A friend of mine kindly sent this little pen over to me after a discussion about the TWSBI Mini vs Kaweco AL Sport. You know who you are and I want to again say thank you for sending me such a fine pen to enjoy.
Kaweco is one of the pen brands that is most fascinating to me. Even more so because it is a very old brand that is less mainstream; less publicized or flashy than other brands like Lamy (whom I also love). There is kind of a mystique to the brand (for me) that produces this unique faceted design that has withstood nearly the last century.
I was interested in finding some history around Kaweco and discovered this really great presentation of slides from Kaweco.com. There are a lot of pictures that go through examples of Kaweco pens over the last 100+ years. Pretty awesome as they have held very true to their heritage. If anyone has any vintage Kaweco pens that they would like to share images of or stories about, please do.
I really enjoy metal barrel pens and the Kaweco is no exception. Although small, this pen feels amazing in your hand. It is well built, sturdy, and frankly, beautiful. The body finish is more of a matte and is soft to the touch in a rich blue color accented with a silver logo and white lettering.
It is a small pen, but with the cap posted it extends pleasantly out to the right size and feels very well balanced. Although metal, it is light enough (yet weighty enough) to feel comfortable writing with for extended periods of time.
Also being a small pen, the nib seems a bit tiny (about the size of a dime) when compared to a more full-sized fountain pen, but the writing experience is not hindered whatsoever. Don't let the small nib psych you out into thinking it will be strange to write with!
This particular Kaweco came with an EF nib which made me a bit nervous at first because I generally prefer a wider line, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I actually like the finer nib. It makes me slow down my writing a bit (and write smaller), but the ink flow was very good with the Kaweco blue cartridge and the line was nice and dark. It made my handwriting a bit neater it seemed which is a plus. I'm still putting it through its paces, but I'm enjoying it nonetheless. I did order an M nib from Jetpens and may do a follow-up review to compare the ink flow when this cartridge is out.
My thoughts about why Kaweco pens are less mainstream are because there is a limited selection of pen types, it is a "unique" product in size and aesthetic, and the price barrier to entry may be high for people. The Classic Sports run about $20-25, but to make the jump to an AL Sport pushes the price up to $70+. Without using or handling one, this would be something to weigh pretty heavily on before buying one.
After handling my AL Sport ballpoint and also this AL Sport fountain pen, the build quality is superb and, in my opinion, worth the money. It is a special item that also has a value of ownership all of its own.
All I know is that from my experience this will likely not be the only AL Sport fountain pen that I own in the near future. The raw aluminum is pretty enticing... Cult Pens even carries a capped rollerball version in the raw aluminum; for convenience and looks, (and the fact that it takes the Schmidt Cap-less Rollerball) that one almost has me pegged too.