Friday, November 13, 2009

Faber-Castell Ambition Fountain Pen

Faber-Castell has a long history in the writing instrument business, founded 240 years ago in Germany to manufacture pencils. The Art & Graphic line of colored pencils, watercolors, pastels, graphite, charcoal, and more are renowned for their high quality. Which makes their various fine pen lines (Design, Graf von Faber-Castell, and Porsche) quite intriguing.

My first expensive fountain pen was the Faber-Castell Ambition, a soft matte black resin from the Design line that I fell for at last May's International Pen Fair at Art Brown's Shop. I purchased the Ambition with a medium stainless steel nib, which is very wet and takes quite a few seconds for the ink to dry on the paper. I love writing with this, however--it has great "hand feel" and is lightweight and elegant. The only drawback is that the fountain pen is only made to use cartridges; finding a converter that fit took some doing (a Monteverde did the job), but eventually I just got out my silicone grease and made an eyedropper out of this. The ink flows smoothly and evenly, although I did have a few skips at the beginning while I got used to applying pressure (I always start with too light a pressure on the pen, as if I'm afraid I'll break the nib). The ink is De Atramentis Bordeaux Red (not Noodler's Widowmaker, as I thought), on a Rhodia 19 yellow-lined pad. Certainly this isn't he most expensive fountain pen available, but if you're looking for something upscale but less than $100, the Ambition is worth checking out.

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