This year’s Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year is inspired by the culture, aesthetics and religious rites of the Aztec empire, which was based on an alliance of three city-states, created in 1428, in what is now Mexico. Impressive works of art, a modern political system and a captivating creation myth are just some of the things for which the Aztecs are known, and the pen touches the civilization’s high points in an artistic way.
The metal barrel has an anthracite gray DLC coating with a skull pattern reminiscent of Mexico City’s pyramid-shaped Templo Mayor. The Aztecs offered human sacrifices to their gods to ensure the sun would rise for yet another day at the Templo, and its wall of skulls is here recalled.
The writing instrument’s gripping section is made of obsidian, a volcanic rock used to make arrowheads and swords, which, though fragile, could be made razor sharp. In addition to its utility, it also had spiritual meaning for the Aztecs and was used as protection against evil spirits. It was also frequently fashioned into beads, figurines and vases.
Turquoise discs adorning the end caps of the pen add a welcome shot of color. Turquoise was honored by the Aztecs as a valuable treasure, and the engraved relief in the stone on the pen depicts an eagle—a sacred symbol. The Aztecs considered turquoise as an embodiment of fire, and they used it for mosaic-decorated objects such as masks, knives and shields.
The pen’s cap is loosely based on the shape of a cactus in reference to an ancient prophecy wherein the Aztec people would know where to build their city once they saw an eagle on a cactus eating a snake. They eventually settled around 1320 in what is now Mexico City.
The plunger-filled fountain pen has an 18 carat magnum gold nib, coated with ruthenium and run in by hand, promising a unique writing experience. This year’s Pen of the Year exclusive edition 2022 “The Aztecs” is limited to 375 fountain pens and 125 rollerball pens. Each one is presented in a black, highly polished wooden case. The individually numbered unique pieces come with a certificate signed by Count Charles von Faber-Castell to certify the limitation.