For the past month, things have been awfully quiet around here. I had a pretty hefty exam period up until now, that pretty much drained all my energy. Even when I had a few hours off, I couldn't find the courage to start writing a new article. I'm slowly getting back into the normal routine of blogging though. To start the new year off, I decided to review a pen from a brand that I never tried before...
The impressive number of pen and stationery brands in Germany should be enough to show that Germans know a thing or two about making pens. When you think about German brands, the first that come to mind are probably Montblanc and Pelikan, but today I'd like to talk about a third big name... Graf Von Faber-Castell!
As the name suggests, GvFC is the daughter-company of Faber-Castell, a brand most of you will know, I assume. Graf von Faber-Castell serves as the 'luxury' department of the brand, and specialises in gold-nibbed pens built with precious materials, and ridiculously priced limited editions!
The concept behind GvFC pens is simple: to make pens like they used to back in the early 20th century. In that regard, pretty much all GvFC pens, while all different, show the same key design elements. The Classic, vintage-inspired design on their pens is accentuated with modern and luxurious materials and finishes..
The specific model I have in my hands today, is the 'Guilloche'. It's the cheapest model available that has an 18k gold nib, but don't let the word 'cheap' fool you. Prices for this model are still up in the 300 EUR mark, so it won't exactly be an impulse buy. However, it is a considerable step down in price from the regular line, so if you want to own a Graf, this is an excellent place to start. I'd like to thank Penworld for providing me with this pen!
Being the most affordable doesn't show in terms of build quality, or even presentation! The Guilloche comes, in a beautiful wooden box, just like its bigger brothers. I've seen a lot of nice presentation, but for a pen in this price range, the amount of detail put in the packaging and presentation is quite unseen!
You won't find any signs of cutting corners on the pen either. It's a relatively small pen, but it's made almost entirely out of metal, and finished with Platinum. The metal build makes for a solid feeling pen, with a satisfying weight (29 grams when closed). The Platinum plated trims are contrasted by a matte grey resin barrel with a herringbone guilloche pattern engraved on it. I personally find the combination of these two materials striking, and it makes for a balanced combination of old design and new materials.
The grey resin used on the barrel is another aspect about this pen that I really like. It's a different finish from the rest of the Guilloche series, with a herringbone engraving instead of the classic 'barley' guilloche engraving on the other models. The resin isn't polished to a shine, but instead it has a matte finish that is very pleasant to the touch. Despite it being a metal pen, it still feels warm in the hand because of the barrel.
Graf von Faber-Castell seems to be a brand we tend to forget when talking about German luxury pens. But as this one shows, they also know a thing or two about making great fountain pens! It's a luxurious pen, all the way from the packaging, to the perfect build quality and detailing. And on top, it's a solid performer as well. My only gripe was, and will be, that GvFC seems to make mostly smaller pens, which is not really my cup of tea. With the size in mind, I think you can't really go wrong with the Guilloche. At around 345 EUR for this herringbone finish (about 50 EUR less for the other available finishes), it's not a cheap pen, but you get a complete package and a great pen.
You can go take a look at Graf von Faber-Castell's offerings at Penworld.eu. They kindly provide a 10% discount to the Pencilcase readers, just use the code 'pencilcase' at checkout!
Note: Penworld Supports this blog. I received this pen on loan, so I could write this review. I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared here are completely my own! This review does not contain any affilate links.