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ransky
May 10th, 2013, 04:55 AM
Graf von Faber Castell (GvFC) Intuition Platino Grenadilla - Fine nib

Iíve not seen many reviews of this pen so I thought others might find this helpful. At the time of this review, Iíve had the pen about five weeks. I'm new to posting reviews, so I apologize if the format/pictures are less than suitable.

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Overall impression

The Intuition Grenadilla is a compact, hefty pen. I consider it expensive, and the packaging is what one might expect for this price point. It comes in a very nice wooden box with various accompanying documents. The pen exudes quality, and while unique, is not flashy, perhaps due to the dark-colored wood. The tactile quality of the materials makes it a joy to handle. Thereís a balance of cold engineering and warm old world feel that combines to make a remarkable instrument. I wish GvFC had gone with a sterling cap, but thatís personal preference.

Metrics (please note these are my own measurements):

Weight - 52g total, 34g body only
Length - 128mm capped, 123mm uncapped
Widths - 13mm (barrel), 12mm (section)

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Construction

The cap and end cap are platinum plated (over brass perhaps(?) - not sure). All metal surfaces are nicely polished and the logos/engravings are faultless. The wooden barrel is finely fluted, matte-finished and very pleasing in appearance.

This is a cartridge-converter pen. The entire nib/converter assembly can be removed (unscrewed) from the wooden barrel by rotating the barrel end cap. This allows refilling the converter without risk of staining the barrel with ink. On my pen, the unscrewing action feels a bit rough through a portion of the movement, a sand-in-the-gears sort of grind as it were, but this does not impact the function. On reflection, this grinding provides some friction that may keep the mechanism tight so it doesn't inadvertently unscrew. I donít know if this is common to other Intuition pens.

The cap slips on/off. There is a very gentle click where I imagine a clutch ring is engaging the collar around the nib to keep the cap secure. The cap is easy to remove, although not so easy that it comes off inadvertently. The metal part of the cap doesn't grab the wooden barrel (to avoid possible damage Iíd guess). Instead, there is an inner cap of some sort to keep things secure. This set up allows the cap to pivot ever so slightly side-to-side while capped. In other words, the cap is not rock solid secure, but allows for a little wiggle at the open end when capped.

There is a slight curvature in the wooden barrel near the nib to aide in gripping the pen. This is very subtle. There is no section per se, as the pen is intended to be gripped by the barrel.

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The nib

Well, the nib. It's a large, beautiful nib, 18ct, bi-color, having gold along the outside edge, with a nicely etched logo. I chose a fine. It's smooth, but arrived with a baby's bottom that caused it to skip so that it was wholly unsatisfactory at delivery. I understand these are run-in by hand at the factory, and I can see how a quick scribble might not have detected the skipping. In actual writing though, it was just unusable. I tried a variety of inks without success. You might imagine the disappointment, especially given the price of the pen!

I debated a return or working this through GvFC customer service, but life got a little busy, and I put the pen aside in frustration. After a week or two, I decided to adjust the nib myself (at a great risk since I've ruined nibs before). I figured at worst, I could just buy another nib from GvFC. Some gentle micro-mesh, lapping film, and patience brought the nib to life. Itís been transformed to a very nice writer, with a controlled, wet line of comparable width to usual western fine nibs.

In Summary

What I like - The wooden barrel, the ergonomics of the grip, the heft of the cap in my off hand as I write (it's a nice cap and I tend to hold it rather than set it down), the ease of cap removal (makes taking quick notes a pleasure)

What I don't like - The fact that I had to fiddle with the nib to make it work, that the cap moves slightly while in place, the grinding of the gears in nib/converter removal

Overall, do I like the pen? Yes, I do. Itís like no other pen I have, and variety adds to the wonder of life. From a cost/value perspective, Iíd rate the pen as excellent (but not quite outstanding). It could in time become my clear favorite - itís grown on me more and more. For now, itís solidly at the top of the rotation.

jar
May 10th, 2013, 03:37 PM
The body and nib on the wooden Intuitions are considerably larger than on the standard Intuitions.

http://www.fototime.com/09EBE18E95219D2/large.jpg

I'll have to re-weigh mine though. I thought it was considerably lighter than what you show.

carlc
May 10th, 2013, 04:19 PM
Nice review, nothing wrong with your review or your photographs - I have a standard Intuition that wrote extremely well out of the box (the best modern nib so far in my limited experience), sadly it took a dive and is with a repairer to be straightened out.

