Thursday, February 14, 2013

Review: Graf Von Faber-Castell Anello Titanium Fountain Pen - Medium

Happy Valentine's Day to all those who are interested in this day! Allow me to introduce you to one of my (many) love interests...

Graf Von Faber-Castell Packaging Details
I acquired this pen several years ago, back when I was still venturing into fountain pens. Talk about going big, right? The Graf Von Faber-Castell Anello Titanium was my second fountain pen, after a Lamy Al-Star. This pen needs no back story because it has pretty much created an ongoing fantasy. That sounds weird. I just mean it's magical.
Graf Von Faber-Castell Capped
ABOUT

Brand: Graf Von Faber-Castell
Model: Anello Titanium
Body Material: Titanium + Platinum
Trim: Platinum plated
Origins: Germany
Length (capped):  13.75 cm/5.41"
Length (posted): 17.145 cm/6.75"
Nib type: Medium
Nib material: 18K gold + iridium tip
Weight:  46 g/1.6 oz
Barrel design: Round. (Awesome).
Fill type: Cartridge/converter (comes with pen)
Price: $625.00

PACKAGINGGraf Von Faber-Castell Box
Graf Von Faber-Castell Packaging
The Graf Von Faber-Castell Anello Titanium arrives in packaging worthy of its beauty. I absolutely love the wooden box with the delicate, tasteful writing on the top. Inside is soft and cradles this gorgeous pen gently. There is a little booklet with details of other products, and a drawstring pen bag. The felt base has three slots and can house other pens along with your Anello. It's very well made and looks fabulous. This packaging is certainly what I would consider a luxury presentation box.
Graf Von Faber-Castell In Box
Graf Von Faber-Castell In Box
APPEARANCE
Graf Von Faber-Castell Side View
Anello is Italian for rings, which is the perfect concept for this pen with its gleaming platinum rings separated by bright metallic matte grey titanium sections. The cap and end plug is shiny and smooth metal. The colour scheme is very attractive, sleek, and elegant. It is so precisely made that the joints are imperceptible. I love the top of the cap and the little depression as if someone pressed their thumb into the hot metal (not unlike a thumbprint cookie, both of which make me drool). The grip section is platinum plated and smooth a well, though not slippery as it flares a little towards the nib.
Graf Von Faber-Castell Taken 
Apart
Usually clips are not something to rave about, but Graf Von Faber-Castell have gotten the clips on the Anello Titanium just perfect. It's a spring loaded clip with a smooth, shiny surface, that glides onto pages and slides off without catching anything. It's snug and looks so cool. The cap threads on to close the pen, and has a friction fit posting that feels very safe and secure. Even with the weight of the cap, it does not rattle or slide off when posted. Uncapped, the pen tapers slightly and fluidly towards the nib.
Graf Von Faber-Castell Clip
The base of the cap has Graf Von Faber-Castell etched on to it, which looks extremely sexy, if you ask me. Right above the clip on the cap is the Graf Von Faber-Castell. The top of the cap has tiny ridges around it that change the texture of the pen's cap ever so slightly. Overall, there are so many intricate and fine details about this pen that come together so well to give it a very complete, very executive look that really steals my heart.

NIB & PERFORMANCE

The nib on the Anello is very interesting. It's not too large and has the Graf Von Faber-Castell shield stamped on it, as well as M for medium, 750, and 18 ct. It's somewhat intricate and although there is a lot on it, it is not crowded.
Graf Von Faber-Castell Nib Close Up
I tried a fine nib in store but opted for a medium nib as at the time, I was very new to fountain pens and was very intrigued by the way broader nibs laid down ink. I am still happy with this choice today! I wouldn't say no to an extra-fine and fine now either though. One of each would be ideal.
Graf Von Faber-Castell
This pen is rather dreamy. Obviously, it has a sleek, sophisticated design that really appealed to me, but it's the nib that stole my heart. Before I discovered flex nibs even existed, I was taken by this pen when I first tried it at UN Luggage's Fine Writing Instrument Writing Night in Winnipeg. I thought I liked my Lamy Al-Star a lot, and then I tried this pretty thing. I couldn't believe a nib could be so smooth and soft; my first experience with a springy nib! The making of this nib has over a hundred steps, most of which are done by hand. At the end, the nib is run in by hand as well. As a result, the pen writes straight out of the box - no flushing or adjusting needed. The nib is a wet and springy writer, with a feed that easily keeps up with the ink requirements. The nib is smooth and pleasant to write with and because of its wet nature, it really brings out the shading in inks. With gentle pressure, the tines spread and provide decent line variation, and then snaps back quickly. It's not a flex pen but it sure is fun to write with. That's the whole point of a fountain pen, right?
Graf Von Faber-Castell Writing Sample Close Up
Since the pen is a wet writer with a springy nib, and it is a converter filling mechanism, I go through ink rather quickly. If you are someone who likes a pen with a huge ink capacity, this pen will likely disappoint you in that department. Personally, I really enjoy changing inks frequently because I'm always excited to use another ink so this is not something that bothers me.

IN HAND

The Anello is a fairly substantial pen, though not particularly large in either length or diameter. Uncapped, it is very comfortable to write with and it's easy to maintain control of the pen, resulting in nice, uniform writing. The pen can be posted, which is also very comfortable to write with, though because of the size of my hands, I find it a little more difficult to keep my writing uniform. This is not to say I find the pen too long when posted - it is that I hold the pen very close to the nib, making the pen a little top heavy. If you have larger hands, this will likely not be an issue for you.
Pelikan M1005 Demonstrator, Lamy Al-Star, TWSBI Diamond 540, Graf Von Faber-Castell
PROS
  • Exceptional nib
  • Gorgeous body and design
  • Highly desirable writing experience
  • The converter that came with the pen is quite a decent converter - it works well and so far (in the four years I've had this), no ink has sneaked deeper into it where it cannot be cleaned from. The converter is also solid and does not rattle around (as some converters on my more inexpensive pens do).
CONS
  • For such an outstanding pen in every other department, I am ever so slightly disappointed this is a cartridge/converter filler. A piston-filler mechanism would have been pretty awesome, but it is a metal pen so I suppose this was not feasible.
  • I am also surprised the pen did not come with an ink cartridge or two for those who want to use it immediately.
OVERALL

This pen's price puts it into the executive price range ($500 - $999, according to FPGeeks). I was fortunate enough to be able to try this pen before purchasing it but I can comfortably recommend it to you sight unseen. So long as you are comfortable with heavy pens, I can't think of any reason you wouldn't love this one. It is a beautiful pen that performs spectacularly - the nib is truly delightful and perfectly complements the pen's appearance and elegance.

Watch SBRE Brown's review of this pen

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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