Faber-Castell’s £180 Perfect Pencil

I’ll admit, pencil collectors would probably think me a heathen.

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 jewelry 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 isn’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.

They also held the record for the world’s biggest pencil a giant-sized Faber Castell 9000 pencil measuring 65 feet in length and can be found in a specially built glass tower at the Faber-Castell building in Subang Jaya, Malaysia.

I think I’ll save my money for something else, though.

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Tony Bridges

As a seasoned journalist and freelance writer, I've spent over three decades telling stories and exploring the world through the written word. With a passion for writing instruments, I found my niche at The Pen Vibe, a blog that shares our collective fascination with pens, pencils, and other tools that have shaped the art of writing.

1 thought on “Faber-Castell’s £180 Perfect Pencil”

  1. I got one of the green ones (they match the 9000 pencil) for my birthday – I like it. I’m fond of woodcase pencils, and it’s hard to think of another way to carry them in a pocket without jabbing yourself in the leg 🙂

    I know I like Faber Castell because I’ve been using their 3H “Grip” pencils to outline drawings for years. (My perfect pencil is a B). The only thing I’m not keen on is the eraser (much prefer to use one of my choice).

    I don’t post the cap (the pencil isn’t short enough yet) but I like it so far. I’ll probably replace it with a 2B, and buy another to take a 2H (both eraser less!).


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