Since getting my ‘Graf von Faber-Castell Intuition Platino Ebony’ I have been all but raving about the built quality, attention to detail and wonderful writing experience to be had. At the recent London Pen Show I had my eyes open for another Graf. I didn’t see any sadly but the one I had been coveting from afar, sort of happened not long afterwards.
The pen in question is the ‘Graf von Faber-Castell Classic Macassar.’ In terms of looks and finish, it is very different to the other pens in the Classic range. For a start the barrel is made from macassar which is a dark brown ebony hard wood, sought after and strictly monitored to maintain its availability. It is a colour I particularly like.
The handmade 18-carat gold nib with ruthenium plating – like my Intuition Platino – is run in by hand. I wanted and got a fine nib and the overall writing experience is one of glee. The nib produces a lovely, generous fine line that is wet and smooth. I am not completely sure what ‘run in by hand’ means but I can tell you that this particular pen has the best fine nib of any fine pen I have ever owned. (I didn’t think any pen could compete with the fine nibs I have on my two Visconti Opera Master River Thames pens however this little Graf does).
In short, I like writing with this pen! I have and will use it as a note taking pen where some of my broader nibs would be totally impracticable. It has also become the pen I use to write daily journal entries. It never skips or hard starts (even when holding it in the hand for several minutes poised for writing) is always ready and like its larger sibling – the Intuition – occasionally sings on certain paper.
The metal parts of the pen are coated in an anthracite-coloured PVD made of titanium. For me this is a particularly good looking finish and it doesn’t seem to be as much of a fingerprint magnet as the shiny metal ones.
This isn’t an inexpensive pen and retails for around the £500 mark. The build quality is excellent and even the most picky of pen owners would be hard pressed to find anything to nitpick about. The threads on the cap and barrel are obviously engineered with total precision. The clip and its mechanism indicate the same engineering excellence.
The pen is filled by cartridge converter, which makes seeing the ink level, cleaning and swapping out ink easy. I filled it up with Graf von Faber-Castell, Moss Green and will probably use that for some time to come.
The Classic Macassar isn’t a small pen but it is quite slim. I have large hands and gravitate towards oversized pens but I find this pen very comfortable. It has a good weight coming in at 40 grams. The nib is on the small size too but the overall writing experience means this isn’t an issue at all.
Okay, this is all sounding very good but what are the negatives. Actually there aren’t that many. The section is made of metal and can get slippy on extended writing sessions. If you like posting your pens (I don’t but many people do) the pen becomes a bit of a baton. The small capacity cartridge converter filling system combined with a wet nib means you’ll be filling the pen sooner than you might think.
Some pens come and eventually go. For me the Graf von Faber-Castell Classic Macassar is a keeper. I’m really glad I got it and I like the fact that you’re unlikely to see too many about. It’s not a limited edition or limited run but the Graf pens tend to be a fairly exclusive club. I am just pleased to have become a member.