It is no secret that we love Japanese culture and writing instruments here at inkstable. So this next pen should come as no surprise.
We finally got our hands on the Graf von Faber Castell Fountain pen of the year 2018 black edition. Graf von Faber Castell releases a pen of the year, every year around January or so. Being that this is the 2018 edition, We know we are a little late on this, but better late than never! From the introduction and the picture, you could probably already tell the inspiration behind this pen. But would we be inkstable if we didn’t break it down to you?
The samurai in Japanese history were the highest social cast in the Edo period time. As military men, they abided by a strict code of ethics, and values. A samurai was Coated with layers of armor and skilled with multiple weapons. It is no secret, they are known for their use of the samurai sword. The sword became “The” symbol of the samurai, as well as an every day tool for use. 五輪書 “(Gorin no sho” literally the book of five rings) a text on martial arts and the sort, written by Miyamoto Musashi and inspired by teachings from his dojo is highlighted throughout the design of this pen. Just as there are different elements in life, there are different elements in battle as well. The history and story are told well through the design of this pen.
Holding it in our hands and feeling the different panels of the metal barrels 24K gold plates, you can just imagine a samurai suit of armor. (Well done Gaf von Faber Castell) Because of the metal coating, it is cool to the touch and underneath that metal, the barrel is made from dark stain magnolia wood. Much like that of a samurai sword, which the handle and sheath were made of untreated magnolia wood. Solid sword, solid pen.
Not to be outdone, is the clip. It has the perfect silhouette of a samurai’s helmet. Along with the Japanese character for samurai, there is a quote engraved on the cap which reads: “your spirit and wisdom” in Japanese characters. The end cap has the symbol for “Tsuba or Hand Guard” designed by Miyamoto Musashi. We loved the sturdy feeling of the cap, and the anthracite color added a nice touch to the overall aesthetic of the piece. The end of the pen is inscribed with the designs of the ripple effect, from the element water. It adds a nice detailed design and compliments the intricacy of this pen well. The grip of this pen just before the nib, truly makes this special. Inspired by the very face of the samurai helmet and the element fire in Musashi’s book. Bold details like that are what make this pen a stand out amongst all others in its class.
The nib on this piece, of course, had to be special. After all, the design is based on a samurai sword right? The nib representing the tip of the sword. We felt like, Graf von Faber Castell did not disappoint. Another cool part of this piece is the grip, or the part just before the nib. The nib Is a hand inscribed, ruthenium-plated 18 karat gold. In our opinion, this could be the only way to finish off this stunning piece.
We loved this piece, specifically the black edition. It is important to know that there are two editions of this pen. This one available also as a rollerball. As well as the Ruthenium edition which is available as a rollerball and fountain pen with broad, extra broad, fine, and medium nibs. This pen released around January and is limited to 330. We always love the idea of limited pieces at inkstable, and we are definitely “here for it”.
We have to say that this piece quickly became of our favorites. Not only because of the design but this pen just feels and looks like power. With details fit for a samurai, it was an easy choice for us to go with the black edition fountain pen.
Overall due to the detail of this pen, we must say that it felt heavy. With its price tag of $5,000+ USD we don’t know where and when we will use it. One thing for sure is that this is an amazing work of art. Just like a samurai slices and glides his sword effortlessly through the air. This pen glides and moves effortlessly across the paper. Use this pen with responsibility, after all, it is “the way of the samurai.”