(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
The Faber-Castell Design Ambition Op-Art Flamingo Limited Edition Fountain Pen (what a mouthful!) is a small, light pen with a stainless steel nib, a metal cap, and a resin body.
It comes packaged in a classy Faber-Castell box with a sliding drawer that extends to reveal the pen. One blue cartridge is included, but there’s no converter, so if you prefer a converter, you’ll have to purchase one separately.
The metal snap-on cap has a spring-loaded clip, and it posts easily on the bottom metal section beneath the barrel. Because the pen itself is so light (11 grams), posting the cap (16 grams) throws off the balance considerably, so I don’t recommend it.
The pen design is modern but is not exactly comfortable. Although there is a metal section above the nib, I wouldn’t call it a grip because it is so small in length (about 8.5 mm) and the step down between the barrel and the metal section is significant (and sharp). Because of this, I have to hold the pen much further back than I normally do. Plus, the barrel’s diameter is small (11.1mm), so I don’t find this design conducive to lengthy writing sessions.
The barrel is made from resin engraved with a beautiful guilloche design.
It’s very light and almost feels more like cardboard than resin. The diminutive size of this pen could be a pro or a con depending on how heavy/large you like your pens. Capped, the pen is 5.5 inches; uncapped it is 4.8 inches; and posted it is 6.8 inches.
The nib is a stainless steel fine, and, like most Faber-Castell nibs I’ve used, it writes smoothly. It is decorated with engraved dots and the Faber-Castell logo.
I have another Faber-Castell Ambition, so I borrowed its converter and inked this one with Kyo-Iro 05 Keage Sakura which matches the pink color of the pen well. The pen writes beautifully. I’ve tested it on several different papers and I’ve encountered no hard starts or skipping.
Although I love the sophisticated look and the nib quality on the Faber-Castell Ambition, I’m not so certain of its longevity. I discovered that the resin is easily marred. As I said, I own another Faber-Castell Ambition which I purchased in France. I always carry my pens in a pen case and try to be very careful with them. I’m not sure what happened—if the pen rolled off my desk at work or I accidentally banged it against something—but the barrel got damaged (see photo). I wish Faber-Castell coated the exterior of the resin with clear acrylic to protect the surface.
- The Faber-Castell Ambition Op-Art Flamingo is a classy looking pen with distinctive metal accents. The color reminds me of cherry blossoms—it’s not garish like the plastic flamingoes people put in their yards.
- If you prefer small, light pens then you will probably like this model.
- The stainless steel nib on the Ambition writes beautifully and without any problems, such as scratchiness, hard starts, or skipping.
- This is an expensive pen considering that it’s made of rather delicate resin and has a steel nib.
- No converter is included with the pen. At this price point, I think Faber-Castell should provide a couple of cartridges and a converter.
- I find this model to be uncomfortable, especially for long writing sessions. The lack of a decent-sized grip section forces you to hold the pen by the barrel and the barrel is quite thin in diameter.
- The resin is easily damaged. I would not recommend putting this pen in a purse or bag unless it’s protected by a pen case.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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