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Graf von Faber Castell Pen of The Year 2006


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#1 Excoriar

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 08:42

How I got this pen is that I was actually out shopping with my brother for a present for my mom's birthday, and just saw this pen in the display case. Now I've only seen this pen on the web and in books but it had never crossed my mind to go look for it nor to attempt to purchase one. Strange how events in life just happen. Anyway, this is my first attempt at a review, so please bear with me.

First Impression:
Heavy pen, but the wood and the ivory feel warm, a stark contrast to the cap which is platinum. Quite a big pen. The box it came in is a nice white laquered wooden box that is also quite heavy.

Appearance:
Looks like a big solid pen. The black and white really stands out. There's a nice grey-ish window that allows you to see how much ink you have left. I think it's better than the one on my MB 149 as there's more space for me to see.

Design:
Typical German engineering (for me anyway): Precise and tight. The clip aligns with the ivory, everything is just so tight and precise. Under the clip are ridges that prevent the pen from just sliding out, but will probably damage your new silk shirt. Need to becareful when removing the pen from the shirt or jacket. But it's a heavy pen, so putting it in your shirt will cause it to sag, but I noticed that the pen is long enough to reach the bottom of the pocket. Also do not believe that posting will be an issue as they use plastic on the inside of the cap so as not to scratch the end cap. However, while posted, the balance of the pen goes backwards toward the end of the pen and it's even longer than my MB 149. I like the balance of the pen unposted. The girth of the pen is about the size of the MB 149.

Nib:
Seems like a stiff nib. Haven't really tried it out yet. But from my experience with the other Graf pen, it may need a bit of breaking in.

Filling System:
Piston Filler. Although initially I think that the end cap is redundant, I do see the point of having a separate cap just in case someone wants to twist it. And the show and tell value is also there is Mr. JŁrgen Schott's mark underneath. Also noticed that the piston has 3 rings on it.

Cost and Value:
Expensive, but then, considering that itís using Mammoth Ivory vs. the petrified wood and the difference in cost between the 2006 and the 2007 pen, it's relatively cheaper. The pen also comes with a free cleaning service once a year but you must send it to Germany. I guess it's a nice way (albeit a bit expensive) way to maintain your pen.

Conclusion:
This pen was totally unexpected. I didn't expect to see it in person, nor to be able to buy one when I had the chance. Iím looking forward to many years of good use with this pen and it will be something of a family heirloom for my kids. Now I just have to figure out what to get my other kids.

Leo

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Edited by Excoriar, 14 August 2007 - 01:55.


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#2 Excoriar

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 08:57

Comparison pictures. From top to bottom:

MB 149
Pen of the Year
Graf Grenadilla

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Edited by Excoriar, 14 August 2007 - 01:50.


#3 Excoriar

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 08:57

I'm not sure how to shrink the pictures and I think I'm at the limit... headsmack.gif

Edited by Excoriar, 13 August 2007 - 09:07.


#4 NeoTiger

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 11:30

If you have any image editing program (something that you might have would be Microsoft Office Picture Manager), just open the picture in that and find the function "resize" or "resample" (doesn't matter which, they have similar meanings).

Then just choose a size that's smaller, a good choice is 600 pixels wide (and however many pixels high to keep the proportion right).

#5 meanwhile

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 11:42

You can download "Irfanview" for free. It's probably the best tool for resizing, altering colour balance, cropping, etc.

www.irfanview.com
- Jonathan

#6 omasfan

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 16:17

I've seen most of the Faber Castell Pen of the Year pens in stores and tried them personally (although I couldn't afford one).
Of all, I like the ivory-ebony pen the best. It is very beautiful. However, I think it's more of a collector's piece than a usable pen. Without the cap posted it is usable but still very heavy. I like my pens light, that's why I prefer celluloids. However, the Faber Castell is an immaculate pen, and the craftsmanship is outstanding.

What did you pay in Taiwan? I think they are cheaper in Asia than in Europe and the U.S.. Just curious...

