TWSBI Diamond 530

I recently got this pen from the seller twsbipens on eBay, for roughly 43 USD shipped, and it came in a cardboard box with the TWSBI logo, and then a little TWSBI manual, then some layers of foam, then a plastic box that actually held the pen.Inside the box was a small container of silicon grease, and a tool stamped with TWSBI that is used to disassemble the piston mechanism, which is a very new and attractive idea. The pen itself is available in any color you want, as long as its clear, for the time being, and with three nib sizes, extra-fine, fine, and medium, of which I got the extra-fine.

Appearance (9/10)- For only 43 USD, it really looks like a more expensive pen. The barrel is faceted, hence the word “Diamond” in the name, and the cap and blind cap are round. The piston mechanism is visible, and is made almost entirely of plastic, except for a small metal piece, whose function is, for the moment, unknown. The cap screws onto the section, and the section screws onto the barrel. The major significance of this is that because the feed is in a self-contained unit, and that the barrel screws into this unit, there is no chance of ink leaking into the section, which has plagued many other demonstrator pens. Another interesting feature of the section threads is that there is an o-ring on it, which supposedly makes the pen airtight. The cap itself has what appears to be a chrome-plated cap band, which says, in a sort of opaque writing that is quite distinct, says “TWSBI”, and then on the other side, “DIAMOND”, then “530“, and finally, “TAIWAN”. The inner cap is visible, and appears to be a light smoky color. The really interesting part of the cap ring is that it holds in a sort of red resinous material, in which is inlaid a shiny metal version of the TWSBI logo.

Quality (10/10)- For the price, this is a very high quality pen, and it has been said on FPN, that if Pelikan were to sell this pen, it would probably cost 150 USD, if not more. Not only that, but the guys at TWSBI were kind enough to design this pen so that it could be easily repaired, and I do hope that in case of irreversible disaster, TWSBI will offer replacement sections, blind caps, piston mechanisms, feeds, and caps.

Weight and Dimensions (9/10)- This is a large pen, with dimensions at 5 7/16 inches capped, 5 inches uncapped, and although I don’t recommend posting this pen, because it looks silly, and because removing it can actuate the piston mechanism, it is 6 3/4 inches long posted. Although it is a fairly heavy pen, I still feel that it could be heavier for my tastes, and also that the section can be too narrow for my clumsy fingers.

Nib (8/10)- This is a stainless steel nib, and I chose to get the extra-fine option. The nib itself is fairly attractive, despite the fact that I prefer gold -plated nibs. Below the breather hole is the TWSBI logo, and then the word “TWSBI”. On the side of the nib is, in the same opaque lettering as on the cap band, “EF”. The nib also has a sort of floral design on the nib, which I find to be rather attractive, even in monotone steel.

Filling System (9/10)- This pen is a piston filler, and from all appearances, it holds quite a bit of ink, the exact amount being unknown to me. Like the Pelikan, it has the option of filling it with a syringe, by twisting off the section, showing a small hole into the ink reservoir. The earlier forms of the mechanism had a problem with ink leaking past the piston seal, but the new 1.5 version seals prevent that, and I have had no such leakage in my pen.

Cost and Value (10/10)- For the price, this is a very high quality fountain pen, and the only thing I regret about this pen is not getting it earlier. I highly recommend it.

Conclusion (9/10)- I would highly recommend getting this pen immediately, and I may get more of these pens in either the medium or the fine nib size.

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Published in: on December 23, 2010 at 7:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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Pelikan M205

Quite a while ago, around August, I received in the mail my Pelikan M205, in what has been termed white, but I think is closer to a cream color. Upon opening the large box that held it, I saw the multiple shades of blue that made up the outer box of the “Cremeweiss-chrom fullhalter”. This led to the inner box with a guarantee booklet, and upon opening the box, with the similar shades of blue, a off-white interior, more off-white than a cream,k and the pen under the band, which I removed almost instantly.

Appearance (10/10)- First let me say that I much prefer a gold trim to this chrome trim, but it is attractive none the less. The entire pen is the familiar Pelikan shape, with a single cap band, and one band on the blind cap. The cap, which is, much like many Pelikans, a twist-on, has a simple cap band which says “PELIKAN” and “GERMANY”. The clip is like the usual Pelikan clip, plated with chrome. The cap ring is also chrome plated, and holds the little Pelikan “button”, which displays the usual pelican and chick in a silver color. Upon removing the cap, the ink view is visible, which I believe to be more useful than the one on my M200 that I reviewed previously. One odd phenomenon is that the section, when in use, seems a different color than the barrel, something not caused by shadows. Perhaps this is a similar phenomenon as seen by the Lamy Blue cartridges when next to the Noodler’s Blue, making the Lamy ink seem more like a purple. Also, can be a fingerprint magnet.

Quality (9/10)- As per the Pelikan usual, nearly flawless, from the smooth plastic body and cap, to the butter-smooth piston mechanism. There was, however, one small issue, which bothered me to no end, being the seam where they molded the section. I suppose that it is a little problem in retrospect, but it did standout in an otherwise flawless pen.

