Volcanic, Turquoise and Obsidian: Pen of the Year 2022 is dedicated to Aztecs

The Pen of the Year 2022 is inspired by the Aztecs, their culture, aesthetics and religious rituals.

The Graf von Faber-Castell collection has carved out a special position for itself with connoisseurs of fine writing culture due to its meticulous craftsmanship and carefully chosen materials. The high point of the collection has been the sumptuous Pen of the Year edition since 2003. The exclusive writing instruments are limited editions, elaborately showcasing fine materials. These elegant productions are inspired by the historic works of major designers and personalities. The new 2022 Pen of the Year edition focuses on Aztecs culture.

Dark, glassy and smooth – obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass created when lava cools rapidly. The grip of the Pen of the Year 2022 unveiled by Graf Von Faber Castell is made of this cool, matt stone. Mictlāntēcutli – the god of the dead – adorns the end piece. The charcoal-grey barrel, which has a diamond-like carbon coating, has a military look to it. The walls found in Templo Mayor, which were made of rows of skulls, are the inspiration behind this 2022 design.

@Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year 2022 Aztecs

Each Pen of the Year 2022, limited to 375 fountain pens and 125 rollerballs, is unique.

These human sacrifices came from the flower wars – planned and coordinated battles in which Eagle warriors and Jaguar warriors were the elites. The Aztecs held ceremonies to offer the sacrifices to their gods, especially Tlaloc (TLA) and Huītzilōpōchtli (HUI), who both have shrines in a pyramid at Templo Mayor dedicated to them. To this day, ‘tzompantli’ (skull racks) can be found in many historical buildings throughout Central America.

@Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year 2022 Aztecs


Mictlāntēcutli (MIC) – the god of the dead – adorns the end piece of the Pen of the Year 2022. According to myth, when the world was created, the gods divided it into the heavens, the Earth and the underworld. Depictions of Mictlāntēcutli (MIC) portray him as a skull wearing a headdress adorned with owl feathers. Aztecs considered skeletons to be symbols of fertility, health and excess. Decorated skulls still play a key role in Mexican culture today, particularly on the Day of the Dead. Feathers, especially from owls, hummingbirds and parrots, were more highly valued than gold in Aztec culture. The engraved turquoise set into the end piece represents this god of the dead and the power and look associated with him.

@Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year 2022 Aztecs


Numerous Aztec creation myths revolve around the creation of the Earth. One of these tales involves the historic 24-ton Stone of the Five Suns, which was found near the Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlán, the capital city of the Aztec Empire. The symbols depicted on this stone split the cosmic age into five eras, each of which was governed by a sun god: the Jaguar Sun, Wind Sun, Rain Sun, Water Sun and – our current world – the Earthquake Sun.


As one of their most valuable treasures, the Aztecs adored the rare turquoise gemstone. Two turquoise discs are set into the Pen of the Year 2022, one in the cap top and one in the barrel’s end piece. The blue-green stone was highly prized by the Aztecs, who used it to decorate masks, knives and shields as well as for ritual purposes. The Aztecs worshipped the god Xiuhtecuhtli (XIU) as the ‘Turquoise Lord’. He was married to Chalchiuhtlicue (CHA), the goddess of lakes, rivers and oceans. Water was the most valuable commodity for the Aztecs, whose culture was considered highly advanced: They built dams, aqueducts, canal systems and planted artificial islands called ‘chinampas’. This was how they supplied their huge population with food and drinking water.

@Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year 2022 Aztecs


The god Huītzilōpōchtli (HUI) decreed that the Aztecs should seek a new home in the place where an eagle sits on a cactus devouring a snake. After 200 years of exploration, they spotted the prophesied image in the marshy Lake Texcoco. The grooved shape of the cap on the Pen of the Year 2022 represents that prickly pear cactus, which was growing on stony ground in the middle of the lake. The eagle is engraved in the turquoise gemstone in the end of the cap. The place where the Aztec people settled in ca. 1320 after following the prophecy is now one of the largest cities in the world: Mexico City.

@Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year 2021

The Pen of the Year 2021 was inspired by medieval knights, their heroes, myths and legends. The young men’s training took 14 years. In addition to hunting, riding, loyalty, spirituality and martial arts, it also included dancing, swimming and climbing. Upon completion of the training at the age of 21, the men received their knightly accolade ennobling them.

All Graf Von Faber Castell luxury writing instruments are individually numbered and delivered in a black, highly polished wooden box (including brochure and certificate of authenticity). The additional insert offers space for six more writing instruments.