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  1. Lady P

    Faber-Castell Nibs

    I have only one Faber-Castell fountain pen: the Loom. The nib is quite good, so I'm thinking about possibly buying more F-C pens down the road. Which brings me to my question: does F-C use the same kind of nib for all of its fountain pens, or does it use something different on its more expensive models (such as the Ambition or Ondoro)? And if it does use different nibs for different pens, have you noticed any differences in nib performance worth mentioning?
  2. 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: Faber-Castell Ondoro Review 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. PRESENTATION 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. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Fc0XQgBbg8g/VeHlxofp3nI/AAAAAAAAFVQ/cm40PCnSoYs/s1600/box.jpg 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. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jwgZbMNod34/VeHl7XF8PlI/AAAAAAAAFVY/ozpam9geDiw/s1600/DSC_5717.jpg 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. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UwY4iHyWtyo/VeHmMQG5zdI/AAAAAAAAFVo/_bxi6lwZDgE/s1600/DSC_5725.jpg 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’. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2bRPeFtLQrY/VeHmHqEzhMI/AAAAAAAAFVg/gflyaBVtiwU/s1600/DSC_5726.jpg 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. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PZkfeOy0kTQ/VeHlwGjb_LI/AAAAAAAAFVI/RXHG6CgwqS8/s1600/cap.jpg 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. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-r54us3mfHlU/VeHmXs1aUxI/AAAAAAAAFVw/ccQWq8h8GSY/s1600/DSC_5755.jpg The insert for the section threads with the metallic insert in the resin barrel. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qscoJSXp5Ls/VeHmkJikquI/AAAAAAAAFV4/l343kFQhwS8/s1600/DSC_5757.jpg 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. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NSOno4o5b_g/VeHmlIAnTaI/AAAAAAAAFWI/lWTl-pFgC5k/s1600/DSC_5763.jpg 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. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GuGepiLE0h8/VeHmk2nj1EI/AAAAAAAAFWE/zimurJDHyqs/s1600/DSC_5776.jpg The feed is standard grey plastic, with a big filler hole for ink suction, which incidentally is used across the GvFC Intuition & Classic Series. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fDBSCfLAAE0/VeHmvEJDeYI/AAAAAAAAFWQ/PTA5tgQflgM/s1600/DSC_5778.jpg 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 http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jVgRyXwdBG4/VeHm9LFmMQI/AAAAAAAAFWY/Dtwhl79Buqw/s1600/DSC_5787.jpg Uncapped the Ondoro almost matches a TWSBI 580 http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HH2u5rSS3kI/VeHm_94vbnI/AAAAAAAAFWg/IKajNkSc5vE/s1600/DSC_5804.jpg Not really posted! http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ZWsHc5_wH_I/VeHnGAQDFMI/AAAAAAAAFWo/3qO8OdWoej0/s1600/DSC_5815.jpg 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. OVERALL (5.6/6) 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. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LtLB1WGbtKs/VeHnQe4ukTI/AAAAAAAAFWw/rHcuB7G_a0w/s1600/DSC_5837.jpg REFERENCES Faber Castell Ambition GvFC Intuition Faber Castell History Bock Clientele Thank you for going through the review. You can find some more pen and paraphernalia reviews here.
  3. Hi All! Here comes a new "ruthless review". My ruthless reviews have a few peculiar features: Concise;Very strict. If a pen costs hundred of euros, no faults are allowed. - A good pen gets a 60/100, - A great pen an 80/100, - An almost perfect one a 90/100. - Only a divine pen can have above 90.Don't care about the box,Add a few peculiar criteria:Nib appearance;Usability in shirt pockets;Out-of-the-boxness, meaning to what extent a nib was perfect right after leaving the seller. Faber Castell Ondoro Smoked Oak with M nib Thanks to user dragon666, I can recycle his great review here and I don't need to upload pictures Mine is exactly the same. 1. Appearance and design: 10/10 I don't know who designed it, but this pen deserves a spot in the hall of fame of contemporary design. Here, for example. It's awesome. 2. Construction: 4/10 Ouch... a proof that "German quality" is often a stereotype: the cap doesn't perfectly fits the body, and moves in its place, leaving space for air to sneak through and dry the ink if unused for a couple of days. The clip is 1/5 of a millimeter off-centred, and the feeder doesn't always keep the ink inside the pen. The result: a big blue ink stain on a wooden pen. Impossible to clean Also, the pressure lock is not very secure: it wears out quickly and I already had to strengthen it a couple of times adding a thin layer of cyanoacrylate to make the plastic thicker. 3. Quality of materials: 10/10 The oak is tactile, beautiful, perfectly cut, in one word: amazing. The rhodium-plated metal is shiny and perfect. 4. Weight and dimensions: 8/10 Very good as well. It's 100% perfect for me, but the section might be too thin for some (-1) and it's perhaps a bit short for others (-1) 5. Nib performance: 8/10 Reliable, a bit on the dry side with some inks. No flex. A hard starter after a couple of days due to the poor design of the cap lock. 6. Nib appearance: 7/10 Minimalistic, indeed. Not bad, but they could have made it a bit larger! 7. "Out-of-the-boxness": 10/10 100% perfect in this field! 8. Filling system and maintenance: 5/10 The converter looks a bit cheap and sometimes there are minor leaks; the pen doesn't take all types of converters! 9. Clip and usability with shirts: 6/10 The length is great for any shirt, but the clip doesn't lock very tightly and can drop out. Too short for safe carrying in suit pockets. 10. Cost and value: 9/10 The pen is so breathtakingly beautiful that I'd gladly pay EUR 1.000 have one, Instead, it's around EUR 130. Too bad for the steel nib... Final mark: 77/100 This is a really great pen. Too bad it's not perfectly built, otherwise it would jump very close to my Visconti Van Gogh Maxi, so far the best pen I've reviewed, at 90/100.
  4. I am a new entrant in the fountain pen world and my knowledge is limited to what I have read online. I am thinking of buying a pen and the things that matter to me are: Writing quality (of course), solid build, and appearance. I have narrowed down to the following pens but am not able to decide because, besides the good comments, I have also heard some serious negative reviews about them - I am not sure how prevalent these issues are. Could someone please help me decide? 1. Visconti Rembrandt: I like the looks of it the most but I have read at some places (amazon) that there are issues with its ink flow and build quality. 2. Waterman Perspective: I almost equally like this one too but again have heard bad reviews on its build quality (lacquer coming out) and ink flow. 3. Faber Castell Ondoro: The looks are a little bland for my taste but if it turns out to be superior in quality than the above two then I may go for this one. If you think some other pen (in similar budget range) is far more superior to the above three then please feel free to comment. Please advise. Thanks.





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