By perusing kaweco-pen.com previously I had seen them prior to the reviews, but finding a retailer that carried them seemed to be a chore as the US retailers (or even Cult Pens in the UK) didn't stock them. Strange, right?
The Kaweco ART Sport is similar in size to the others mentioned, but instead of being made from aluminum or plastic, the barrels and caps are machined from a variety of exquisite acrylic colors and styles. The fellas each reviewed the Amber edition which is a coppery, gold, and rich brown finish that when put in the right lighting shows almost a patchwork of beautiful colors and textures. Quite fantastic really.
Kaweco was kind enough to send me an ART Sport also to "try before I buy" included with their care package of samples and I ultimately ended up purchasing this pen from them.
The finish I requested and received is called Alabaster and is a stunning white marble acrylic and the material is beautiful to say the least. Similar to the Amber finish, the Alabaster is also made up of what appears to be a meld of a mix of pieces in solid white, cloudy white, and, in the right lighting, some silvery reflective pieces. Like a lovely white marble or a white stone. The barrel is polished so soft and smooth it is like glass and feels incredibly comfortable. I don't have many acrylic pens, but this one prompts me to want more.
The Alabaster finish is one of the ART models that received gold accents in the nib and cap emblem, but some of the others received silver. I think with this particular one, the silver could have been pulled off beautifully as it would have accented the pieces in the barrel, but the gold is ok. It is a little "glam" if that makes sense, but fits. I showed this pen to a friend of mine that said he didn't know if he could pull off a pen as fancy looking as this one...
Upon receiving the ART I was instantly a bit worried about its durability as it is very light and machined very thin in parts, particularly where the grip/nib section attaches to the barrel. With very subtle pressure on that section I can feel some flex in the material. WIth the AL Sports or the Classics I'd have no problem tossing one in my pocket (not the pocket with my keys though...), but with these I would have anxiety about damaging it.
In discussing this concern with my good friend Keegan from One Star Leather Goods, he developed a solution for me that he now offers as a permanent selection from his store. His small pen sleeve has also been reviewed by Ed Jelley which he also uses with his ART Sport. I now use my small pen sleeve anytime I carry a Kaweco Sport, ART or not. The price point on the sleeves are very reasonable and quality made. Give them a look for your Sports you want to protect from damage.
My ART came loaded with an extra fine nib and wrote well out of the gates. With Kaweco nibs, I've found that medium is about my max before the writing experience starts to diminish. The B and BB nibs I've tried just don't seem to flow very well. The EF and F are superb (the F being the sweet spot) and would be my recommendation for a good daily writer.
The ART Sports are actually the most expensive of the line coming in around $130 US which, frankly, might be a lot for this pen in my opinion. It is beautiful (striking really), but I can't say I would really push someone to buy one. An AL Sport for $75? You bet. I'll try to sell people on those all day as they are absolutely worth it. The ART would be a good buy if you are wanting something VERY unique from the line. This would not a be a wise purchase simply for durability or utilitarian purposes, but I know for the right person they would be completely pleased with this pen.
Now, the bad news if you were itching to get one. In my recent correspondence with Kaweco they discussed with me the likelihood that the ART Sport line is on its way out due to slow sales in comparison to the other models. My argument to this is that marketing has been very limited inside the US specifically, but I know it's been difficult for Kaweco to get themselves rooted over here due to distributer troubles. The Kaweco presence, although strong in our small pen-nerd niche, is not very mainstream in the US outside of retailers like JetPens. Even my local pen shop, Scottsdale Pen, doesn't carry them (although he carried the ICE Sport for a short time). Even with my opinion on price, I find it sad that the ART may be on its way out because it didn't really get a fair shake.
My opinion personally on this pen is that it is a pleasure to write with due to the unique and refined finish and I know I'll enjoy it. It is very different than nearly all of my pens as the acrylic finish with gold accents is outside my normal "style", but is a nice change. Let's just say it's opened my eyes to new possibilities.
If you were interested in purchasing an ART, my recommendation would be to contact Kaweco directly to see where the best place to get one from in your area would be. Kaweco informed me that the Amber editions reviewed by Brad and Ed are out of stock and unlikely to be manufactured further (although they might have ONE more), but others may be available.
I was given a website for Canadian (and possibly US) readers to visit called Stylus Fine Pens as they have the ART listed as an offering. Here is a link to their ART Sport page. Thanks Dave!