Wednesday 8 January 2014

TWSBI 580 Diamond Fountain Pen

Let me get this out of the way first. This particular blog post has nothing whatsoever to do with cycling or Brompton bicycles.

Regular readers will know that I do have a thing for fountain pens. I have lots of them. So are ridiculously expensive and if I were being vulgar and tell you how much some of them cost, you would gasp.

Saying that there are a few pen manufactures out there that produce fountain pens of very high quality at a fraction of the price. One such company is TWSBI.

TWSBI is a Taiwanese company that produces a range of quite brilliant fountain pens. There are several reasons for this.

The first is that their Diamond range of pens are rather handsome, well balanced and sit very comfortably in the hand. Added to this the fact that TWSBI use nibs manufactured in Germany and of high quality.

A very handsome pen

The screw on cap, like the rest of the pen is clear

The Diamond range are also rather different from your run of the mill fountain pen. Rather than using a cartridge or a converter, which usually holds only a small amount of ink, the Diamond 580 uses a piston filler. This allows you to hold a huge amount of ink and in my opinion a much better option for those of use who love bottled inks.

The piston filler is a much better solution that cartridges or a converter

You can buy the pen in various nib configurations and if you fancy something different at a later stage you can easily buy a second nib and fit it without much trouble.

The pen writes really well and produces a lovely semi-wet line. This particular pen has a medium nib and is a joy to write with. As someone who has to do this a great deal every day as well as type away on a keyboard it makes a great workhorse of a pen. The ink flow is excellent and there are not any moments where the pen skips or scratches.

Quality nib from Germany

The cap with the TWSBI logo

The other very interesting feature of the Diamond 580 is the fact that in the box TWSBI supply a small bottle of silicone grease and a small wrench. The wrench allows the user to fully dissemble the pen for cleaning and servicing. The silicone grease allowing you to ensure that the piston runs silky smooth.

Wrench and grease allowing the owner to service the pen

Okay, how much I hear you ask? Mrs Orange bought me this pen for Christmas for £42. Let's put this into context. A piston filler fountain pen is normally found on a pen costing £80 upwards. I have a Pelikan Souveran M800 which retails at over £300 and is very similar in terms of size and handling but I have to say I prefer using this TWSBI. I like the looks of the TWSBI, its handling and the fact you can be geeky and dissemble the entire pen. 

This is not the first TWSBI pen I have owned. I have the 580's predecessor the 540 - also an excellent pen - and I am certain it will not be the last. If you like fountain pens and want one of very high quality that punches well above its weight, the 580 Diamond should be on your shortlist!

If you want to find out more I have a link to the TWSBI website below.

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