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The Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year 2020 draws its inspiration from the Greek heroes of Sparta and their king Leonidas. For centuries, the small city state of Sparta was the greatest military power of ancient Greece. Discipline and the legendary invincibility of the Spartans were the fruit of a strict training from an early age, the agogé. The Spartan society was very militarized and its fate lay in the hands of the gods: alongside Apollo and Artemis, the valiant Athena was one of the most important deities. Goddess of wisdom of strategy and war, she was considered the “Guardian of the city”. The education to which every Spartan man was subjected from his childhood was hard and physically trying. Based on courage, endurance, fearlessness and self-sacrifice, it trained the best warriors of this era. These infantrymen, heavily armed with shield, cuirass, helmet and leggings, had to acquire their own tailor-made equipment, which was very expensive.

The Pen of the Year 2020 also takes inspiration to the qualities of this equipment: strength, solidity and aesthetics. Seven rough 0.35 carat diamonds are placed on a matt sandblasted body, coated with a layer ruthenium symbolizing robustness, strength and uniqueness, like the valiant Spartans. The milled decoration on the body reminds us of the shape of the skirt with fringes of their armor.

Essential element to their defense, their bronze helmet was made in one piece. At that time the Corinthian helmet was the most widespread. It protected the head, and its narrow and elegant slot for the eyes as well as the horsehair ridge intimidated their opponents. The spring-loaded clip of the pen of the Year 2020 resembles the shape of the helmet and thus imitates the neck of a horse. The bright cap is mirror polished.

The Spartans were, in the middle of the 6th century, precious allies for the Hellenic and foreign states. The Battle of Thermopylae is known worldwide. Leonidas there opposed to the supremacy of the Persian king Xerxes and managed to contain his army in a narrow parade with only 300 Spartans. A courageous strategy that cost him his life, but allowed most Greeks to withdraw in time to defend their lands. The large round shields, which protected the whole upper body, were indispensable to the protection of the warriors. They have inspired the lacquered inlay of the top of the Pen of the Year 2020, marked with the lambda letter, the 11th of the Greek alphabet. The letter Lambda also served as an abbreviation for the name Lacedaemonians – the historical name of the Spartan state – and the letter adorned the shield of the warriors.

The milled and matt gripping section of the instrument of the pen refers to the warriors’ cuirass, which was made to measure. It was composed of two bronze plates for the front and the back, which were welded at the shoulders. Details like the decor on the body of the writing instrument recall the archaic motif on the protective armor.

The nib in 18-carat gold of the piston fountain pen promises an exceptional writing pleasure. The pens are limited to 90 rollerball pens and 310 fountain pens.

In 1761, Kaspar Faber started to produce pencils in Stein, near Nuremberg. When the fourth generation,Baron Lothar von Faber, took over the company in 1839 he turned the pencil into a true quality product and the world’s first branded writing instrument. Over the centuries, he and his descendants created remarkable products. The result is the Graf von Faber-Castell Collection, a range of extraordinary writing instruments and accessories. They embody “Luxury in Simplicity” by combining selected materials, functionality and superb aesthetics.

To ensure this exclusive writing instrument gives you many years of writing pleasure, Graf von Faber-Castell is pleased to offer a complimentary annual service having your Pen of the Year checked, cleaned and maintained through their specialists. You are eligible for this service after registration of your Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year on their web site (www.graf-von-faber-castell.com).

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