There are brands I trust and Faber-Castell is one of them. So far I’ve never been disappointed by Faber-Castell fountain pen (the same can’t be said, sadly, about their inks – newest additions to the line are less than mediocre). Not only their products offer good quality but also interesting design. Of course some of their designs don’t suit my taste – Basic is too heavy and unshapely, Loom looks funny. Both of them, however, are great writers.
I was interested in trying Ondoro for quite some time. It offers unique and rather striking design that attracted me to it – how many hexagonal fountain pens do you know? The temptation was strong but before I could spend money on the pen I’ve received it from a friend. I didn’t object. I’ve grabbed it before she could change her mind and started testing it. Since that time I’ve managed to try two Ondoros. I’ve sold Orange one and, after some time, bought Black one and, month after, received another black one. At the moment I have two black Ondoros.
I believe this design is subtle but also sophisticated. Smooth, unclattered barrel finishes with a comfortably tapered grip near the nib. Polished chrome cap is engraved with the company logo on the end and is equipped with functional spring-loaded clip. The hexagonal shape is quite ergonomic in the hand. Also it’ll never roll off the table, trust me on this. Actually you don’t need to trust me – just look at the pen 🙂
Fit & Finish
Construction and quality are quite impressive. In their marketing materials Faber-Castell claims, as most manufacturers do, the pen is made from “precious resin”. The material has nice feel to it but let’s be realistic and call it plastic for what it really is. It feels substantial and solid and because of matte finish (in Black Ondoro) it’s pleasant to the touch. The plastic is, in muy opinion, much better than the one used in Pelikan pens.
The metallic snap-on cap is small and hexagonal. It opens and closes on the barrel with audible click. It’s made of chrome plated metal and plastic (inside) – it’s quite heavy and it tends to collect dust easily. I don’t mind it but some people won’t be happy cleaning it every few days. The cap can be posted on the back of the pen – you just need to align facets on the barrel with the ones on the cap. I never post my pens but if you usually do you may be unhappy with Ondoro – metal cap will make it back heavy. It feels unbalanced to me.
The pen isn’t huge but, due to significant diameter and well engineered grip, it is very comfortable to hold. Small grip section is short but has concave shape that forces fingers to hold it close to the nib. For me it’s perfect – I always keep my fingers almost on the nib. Some people though will need to get used to it.
Ondoro’s stainless steel nib doesn’t have a breather hole, it’s adorned with dotted pattern as well as the Faber-Castell logo and the nib size stamped on it. It’s available in EF, F, M and B sizes. I had a chance to try fine and medium Ondoro nibs. They both performed well out of the box. They’re not buttery smooth – in a way they’re similar to japanese nibs. They give some feedback, sometimes less, sometimes more – depending on the paper and ink you use.
Length, capped: 12.8 c
Length, uncapped: 12.4 cm
Length, posted: 15.9 cm
Weight, posted: 32 g
Faber-Castell Ondoro is undoubtedly interesting fountain pen. It’s design is eye-catching but apart from visual appeal it’s quite practical and ergonomic. Ondoro writes nicely and I appreciate the fact there’s little in the way of branding or marks on the pen to spoil its clean lines. As for the price – it’s not cheap pen. For it’s MSRP you can easily get better pens on eBay. On the other hand it’s well built and with unique design. I’ve sold my first Ondoro because I didn’t fully enjoy it’s orange hue (I love oranges, but darker ones). After some time I’ve decided to get another one in another finish and I’m quite happy with it.
I think it’s great pen but it should be 30 % cheaper.