A little bit of history Kaweco go back a long way, and this design does too – to the 1930s, in fact, by way of a few company ups and downs and a rebirth via the Gutberlet family. The Sport remains a classic, and a rightly popular one – it’s the pen that the term ‘small but perfectly formed’ could have been coined for. Our first reviewers all have their own Sport story; Ian Hedley actually got started in fountain pens with one, Scribble Monboddo’s review of a basic plastic Sport ‘Classic’ is one of his most frequently-read posts, and Ruth Hanson has promised never to get it mixed up with the lipstick ever again… but they have all been impressed already. So when Kaweco offered United Inkdom the chance to review the new nakedly-brass Sport, well, how could we refuse?
How it looks It looks seriously handsome, and we’re unanimous about that. The plain brass finish isn’t plain at all; it does very bouncy things to reflected light, and with regular use it will take on a well-loved sort of patina. So few manufacturers have had the courage to use plain brass without hiding it behind paint that it also looks seriously distinctive – that shape, in that colour, with that shine, and it could only be one thing. Frankly, we’re all smitten.
How it feels In a word, heavy. But in a good way. Brass is not the lightest metal, and the cap, barrel and section are each lathed from solid blocks of the stuff. As this is such a small pen, the weight is pretty much perfect; you certainly know the pen is there when you pick it up, but it isn’t tiring to write with. In our view, it’s spot on.
How it fills Now this is a small pen, and that involves some sacrifices. If you want exotic filling systems, a miniaturised pocket model is probably not the place to start! There is space only for a small international cartridge, but that’s not such a bad thing; there are many good ink-makers producing pre-filled cartridges these days, and getting any ink of your choice into one with a syringe is really not so difficult. There is a tiny squeeze converter available too, but the ink capacity is so minuscule that we wouldn’t bother.
Crucially, how it writes… Well, as always that depends upon the nib! Kaweco nibs are interchangeable and screw-in quite easily, so there is a fair range of options to choose from. Two of our reviewers chose the standard round steel nib, and that certainly works well enough; it’s not especially distinctive, perhaps, but for a small nib it writes quite enjoyably. Also available, and sampled by one of our three reviewers, is a proper little gold nib – and this 14k number writes very nicely indeed, with the combination of smoothness and springiness you’d expect. So either way, it’s a real pen, despite its proportions, and all of our reviewers found it a pleasure to use.Brass & Ancient Copper
Pen! What is it good for? We’re not sure that this is one for the boardroom, and it’s probably a bit on the expensive side for the classroom. But popped into a jacket pocket or a handbag, it’s pretty much the perfect thing for whipping out on the spur of a moment to note down ideas while out and about – and if those ideas turn out to be long-ish ones, your writing arm won’t get too tired either. Better still, everyone who sees it will want to ask all about it; there’s a reason we started with this review, after all…
VFM While not exactly a cheap pen, the brass body itself is excellent value; it’s solid, comfortable, and the appearance will gradually change to a nicely ‘vintage’ look with extended use. None of the three reviewers have any intention of letting this leave their collections (or indeed, their persons, it seems!). So the Brass Sport looks like great value for money at its standard retail price. The balance sheet looks a bit more questionable when the gold nib is added as, lovely as it is, at the moment it can only be obtained as an expensive add-on accessory; it’s currently on sale for £99 in the UK, which is £34 more than the pen itself costs, and that’s difficult to justify. We have suggested that Kaweco consider how to ‘bundle’ the pen with a gold nib ready-fitted at a more attractive price – and the CEO is exploring the options to do just that.
If this isn’t quite your cup of tea, but almost… Then take a look at the Lilliput, another Kaweco model which The Pen and Inkwell will be reviewing soon.
Our overall recommendation Go ahead and get one; you won’t regret it. That goes for any of the standard steel nibs, at least. For the gold nibbed-version, we’d suggest holding on for just a little longer; once Kaweco and their retailers have had an opportunity to combine brass and gold as a more reasonably-priced package it will become an irresistibly attractive option.
Where to get hold of one We’d advise buying from a specialist pen retailer; in the UK, Kaweco is stocked by several of the best including The Writing Desk, Cult Pens, and Andy’s Pens, all of whom know their stuff.
This meta-reviews references:
- Scribble Monboddo’s hand-written review
- Ian Hedley’s text-and-photos review
- Ruth Hanson’s video review
Thanks to Kaweco for lending us the Sport (and subsequently helping us find a way to keep them, as we all like them so much!) – that doesn’t influence our meta-review, but we do appreciate it.