Today I will review the TWSBI Diamond 580, which I got from Scribe Writing Essentials. Being a new collector, I was at first very skeptical about getting demonstrator fountain pens. I’ve come to have a specific kind of idea on what fountain pens should look like and demonstrator pens didn’t strike me as beautiful. Needless to say, it wasn’t love at first sight.
Every time I would go to Scribe, I would take one look at it ignore it. Then some of my friends started telling me about this particular brand and model of fountain pen, and it piqued my curiosity. The great thing about Scribe is that they have super-helpful salesladies who will even volunteer to let you hold the pen, dip it in ink and try it out. So I did hold this TWSBI Diamond 580 and a few minutes after, I’m headed out the door with it.
I thought it would feel plasticky but it really didn’t feel cheap. It felt very solid in my hand and the weight is very pleasant. I picked a Medium nib, of course, and inked it up with J. Herbin’s Pouissiere de Lune at the store. I think the pen, upon closer examination, is very beautiful.
The body is made of durable plastic and you can see the ink sloshing about. It uses a piston filling mechanism so you don’t see a cartridge or converter inside. When I inked it with this gorgeous purple ink at the store, I was in love (and doomed to buy more demonstrator pens afterwards, though none feels as solid as this one). The cap twists off the body and does not post. The heft is rather pleasant because it’s not as unwieldy as a posted Sheaffer 300, but it definitely has some weight to it, making it feel solid as you write.
The cap has the red TWSBI logo on it, and so does the nib. I think the nib’s really pretty. As much as I love the simplicity of German-made pens like Lamy and Rotring, I do love pretty nibs.
When testing out fountain pens, it’s alright to dip it in ink and write with it, but you don’t really get a feel of how it is going to write until you ink it up. I was so pleased to find out that the Diamond is a very wet writer. It’s not hard-starting and doesn’t skip. It’s really hard not to like the way it writes. The nib is definitely hard as nails. People who prefer flexi nibs will probably not like that the nib is hard, but I love it!
Here is a writing sample on a Rhodia pad, using J. Herbin’s Lie de The. Given the right fountain pen-friendly paper, it shows off the shading of the ink without problems. If there’s any complaint that I can think of regarding the TWSBI Diamond 580, it’s that it tends to thin out the ink when you’ve been writing a long time.
Here’s a video of a writing sample:
This pen gave me my first truly pleasurable writing experience using a fountain pen. It started my slide down the slippery slope of FP addiction, haha. That being said, it is a very durable, very dependable fountain pen. Needless to say, my first experience with a TWSBI is a smashing success. This is why I’m looking forward to getting the Micarta I ordered from Scribe on September. ^_^