Graf Von Faber-Castell Bentley Limited Edition Barnato Pen: A ‘Bentley Boy’ Driving Force
by Nancy Olson
Over the years, pens, like watches, have been inspired by many different things – aside from the extraordinary imaginations of their designers – to include inspiration by people, places, events, causes, and more. Each enriches the story of the piece and captures crossover interest and often enhanced collectability.
Automobiles have been frequent sources of inspiration, and many well-known pen brands have collaborated with car companies to produce commemorative – usually limited edition – pieces like the Graf von Faber-Castell Barnato featured here. So if you’re a pen lover with a soft spot for cars (or vice versa), collections such as these are just the ticket.
Italy-based Montegrappa, for example, and others have created various Ferrari pens over the years with the well-known prancing horse logo front and center.
And Omas, back in the day, produced a gorgeous limited edition Maserati pen collection, which seemed a perfect fit since both the car brand and the writing instrument company were born in Bologna, Italy.
Today, at a more affordable price, Ferrari-themed pens are available in the Cross Century and Townsend lines, a the result of an ongoing partnership between Cross and Scuderia Ferrari.
In addition to traditional pen brands, luxury car brands have also offered writing instrument collections that translate their singular design philosophies into another mechanical object – one that runs on ink rather than high-performance fuel.
Austria-based Porsche Design, owned by Porsche SA, decodes the functional, forward-thinking ethos of its car lineage to create various well-designed accessories, including watches and pens.
And Pininfarina, the Italy-based automotive and design company, is currently debuting the PF One Fountain, which completes its first collection dedicated to Design Writing, according to the brand. Its minimalist look is light on frills and long on ergonomics, both owing to its aluminum, triangular-shaped body.
Graf von Faber-Castell Bentley Limited Edition Barnato
Graf von Faber-Castell’s new Bentley Limited Edition Barnato, the most recent addition to its Bentley pen collection that debuted in 2018, is inspired by, and an homage to, Woolf Barnato, who was one of the legendary “Bentley Boys.”
This cadre of mostly wealthy British motorists drove Bentley sports cars to frequent victories in the 1920s, and Barnato is credited with three consecutive wins out of three entries in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race: 1928, 1929, and 1930.
Barnato reached further fame via the Blue Train Race of 1930, where he competed in his Bentley against a high-speed train from Cannes to Calais and won.
This year marks the ninetieth anniversary of that amazing race, and Graf von Faber-Castell introduces this limited edition in honor of the famous win. The pen’s metal body is lacquered a deep green, while the barrel features guilloche in the well-known diamond pattern used in Bentley’s interior decor.
The trim of the pens – fountain pen, rollerball, and ballpoint – are chrome-plated, as is the clip.
The cap also features the typical Bentley knurling near the cap crown, the Bentley “B,” and a rendering of Woolf Barnato’s signature. “Graf von Faber-Castell for Bentley” is also inscribed on the cap.
The fountain pen’s steel nib comes in medium, fine, extra fine, and broad sizes.
The collection, available in September 2020, is limited to 1,930 pieces in honor of the year of the Blue Train Race. Each writing instrument is delivered in a special green box decorated with the classic Bentley winged “B” logo, designed early in the brand’s history to signify speed and grace.
For more information, please visit www.graf-von-faber-castell.com/products/bentley.
Quick Facts Graf von Faber-Castell Bentley Limited Edition Barnato
Edition: fountain pen, rollerball, ballpoint
Cap and barrel: green lacquer with knurling
Limitation: 1,930 pens
Price: fountain pen $675; rollerball $625; ballpoint $575