Graf Von Faber-Castel
Carbon Black, Cobalt Blue, Moss Green, Stove Grey, Garnet Red, Violet Blue, Midnight Blue, Deep Sea Green, Hazelnut Brown, Garnet Red
Near the end of 2013 the inks from Graf Von Faber Castell started to appear on the market. I was luck to be in my local pen store when their stock had just recently arrived. Already the Stone Grey had sold out.
The inks come in a gorgeous oblong 75 ml art deco bottle. I think I would have preferred a black cap on the bottle, but the packaging of this ink is excellent. The bottle has an enlarged base so it sits very securely on the desk. While I like the look of the bottle, it does not have the little indent in the bottom of the bottle as found with the iroshizuku inks. That little indent allows the nib to sit just a little lower in the bottle and helps to fill the pen when the ink level gets low. It also does not have the multiple sides that say the standby Waterman ink bottle has. I use that feature a lot when filling up pens after the bottle is half-empty or less. But it is a beautiful bottle.
Over the years additional colours have been released.
When I saw the sample of Cobalt Blue in the store, I was immediately drawn to its dark bold colour. The label on the box has a purple or violet tone to it, but the ink comes across as a strong blue.
The sample above is written with an OMAS 360 Vintage with Broad nib. Because of the broad line, there is some shading.
The ink drives quickly so there was no problem with potential smudging. I was happy with the flow of the ink.
The ink is fairly water resistance but turns purple.
This is my ink of choice in the Graf von Faber-Castell line, followed by Hazelnut Brown and Moss Green.
When I scanned this ink, it came out very red, but my experience in writing with the ink is that when you first see it on the paper, it is lighter, and has a bit of a Bordeaux look to the colour.
The ink, like the Cobalt Blue, has a good flow, and the dry time is very good. No sticky feeling to the ink on the paper.
The full size scan of the writing shows more of the "Bordeaux" look to the red. It has an easy to take look. Sometimes with the red a full page of text can be hard to take. No so with this colour.
So far this looks like an ink of which I will be getting lots of use. This is one of the colours that is most most light-fast. I am using at work, but I will have to be careful with my coffee as this is one of the colours that is less water resistant.
I was expecting a softer green when I saw the name on the box - Moss Green. But after I cleaned and dried a pen, and then loaded it with the ink, what I found is I have a pretty standard green. A nice green mind you, but nothing in terms of an edgy colour.
It was a pleasure to write with when it flowed but I must admit I was having problems with the ink drying between actual writing time. I will have to try it out in a number of different pens to see if this is the ink, or a reaction with the particular pen. I liked the colour on the page. But just not the different colour I thought it would be.
Of course the ink comes in the very attractive bottle that Graf von Faber-Castell has created for the line of inks. A large oblong glass bottle, with a heavy glass bottom. It just sits on the desk oh so well. Just a pleasure to have a good ink, in a good bottle.
The ink is expensive but I must think it is worth it as I keep adding bottles to my ink cupboard.
The Graf Von Faber-Castell Hazelnut Brown is a dark black/brown ink true to the colour name. There are no warm golds or orange tones to this ink. I think that is what originally drew me to the colour.
The ink is a good performing ink. It dries to a good flat finish, no sheen or stickiness. I would say that based on the two Delta pens that I have been using the ink in the most, it is a relatively dry flowing ink... nothing gushing about the flow of this ink even with pens fitted with broad and stuf nibs. But there is a reasonable dry time and a page of writing looks good. This is definitely an ink that can be used for both personal and business correspondence.
I used this as my travel journal ink last year. I made that choice as I like how it looks on the page, the ink performs well in a variety of pens, and this is one of the colours that is reported to be at the high end in terms of being light-fast. Less fading. The downside is that this colour is less water resistant than some of the others.
The ink of course comes in the beautiful bottle. Oblong in shape with a large oversized base. It looks just great sitting on the desk.
Cognac Brown was released near the end of 2018 and is a very different brown from Hazelnut.
It is a warm gold-tone brown ink, that dependending on the width of the nib, varies in intensity as the nib crosses across the paper. I have found that for me it works best in a broad nib as I like a more consistent tone to my writing. In pens fitted with a Stub nib some of the strokes that have the broadest width are much lighter in colour.
The sample in the store was bright a bold, and I think I wanted a cheeerful tone ink! There is enough deepness of blue in this ink so that I do like it. Even a full page of writing does not have a washed out look, a look that can be common the middle-tone blue inks.
I found the flow good, and the ink dries quickly on the page so I found no smudging. I have been using it in broad nibs, like the Pilot Zoom nib, so a fair amount of ink if be laid on the paper.
Midnight Blue is a bold blue, almost a black, this is it. Depending on the nib, the ink comes out almost black, but there is always a hint of blue in the ink. Great flow, good writing performance in a variety of pens.
Burnt Orange came out in 2018. It is a bit flatter in colour tone than some of the other oranges. It writes reasonably well, but It goes on a bit lighter in tone than when it fully dries.