The Special series comes in a variety of types: ballpoint, mechanical pencil, and fountain pen. They all share a faceted black aluminum barrel although there are certain models (the pencil only I believe) that comes in a silver finish. Tempting...
First things first: the look and feel. The pen feels good. Well weighted, not too heavy, and the metal barrel is nice and sturdy. The pen also looks sharp in my opinion, but is a unique look. The nock extending out from the barrel in the way it does is interesting. I enjoy the way the silver Kaweco emblem at the end stands out against the rest of the dark color of the pen.
The nock is very responsive and there doesn't appear to be anything catching inside when clicked. With retractable pens, sometimes when you click them it feels like there may be some resistance or parts rubbing together, but the nock on the Special has a stiffness in pressing but moves the tip with a force and determination it seems. One noticeable rattle happens when the tip is extended. It takes some movement of either shaking the pen or twirling it in your fingers, but the refill rattles around slightly inside. Kind of annoying, but bearable. Oddly enough, it doesn't impact the tip from being sturdy on the page. When I first felt/heard it I expected the writing to be all loosy goosy, but it was spot on which is a good thing.
In addition to the weirdness is that when you retract the tip, the looseness moves back up to the nock of the pen where the nock itself then starts to rattle. There must be a release of tension somewhere inside the pen that gets transferred from one end to the other.
Now, the nock appears to be plastic, but I'm not certain as the black grip section of the same finish is made of brass. I really enjoy the reeded edge as it ads some visual texture to the overall look and feel.
One feature is that it doesn't come with a clip. This is similar to other Kaweco models like the Sport series, but you can buy a clip separate similar to the Sport line that is a slip on, spring loaded type. I will be buying one of these to see if it helps me to get this pen out an about more.
The barrel does have 8 sides similar to the Sport caps, so my thoughts are that it is a definite artistic move on Kaweco's part to eliminate the clip. I can dig that I think. My personal appeal to the Special line wasn't necessarily function based, but more for the unique look and experience (and metal faceted barrel). Kaweco has seemed to do things outside of the common mold for nearly a century; why stop now?
That all being said, the lack of an integrated clip in a full length pen does limit your options of where to use it. Since it is a long pen or at least what one could consider to be more of a normal size, I wouldn't call it very pocketable (not like the Sport series).
The pen came loaded with the Kaweco Soul 1.0 ballpoint refill which is a Parker style. It is a smooth writer, but I don't think this particular refill has a wow factor for me. It is a good ballpoint and works well but is on par with any decent offering on the market. It writes well enough to where I don't feel like I'm itching to swap it out as soon as I can. Out of the box it is a good writer. Although, it being a Parker style means that you can swap it out with literally dozens of refill options. Can you say Schmidt EasyFlow?...
I like this pen. There are some design choices that could be seen as a bit quirky, but the pen feels and looks great. Again, without having a clip will limit your utility and convenience of the pen, but it is a fun experience to use it. The unique design that Kaweco is known for shines through well in this model and is something to be appreciated all its own.