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The Graf von Faber-Castell Tamitio collection seems to be a lineup that rarely gets talked about. However, when I started my fountain pen journey, this is one of the first few models that I got to know, and I was quickly attracted by the design of the collection. So here is my review of the Graf von Faber-Castell Tamitio fountain pens.
Fountain Pens: Graf von Faber-Castell Tamitio Black & Graf von Faber-Castell Tamitio Rosé
Nibs: Stainless steel medium & fine nibs
Filling System: International cartridge/converter
1. Packaging (8/10):
Both of the pens that I own did not come with the “official” box mentioned on the Graf von Faber-Castell website. Therefore I’m not able to comment much about it. However, I do have the linen bag that is provided for the collection. Personally I think it is quite a nice addition to any standard pen packagings. It looks clean and simple, and offers nice protection.
2. Pen Design (8/10):
The profile of the Tamitio fountain pen is about average. When capped, its length is similar to pens such as the Pilot Vanishing Point and Pilot Metropolitan. The pen has a snap cap and when uncapped and not posted, it is more comparable to pens such as the Pelikan Souverän M400 and the Sailor 1911S (both also uncapped and not posted). When holding the pen, one thing that immediately distinguishes the Tamitio from the others is that it feels much heavier. This is because a large percentage of the pen body is metal. The barrel is also lacquered, which certainly adds a bit of weight. However, the pen has quite a balanced weight distribution when not posted and I find myself enjoying the extra weight. The cap snaps to post on the back of the pen. The metal bit on the back of the barrel is very short, so that posting the cap will make the pen very long. Meanwhile, since the pen has a metal cap, posting also makes the pen quite back heavy. Personally, I always use the pen not posted.
The barrel is coated with lacquer and presented with a fluted design, which is very unique. Combined with the metal cap and the metal piece on the end of the barrel, the pen looks simple and modern. The spring-loaded clip seems to be a feature that Graf von Faber-Castell frequently uses in the pen design. And it certainly fits nicely here. The end of the clip tapers out, so that it is extremely easy to slip into any pocket and gives sufficient amount of tension.
The stainless steel nib is rhodium plated. The silver colour matches well with the other metal parts of the pen. Overall, the pen has a very consistent styling and each part looks and feels well built. However, there are also details that may be a concern for some users. First since the metal pen cap is highly polished, it becomes quite a fingerprint magnet. Users who prefer the cleaner look of a pen may have to avoid this pen, or consistently wipe the cap to keep it shiny. Secondly, the pen has a very short metal grip section, so short that it barely can be considered as one. There is a small step between this section and the barrel. Based on this design, most users will have to either put the fingers on this edge or grip onto the pen barrel only. Fortunately, the edge of the barrel is extremely smooth. Personally I’m not that concerned about this design, but it certainly can discourage some users.
3. Filling System (7/10)
The Tamitio fountain pen accepts both the international short and long cartridges and converter. Therefore your choice of ink colours is definitely not limited. This is also a very portable pen. Carrying a few cartridges for this pen can certainly make it a great travel companion. However, one concern that I have for this pen is that the converter doesn’t sit very deeply into the nib unit. It actually can be easily detached with a light pull. While I haven’t experienced any ink leakage or seen the converter falling off, I would be still cautious about it, particularly during pen cleaning, just to make sure that the converter or, more importantly, the nib unit doesn’t get loose and dropped.
4. Nib Performance (9/10)
For the Tamitio, I have both a fine nib and a medium nib. Both nibs are true to their size designations and they write right out of the box. No adjustments are needed. Both the nibs have an average flow and perhaps the most outstanding quality of them is that these nibs are super smooth. In fact even when not inked, they glide on the paper more smoothly than some other inked ones, and some of them can be much more expensive. Meanwhile, there is hardly any skipping or hard start issue. They are among the best stainless steel nibs that I own. Of course, being stainless steel nibs means that they are fairly rigid and the design of the nibs doesn’t offer any line variation. But I still think they are great nibs for daily writing.
5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (10/10)
Having the international standard cartridge and converter filling system installed usually means that cleaning is not the hardest task, and this pen is certainly not an exception. The pen also does not require much extra care, other than the usual pen maintenance routine. The barrel is coated with lacquer and the finish is still in mint condition after more than a year’s use. The metal cap is quite resistant to scratches but as mentioned earlier, it can be a fingerprint magnet. For the best protection it is still best to store it in a pen case or pen pouch.
Pen Design: 8/10
Filling System: 7/10
Nib Performance: 9/10
Pen Cleaning and Maintenance: 10/10
The Graf von Faber-Castell Tamitio fountain pen is a solid choice for many. It is a nice daily writer with outstanding and consistent nib performance. The snap cap and international cartridge and converter filling system help make it a great daily carry pen.
On the other hand, based on the specifications it offers, I think the price point of the pen is a bit too high, with many other pens that may be more appealing in the same price range. In this case, a lot of what you pay for is for the pen design and the build quality. Personally, every time I put them into my pen collection, I enjoy using them very much.