Faber-Castell are a well-known and highly respected German stationery brand. They’re known for their pencils, pens, inks, paint, and other writing, drawing and art materials; from basic ‘school’ products up to products for professional artists. Graf von Faber-Castell is their luxury brand, for the very best fine writing instruments they can make.
So the quality of materials and craftsmanship is a given - a company with a great reputation for quality in their most basic products isn’t going to create a luxury brand and apply it to anything mediocre. And what about style? Faber-Castell is a family business, going back over 250 years, with strong family involvement in major financial institutions as well as one of the most successful companies in their industry. So you’d probably expect a traditional style, but full of confidence; simple, but beautiful.
That’s pretty much what we get with Graf von Faber-Castell. Simple, beautiful, confident, and traditional. The actual form of their main designs may be less expected, though. While most luxury brands take their styling from the classic ‘cigar shaped’ fountain pens, ending up with something that looks quite similar to their peers, Graf von Faber-Castell took their design cues from a classic style more often used for luxury pencils.
Often referred to as a ‘trumpet’ shape, they are straight-sided, but flared at the end, giving a distinctive look. Most writing instruments in their range feature highly polished tops, with internally sprung clips, making them practical for carry in both shirt and jacket pockets, while the flared end makes them recognisable without being too ornate.
Another difference between Graf von Faber-Castell and most other luxury brands is that Graf don’t see pencils as beneath them. Faber-Castell proudly make some of the world’s finest pencils, so their luxury brand just takes this further. The range includes a beautiful luxurious version of the Perfect Pencil - a pencil extender that includes a cleverly hidden sharpener, while making pencils more practical to carry everywhere. It’s a perfect example of what makes Graf von Faber-Castell different - simplicity, but done so painstakingly well that it becomes luxurious and special.
While most of the Graf von Faber-Castell range is unashamedly high-end, they’re affordable enough for the reasonably wealthy, as a really special gift, or that special treat to be saved for. Each year, though, they go all out with the Pen of the Year. Each year is a different theme, from the Aztecs to Samurai, from Knights to Vikings. And each year they choose special materials to use, often ones requiring the most experienced and expert artisans to work with them. These materials have included horse-hair, stingray leather, obsidian and Damascus steel.
The price of these is unsurprisingly high, but what you get is the very best. Rare, top-quality materials, carefully worked by some of the most skilled artisans in the world, produced in very limited quantities. The very best writing instruments that can be made, by the luxury brand of one of the world’s very best stationery makers.