#7 Shelley

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 21:46

These are the pens that reintroduced me to the world of FP's although I did not end up getting one - yet, they are definately on my wish list along with the Von Graf Pencil Holder.
Please post a picture of the nib with some handwriting, what ink do you use in it and how does it feel to actually write with ( I bekieve that they actually make their own nibs-a bit of a rarity these days.
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#8 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 22:39

Nice looking pen. I have to admit that I thought the pen would be thinner but that is not the case. I never thought that the Pen of the Year was a full sized pen and a piston filler. That is really good news. Let us know how it writes, I am quite curious. I have zero experience with Faber Castell fountain pens, so I am unsure how the nibs are. Please keep us informed!!! Thanks for your review!!

TNS
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#9 Excoriar

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 02:07

Thanks for all the help and response, I've fixed the pictures and added a bit more.

dupontfan: I don't like the weight balance of the pen with the cap posted, but I think the overall weight of the pen feels quite alright in my hand. I prefer big pens, and this one is pretty big. I paid about US$1,800 but that's because I've spent a lot of prior investments at that shop...

Shelley: Included picture of the nib. As for the writing, I only have a bottle of MB Black on my desk. Though I did just come across a rather curious bottle of De Atramentis Rembrandt that may have been misplaced into my order... I think I'll dip the pen in the MB ink first. Hard to come across good ink in this part. Pens are quite easy.. ink not so much...

TNS: Ditto to what I wrote to Shelley. Going to dip it and test out the nib.

#10 alvarez57

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 02:10

Very, very nice pen. Not bad for a first timer reviewer ( blush.gif I'm not an expert, though). Just check on the Fountain Pen Data Review in this section of the forum and read, read and read. That'll give you a pretty good idea.
Beautiful pen!

sonia alvarez

 

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#11 Shelley

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 02:18

Ahh those photos are much better, well done!!
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#12 Excoriar

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 08:09

What confuses me is that in the instructions pamphlet, it tells me to dip the pen in the bottle, then turn the pen upside down and THEN turn the piston? mellow.gif I'm confused... I thought you dip the pen in the bottle and turn while the nib is in the ink so that the ink will be sucked up. Am I missing something here?

Anyways, from just dipping the pen and test writing, I can report that the nib feels sturdy, a bit of flex and smooth. The more I use it the thicker the words because. I'm not sure if it's because of more ink or the nib but it definanty writes more like a M nib instead of a F nib now. Without posting the pen is balanced, but a bit heavy, which I think I will get used to because I've been using lighter pens recently. With the cap posted, the top feels heavy as expected, but writing seems lighter for me. I guess it's because of the weight distribution (or there lackof) that you put less force on the nib. Either way, the writing is smooth. I'm just still trying to decide if I want to write posted or not. I guess it'll depend on how I feel that day. I'll get some more pictures on how it writes later in the week.

#13 PelikanPenman

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 06:35

I must say that is a beautiful pen and one that is on my wish list. The ebony and ivory is such a classic combination.

Cheers. Enjoy it.
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#14 Bennington1967

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 00:06

The GVFC pen of the year is always a nice pen, and the best model from this brand. But I do feel that the price is very excessive.

#15 Excoriar

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 09:30

Now that I've had more experience in what a true flexy nib is, my conclusion is that the nib on this pen is the stiffest one in my small collection. And from looking at the pictures on FPN, I noticed that the nib and the feed look rather suspiciously similar to the Pelikan 800 nib, and have heard that GVFC does use Pelikan nibs in their pens. The pen needed a little bit of breaking in and is a very smooth writer now. Should be similar to how a Pelikan writes given that it looks almost exactly like the same nib.

I'm using Noodler's American Eel Black with my pen and I just love the shiny black ink it lays down, but it is a heavy pen with a stiff nib. I'm not sure it's a good idea to Binderize it as the nib is 18k (read somewhere on his website that he'd rather work with 14k nibs as 18k nibs are too stiff). I'll just keep on using the pen and see if I want to do anything with the nib in the future.

Edited by Excoriar, 04 October 2007 - 09:42.


#16 gary

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 15:43

Thank you for the photos and the review of a very impressive pen. It is much larger than I would have guessed without the comparison of it with the MB 149.

