WatchProSite Pursuits: Graf Von Faber Castell Perfect Pencil Magnum Sketch Pencil – A Review

Oct 06, 2023,07:29 AM

WatchProSite Moderator Patrick_y reviews the Graf Von Faber Castell Perfect Pencil Magnum – an incredibly decadent gift for the man or woman who has everything!  



We have some of the top watch collectors in the world on WatchProSite and we have some of the most significant fountain pen collectors in the world on WatchProSite.  We’ve seen some amazing pieces too – top models from both categories.  The most decadent models of watches and fountain pens.  But, what about the top wooden pencil in the world?  


Graf Von Faber-Castell is the luxury arm of Faber-Castell, the world renowned stationary supplier with a long history in pencils.  Even today, Graf Von Faber-Castell is a family run business.  The history in pencil manufacturing started 250+ years ago when the Faber family started a pencil factory.  

Introducing The Faber family - the founder of a modern pencil factory in Stein, a town near Nuremberg, Germany.  In 1761, Patriarch Caspar Faber starts a pencil factory, his wife Maria and his son Anton help run the pencil factory.  

Since the founding of the company was over 250 years ago, photographs didn't exist yet and paintings of the founders were lost during the war before they could be digitally recorded.  This is a painting of Anton's son, Georg Leonhard Faber and his wife Albertine Faber - the third generation involved in the business.   Photo credit: Faber Castell website.

But how did the “Castell” become added into “Faber-Castell” – the brand we know today?  In 1896, Lothar Von Faber passed away unexpectedly at the age of 42.  Upon his last days, he instructed his wife, that his surname must be retained by their daughter when she married – as the family business had to remain with a Faber.  His daughter, Tilly Von Faber, honoring her father’s last wish, asked her husband Count Alexander Castell-Rudenhausen to permit her to keep her maiden surname.  Count Alexander agrees, and the two married in 1898.  Their children are christened “Faber-Castell” as their surname.  The couple love each other very much, but due to the many stresses of the Great War, they eventually separate and divorce.    Photo credit: Faber Castell website.

Their son, Count Roland Faber-Castell, continued the work at the family business and eventually renamed the business as Faber-Castell.  Count Roland Faber-Castell (wearing a dark coat and a white hat) is photographed with his mother, he was the youngest of three, his two sisters are in the left photograph.  Photo credit: Faber Castell website.

Today, the family business is run by the 9th generation of Faber-Castells; Count Charles, Countess Katharina, Countess Victora, and Countess Sarah run the business with a board of directors.  Photo credit: Faber Castell website.


The family-run-business story is somewhat similar to the watch brand Patek Philippe – and the top executives at each brand share a mutual respect for one another.  Thierry Stern even gifted top Patek Philippe clients a Graf Von Faber-Castell pen several years ago.  Count Charles Faber-Castell also enjoys fine timepieces and undoubtedly has a few nice timepieces - we should extend him an invitation to join us on WatchProSite!  

These were the Patek Philippe pens from Graf von Faber Castell.  If it's good enough for Patek Philippe....  Photo credit: eBay


While the brand Graf Von Faber Castell makes amazing products (I adore the Samurai Fountain Pen, see my review of that pen here...   wink , their most iconic model is their “Perfect Pencil” and today we look at the “Perfect Pencil Magnum” which is their thicker version of the Perfect Pencil that is intended for sketching.  


This is the pencil in an exploded photograph.    You've got the pencil cap which conceals a hidden sharpener!  On the back of the pencil, you have an eraser (covered eraser, of course), and a platinum plated cap.  You can post the cap at the end of the pencil to extend the pencil and to give it more weight!  

The clip is perfect.  Hinged and sprung with just the right amount of tension, that ski-slope clip is perfect - and won't damage nice shirts, delicate wool pants, nor jackets - not even the finest cashmere sweaters.  Oh boy...  I've typed the word "perfect" too many times today.

The finial is flared out and shaped like a trumpet.  The clip prevents the cap from rolling down a table.  The grooves on the pencil also prevent the pencil from rolling away too.  

The pencil mechanically is a beautiful work of art.  A work of art used to make more work of art!  And no, I'm not referring to my scribbles and sketches as a work of art.  

With this wonderful tool – I find that I want to sketch things more often.  I want to use the pencil to translate my thoughts to paper.  And the thoughts flow quickly out of my mind, through my hand, and onto paper via this pencil.  

Comes packaged in a nice pencil case!  Also comes with its own travel pouch!  

Equipped with super soft 4B lead, this pencil is an amazing tool for sketching.  The wood is fluted and made from cedar wood.  This writing instrument is great for anyone who likes to express their thoughts visually.  

