Natural finish pencils have deservedly earned a following. Today we’ll take a look at Faber-Castell’s offering in this market segment, the 1117.
This pencil has a ferrule and eraser, untypical of Faber-Castell pencils, and possibly suggesting that it’s aimed at the North American market. But it seems to be sold mainly (solely?) in Europe.
The pencil isn’t all that “natural”, and doesn’t reveal that much of the woodgrain, in comparison with a Musgrave HB for example.
There is a silver-coloured ferrule and white eraser – the same ones used by the erasered version of the Castell 9000. The ferrule is quite nice, possibly one of the nicest on the market today.
Markings are minimal, in white ink:
Side 1 (Obverse): GERMANY SV 1117 2=B [logo] FABER-CASTELL
Side 2: blank
Side 3: blank
Side 4 (Reverse): blank
Side 5: blank
Side 6: blank
The wood resembles that of the Castell 9000, and not the Grip 2001, so I suspect it is cedar.
The box says “Eco-friendly water-based varnish.”
The pencils in my box ranged from 4.1g to 4.6g, with a 4.4g mean. This is the narrowest range that I’ve yet seen. The weight puts them below the Musgrave HB, and just above modern eraser-less pencils.
The grip is matte and just slightly rough. I’m a little surprised that Faber-Castell would sell a pencil in this format, as it contradicts their general design approach, which tends towards the finished and refined end of the spectrum.
So what does “2=B” mean? They seem to use this scheme with the Grip 2001, but not the Castell 9000. For a given vendor, an HB and a B pencil will only be different by a minor gradation. Anyhow, this lead may be a ‘B’, and is dark and rich, certainly better than most pencils.
It’s a good pencil, and I can imagine the 1117 becoming popular.