While Faber-Castell pencils are frequent visitors to the online pen community their fountain pens are, on the whole, ignored. This is good for me because it means that on the odd occasion they come up on eBay I’ve sometimes (well, three times) been able to pick up an absolute bargain. But it’s a shame that such wonderful pens aren’t more widely appreciated.
I got to thinking about why they aren’t more popular. It can’t be the nibs because they are amoung the finest and smoothest steel nibs around. They are beautiful to write with. The pens are reasonably priced too, starting at under £25.
Faber-Castell’s designs are quite opinionated. I love them, particularly the wooden pens. Wood and metal done well will get me every time. I like the other designs too but I know that lots of people do not. They are not in general your standard cigar-shaped barrel and I guess this reduces the scope of their appeal.
I’ve also seen concerns about wear and tear, especially with the Ambition range. In fact the cap of my coconut wood Ambition doesn’t fit completely snugly. I have no idea how common this is because it’s generally only people with complaints who leave reviews. It’s certainly possible that it’s an issue.
What I think is the main reason for their lack of popularity, on eBay especially, is Graf von Faber-Castell. Graf von Faber-Castell, the luxury arm of the company, make stunningly gorgeous pens. They are far beyond my budget but, I think, very collectible. They sell for eye-watering amounts new and also second-hand on eBay. This draws collectors away from the bog-standard Faber-Castells and leaves them free for us mere mortals. I see this as a good thing.
If you are in the UK and see a Faber-Castell fountain pen come up for sale on eBay, please don’t bid on it. If you are anywhere else in the UK, then have a look. You could pick up a beautiful pen at a bargain price.
The pens photographed are: an old 663F, an Ambition in pearwood, an Ambition in coconut wood and an e-motion in black pearwood. They are all wonderful.