Over the past year I have become somewhat hooked into collecting fountain pens. It began with a purchase of a Sheaffer Intensity M-SS Nib from a local pen shop in the City. Soon, I purchased my first gold nib pen, a Lamy 2000 from an online store and then...look out! Along came a Faber Castell Ambition in Pearwood M-SS nib, then a Pilot Vanishing Point 18Ct M nib, 2 Lamy Safari's M-SS and 1.5mm SS nibs, and my newest acquisition...a Graf-Von Faber Castell Guilloche Resin Cognac 18Ct F nib. This is the pen that I am reviewing today. There is a lot of good information on this pen that gives overall measurements and weight etc...so I will not go into that. This review is of my first impressions and first 24 hours of its use.
Now...everyone always starts off with the packaging so why be different. It comes in a nice white cardboard box that has two overlapping flaps that are held down with some sort of a magnetic system. When you open these flaps, you are greeted with the pen in an attractive cloth sleeve that keeps the pen well protected. The box has 3 slots so you can store 3 pens side by side and seeing it is the exact same box my Faber Castell Ambition came in...I now can store 6 fountain pens. It's even big enough to hold my 2 Lamy Safari pens side by side and I can still close the flaps.
Ok. Enough about the box! On to my first impressions.
It is certainly a beautiful pen. I was not the least bit disappointed with the etched design on the barrel and the cap is a beautiful work of art. From the etching around the top of the cap, to the clip and logo...it just looks good. There was a fair bit of discussion on the internet about the size of the pen and until you see it in person and actually hold it, you don't really realize how small it is. It is shorter than my Ambition when capped, but it does end up being a bit longer when the cap is posted.
The upside to the overall length is, if you put your pens in your shirt pocket like I do, it sits quite nicely showing off the top of the cap and the clip. Some of my other fountain pens have fallen out of my shirt pocket due to their length and the limited amount of clip actually holding them in.
It is very light with the cap un-posted, and I really don't mind the balance when the cap is posted. I know some have commented that this is an issue as they feel it's top heavy...just saying...it doesn't bother me. I don't have large hands...probably average...yet this pen is fairly slender and small while using it. The section is metal and is also slender an so far it feels not too bad but I will have to see how comfortable it is after hours of use. The converter that came with it fits nice and snug in the section and the barrel fits over the converter with little room to spare. It is a nice tight fit and along with the fine threads when you screw the barrel on, there is no wobble what so ever! One small beef I have though is there is a bit of step up between the section and the barrel. It might not bother some, but it is right where my thumb sits and I can certainly feel it. I am disappointed that those two parts didn't match up better. The Lamy 2000 does an amazing job of this and you would be hard pressed to see where the screw down piston is and the break point at the front to access the nib etc... Not a deal breaker...just a beef!
It is a soft 18Ct gold nib and it has a beautiful single colour design on it. You have to go up one more level to get the two tone nib, but I understand that they are the same nibs anyways so you are not getting a better quality by moving up.
It is very soft and you can see the flex in the nib when writing. I have the Fine nib and it does tend to feel a bit "Scratchy" depending on the quality of the paper you are writing on. On Rhodia paper it is silky smooth. I have seen a bit of ink creep on the nib, but it may just be the ink I am using. Currently I have Sailor Jentle Riku-Cha in the pen so I will do some experimenting with other inks to see if this is just an isolated case.
The pen leaves a real nice wet fine line...but not so wet that it takes for ever for the ink to dry. As mentioned earlier, it is a bit "Scratchy" with the fine nib on some paper, but otherwise I have no complaints with the amount of ink it leaves and the smoothness of the nib on paper. One issue that I have been having is the pen running dry, even with a full converter of ink. I thought it might be that I didn't give the pen a good enough cleaning when I received it, but I have since given it a thorough cleaning and I am still having issues. Again...maybe its the Sailor ink I am using, or perhaps its when the pen is posted and sitting in my pocket and the ink flows away from the nib. Not sure what it is so again I will be experimenting with other inks and hopefully that is all it is.
So - Is this pen worth the $$$'s. I paid $323 Canadian before taxes and although it is a beautiful pen, I feel that my Lamy 2000 for which I only paid $189 for, writes just as nice. Now the Lamy has an ultra modern design/look to it and the Graf-Von Faber Castell has some real class to it. Is the class worth and extra $134...not sure. I may only ink and reach for this pen on special occasions but who knows....the more I use it and if I can get the dry ink issue solved - I could be a good contender for an every day use pen!
As an update, I purchased GVF Midnight Blue ink and was still having issues with the pen running dry on me so I have been in touch with GVF and the pen is now off to the Customer Service Centre in Ontario for Warranty. Bit disappointed as I only just received the pen and now it is off….at my shipping expense to say the least. I will update once I have the pen back again!
Edited by Goose746, 17 October 2017 - 20:44.