About This Model
Faber-Castell is one of the venerable German pen and pencil manufacturers, with a family ownership history back to the mid-1700s. The modern firm is credited with inventing the modern pencil under the A.W. Faber brand. In the 1920s, a descendant started a fountain pen manufacturing operation in Nuremberg
Faber-Castell origins are traced back to 1761 when Kaspar Faber began a production of pencils in Stein, a village located close to Nuremberg. The activity was developed by his son Anton Wilhelm, who created the A. W. Faber company, and then passed to his son. The real architects of the company success, however, was the grandson Lothar von Faber, which took the direction of a declining company and with the invention of modern wooden pencil, remained unchanged to this day, built the success of the A. W. Faber brand, with operations both in Europe and the US.
The company added Castell when Count Castell married the inheriting Faber niece, and took over firm leadership, and although fountain pen manufacturing had begun in a family subsidiary around the ’20s, the main family firm started producing pens in Germany before 1910; their mechanisms are said to have been made by Kaweco, a common practice for many years in Germany.
The Faber-Castell we know today was formed by in the early 1930s after a “reunification” of the Faber-Castell main wing and the American/German Faber wing. Soon thereafter, Faber-Castell purchased Osmia AG, a high quality German manufacturer, to have an immediate impact on the industry.
From 1935 forward, there were Osmia, Faber-Castell, and double-branded pens, probably until the end of WWII. The pens were all high quality, piston-operated, and with gold trim. Ballpoints were introduced in 1949, and the Osmia brand discontinued in the 1960s. In 1975, Faber-Castell left the fountain pen market altogether, not to return until the 1990s with fine pens that we know today.
About This Pen
The Faber-Castell Ambition fountain pen is a good one…their models don’t change often, and Ambitions have been around for at least ten years, generally changing only in barrel appearance. It’s a longer pen, 5.5″ capped, but slimmer related to its length, at .44″ wide. Its design is both curious and effective: the cap is shorter and the body longer, yielding a striking appearance, since the cap and tassie are shiny stainless steel and the barrel brushed black resin. The cap is firmly fit to the body, friction fit. The section is quite short, and round; the grip is higher than the section, however, more on the base of the barrel. It’s a converter/cartridge filling pen; these are not included but are readily available. The pen is in excellent, clean condition. The nib is a very smooth and sufficiently wet medium, a very nice writer.