The Kaweco Special series is not new, but has always been on more of the "stealthy" side. Although, Kaweco has over the last few years been branching out and offering more variation in their lineup which is a really good thing.
A newer variation on the octagonally faceted Special series is the offering of an all brass finish which gives the lineup a bit of a facelift. When I first saw these I knew I needed to check them out and Kaweco was kind enough to send me a couple to review.
The first pen in the new brass series I wanted to focus on was the retractable ballpoint, but I will have a review of a fountain pen version soon too.
The standard Special ballpoint is a somewhat lengthy pen coming in just shy of 6" in (about 5 and 7/8") and comes in close to 1.5 oz. I wouldn't consider this to be overly hefty for a pen this size, but it has some weight to it.
What stands out most with this pen is just how shiny it is. The main barrel is buffed and polished to a near mirror finish which is also a stark contrast to the matte black versions of the same pen. A pen like this definitely draws attention and has some "bling" factor.
With a mirror finish, it is prone to fingerprints, and with a softer material like brass it will scratch/ding over time (which may be half the fun, right?).
For some reason when I see this pen it seems to give off a sort of "70's" vibe, but not sure why.
A pen like this is generally completely outside my style zone, but I actually really, really like the way it looks. It is flashy as all get out, but looks fantastic.
The pen is clipless by design, but Kaweco does make an aftermarket slide on clip if you absolutely need one.
Now, even though the pen is "all brass", the main barrel is a slightly different alloy/finish than the tip and knock sections. These two pieces are obviously machined brass parts while the barrel is done via extrusion which provides a different feel (and even slight color).
After some pretty considerable use, the barrel seems to be holding up to tarnishing quite well (like, almost non-existent tarnishing), but the machined parts are developing a patina. I have no idea how this works the way it does, but it is interesting. Over time though, the tip and nock could go to more of a brown, tarnished color, which might create more of a two-tone effect (which may not be the intended outcome).
Side note, from a materials standpoint I happened to remember tucked back somewhere in my brain that Kaweco also released a glossy silver aluminum version of their Special pencil (which was reviewed a few years back on The Pencil Case blog), but this seems to be a thing of the past now.
The Special ballpoint comes fitted with Kaweco's Sol refill which is a Parker style, so there are options to swap things around if you have one you prefer. It is a good ballpoint refill and about what you expect from a "good ballpoint".
While writing the tip seems to have some wiggle/rattle, but not terrible in my opinion. If you are hyper sensitive to this, it may be something that is bothersome.
There are a few retailers that carry these now (primarily outside of the US), but they run just over $60 US which I feel is a pretty good deal. Appelboom out of the Netherlands carries them for around this price and you can use the promo code FRIEND for 10% off as well.
Special (see what I did there?...) thanks to Kaweco for sending this one my way to check out!