Made of solid brass, the platinum plated Perfect Pencil is handmade in Germany.  Notice the beautifully knurled part of the cap.  The details really make this (for lack of a better word) the perfect pencil.  

When your pencil gets a little short, you can post the cap onto the end of the pencil to extend the pencil.  

It's a nice pencil - a really nice pencil.  And with this cap and clip, you can take this pencil everywhere with you!  There's even a sharpener hidden in the cap - you won't be caught unprepared!  

More scribbles, more thoughts.  

Not all of my scribbles are very good.  Sometimes the ideas flow out faster than I can draw them!  But that's okay, there's an eraser on the back of this pencil!  

Another exploded view showing all the components...  It's really a great design!  

It’s just a joy to use.  Every detail has been thoughtfully made.  It's perfect!  (Oh!  I used that word "perfect" again!)


Multiple models exist; Perfect Pencil Magnum platinum plated brown pencil, Perfect Pencil platinum plated brown pencil, Perfect Pencil Magnum Black Edition (titanium PVD coated) black pencil, and Perfect Pencil Black Edition (titanium PVD coated).  More models exist, an unpictured edition is the Perfect Pencil sterling silver supplied with a brown pencil (I'll probably add this to my collection someday).  There is also a rose gold version as well.  

The standard pencils are of a 7mm diameter and are of the "B" (medium hardness) lead variety.  The Magnum pencils have a thicker diameter of 10mm, have a thicker lead core, and the lead is of the 4B (extra soft) variety.  All the pencils, regardless of color, are made in California Cedar wood.  I chose the Magnum mainly to use as a tool for sketching.  And now I'm thinking of adding a standard pencil with the sterling silver cap!  I'd probably still use the Magnum more often - as I don't really use standard pencils very often anymore - but I just find this product so pleasing that it doesn't hurt to own both sizes.  


Nobody needs a pencil that is this good - nobody needs a perfect pencil.  And the Perfect Pencil Magnum by Graf von Faber Castell is beyond perfect - it's decadent.  Truly decadent.  Beyond decadent.  Fit for a King!  The price may seem expensive at first, but actually I find it somewhat reasonably priced now after using it.  At $275 US dollars for the standard pencil - it's pricy.  The reviewed Magnum version starts at $340 for the platinum plated version and $435 for the Black Edition with black PVD coating.   And topping out at $475 US dollars for the most valuable solid sterling silver version (this is the version I want most), it is a wonderful way to spoil yourself - and it's also a decadent gift for the man who has everything (he probably won't have this).  But think about it this way, this pencil, like your watch, will be passed onto your children and used by posterity for generations - this is the Patek Philippe of pencils!  

I hope you enjoyed this review about the Graf von Faber Castell Perfect Pencil Magnum!  It's a delightful instrument that's great for sketches!  It actually helps me extract my thoughts out of my head and helps me put those thoughts on paper!  And that's priceless!  I look forward to reading your comments below!  

Please visit the review of the Graf von Faber Castell Samurai Fountain Pen here:

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Thank You For Reading!

 By: patrick_y : October 6th, 2023-08:00
And thank you so much for commenting that you enjoyed the article! Hey! Once you get yours, please share with us your sketches! Maybe you'll sketch some pictures of watches with your new pencil! I've known about these pencils for nearly 30 years - I remem... 

I hope my sketches don't come off as too offensive!

 By: patrick_y : October 6th, 2023-18:07
My Woodpecker Minute Repeater is not going to win any prizes! Can you even tell that's a bird with a huge beak? The idea is that the woodpecker is an automaton - and when you activate the minute repeater, the woodpecker moves to "peck" at the wooden tree....  

I'm redeemed! Many thanks to your Son!

 By: patrick_y : October 7th, 2023-04:43
Your son has good recognition! Yeah, there is some Jaquet Drop in the idea... None of them are extremely groundbreaking dials I would say.

I admit that on some occasions I tried to make a watch design. The results were disastrous. 😭😭

 By: aWtchslvr : October 7th, 2023-13:47
And I don’t blame the pencil. 😭😭😭😭

Lol. The pencil is spared!

 By: patrick_y : October 7th, 2023-21:43

How did you make the perfect circles?

 By: cazalea : October 7th, 2023-18:41
Is there a compass attachment?

The notepad comes pre printed

 By: patrick_y : October 7th, 2023-21:44
The notepad itself comes pre printed with an outline of a watch. You just add your sketched design to the dial!

Another review which does an ultra-luxury item justice.

 By: Lankysudanese : October 6th, 2023-08:00
Well-done, my friend. Now I want one, even though I don’t use pens much anymore, and I certainly don’t sketch anything. Btw: What’s the watch that is in sketch?

Thank you! Kind words!

