I wasn’t very familiar with Faber Castell pens until they became available in the Philippines last year. When I looked them up, I was immediately drawn to the Ondoro because of its imposing size and shape. When I went to try the pens at Scribe Writing Essentials, though, I discovered that I preferred the Emotion’s size and section to the Ondoro’s. The next pen that I liked was the Ambition. The Ondoro’s section was just a tad too short for me. I liked the light brown pearwood finish, but I preferred the dark brown material (which isn’t always in stock). So when a local pen collector put up his almost unused Emotion with a broad nib, in the color that I preferred, I snapped it up.
I almost always prefer vintage pens, and there were a lot of vintage pens up for sale too, but I’ve always had a soft spot for wood pens. I don’t like pens that look too industrial, like they’re churned out from a factory. Wooden components give you a sense of something earthy, and since wood grain patterns are unique, no two pen barrels are exactly alike.
My first impression of the pen was very positive. It is very pretty, and the shape is that of a little torpedo. The barrel tapers at the top and bottom, and the end of the barrel is capped with chrome. The chrome parts of the pen are beautifully designed, although they’re really very prone to smudging and that could be a bit bothersome if you’re particular with keeping the shiny parts fingerprint-free.
It’s an unusual form factor, I think, and it’s certainly very eye-catching. It’s my first pen with this kind of torpedo shape and with a slightly flashy cap. I am used to the classic american vintage design of caps which are simpler and more streamlined. This cap has a lot more flair to it. It reminds me of gothic architectures with the expressive but functional arches and vaulted ceilings. The logo of Faber Castell is tastefully engraved on the cap, beside the clip. That’s a nice touch, I think.
The clip is both eye-catching and functional. While many vintage fountain pens focus a lot of details on the clip, this one’s pretty plain because there’s no etching or markings on it, but the shape is quite unique.
You can press on it to raise the clip and easily attach it to a shirt pocket or a pen case. The clip is sturdy and it feels solid. It gives you that distinct sense of fine German engineering. Even in a mid-range pen, the clip works as it should work and it doesn’t feel cheap at all. The base of the cap has short vertical lines etched on them which helps in giving you some grip as you turn to open the cap.
The pen is a converter filler. It takes about six twists on the barrel for you to disengage it and see the inner parts of the pen. The converter’s piston is so smooth. Even if it’s an ordinary converter, the way it moves is just better than regular converters from other pens. It also has the brand stamped on it. As you can see, I’m almost out of ink in this photo haha.
The inside of the barrel is chrome. The barrel itself is pretty thick, which accounts for the heft of the pen. It’s not a light pen by any means, but it is very comfortable to hold. It feels substantial without crossing that line to uncomfortably heavy. The cap can be posted at the end of the barrel, and I know that some people will find the weight of the pen while posted as acceptable, even pleasantly hefty. However, I’m very sensitive to the weight of my pens. Posted, it is unacceptably top heavy for me. I don’t mind, though, because I don’t post my pens.
The section of the pen is shiny chrome. Some people might find this slippery, especially if your hands sweat a lot. I find it okay, and the length of the section is (personally) comfortably long. People who like to hold their pens further up the section might find the step and the threads a bit uncomfortable, but I don’t hold my pen near that area so I’m fine with it.
The nib looks really simple. It has no breather hole and only has the Faber Castell logo and a pattern of small dots on it. The great thing about Faber Castell pens is that their nibs are the same across all models. If you buy their most basic pens, you’ll enjoy the same quality of nib that their high end pens (Ondoro, Emotion, Ambition) have.
The nib of this pen writes like a dream. Of all my steel-nibbed pens, this is the best. It’s my first broad nib so it took a while getting used to the nib grade, but boy it writes like a dream. It has a hint of feedback, but that’s really so pleasant because the feedback feels and sounds very similar to writing with a hand-sharpened pencil, smooth pencil. Watch the writing sample in the video below:
If you listen closely, you can hear the sound that the nib makes on paper. It’s wonderful!
The pen’s performance is excellent. It doesn’t hard start or skip, it’s wet and even after writing page after page, it lays down the ink consistently. It doesn’t thin out and it doesn’t need priming after several pages. Being a broad nib, it guzzles ink like a thirsty horse, though. That’s alright. It’s a wonderful, wonderful writer. I think I found another favorite pen to add to my daily carry.
Used in this review:
Faber Castell Emotion in dark brown pearwood, Broad Nib
Ink is Diamine Ochre
Pad is from Elias Notebooks
Notebook is Curnow A5 journal with Tomoe River paper from Pengrafik
Leather Notebook is from Alunsina Handbound Books