Friday, December 13, 2013

Olive Wood! Graf von Faber-Castell Elemento

I've loved the Elemento since it came out 2 years ago. Lately those have been offered with discounts at some places so I decided time was finally ripe to get one!

Graf von Faber-Castell Elemento

The Elemento introduced their "Intuition: Wood" model which is now also available in Grenadilla, Ebony and Permambucco. The Elemento is a unique edition made of olive wood. You can see the fine grain and every pore of the wood.
The wood also has a special property which is called "Stirnholz" in German and I couldn't really find a translation for - one site offered "end grained wood" but I'm not sure if it's an accurate translation. Imagine cutting a tree into discs instead of logs. It's the same wood but the discs will look different and will also be harder. That's the way the wood was cut for the Elemento pens.

The barrel is heavily lacquered so discoloration and staining can be avoided. You can probaly write with this one as long as you want, the grip section won't become darker or dirty. On the other hand, due to the treatment it doesn't feel as much like wood. I guess you can't have everything!
Their Grenadilla and Permambucco pens are not as heavily treated so you might want to look at them if you're after a wooden pen with a wooden grip section.

The pen is filled with cartridge or converter. By operating the knob at the back end the nib unit will be released from the barrel, not unlike the system Waterman used in their Serenité pens. If you use the converter, it is recommended to wipe the nib unit clean before inserting it back into the pen.

Did you notice that the grip section is slightly tapered? It feels extremely comfortable. Also my fingers don't seem to slide towards the edge as they tend to with some pens but stay just where they belong.

The Elemento is a medium sized (ca. 13 cm capped, 12,5 cm uncapped) and lightweight pen with 41g capped but only 21g uncapped. (Their Intuition Wood pens are noticeably heavier) The cap can be posted which feels quite comfortable - even to me who hardly ever posts the cap.

Especially next to their Pens of the Year the Elemento looks tiny but it has a nice girth and doesn't feel too short by any means.

 Graf von Faber-Castell Elemento: round tipped B nib 

The nib is two-tone and larger than the ones on their regular Intuition models. In the thread about the red Conway Stewart Churchill I commented on its nib not having a breather hole and suspected that might be the only one of my nibs with that feature. Here I am telling bullshit! These don't have one either but it took me a long time to notice it. It's a smooth and reliable nib like all Faber-Castell's I've ever tried.

Even the cap has a beautiful inlay of olive wood. The stripes of wood running down the barrel are chosen to be similar in color and grain, giving the whole pen a harmonious appearance.

On Graf von Faber-Castell's ads the wood looks very yellowish but mine has more of a red undertone. I guess each one is a little different.

How do you like this one?


  1. Thank you for this great review! Also the photos look astonishing. I liked the idea of tapered grip section.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! These pens really only have one downside which is they dry out pretty quickly if you don't use them every day (though I admit it would be hard not using it every day!)

  2. Stirnholz means that the wood is cut perpendicular to the length, i.e. you can see the tree rings on the cutting surface. Wood cut that way can withstand higher pressures and humidity can penetrate the wood easier since you are cutting through the capillaries.

    1. Hi Marcus, Thanks! I was aware of the meaning, what I am looking for is the translation: ;)

  3. Sorry, ADD strikes again. The only other translation I found is "cross grained" wood.

  4. After I saw your account. Did a little checking and ended up getting one. The boxing is elaborate and quite nice. The pen is spectacular. Like Bomo Art, thanks for this review. Love all your work.

    Mike aka sarafar

  5. I love pens with flat caps because they seem so vintage to me. The nib is lovely and your photographs are amazing.

  6. how much are these?

  7. I just purchased one. A really wonderful and elegant pen. I love how light it is and the nib is one of the best in my stable (full of Pelikans, Nakayas, Platinums, and Parkers).

  8. At Holy Land Olivewood we only employ seasoned craftsmen and use sustainably sourced olivewood. olive wood