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Faber Castell Vintage 554D Progress Fountain Pen | A Short Review



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A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a NOS Faber Castell 554D Progress fountain pen, when searching for inks. It was placed inside a cellophane wrap, printed with green A.W Faber-Castell and was finally packaged inside a small cardboard box. A small pen which kind of resembled a rather compressed modern MB146, with its striped ink-windows. Since, I have an excellent experience with most of the Faber-Castell fountain pens including the reviewed ones here – Ambition, Intuition and Elemento, I went ahead and purchased the pen. Later, Faber-Castell Co. confirmed that the 554D featured in their brochure till 1960.

Faber-Castell started manufacturing fountain pens in 1951, after acquiring the
Osmia Company
and produced fountain pens till 1975. It carried the
Osmia
logo [diamond-in-a-circle] till the 1960s, given Osmia’s high brand recognition in the fountain pen industry and the same logo is also present in this one.

PS: I have also replicated the content in my blog, since the images are/will be reduced to a smaller thumbnail after a short-period. Below is a link to the same:

A.W Faber Castell 554D Progress Review

 

Here goes the review.

 

 

PRESENTATION

 

I like the vintage bit of packaging in the traditional way - a thick cardboard box, which has actually become thin these days. As you can see, the cellophane wrap carries the green A.W Faber-Castell name. There is a classical user-guide in German, with instructions on how to fill the pen.

http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/554D/1-box_zpsrpdq2z7y.jpg

 

DESIGN

 

The pen is made of up plastic parts with gold plated trims. This gloss of black and dazzle of gold is still being followed in modern times.

 

http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/554D/FC554D%20005_zpsjzk60khf.jpg

The nib size and the model number are etched in golden on the barrel, just below the piston-knob.

 

The golden cap band mentions PROGRESS on one side and FABER-CASTELL on the other.

 

http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/554D/1-cap1_zps6bgtjvdb.jpg

 

The striped transparency of ink windows renders a rather elegant angle to the overall design of the pen.

http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/554D/FC554D%20007_zpsgnanrim2.jpg

 

FILLING SYSTEM

 

The piston filling system was initially clogged, as the lubricants had dried out over all these years. After the first stop of the piston knob, by rotating the piston-knob further in a counter-clockwise direction, the entire piston unit can be pulled out. I applied some silicone grease (metroark211) on the piston seal, which is made of transparent plastic, and the piston mechanism was as good as new. If you can notice a white plastic thing through the ink windows below, that’s the piston seal.

http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/554D/FC554D%20012_zps1bo8gpmn.jpg

It takes in a good amount of ink with the piston fill mechanism, which lasts as long as the 0.8-0.9 mL capacity Faber-Castell converters.

 

NIB – ALL THAT MATTERS

 

The 14k gold nib is inserted into a screw-fit sleeve unit and the unit can be easily unscrewed from the barrel. It is a vintage EF nib and has got a hint of feedback, which is duly compensated by a rather wet flow of ink. You will notice an old Osmia diamond-in-a-circle logo embossed at the centre of the nib with Faber and Castell at top and bottom respectively. The nib specifications of 14K and 58.5% follow these impressions towards the tail end.

http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/554D/FC554D%20010_zpslszwp0mf.jpg

 

PHYSICS OF IT

 

The cigar structure of this pen makes it a somewhat comfortable companion. The only disadvantage is that the cap cannot be posted securely.

Uncapped Length ~ 12 cm

Nib Leverage ~ 1.85 cm

Capped Length ~ 13.3 cm

http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/554D/FC554D%20015_zpslarlryny.jpg

Though the length is comparable to a M400, a wider grip section and post-ability of cap are the duly missed elements. Now a days, most of the fountain pens can be posted.

 

http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/554D/FC554D%20016_zpsmqyu5iqn.jpg

 

OVERALL

 

This vintage 14k nib has a wet flow, with a hint of feedback like most EF nibs. The nib is quite stiff with no hint of flex. There is also a bit of line variation among the horizontal and vertical lines. It takes almost the same time (15 secs) to dry as a modern GvFC Intuition Fine nib.

http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/554D/FC554D%20017_zpscgkbqxfj.jpg

It was fun reviewing the 554D. Hope you enjoyed it.

Edited by soniknitr

You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

Some Pen & Paraphernalia Reviews

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Wow. This pen looks like a Montblanc's 146!

 

I think one could label it as a Montblan fake! :)

 

Btw, great review! Thanks!

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Nice looking pen, great review.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 

B. Russell

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Wow. This pen looks like a Montblanc's 146!

 

I think one could label it as a Montblan fake! :)

 

Btw, great review! Thanks!

 

This was the first thought that came to my mind while examining the pen :). Looked like a rather compressed 146. Then I read about Osmia & MB competing with each other in the 50s, with similar lines of pens.

 

Thank you :)

You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

Some Pen & Paraphernalia Reviews

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