Up until now, I thought the Ondoro pens from Faber-Castell weren't nearly as pretty as my beloved E-motion pens. But when Faber-Castell announced this smoked oak wood version, my opinion quickly changed!
And I must say, it's even more gorgeous in person! The hexagonal Oak wood barrel has a very coarse grain, which gives it a very natural appeal. The wood is a gorgeous, deep dark brown colour, with a lot of colour variation. It's definitely a real piece of wood, not a cheap wood-like wrap. It even has a nice, though subtle smell!
The chrome-plated parts contrast nicely with the wooden barrel, and the give the pen a very sophisticated, high-end look. It has very subtle branding, with the only logo being the one on top of the cap.
Even though the pen itself isn't huge, it is very comfortable to hold. The reason I found for this, was the small grip section. It's quite short, and it has a very pronounced concave shape, this forces your fingers to hold it quite close to the nib. It needs some getting used to, especially if you’re like me, and you like holding your pens higher up. But I didn't think this is a bad grip section, I found it to be very pleasant to hold, and I didn’t experience a cramped feeling when writing. But keep in mind that this is just my opinion, I really like concave-shaped grip sections (As some of you might now from my kaweco reviews!), so it might not be as great for everyone as it is for me.
Something I really don't like about the design of the pen, is the fact that the plastic insert from the cap sticks out a bit. It makes the cap appear a bit cheap. I really couldn't figure out why they chose to do this, but in my opinion, making the plastic insert a bit shorter, would significantly increase the value and looks of this pen.
I also noticed that the section would unscrew from time to time, it really rarely happened, but when it did, it felt like the cap came loose, and it took me a while to realise the problem. But I guess I’m not too picky when it comes to this kind of small problems, so it didn’t really bother me that much after all. I guess you could also solve it quite easily, if you really want to, by adding a thin rubber O-ring behind the threads of the section.
The nib: ... Well, the only thing I can possibly say about it is: Faber-Castell undeniably nailed it,... again! Just like the other nib sizes (Medium and Fine), this Broad steel nib is incredibly smooth, very responsive, and not hard as a nail (Not flex, but it has a bit of 'give' to it). I can honestly say that this is by far the most consistent broad nib I've used so far (In my experience, consistency tends to be a problem with broader nibs)
And the nib doesn't only write good, it also looks good! The dotted pattern and faber castell logo make for a very untraditional nib ornamentation, it's much more modern looking than the traditional designs.
Another great feature about this pen is it's price! With a modest premium of 25 USDollars over the original resin model, it comes in at a very reasonable 165 USDollars (around 130 Euros). Which is a great price for a solid performing, good looking pen like this!
Note: this pen was sent to me by Procura KTC (the belgium supplier of Faber-Castell pens), free of charge, so I could write this review. I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared in this review are completely my own!.