Richard Binder can do wonderful things with either 14 or 18 carat nibs. He and Barbara are exceptionally responsive to email inquiries. Tell him what you would like, and ask him what he would suggest. It may not be flexxy, but tip shaping issurely a possibility.

gary

#17 pengvfc2006

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 15:31

QUOTE (Excoriar @ Aug 13 2007, 09:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How I got this pen is that I was actually out shopping with my brother for a present for my mom's birthday, and just saw this pen in the display case. Now I've only seen this pen on the web and in books but it had never crossed my mind to go look for it nor to attempt to purchase one. Strange how events in life just happen. Anyway, this is my first attempt at a review, so please bear with me.

First Impression:
Heavy pen, but the wood and the ivory feel warm, a stark contrast to the cap which is platinum. Quite a big pen. The box it came in is a nice white laquered wooden box that is also quite heavy.

Appearance:
Looks like a big solid pen. The black and white really stands out. There's a nice grey-ish window that allows you to see how much ink you have left. I think it's better than the one on my MB 149 as there's more space for me to see.

Design:
Typical German engineering (for me anyway): Precise and tight. The clip aligns with the ivory, everything is just so tight and precise. Under the clip are ridges that prevent the pen from just sliding out, but will probably damage your new silk shirt. Need to becareful when removing the pen from the shirt or jacket. But it's a heavy pen, so putting it in your shirt will cause it to sag, but I noticed that the pen is long enough to reach the bottom of the pocket. Also do not believe that posting will be an issue as they use plastic on the inside of the cap so as not to scratch the end cap. However, while posted, the balance of the pen goes backwards toward the end of the pen and it's even longer than my MB 149. I like the balance of the pen unposted. The girth of the pen is about the size of the MB 149.

Nib:
Seems like a stiff nib. Haven't really tried it out yet. But from my experience with the other Graf pen, it may need a bit of breaking in.

Filling System:
Piston Filler. Although initially I think that the end cap is redundant, I do see the point of having a separate cap just in case someone wants to twist it. And the show and tell value is also there is Mr. JŁrgen Schott's mark underneath. Also noticed that the piston has 3 rings on it.

Cost and Value:
Expensive, but then, considering that itís using Mammoth Ivory vs. the petrified wood and the difference in cost between the 2006 and the 2007 pen, it's relatively cheaper. The pen also comes with a free cleaning service once a year but you must send it to Germany. I guess it's a nice way (albeit a bit expensive) way to maintain your pen.

Conclusion:
This pen was totally unexpected. I didn't expect to see it in person, nor to be able to buy one when I had the chance. Iím looking forward to many years of good use with this pen and it will be something of a family heirloom for my kids. Now I just have to figure out what to get my other kids.

Leo


Nice review for the 2006 Gvfc Pen of the year.

I have just joined FPN recently.

Like yourself I also own a Graf von Faber Castell fountain pen (Walden Woods-Limited Edition).

The Pen of the year 2004 and 2006 are my favourite.

#18 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 05:27

Very nice pen wink.gif I am pretty sure it has almost the same nib than the pelikan 1000.
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#19 ArchiMark

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 18:35

Very handsome pen!.....

 

Know it's been years since this review....but any update on pen now that it has been some years?.....

 

Also, curious as to the nib....did it 'break in' as suggested?.....

 

@georges....or others....is nib really like Pelikan 1000?...my recollection is that 1000 is not rigid, but has some give to it....

 

Thanks!


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#20 Excoriar

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 17:41

Very handsome pen!.....

 

Know it's been years since this review....but any update on pen now that it has been some years?.....

 

Also, curious as to the nib....did it 'break in' as suggested?.....

 

@georges....or others....is nib really like Pelikan 1000?...my recollection is that 1000 is not rigid, but has some give to it....

 

Thanks!

 

Sorry, it's been YEARS since your response. The pen with the initial nib never quite broke in. However, waaaay back then, the cap way eating into the wood when capped so I sent the pen back to the vendor complaining of this and the the nib seemed a little off center compared to the feed and they said they'd take care of it. Many many months later, I got my pen back, and it's been great ever since. Thought I lost it or someone stole it a couple of months back, and just found the pen recently as apparently somebody decided to put the pen in a box in a bag. I cleaned it up, and put fresh ink in. Works like a charm. 








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