The latest lower-priced fountain pen in the Faber-Castell line-up is the Hexo (€28.93) (available in Black, Silver and Rose). It features an aluminum body and a metal, spring-loaded clip. It accepts standard international cartridges (one in use and one in reserve) or a standard international cartridge converter.
When capped, the Hexo is a sleek albeit stubby-looking pen. The clip is a black painted metal and the black of the base of the cap lining/grip section is just visible creating a very pleasing minimal line in the middle of the pen. The pen has a semi cigar look though it is softly hexagonal shaped, hence the name Hexo. This hexagonal shape also contributes to the shine lines and its ability to stay put on a table without rolling away, with or without the cap.
Barely visible in the photo above is the white printed Faber-Castell logo on the barrel of the pen. When posted the logo is visible between the grip section and the cap. It’s not awful or garish though the type is a bit large. Because the logo is printed on the pen rather than being foil stamped or etched, the potential exists that, over time, it will wear off. Not to be too punny, but it really is a bit horsey.
The grip section is plastic and tapers then flares out again creating a slimmer area to hold the pen. This was a bit of a relief to me as the pen appeared a bit too wide to be comfortable to hold for long if the grip section was going to be as wide as the pen body.
The end of the cap is also engraved with the jousting horsemen logo. When shooting in macro, it’s sometimes hard to tell exactly which way is up so I think this is 90º off so tilt your head to the left.
The Hexo has a black-plated steel nib etched with the Faber-Castell jousting horsemen logo and radiating dots as well as the nib size. Though the nib looks a little small in comparison to the wide lip at the base of the grip section and the overall dimensions of the pen, its a nice looking nib.
I tested the Hexo with a cartridge in a rosy red color. The medium nib worked well with the mid-tone color. The nib is very smooth straight out of the box. The snap cap and the lightweight of the pen lends itself to being a good everyday writer.
While I was initially drawn to the brilliant metallic rose gold color, I was a little skeptical about the dimensions of the pen. The squatty shape seemed a little ungraceful and I feared it would be a bit like writing with a kid’s crayon. But since the grip tapered down to a more reasonable width and the aluminum kept the overall weight of the pen down and even allowed for the pen to be posted without making it unnecessarily top heavy, I found this pen incredibly appealing to write with. The easy-on, easy-off snap cap added to the appeal. I found myself picking it up frequently over the last couple of weeks to write quick notes on invoices, jot lists, add a couple lines in my notebooks, etc. The cool aluminum felt nice in my hands on these hot summer days too.
When compared to other pens, the Hexo does appear a little wider. From left to right: TWBSI Eco-T Mint, Faber-Castell Grip, Lamy AL-Star, Faber-Castell Hexo, Pen BBS 350, Sailor Pro Gear Slim and Kaweco Sport. The Hexo is definitely the widest pen of the lot.
Posted however, the Hexo is not much longer than the Sailor Pro Gear Slim so it’s sort of living up to my expectations of looking a little stubby.
Weight-wise, the Hexo only weighs 18gms capped and filled with a long cartridge and uncapped and filled, it’s just 12gms. This makes it as light or lighter than a Lamy Safari.
I like the color and smooth, metallic sheen of the pen. The smaller nib and the wide pen is a little odd. The snap cap is very satisfying and the nib performance is excellent at the price point. The clip is aesthetic and works well. Aesthetically, I like it a bit better than the Lamy AL-Star and since the Hexo accepts standard international cartridges and converters, the pen is more convenient. The price point is competitive but is it enough to convince a first-time fountain pen purchaser to buy a Hexo rather than a Safari or an AL-Star? Or even to be a contender against the Metropolitan or the piston-filling TWSBIs? It’s hard to say exactly where in the market to place the Hexo and it’s look and price.
- Paper: Rhodia Uni-Blank No. 18 with 6mm guide sheet
- Pens: Faber-Castell Hexo Rose Gold Medium Nib(€28.93)
- Ink: Pelikan Edelstein Ruby Cartridge ($8.75 for pack of long cartridges, Ruby cartridges may no longer be available but other colors in the Edelstein line are)