Monthly Archives: February 2023

Original Nibster

A little bit of history  The Kaweco brand has been going for a long old while, and many of their models hark back to designs of a hundred years ago. But just this once, they have echoed familiar themes whilst coming up with something, well, original. Naturally, we had to put it to the test. How it looks  Actually, they came up with two Originals, with very different nib sizes. The smaller version uses the diminutive short #5 060 Bock nib familiar from the Sport and Lilliput models, which unfortunately looks a little stunted in a long pen like this. The larger Original, though, uses a nice big #6 250 nib which looks in proper proportion – a bit like a scaled-up Sport, keeping the distinctive octagonal profile which is something of a Kaweco calling card. How it feels  Both Originals feel solid yet, thanks to aluminium construction, not terribly heavy. On the whole, robust but usable. How it fills  An obvious advantage over the Sport is that the Originals have room for a full-size converter, and Kaweco have maximised that gain by threading the inside collar of the section to allow for a screw-in converter, helpfully also available from Kaweco in a range of colours. For reasons which remain a mystery, we chose purple for our test units, but retailers might be well advised to provide a converter as standard; it’s a much more ‘premium’ experience filling up with ink from a proper bottle, and being able to prime a feed with a quick twist of the converter can help when inks prove to be a little on the dry side. Crucially, how it writes…  As ever that depends upon the nib fitted and the ink too, but we had a varied experience with our test units. The tiny 060 had an EF nib which struggled to lay enough ink down really, but as we’d probably elect to upgrade to a more fitting Bock 076 (sadly not yet available in Kaweco branding) anyway, perhaps that’s not the end of the world. The larger 250 had a B tip which surprised several of our reviewers with how well it performed as a ‘daily driver’, so that looks like the winner. Pen! What is it good for?  These might be a bit pricy for a school pen, but they are robust enough to serve as a daily driver for a more grown-up writer. VFM  At a ‘street price’ close to £100 for the #6 version these are not cheap, to be honest, so our tip would be to buy from a bricks-and-mortar shop where you can try a number of nibs and get the one which really works for you. It needs to be usable to be worth the money, at this price point. The only way is ethics  Made in the EU, and packaged sensibly, there’s little to worry about on this front. If this isn’t quite your cup of tea, but almost…  If the 060 nib just looks a bit short, fitting an after-market 076 will probably help. If you like the 250 version but for some reason just don’t dig a polygonal cross-section, Kaweco’s smoothly cylindrical Supra may be more your thing. Our overall recommendation  For people who enjoy brief scribbles with a Sport but want something similar but a bit larger for extended writing sessions – and that might be rather a lot of us – one of the Originals could well be the answer. But given that the right nib makes a big difference, we’d recommend trying them out in the flesh first. Where to get hold of one  It’s a fairly new model at present but most fountain pen shops are likely to consider this soon. Buying in person looks less hassle than online purchasing given the possibility of a bit of nibular trial-and-error.

This meta-review references:

Thanks to  Kaweco for the review samples.