. I haven't filled ink with ink, yet; I'm still trying to decide which ink to use. 

I do agree with you on beauty front. Superbly designed pen. Thanks for your comments. BTW, got a nice shade with both sailor sky high and MB toffee brown.. I hope you ink the pen soon.

 

Best,

Sonik


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#9 sannidh

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 11:22

Another superb review Sonik, and of a quite beautiful pen.  Your words certainly do the pen justice.  Congratulations on your first LE and many thanks for sharing so generously. :thumbup:

 

Pavoni.

 

Many thanks, Pavoni, for both your wishes and time for the review. I do love the pen but am afraid to make it a daily carry to work. :)

 

Regards,

Sonik


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#10 Frank C

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 13:32

I do agree with you on beauty front. Superbly designed pen. Thanks for your comments. BTW, got a nice shade with both sailor sky high and MB toffee brown.. I hope you ink the pen soon.

 

Best,

Sonik

 

Thanks for the information. I'm still thinking . . . . 


"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel
I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

#11 sannidh

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 13:13

Hari - Is the K-5 converter expected to fit a rotring fp? 


Edited by soniknitr, 25 April 2015 - 10:03.

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#12 sannidh

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 09:57

 

Thanks for the information. I'm still thinking . . . . 

Looks like :cloud9:. What is the nib size you went for Frank?


Edited by soniknitr, 25 April 2015 - 09:59.

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#13 Frank C

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 15:54

Looks like :cloud9:. What is the nib size you went for Frank?

 

Both my Terracotta and Elemento pens have fine nibs. I bought them at auction from Regina Martini and fine nibs were what was available. Generally I prefer broader or even oblique nibs, but I do like all nib sizes. 


"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel
I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

#14 sannidh

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 03:40

 

Both my Terracotta and Elemento pens have fine nibs. I bought them at auction from Regina Martini and fine nibs were what was available. Generally I prefer broader or even oblique nibs, but I do like all nib sizes. 

Same here, Frank. Guess the intuition is available in more nib size (OM/OB etc)


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#15 Frank C

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 03:55

Same here, Frank. Guess the intuition is available in more nib size (OM/OB etc)

 

I have a couple of other intuitions with the OM and OB nibs. I have them filled with Faber Castell (FC) ink. They are good pens and write well. I also like the FC ink, even though it is expensive. 


"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel
I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

#16 sannidh

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 04:22

 

I have a couple of other intuitions with the OM and OB nibs. I have them filled with Faber Castell (FC) ink. They are good pens and write well. I also like the FC ink, even though it is expensive. 

Oh nice! I have been trying to get some of the new FC inks (bottled), but can't seem to find them here in India. All I can find are cartridges :unsure: .


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#17 Frank C

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 05:18

Oh nice! I have been trying to get some of the new FC inks (bottled), but can't seem to find them here in India. All I can find are cartridges :unsure: .

 

I don't know about mail order to India, but they are readily available in the US. Goulet pens has them for $30 USD per bottle. The Garnet Red, Moss Green, and Hazelnut Brown are all nice colors. The blue is nothing special and the black is, well, black. Stone Grey is alright for grey fans. The bottles have a nice heavy glass base and look good sitting on my desk. Cult Pens has them for £25, which is pretty expensive. I often order Diamine Ink from Cult Pens because it is cheaper than in the US, even with the postage. Their customer service is exceptional. 

 

Good luck with the pens, and I hope that you find some FC ink.


"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel
I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

#18 sannidh

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 15:09

 

I don't know about mail order to India, but they are readily available in the US. Goulet pens has them for $30 USD per bottle. The Garnet Red, Moss Green, and Hazelnut Brown are all nice colors. The blue is nothing special and the black is, well, black. Stone Grey is alright for grey fans. The bottles have a nice heavy glass base and look good sitting on my desk. Cult Pens has them for £25, which is pretty expensive. I often order Diamine Ink from Cult Pens because it is cheaper than in the US, even with the postage. Their customer service is exceptional. 

 

Good luck with the pens, and I hope that you find some FC ink.

 

Thanks for the information. I shall ask my sister to get it for me on her next trip :) 


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#19 sannidh

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 16:18

Very nice presentation Sonik, the pen looks lovely. The converter I believe is a re-branded Schmidt K-5. The same one but with yellow plating came with my Porsche design tec flex pen, the pen is made by GVFC. :)

Btw, most of the GvFCs LEs  (Pen of the Year) since 2003 seem to have either a piston or a plunger mechanism.


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#20 Millefleurs

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 17:54

Striking pen. Wonderful review. Thank you for sharing!







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