My fascination with fountain pens started when I was 13 years old. An older cousin gifted me with a box set of pens which included a formidable fountain pen. From then on, I felt grown up. Having the responsibility of filling up the fountain pen with ink was a cherished, albeit messy, experience. I also used fountain pens to furiously take down my notes at law school. With the advent of computers, I didn’t need to write as much and thereafter, I completely lost touch with fountain pens.
Now that I have started to take up journaling and find writing down notes more effective than typing, I discovered that I am fussy about my writing instruments. So, while browsing through Faber Castell Malaysia’s warehouse sale last month, Faber Castell Neo Slim Ivory Shiny Chrome Fountain Pen (what a mouthful!) caught my eye with its simple, elegant design. And it was at an irresistible 50% discount! How could I resist?
My Faber Castell Neo Slim Ivory Shiny Chrome Fountain Pen
My Neo Slim is in ivory lacquer, with a gleaming, sophisticated finish. Smooth to the touch, its slim, minimalist design fits my small hand and fingers perfectly. It has high quality chromed nibs in widths of Extra Fine (EF), Fine (F), Medium (M) and Broad (B). Neo Slim is compatible with ink cartridges (refills) for convenience or the converter system for users who prefers the classic bottle ink refilling experience (like me).
My choice was the Fine nib, which fits perfectly with my rather small handwriting.
I bought the pen, the ink and ink catridges (refills) at the Malaysian Faber Castell website. However, the converter was out of stock. Fortunately, it was available for separate purchase at Faber Castell’s official Shopee store. The pen came with one free ink cartridge inside.
Here are some details of Neo Slim available at Ryan Pens:
- Writing mode: Fountain pen
- Barrel material: Stainless steel in ivory lacquer
- Cap material: Stainless steel in ivory lacquer
- Cap type: Snap-on
- Nib: Stainless steel in polished chrome finish
- Trims: Polished chrome
- Filling system: Cartridge | converter
- Length with cap closed: 14.0 cm
- Length with cap posted: 15.6 cm
- Diameter: 1.0 cm
- Weight: 21.0 gm
My Neo Slim came without a gift box, but those sold at Ryan Pens include an elegant gift box. Great as a gift. On the website, they also provided this sample in respect of the weight/boldness of the ink when using different nibs.
Appearance and Design
After more than a decade of not owning or using a fountain pen, I am glad that I chose Faber Castell Neo Slim Ivory Shiny Chrome Fountain Pen to reintroduce me to the delightful world of fountain pens. It is light weight compared to most fountain pens, and provides a very comfortable writing experience. I love it’s understated simple, but elegant look. The slim design easily fits into the pockets of my handbag.
However, compared to my usual ballpoint or rollerball pens, I can’t help but notice it’s slightly heavier weight. I suppose I need to get use to that.
Users of Neo Slim usually commented on the grip of the clip (on the cap). A reviewer stated : “The clip lacks the strength and teeth to really hold on to anything without the assistance from gravity.” True. Even if lightly shaken, it will slip off if it is clipped to less than 10 pieces of 80 gsm paper. Apparently, it is meant to be slipped into a pocket of a walker, not a runner, or a hurler of books.😅
Filling in the ink and inserting the converter were easy. But screwing the top and bottom took a bit of time because I didn’t realise that there was actually an extra cartridge stuck at the bottom of the pen. 😜
Aside from a bit of hiccups when writing for the first time each day, I haven’t encountered any other performance issues while writing. But that’s easily resolved, just need to shake it a few times and the ink will flow nicely. Consider it as a wake-up call or a simple warm-up.
Despite it being slightly heavier than what I was previously used to, it is surprisingly a comfort to hold and write with. Once I got the hang of it, writing was a smooth and satisfying journey.
For those with longer fingers or bigger hands, they would probably derive a more pleasurable writing experience by posting the reversible cap on.
The benefits of Writing
Whatever you may call it, whether writing, scribbling, journaling, doodling. etc., it is an experience to be enjoyed and cherished. The benefits of writing are numerous, just google ‘the health benefits of writing’ and you’ll find lots of info. Putting pen to paper is important for brain development and cognition. There’s even a research paper written titled ‘The Pen Is Mightier Than The Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking‘ which was referred to in ‘The Benefits of Writing with Good Old Fashioned Pen and Paper‘.
I hope you’ll find your favourite pen and be inspired to start journaling.