I don't really enjoy writing with pencils because the lead is never dark enough and the ride is never as smooth as with a good pen. Plus, erasing is just messy. Because of that, and since I have absolutely zero artistic talent, I rarely use pencils.
When necessary, I'll reach for the Uniball Kuru Toga that has served me reasonably well for a couple of years.
So the other day, while reading an interview with Count Anton Wolfgang von Faber-Castell in the Telegraph, I was stunned to learn the company sells a pencil for £180.
The Graf von Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil is made up of a cedar wood pencil, an eraser cap and a platinum-plated brass extender that covers the pencil lead when not in use and also contains the sharpener. The wood pencil portion is replaceable, at a cost of about £5 each.
That's it...for £180. And the sterling silver model goes for about twice as much.
If you're one of our Twitter followers, you know that I am dubious about the value of expensive writing instruments, even high quality pens. I just don't see the use in spending exorbitant amounts on a pen you might end up losing, especially since they don't perform that much better than relatively inexpensive pens.
But for some reason, overpriced pens don't seem nearly as ridiculous as this pencil.
The Count, of course, doesn't see it that way. He reportedly carries one with him at all times and, according to the Telegraph reporter, refers to it more as a piece of jewellry than a writing instrument. Men, after all, have few items they can display as status symbols, now that cuff links and tie clips aren't as popular as they once were.
So, the company gives men accessories that others will covet.
From the article:
“What I am most proud of – and it is certainly unusual – is to bring Faber-Castell into the premium field not with a ballpoint pen (that would be stupid), not with a fountain pen (that would be stupid, because you have Mont Blanc, you have Waterman and Parker), but I started with a pencil. Nobody had a luxury pencil. The trade was open to it.”
Not to worry, though. The common folk aren't left without. Faber-Castell also makes inexpensive versions of the Perfect Pencil, using plastic for the extenders. And by most accounts, the pencil is nice enough, as Ana at the Well Appointed Desk reports.
I think I'll save my money for something else, though.