The Graf von Faber-Castell Magnum Perfect Pencil. Top: Sharpened with a Caran d’Ache Sharpening Machine. Middle: Sharpened with an El Casco M-430. Bottom: Factory sharpening. The pencils rest on a Doane Paper moon camera journal.
The Graf von Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil line has a new edition. While I’m a big fan of Faber-Castell’s various premium pencils and extenders, the prices, like many consumer goods, have increased considerably over the years. Since only this specific refill would fully utilize the extender’s capabilities, I decided to first try some refills to see how this pencil works.
The challenge of jumbo pencils is that the volume of wood required quadruples as the radius doubles – so manufacturer shortcuts to save money seem inevitable. Fortunately, this pencil is an exception – a creamy dark 4B 4mm core is encased in straight grained cedar, with the signature fluted finish. I have already ordered the extender!
There were some queries about a particular pencil shown in the previous post. That pencil of interest is the Graf von Faber-Castell Guilloche pencil.
Recently introduced, it is a round pencil with a diameter of about 8.15mm, with a very intricate finish.
It is presented in a modest but pleasing cardboard box:
For those seeking the pencils, they are formally (at least in English) called “superfine pencils with guilloche finish”, and the model numbers are “11 86 21” for the brown, and “11 86 20” for the black.
I find them to have a very pleasing and subtle sophistication. My only complaint is that the factory sharpening shows an unpleasant rough scraping of the wood. Although that’s very common with modern pencils, the original ribbed, silver-capped Graf von Faber-Castell pencils don’t have this problem, and these newer pencils in the same line shouldn’t either.
The caps display a crest and crown.
The official product page is here.
Pencil Boxes (II) – Graf von Faber-Castell (pencil talk – February, 2008)
Graf von Faber-Castell pencils. (pencil talk – July, 2006)
This is almost an accidental post. While arranging some office supplies, I noticed that I had accumulated a few of Faber-Castell’s “special” pencils – their design series pencils, the Graf von Faber-Castell pencils, and “perfect pencil” refills.
Individually, they are all nice, but together they display an amazing array of achievement in modern pencil manufacturing.
Today’s best pencil or best manufacturer may be debatable – but on the design front – I don’t think there is a competitor.
I respect the utilitarian history of the pencil. And these pencils are highly usable – well made, solid, possessing excellent grips, and having good quality leads.
Yet they don’t exactly scream ‘utilitarian’. They stand out because of their wonderful design and the clear commitment to create something exceptional in an era when using handheld writing instruments is a choice.
The textures and surfaces amaze and delight.
Approaching their 249th anniversary, Faber-Castell seems to be full of innovation.
What pencil could celebrate their 250th anniversary?