Wednesday, March 4, 2015

An Intuitive conversation with the Graf von Faber-Castell Intuition

THE INTUITION


With a covetous eye on this pen, since the time I had got my FCD Ambition and then an orange coloured Ondoro fountain pen, it indeed required lady luck's blessings to get this one at a steeply discounted price. I must say, that there was already a strange sense of loss of colours, after I had parted with both of my orange coloured fountain pens - Ondoro and later a Pelikan m205. And this seemed to be an appropriate treatment for my colour blindness. Coming to the Faber-Castell Design (FCD) and the rather luxurious Graf von Faber-Castell (GvFC) line of pens, I must say that they have been able to splendidly highlight the art of convergence of design and utility. The Intuition pen comes in six lines of resin-based designs and two (earlier three) lines of wood-based designs. The wooden designs are called Intuition Platino Wood which is an enhanced intuition design altogether, be it the fluted wooden barrel or the platinum plated cap or an extra-large and more exquisitely designed bi-colour nib. And, it naturally places them in a more premium segment. You can find a review of the GvFC Elemento here, which shares its dimensions with the wooden Platino designs.

     These lines come with a fountain pen (with 6 to 7 different nib widths), a roller ball, a propelling pencil (0.7mm) and a ballpoint pen.

PRESENTATION (6/6)


It’s a chamois-coloured gift box with top and bottom wooden linings,  which secures itself by a magnetic catch within the two folds. There is the pen resting in a cardboard box within a chamois-coloured linen bag, which carries the Graf Von Faber-Castell name and their coat-of-arms logo.




I someway like the linen, bag because of its differentiated appeal, though not from an utilitarian perspective. There is also a warranty leaflet-cum-manual, which states a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects and assures services, in case any need for repair arises. Then, it also illustrates refilling the entire range of GvFC pens and other stationery.


DESIGN (6/6)


The Intuition range comes in six variants (terra - orange, ivory – off-white/fluted, black - black/fluted/metal cap) with six different nib sizes – EF, F, M, B, OM and OB. Only one of these variants comes with a platinum plated metal cap with a shiny black barrel.
             
Coming back to the pen, once you take it out, it surely looks like a compact enchanting piece of art. A high gloss sheen of the of the barrel and the cap reflects back quite a bit of light. Complementing this sheen, are the dazzling platinum plated trims of the pen.



On pulling the cap off, you would initially notice the singularity of the barrel, a section sans joints. It’s made out of a single piece of resin, in this case reflecting the colour of earth or ‘terra’,  gleaming with an orange smile. At the top end of the barrel, is a twist-metallic crown, which disengages the bi-tone nib section and converter system, from the rest of the body. I just love this element of design! The knob is embossed with the coat-of-arms logo, on the finial. Usually the coat-of-arms logo is used in GvFC pens and FCD pens (Ambition, Ondoro, e-motion) carry the jostling knights logo. Traditionally coat-of-arms is said to represent full-achievement in a heraldic tradition. GvFC has quite a bit of design superiority over the other FCD pens. Towards the nib end, the singular barrel narrows down to a slightly concave section to form a comfortable grip. Despite the glossy and smooth finish, the pen has a subtle but non-slippy grip section. The cap (snap-on) secures itself to the barrel with an audible click.


The cap is engraved with GRAF VON FABER – CASTELL, encircling the metallic finial insert which again bears another coat-of-arms logo with its platinum sheen. The cap band says GRAF VON FABER – CASTELL on one side and on the other end it's HANDMADE IN GERMANY. ‘Handmade’ because there are over a hundred steps in the entire manufacturing process of this pen, a majority of which are carried out by hand. The clip on the cap carries the gleam of platinum with a highly efficient and visible spring loaded system.




The finial at the barrel end carries a coat-of-arms logo.



FILLING SYSTEM (6/6)


Once the crown of the barrel is rotated anti-clockwise to disengage the nib & filling system, you would notice a rather classical CC filler system. The nib has a screw fit, and inserts into a metallic sleeve like most of the Faber-Castell fountain pens which I have seen. The nib sleeve has threads which synchronize with threads on the inner barrel, both ending up with an octagonal cross section. The converter has a metallic premium band which friction-fits into the nib section though it does not fit a FCD Ambition section. However, the Ambition converter fits in the Intuition nib section. The converter has a reasonably high capacity of 0.8 – 0.9 mL, and the ink does last for quite a while! I usually have a bias towards piston fillers, but I do appreciate the capacity offered by Faber-Castell converters.

The nib section carries a six-digit number which denotes the date of manufacture, which I did confirm with the Faber-Castell team. Mine says 011210, which would mean it was manufactured way back on 01-December-2010.




NIB (5/6) - ALL THAT MATTERS!


The 18k bi-tone nib comes in four main widths – EF, F, M & B and two special widths – OM (left) & OB (left). The tail end specifies the nib size and composition (75% Au , 18 ct) of the alloy used. A white rhodium decor occupies the outer tines converging with the iridium tip, while the inner part circumscribing the breather hole gleams golden with engraved stripes. There is a dazzling white coat-of-arms logo resting just above the tail-end. This one is a fine nib and writes quite smoothly with a 'minutely minute' hint of feedback when I use relatively drier inks. It lays down a wet albeit fine line, which will be covered in the last section of this review. With a rather curved shoulder, the nib does portray an apparently smaller size even if it’s quite similar to the size of the relatively flat Ambition nib. [minus 1]


The feed is standard grey plastic, with a big filler hole delivering an amazing ink suction, which is also used across the Faber-Castell Design series.



Below is a comparison to the FCD Ambition (non-premium) sections. You can check the differences between the two converters, the Intuition has got some metallic embellishment. Both use the same feed.




PHYSICS OF RELATIVITY (4/6)


With a cylindrical body of 1.2 cm diameter, it does give a comfortable feel without adding much weight. The capped length of 12.5 cm is quite similar to a Pelikan m400. In short, it is quite a compact pen when compared to an MB146 or even a thinner Ambition, for that matter. And a compact pen, can have its advantages along with some disadvantages. The weight of this pen has a significant contribution from the resin cap.
  • Uncapped Length ~ 12 cm
  • Posted Length ~ 15 cm
  • Nib Leverage ~ 2 cm
  • Overall Weight ~ 29.4 g

Uncapped, it’s quite similar to the m400 but slightly shorter than the Ambition. The loss of weight and length is somewhat balanced by the wider grip section, if not completely.


Alternatively, you can post it and it’s similar to a posted m400 with a slightly top-heavy configuration. However, I feel comfortable to use it both posted and unposted, although I never have shared the same feeling with Ambition.



ECONOMIC VALUE (5/6)


Although this pen retails around USD 600, it is available at much lower street prices. With end of season clearance sale, I was able to get the pen at a good discounted price.

OVERALL (5.3/6) 


I feel loved by the design and exquisite appeal of this pen on an overall scale, whenever I write with the intuition. No skipping or hard starts right from the beginning, it turned out quite smooth out of the box. With a stiff nib, it delivers a wet line, with this fine nib. The line width closely resembles a Lamy 2000 Fine/ a Japanese FM nib. For a pelikan 4001 brilliant green ink, it takes around 12-13 seconds to dry. There is no noticeable line variation with horizontal and vertical strokes for this one. Below goes a written review of the same:


It was fun reviewing the intuition. Hope you enjoyed reading it.

2 comments:

  1. Sonik another picturesque delicious Looking review well described covering everything an excited pen fanatic is looking forward for. Wishing u lots of great memories to be penned down

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Sanjay so much..And sooner or later, you will get it, I feel :)

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