When I first saw this pen I knew that I wanted one, the clean lines and distinct design really appealed to me.

Barrel and Exposed Nib

The barrel of the pen is made from pear wood, this one stained black. Other stain finishes and materials are available including a rather stunning Pure Black version. Pear wood is absolutely gorgeous and very suited to turning and for construction of pens. It has a smooth delicate texture and very small pores so you can achieve a lovely smooth surface finish. Unlike oak the grain is modest and considerably less obvious, adding sophistication to the finished item. It is still a nice dense and strong wood so it can take some abuse without looking worn out. It stains relatively easily and in this case the black finish is even and smooth with a light sheen.

Where the pear wood barrel is muted and smooth in appearance, the rest of the pen yells 'look at me'. The pen is also made out of a chromed metal, it really shines and reflects the light with a mirror finish. The contrast between the wood and the metal is stunning and combined with the distinctive appearance makes it look like a much more expensive pen than it actually is.

Chunky Design

The pen is chunky in dimensions and weighty to go with it, but has flowing lines to compensate. Without the cap it is hefty compared to most of the pens I own due to the amount of metal used. It posts securely via a friction fit and I have not noticed any marks on the wooden part of the barrel from doing so, the cap is designed to fit onto the metal section at the end of the barrel and seems to do so without fault. When posted it is very back heavy and this should probably make it unsuitable for use, but I have ended up posting it more often than not. This is partially due to the uncapped length being slightly too short for my big hands but there is another big reason to do so.

Design Language

I generally do not have great things to say about metal sectioned pens, especially those with a chromed finish as they tend to be very slippery in hand. The Visconti I reviewed a few weeks back is a good example of when this isn't detrimental to the end usage of the pen. In this case however it is so slippery that not only does the pen slip forward in my hands but it also rotates in use. The metal section of the barrel sits perfectly in the webbing between the thumb and forefinger adding to the slipperiness of the pen. The design of the pen also means there is no lip near the nib to stop your fingers from moving too far forward.

When you post the pen it is indeed ungainly, but the extra weight and length allows you to grip the pen slightly higher on the smooth screwthreads or on the wooden barrel section. Used this way the slippery metal becomes less of an issue and I started to really enjoy the writing experience.

The Nib

The cap unscrews quickly within only 1 full turn which makes it easy to start using and reveals a chrome colour nib with a dot pattern, the Faber Castell logo and the nib thickness. I chose a fine nib as this is my go to choice for an everyday note taking pen, it has no breather hole which is an interesting but not detrimental design choice and lays down a typical European fine line on paper.

It is very well behaved leaving a relatively dry line on the page which is actually beneficial in this case as dry times are reduced significantly. It has a relatively high level of feedback without being scratchy and starts writing even after a long time uncapped which is unusual for most pens. I have experienced no hard starts or tramlines, apart from when I left it uncapped for 5 minutes accidentally but it started up with a little pressure. The nib is stiff and doesn't flex, very typical behaviour for a steel nib.

Cap and Clip

The clip is really elegant, with the same flowing curves as the main body. It is sprung and has a section above the pivot that can be used to actuate the clip. I infrequently use clips, only to stop the pen from rolling, but it looks like it could grip quite firmly.

Design Choices

The clean design language of this object has lead to some significant shortfalls when used as a pen, the slippery finish and heavy weight being the two main ones of note. It is however beautifully constructed and finished and is just stunning to look at. It writes excellently and without fault so despite the significant issues I still really enjoy using it. If you like gripping your pens higher up, enjoy chunky designs or weighty pens then this would be up there with the best. For the money there are not many pens that write this well and are this well constructed. Whilst a lot of the other Faber Castell designs are pretty and elegant, this is iconic in its design language and in this respect is in a class of its own.

Beautiful Design

Where to buy:

See here for my recommendations for buying stationery on-line. This pen was bought for this review and to add to my collection from Cult Pens.