 By: patrick_y : October 6th, 2023-08:06
The sketches are my own sketches. Basically this is a "Raul Tena" notepad that I received at Dubai Watch Week 2021. Inside the notepad there's a Raul Tena template of a watch (this template was designed by Raul Tena) with a blank canvas printed on the pap... 


 By: patrick_y : October 6th, 2023-08:54

Thank you Patrick for this wonderful and informative post.

 By: Derreck : October 6th, 2023-09:48
So much family history to be able to produce finally this decadent pencil, I read it with interest.

Thank You Derreck!

 By: patrick_y : October 6th, 2023-14:45
It is a decadent pencil indeed! Bad news from Nakaya. It seems they have temporarily stopped producing my favorite pen - the Dorsal Fin V2. And their dealer in Singapore informs me that they don't make my preferred model with my preferred nib - the MUSIC ... 

Oh I’m very sorry to hear that

 By: Derreck : October 6th, 2023-15:39
When I asked a zo-gan inlay for my pen to Nakaya they also said that they were not doing it anymore, I wonder why? I hope they will start again to produce the dorsal fin v2 and you can hopefully purchase it🤞🏼 I must admit I have no idea about the Faber Ca... 


 By: patrick_y : October 6th, 2023-18:27
I can already imagine it... A GVFC with a super wide and wet Music nib. And I'm just writing with a cool colorful ink... Sounds like my definition of a good time! As for the Nakaya - hopefully I get some answers in my favor soon!

Sounds like a plan!

 By: Derreck : October 6th, 2023-18:55
Hope you get a positive answer soon, interesting though now that I checked also on it seems there is only dorsal fin v1, I couldn’t find the v2


 By: Derreck : October 6th, 2023-19:29
Hope they start the production soon again and you can get your dorsal fin v2

Me too!

 By: patrick_y : October 7th, 2023-04:43
Apparently the Dorsal Fin V2 is popular!


 By: Derreck : October 7th, 2023-06:47
As far as I can see many people in the internet was talking about it, it was the most talked about model. But it is a pretty expensive pen for most people so maybe they were just talking and not shopping, that part I don’t know…

I thought it was kind of expensive too.

 By: patrick_y : October 7th, 2023-21:41
But so many people can afford these things!


 By: Derreck : October 8th, 2023-05:35

A Christmas Present Possibility…

 By: KURT_DAVID : October 6th, 2023-09:51
.. for my other half, an avid pencil collector albeit coloured ones. I bought her some Caran d’ Ache Swiss Wood pencils a few years back and that was well received. Thanks for sharing. Kurt.

She will love it!

 By: patrick_y : October 6th, 2023-15:39
The question now is... Standard 7mm diameter or Magnum 10mm diameter? AND, what color? Polished platinum plated, PVD Black plating, rose gold plating (only available in 7mm), or the solid sterling silver (only available in 7mm)? I'm sure she will adore it... 

Magnum Diameter In Polished Platinum.

 By: KURT_DAVID : October 6th, 2023-20:03
I might even get one for myself 🤫 🍻

Ahh! Like the one I have!

 By: patrick_y : October 7th, 2023-04:46
I think it looks great! You can get brown pencils for her and black pencils for you (they both have the same 4B black colored lead inside, it's just the wood on the outside is different colored). Or get one in the standard 7mm diameter size and one in the... 

Many thanks for putting this together, Patrick.

 By: Pretty Boy : October 6th, 2023-10:22
Really great and informative read. Best, V.

You're Welcome! Thank YOU for reading and commenting!

 By: patrick_y : October 6th, 2023-17:45
I know 235 Euros is really a lot of money for a pencil. But, if you like pencils - and use them - this IS the ultimate pencil. Kind of like how we see watches and autos! Do you like nice pens and pencils? I know you love your exquisite autos and watches! ... 


 By: Krinck : October 6th, 2023-10:30
Excellent review of a beautiful instrument. Thanks!

Thank YOU for reading and commenting!

 By: patrick_y : October 6th, 2023-17:59
Do you use pencils? Fountain pens? I really enjoy the nice fountain pens. But I'm also realizing pencils - especially really nice wooden pencils - do bring out a lot of emotion.

Cool product! As an architect, I have sketched with pencil for many years.

 By: MichaelC : October 6th, 2023-16:41
But I don't envision myself using such a tool for my design work. I usually have my Koh-I-Noor lead holder, and transition to a Sharpie after underlaying in pencil. But this would be a cool pencil to own. How about refills - do they include any with a pur... 

Refills are expensive! That's how they get you!

 By: patrick_y : October 6th, 2023-17:58
Refills are expensive! It's the cheap razor system but expensive blades idea. $55 for a box of refills - but I don't anticipate going through more than a box a year unless I'm sketching a lot! Normal art pencils are expensive too, Maybe $25 for a box that... 

