Faber Castell does make some peculiar pens. I would consider their BASIC fountain pen to be one of them. The only two other Faber Castell pens that I have are the Ondoro Oak and Pearwood Ambition, both with wooden out casing for bodies.
The Faber Castell BASIC comes in a simple packaging. Inside there's the usual manual and one spare ink cartridge with blue ink. It uses the Faber Castell converter that is not included.
The fountain pen comes in several types of body design, namely
- Metal - shiny
- Metal - matte
- Satin chrome
- Shiny chrome
- Black leather
- Black carbon
Each pen is priced from USD $35 to $50. Not too expensive.
Mine's the black leather version. The pen is actually made of a few materials with different textures.
There's the matte cap with a shiny clip. It uncaps to reveal a stainless steel nib, a black plastic grip section with circular lines around the circumference, the leather exterior body that protects an interior plastic body and finally the metal end.
The design feels like a mixed bag to me, no pun intended. It doesn't feel that cohesive with so many different materials used. I'm not sure if I would say that it's a beautiful pen but I can say that it's certainly an unusual looking one.
The pen feels a bit long when uncapped, measuring 13.5cm. When posted, it measures 19cm which makes it really lengthy even though it's not too heavy. The cap at the back only covers the short shiny metal portion.
It's fairly comfortable to hold (without the cap) and I like the grip section that's has a matte surface that provides friction. It has a nice weight, not too heavy or light.
The cap's the click-on type.
The leather is stitched tightly in a straight line. I'm not sure if it's real leather or some faux leather. There's also some sort of gloss treatment on it.
The plastic portion between the grip and leather section is transparent so you can see how much ink is remaining.
The nib uses stainless steel. It's not exactly the smoothest but it's not too terrible. Average would be a more appropriate description. Interestingly, the nib does not have the breather hole nibs typically have.
Ink flow is good. There's no skipping.
The nib can be changed easily. Just unscrew the nib, held be that black part, from the grip section by unscrewing anti-clockwise.
Here's how everything looks dismantled.
Below are some sketches with the pen.
Mine's the Fine nib and the Faber Castell nib is indeed quite fine. Ink flow is alright but I felt that the ink can be a bit thicker to make the strokes darker.
There's certainly feedback when the nib is writing on the paper. Compared to the Faber Castell Pearwood Ambition, writing with the BASIC has a more hollow feeling, probably because of the mostly plastic body within the leather exterior.
The Faber Castell BASIC fountain pens are their entry level fountain pens. They aren't priced too high and cost under $50.
Personally, I find the design choice to be a bit peculiar. Perhaps the non-leather versions will look better. Faber Castell chrome usually looks very pretty. On hindsight, I should have gotten the shiny metal version.
It's not too bad, but it's also not really outstanding in terms of performance. I will recommend take a look at the pen and try it in real life if possible before buying.
Check out more reviews on Amazon with these direct product links below: