For the past 16 years, with the exception of 2013, a German pencil manufacturer, Graf von Faber-Castell releases the Pen of the Year collection, which is usually made of unusual materials such as mammoth tusks, stained wood or inspired by some historical theme.
This year, the company found inspiration in the Samurai, a Japanese noble army, presenting two designs.
The standard Samurai pen features a dark magnolia wood barrel marked with an engraving of the quote “Today I win against myself of yesterday,” in 24-karat gold–varnished Japanese characters. The quote comes from legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi, who is also responsible for inventing the character for tsuba—the hand guard of a katana—which appears on the end of the cap. The tsuba shield symbol is on the cover of the pen. The grip of the barrel is coated with ruthenium and is decorated with a design that simulates the leather details, also found on katanas swords.
A more exclusive version of the pen, the Samurai Black Edition features a black PVD-coated metal tube with a 24-carat gold plated pattern that covers the entire length. There is also a quote from Mijamot on the barrel: “Cultivate both—your spirit and wisdom.” The cover contains a samurai symbol made of tamahagane steel, the metal used in the creation of swords.
Both versions of the Pen of the Year 2019 are available in fountain pen or rollerball configurations. The standard version is priced at $3,900 and limited to 400 fountain pens and 120 rollerballs. The Samurai Black, on the other hand, is limited to 330 fountain pens ($5,400) and 100 rollerballs ($,4,900).