“Have you got a pen I could borrow?”

The familiar refrain of the disorganised should receive a hearty “No, now go to a pen shop immediately and while you’re at it get a proper haircut,” from those of us who DO carry writing instrument. Mainly because you never get it back. Anyone who’s quick enough to purchase this (or any) year’s Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year, should be especially vigilant. If you should let them borrow it, be sure that it doesn’t get pocketed: this year’s oak and gold creation is worth £3,400. This isn’t a pen for the top pocket. This is a pen to be attached by a chain to your security guard’s top pocket.

Since 2003, Graf von Faber-Castell, the celebrated German company – still family owned, we believe – has produced a limited edition example of the pen maker’s craft. Previous examples have featured woven horsehair, jade and Indian satinwood. For 2012, as mentioned above, the pen is made of oak – the symbol of eternity – and gold, the symbol of wealth. And there are only 1500 available, all created using a 4,000 year old technique dating back to the ancient Egyptians, and hand-crafted by art restorer Ernst D.Feldman, who has moulded layers of 24 carat gold leaf to the aged oak barrel to show off the grain. Yes, he could have just left it uncovered but then it wouldn’t have been as pretty, would it?