I am always on the lookout for new fountain pens with italic/calligraphy nibs. I had recently bought two Graf von Faber-Castell pens and had their nibs ground to cursive italic by Mike Masuyama at the San Francisco Pen Show in August. I was enormously pleased with how these nibs performed. So, when I got an email from La Couronne du Comte in September announcing a new GvF-C Tamitio Calligraphy Fountain Pen set with 3 italic nibs, I didn’t hesitate to order. Actually, it turned out to be a pre-order. The pens had not yet been produced. Then there was a further delay due to production or quality control problems with one of the nibs. I finally received the pen and nib set yesterday. It was worth waiting for.
Faber-Castell has two lines of pens, each with several models. Their more expensive series is called “Graf von Faber-Castell” and ranges from the famous “Pen of the Year” (POTY) luxury pens to the Tamitio at a much lower cost. The Tamitio is the only model in the GvF-C range with a steel nib; the other models have 18Kt gold nibs. It also has a different clip and is a shorter pen, although the “Classic” series pens are more slender.
The Calligraphy set includes a black Tamitio pen and three italic nibs. The pen is also available with a single round nib in several widths. The barrel is enameled brass and feels substantially weighty. The cap and sections are plated - I have read they are plated with rhodium and elsewhere that the plating is platinum. The nibs are 1.1, 1.4 and 1.8 mm wide respectively. The pen and nibs seem to be of the same high quality as the other GvF-C pens I own. The nibs are rather stubbish, but do write with enough line variation for use in italic or gothic calligraphy. Of course, they can't be compared to the GvF-C gold nibs that were custom-ground for me by Michael Masuyama, but the whole set costs much less that either of the other pens.
Most of the Graf von Faber-Castell pens have a form recalling the company’s origin as a maker of lead pencils. They have straight barrels and generally are smaller in diameter than most pens. This concerned me before my first purchases of this make, but I found the Intuition Platino very comfortable and the thinner Snakewood LE in the Classic model quite usable, albeit rather thinner than my personal ideal. The Tamitio’s diameter is between that of the Classic and Platino pens. It is missing the slight flair at the nib end and has a very short metal piece for the section. This makes for a mildly uncomfortable grip. In fact, I am not sure just how I will end up holding this pen.
GvF-C pens for size comparison. L to R: Classic (Snakewood LE); Intuition Platino; Tamitio
All in all, I am happy with this set. I expect I will accommodate to the ergonomics of the barrel. I’m thinking about getting another Tamitio, so I can use two of the italic nibs at once.