Weight and Dimensions (8/10)- This is one of my smaller pens, measuring in at 4 7/8 inches capped, 4 5/8 inches uncapped, and 5 7/8 inches posted. Although I have no fancy measuring device, you’ll just have to trust me that it is a light-weight pen. This may not be a problem with other people, but it is a little problem with me, considering that I prefer larger and heavier pens.

Nib (7/10)-  This is a stainless steel open nib, in an EF point, and it may be chrome-plated, although I can’t tell. Like many of the other Pelikan nibs, this nib has a slight springiness to it, a quality that, as I have noted before, I enjoy. This is where the review deviates from “Pelikan worship”. When I first got the pen, and filled it with Noodler’s Bulletproof Black, it skipped like crazy, and was only slightly fixed by widening the space between the gaps by pressing down. After a while, it writes much better, but I always remember how much it didn’t work.

Filling System (10/10)- This is one of my favorite filling systems, the piston filler. Not to mention, the Pelikan piston filler is, by nature, smooth as silk. Smoother, in fact. Anyhow, it is somewhat better by the fact that you can remove the nib in order to fill the pen without wasting much ink, by way of syringe.

Cost and Value (8/10)- While this is a very good pen, and I am sure that it was reasonably priced, I still can’t shake the feeling that this is very expensive for a pen with just a plain steel nib. Of course, I am sure that someone will come along and show me something with a higher price that only has a steel nib.

Conclusion (7.5/10)- While this is a good pen, I would most certainly not get it again, and would definitely not purchase it at MSRP.

Published in: on December 23, 2010 at 7:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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Pelikan M200

I got this pen a while ago from Amazon for a price of 89 USD shipped, with a fine nib, and I can’t say I’m too disappointed in it. It came in the signature Pelikan blue box, with the internal box with the rather nice manual, and with the plush interior, although I do dislike the little elastic band that keeps it in the box. Now, onto the actual review:

Appearance (9/10): This pen is very pretty, with gold trim, and a black cap, which screws on, a black section, and a black piston knob. The barrel is a marbled blue, with little metallic specks in the mix, making for a very attractive combination. The ink view is sort of a smoky-transparent color, and doesn’t work as well I would have hoped until you are almost out of ink. The cap has the standard Pelikan clip, also gold plated, and the end finial is black with a gold-colored pelican and chick, with a black retaining ring. The cap band says “PELIKAN” and “GERMANY” on the other side, and is nice and flush with the cap, with no really obvious seam. Really the only detractor from the pen’s appearance is the fact that the ink view is mostly useless, and that the plastic is practically a fingerprint magnet.

Quality (9/10)- Nearly perfect, and I would expect no less from Pelikan, and holds together very nicely, although it sometimes looks fragile. There is one noticeable issue here, being a very noticeable seam on the section where it was molded. Everywhere else it is perfect.

Weight and Dimensions (8/10)- This is a very lightweight pen, and although it is my preference to have heavier pens, it is really only a small issue. Speaking of small, this is a rather small pen, measuring in at only 4 7/8 inches capped, 4 5/8 inches uncapped, and 5 7/8 inches posted. While to me that is rather small, it is good for when I wear shirts that have smaller breast pockets.

Nib (9/10)- This is a gold-plated stainless steel nib in fine, and is only a little small for its size, at least in my opinion. Besides that, it is very attractive, and it has the word “Pelikan”, then the Pelikan logo, then an “F”, for Fine. One nice thing about the Pelikan nibs is that most Pelikan nibs can simply screw out of the section, and are houses in a nib and feed assembly. Although it is rather scratchy, it does work, and does have a bit of springiness, not really any flex, and that can either be a attractor or a detractor to different people. I, for one, happen to enjoy the springiness, and I sometimes with that it was actual flex. One note is that it does write finer with Noodler’s Bulletproof Black, than a Platinum Plaisir with a 03 nib, their equivalent of Fine, with the proprietary Platinum ink. The joke here for the uninitiated is that on a sliding scale of nib size, Japanese Fines are usually finer than American fines, and that German fine nibs are wider than American fines. Of course here, the Platinum fine is actually slightly wider than the Pelikan fine, although that may just be a quirk of my ink.

Filling System (10/10)- Now this is one of the better forms of fountain pen filling, the piston filler. Basically, by turning the blind cap at the end of the pen, you can lower or raise the piston inside the body of the pen, which works in a similar fashion to a syringe. The use of this filling system allows this pen to have a relatively high ink level without the inherent messiness of the eyedropper system. The Pelikan system, with its removable nib, allows one to fill it in an even cleaner way, which is with a syringe to actually pour ink into the chamber, with minimal loss of ink.

Cost and Value (8/10)- This is a very good pen, and I am glad that I bought it, and I am even more glad to know that I bought it at somewhat lower than MSRP. For the price, I am pleased with what I got.

Conclusion (9/10)- This is a superb pen, and I recommend to any of you to purchase it, before it stops being available, as I understand that this is a discontinued pen

Published in: on December 18, 2010 at 7:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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