Hey Patrick! Thanks for this informative write up.

 By: Darron : October 7th, 2023-02:18
I think this is a great gift for artists; as long as conventional non branded pencils can be used. I think I know what I am buying next. So cool; really appreciate the integrated sharpener in the cap.

Yup! Nearly any 10mm or 7mm pencil will work!

 By: patrick_y : October 7th, 2023-04:48
I imagine many users won't want to always use only the Graf von Faber Castell pencils since they only sell if in 4B softness, which may be too soft for some. So I did a quick search and I found 10mm diameter pencils of varying hardness leads that I think ... 

Grad gift 2024

 By: Darron : October 7th, 2023-18:52

Decadent grad gift!

 By: patrick_y : October 7th, 2023-21:45
Maybe a fountain pen too!

I thought so too!!!

 By: patrick_y : October 8th, 2023-08:36
I mean... Who would've thought a pencil could be so interesting! I also realized that my Montblanc mechanical pencils (that I don't like and don't use) cost this much or more - so I guess the price is not too bad. But it's a super emotional product and I ... 

Thank You for reading and commenting!

 By: patrick_y : October 9th, 2023-16:41
I know this pencil is just unnecessarily decadent. BUT! The concept is a wonderful work of art. One day, archeologists and anthropologists will be looking at how people lived hundreds of years ago and they will note - some people had these really extravag... 

Hello dear Patrick! Wow! Thanks a lot for another superb post about another beloved writing instrument: the pencil. Pencils are usually thought as inexpensive, popular and efficient instruments...

 By: Subexplorer : October 9th, 2023-20:49
... but you share here a luxury variant and so tempting to own. I also like to write with pencils and own several types both mechanical and traditional wood... though I don´t own a Faber Castell Perfect Pencil and your post has opened my eyes to it and wo... 

Very much in agreement!

 By: patrick_y : October 10th, 2023-16:50
This is indeed a very luxurious writing instrument - decadent even. But if one wants to spoil him or herself, there are worse ways! Yes, the Nakaya Dorsal Fin V2 is being temporarily suspended from taking new orders - this is because they have many many m... 

Thank you for your answer dear Patrick. Your pencil post makes it very tempting, and I´m going to spoil myself and get one on my next trip.

 By: Subexplorer : October 10th, 2023-19:04
Interesting what you tell about the Nalaya Dorsal fin. Anyway it means it will be offered in the future again. I think you won´t be disappointed with your Sailor Music. It´s wet and writes very nicely too. I wish you´ll enjoy it so much. Look forward to k... 

I wah I knew about this...

 By: Ronald Held : October 10th, 2023-19:24
Before I bought my Lamy.

What Lamy did you get?

 By: patrick_y : October 10th, 2023-19:26
Always room for one more pencil!

a Twin Pen. One of several...

 By: Ronald Held : October 11th, 2023-15:20
I bought over many years.

Ahh, I have a Lamy Safari!

 By: patrick_y : October 11th, 2023-15:22
I think they make good pens! Tens of thousands of school children in Europe (and thousands more around the world) start with a Lamy as their first fountain pen.

I did not know that, thanks (nt)

 By: Ronald Held : October 13th, 2023-15:25

You're most welcome!

 By: patrick_y : October 14th, 2023-02:13

Many thanks to you Patrick for this incredible work!

 By: Mike H : October 12th, 2023-14:30
Very well documented article, so interesting to read, I loved it Actually GvFC is among my favorite brands for some specific pieces, notably some Pens of the Year like this one from 2008 or the galuchat (shagreen) from 2005... ...  

That 2008 Pen IS BEAUTIFUL!

 By: patrick_y : October 12th, 2023-18:02
I'm waiting to see the latest EGYPT pen - their 2023 pen of the year. It looks very very promising! I also really liked the 2019 Samurai pen - which I reviewed. And I also liked the 2021 Knights pen was very interesting with its true Damascus steel body. ... 

Decadence. Why not, if you like it?

 By: riverside / Henry : October 13th, 2023-12:11
I have a Montblanc Oscar Wilde pencil, but I keep it (with the fountain pen) as a collection. My working pencils are these two. Personally, I think that the Pilot has a better handling feel. Pilot & Staedtler pencils ...  

I usually use Staedtler and Rotring pencils!

 By: patrick_y : October 14th, 2023-02:12
I think I've had that Pilot pencil before!

You can buy a plastic version ...

 By: jaspermccrea : March 20th, 2024-17:35
for around £10 and it's really good. Not got that big brass counterweight, and the quality of pencil is excellent. Now you should tell us the history of the UFO eraser!