The Ondoro is another of my Faber-Castell Design (FCD) pens. These FCD steel nibs are common across the entire design product range - Basic, Loom, Ambition, Ondoro & e-motion and have been impeccable in my experience. My first pen from the design series was an Ambition. I feel that the Ondoro is structurally a much better pen, though it might lack a bit of aesthetic flair prevalent to the Ambition. Below is a link to this review on my blog:
The Ondoro line comes with a fountain pen (with 4 different nib widths), a roller ball, a propelling pencil (0.7mm) and a ballpoint pen across three coloured resins - Orange, Black & White (now discontinued) and a wooden one (smoked oak) priced substantially higher.
The Ondoro along with the included converter was hand-delivered at my workplace by A.W Faber Castell India personnel, encased inside this moss-green cardboard box. This colour always reminds me of the Australian Baggy Green Caps. The box has a slider where the pen is placed beneath a fabric band on a felted bed, along with a warranty card and a cartridge. Like the pen, the box does portray certain elements of minimalism.
DESIGN - HEXAGON & CHROME (6/6)
The pen seems to have an affair with geometry, structurally constituted of two overlapping hexagonal prisms - one orange and other chrome, with domed ends. Bold and minimalistic both in terms of convergence and functionality. The barrel is glossy while the cap is shiny chrome plated metal. Unfortunately the mirror finishes have a magnetic attraction for fingerprints. Faber-Castell calls the barrel material precious resin and it does feel qualitatively substantial.
The metallic cap snaps on and off the barrel with audible clicks. While putting the cap on, the hexagonal facets of the cap need to be aligned with the ones on the barrel. There is some metal at the end of the grip which actually is part of an insert for the nib unit. And there rests the shiny FCD nib. The barrel is designed to converge with the section subtly initiating a concave taper at the end of its hexagonal facets, leading to a comfortably concave grip section.
The finials at either end have smooth and convex domes, the one at the end of a barrel carries a engraved circle or an ‘O’.
A mirror finish on the hexagonal chromed cap will attract your attention while you keep resisting your instant urges to polish off finger-prints, even after the slightest touch. The dome like finial is etched with Faber-Castell logo of two jousting knights and embossed there is a traditional statement preserving antiquity - Since 1761. The spring loaded clip is shaped like an arc with a concave end. It’s engraved with GERMANY on one side of its loading point. A plastic insert inside the cap gives the snap-on friction.
FILLING SYSTEM (6/6)
The rather small resinous concavity at the end of the barrel unscrews from the barrel with seven turns and it disengages the section containing the nib and CC filling system. There is a mention of e3 on the metallic thread insert, it’s apparently a reference to their old manufacturing plants.
The insert for the section threads with the metallic insert in the resin barrel.
The converter says SCHMIDT on the piston along with the brand imprint of FABER-CASTELL Germany on the metallic sleeve. It has a reasonably high capacity of around 1 mL, and the ink does last for quite a while! I usually am biased towards piston fillers, but I like the capacity offered by Faber-Castell or Schmidt converters. In case of GvFC Converters, there is no mention of Schmidt on the converters themselves. This converter will snugly fit many other pens.
NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (6/6)
The nib is made of stainless steel alloy with an iridium tip. The initially available nib sizes featured F, M and B nibs, though an EF was made available later. I went with an F sized nib. Right out of the box, this was a very smooth nib.
The nib has a perforated imprint of dots which cover a third of its surface area. There is a subtle absence of any breather hole. The nib-size is embossed above the traditional Faber-Castell Design logo of two jousting knights near the tail.
The feed is standard grey plastic, with a big filler hole for ink suction, which incidentally is used across the GvFC Intuition & Classic Series.
Faber-Castell Design (steel) nibs are sourced from JoWo whereas the GvFC nibs (18k except Tamitio) are made by Bock.
PHYSICS OF IT (5/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING
Sans the cap, the pen measures around 12.4 cm, which is quite comfortable for me given the wide girth. The cap can be posted easily. While the posted pen exceeds a 15 cm scale, a steel cap of 17g does make it top-heavy.
- Uncapped Length ~ 12.4 cm
- Capped Length ~ 12.8 cm
- Posted Length ~ 16 cm
- Nib Leverage ~ 1.9 cm
- Overall Weight ~ 32 g (Cap Weight ~ 17 g)
Some capped, uncapped & posted references with a few pens like GvFC Intuition, Pelikan m205 and TWSBI 580 run below for your reference.
Terracotta is much redder than the orange in an Ondoro
Uncapped the Ondoro almost matches a TWSBI 580
Not really posted!
ECONOMIC VALUE (5/6)
The Ondoro resin versions retail at around USD 125. I purchased it with a good discount, directly from A.W Faber Castell India, as there were some warranty issues with my other Faber Castell pen. I believe it’s a good value for money pen given such a beautiful nib, which can defeat any other.
This nib is moderately wet, runs fine and smooth. There is absence of any line variation among horizontals & verticals. The nib has got some spring and a touch of softness. I find the grip very comfortable to hold the pen, you might say a little bit of barrel weight could have blessed this one. I will definitely recommend this pen to you, if you are looking at the Faber Castell Design Series.
Being a moderately wet writer out of the box, the Fine nib puts a decent fine line (finer than TWSBI F) which takes around 15 seconds to dry a wet MB Toffee brown ink on MD Paper.
Thank you for going through the review.
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