I agree that they are expensive pens (and mine is not a Platinum) which does make one think at least twice before buying but overall a very good pen.

carl

ransky
May 10th, 2013, 04:21 PM
Jar, your pictures are what initially piqued my interest in this brand. Funny how GvFC kind of flies under the radar. After picking up a Faber Castell Basic Black Carbon and being astonished at the smoothness of the nib, I really wanted to explore the high end pens. Another picture:

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JazzDoc
May 12th, 2013, 09:38 PM
Extremely nice pictorial and very interesting read, ransky. Definitely some pen porn there.

I just won a Classic Grenadilla with M nib on eBay tonight and I'm really interested in putting it through the paces.

**If I may be so bold, I do have a couple of questions for any GvFC fans who might have a feel for this:
(1) Do the F, M and B designations hold up well in this series?, and
(2) Exactly what is silver and what is platinum-plated on these pens? I ask in case I decide to replace the M nib/section with an oblique, what material would I want for the section, silver or platinum-plated?

Forgive me if I'm hijacking the post - not my intent.

Again - thanks for the post.

ransky
May 13th, 2013, 05:48 PM
JazzDoc, I can't be of much help with the Classic series. For what it's worth, here's a writing comparison of what I currently have inked, including the GvFC Intuition. The paper is a Rhodia No. 18 dot pad.

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Enjoy your new pen!

ransky
May 13th, 2013, 06:02 PM
Quick post script - thanks, JazzDoc, for the kind words about the review!

jar
May 13th, 2013, 06:46 PM
Extremely nice pictorial and very interesting read, ransky. Definitely some pen porn there.

I just won a Classic Grenadilla with M nib on eBay tonight and I'm really interested in putting it through the paces.

**If I may be so bold, I do have a couple of questions for any GvFC fans who might have a feel for this:
(1) Do the F, M and B designations hold up well in this series?, and
(2) Exactly what is silver and what is platinum-plated on these pens? I ask in case I decide to replace the M nib/section with an oblique, what material would I want for the section, silver or platinum-plated?

Forgive me if I'm hijacking the post - not my intent.

Again - thanks for the post.

You can order nibs and sections for your new Classic on line at their spares site (http://www.graf-von-faber-castell.us/19245/Products/Spare-Parts/index_ebene2.aspx). They offer Sterling silver, Platinum Plated or a resin section to meet YOUR needs and desires. Usually the pens will come with the Platinum plated section except on the silver plate or Sterling silver Classics.

The GvFC nibs I have seem pretty true but moderately wet across the widths.

JazzDoc
May 13th, 2013, 09:21 PM
Extremely nice pictorial and very interesting read, ransky. Definitely some pen porn there. I just won a Classic Grenadilla with M nib on eBay tonight and I'm really interested in putting it through the paces. **If I may be so bold, I do have a couple of questions for any GvFC fans who might have a feel for this: (1) Do the F, M and B designations hold up well in this series?, and (2) Exactly what is silver and what is platinum-plated on these pens? I ask in case I decide to replace the M nib/section with an oblique, what material would I want for the section, silver or platinum-plated? Forgive me if I'm hijacking the post - not my intent. Again - thanks for the post. You can order nibs and sections for your new Classic on line at their spares site (http://www.graf-von-faber-castell.us/19245/Products/Spare-Parts/index_ebene2.aspx). They offer Sterling silver, Platinum Plated or a resin section to meet YOUR needs and desires. Usually the pens will come with the Platinum plated section except on the silver plate or Sterling silver Classics. The GvFC nibs I have seem pretty true but moderately wet across the widths. Fantastic, jar. Thanks for the info.

mehandiratta
June 8th, 2016, 12:33 AM
This is a fantastic post..
I am looking to buy OB in the Wood one...
Any suggestions???