28 Apr 2021

faber-castell essentio fountain pen in rose with an extra fine nib

This Faber-Castell Essentio fountain pen has been in use for at least eighteen months now (I can't even remember when I bought it). It was an upgrade from the Lamy Safaris and Al-Stars I was using as my main work pen. Seeing the lovely rose colour and knowing that Faber-Castell is a fountain pen brand with a good reputation, I was surely onto a winner.... right?

Well, you'll probably have deduced by now that it was a winner indeed. It has been on constant use at work since its purchase and I just love how different it is to other workhorse pens people associate with work in the medical world where Lamys and Parkers are commonly seen (at least in my experience). 

The below photo makes it look like there is a gradient but there isn't - it's just the lighting!

Let's begin with the design of the pen. The main barrel is made of aluminium whereas the cap is plastic. The cap has the Faber-Castell logo embossed on it and there is a semi-opaque black section at the end of the body where it connects to the grip/nib section. The pen clip is sturdy enough and has held up well to daily use on my work lanyard.

The aluminium/plastic design means that this is a surprisingly lightweight pen. The length of the pen when capped is about 140mm. It's extremely lightweight (unfortunately I don't have scales at home - not even for baking so I have to visit my mum is I want to do that!) and feels similar in weight to a Lamy Al-Star; though it is perhaps a smidge heavier.

The steel nib is an extra fine (predictable I know) and I love the dotted design on it. It writes like a dream and writes a thicker line than the Japanese extra fines I also have a soft spot for.

Because of the lightweight nature of the pen and how smooth the nib glides over paper, I can write for ages without tiring.

Because the cap is plastic, I've noticed that some of the coating has started coming off. For a pen that gets daily use and is bashed about, I think this is fair wear and tear.

As you can see in the photo above, it does write an extra fine line by Western nib standards but more like a medium by Japanese nib standards. However, it does the job and is a pleasure to use at work so I couldn't ask for more really.

At the time of writing, it sells for £39 on The Writing Desk which is a bit of a bargain for a pen with a more premium feel than your standard Lamy Safaris/Al-Stars or Pilot Metropolitans.

Overall, I do think this pen is a great workhorse and is a great option for a mild upgrade from the more basic starter fountain pens. In my opinion, it writes like a more expensive pen and is a bit of an underdog pen. I think it was formerly called the 'Basic' which is a completely unfair name to give such a brilliant pen. I'm glad they've changed it to Essentio which still portrays it as an entry-level pen but with a bit of a higher end slant (or am I just kidding myself? Probably!).