Showing posts with label Kaweco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kaweco. Show all posts

17 June 2011

Kaweco Sport Eyedropper

I know I have advocated in favor of small deposits in fountain pens. And I do agree with the wise comment of Sven Opitz—not refilling a pen for a month makes it a boring month.

But I am also a tinkerer, and I enjoy experimenting. So, I tried to use a small Kaweco Sport Demonstrator as eyedropper pen.

That is a particularly well-suited pen for this transformation: a cartridge/converter of reduced size, all plastic made, and transparent. Then, I proceeded to fill the whole barrel with ink. I did not apply any grease nor added any gasket to the thread. And it does not leak at all. The nib I chose is a 1.1 mm italic from the Kaweco Calligraphy set.

Two sets of threads can be seen on the demonstrator pen. The one on the left is for the cap. The one on the far right is to attach barrel and section. This thread seals the barrel tightly--no ink leak after days of carrying the pen around in my pocket.

The result is a very well behaved pen—a generous flow, a big ink deposit (about 2.5 ml of ink, versus 0.7 ml in a short international cartridge), and an interesting nib. The drawback, of course, is being bound to use this royal blue ink for quite some time.

(Kaweco Sport, 1.1 mm italic nib – Senator Regent Royal Blue)

Bruno Taut
June 16th, 2011
[labels: Kaweco, soluciones técnicas]

26 December 2010


The Kaweco Sport is a pen with a long history. The first model with this name dates back from 1918, and the present shape can be recognized as early as in 1934.

But at the same time, the mother company has suffered a number of crises including a bankruptcy file and what at the time looked like a total cease in activities in 1986. Some years later, in 1995, the entrepreneur and pen collector Michael Gutberlet bought the rights to use the company name and resumed the pen production. Apparently, all this came as a result of his fascination for the Sport model.

The object of this review is the current Sport model, albeit in the more upscale variation made in aluminum—the AL-Sport.

The pen, capped.

1. Appearance and design. (8.5/10)
This is a small metal pen. The cap is faceted and looks rather thick. The barrel, on the other hand, is almost perfectly cylindrical, and connects smoothly with the section. There is a subtle curvature close on the section to ease the grip.

This is a clipless pen, although in the case of the aluminum Sport, the ad-hoc clip is included (not the case in the regular plastic pen), and can easily be detached.

2. Construction and quality. (9.0/10)
Everything in this pen seem to fit properly. The cap screws to the barrel to close the pen, and the posted configuration relies on a tight fitting that does not show any problem. Ditto for the clip.

The posted configuration is especially important in a short pen like this, as most users need the extra length provided by cap for a comfortable grip.

The clip is easily detachable.

3. Weight and dimensions. (6.0/10)
Short pen, I said, but on the heavy side—23 grams. On top of this, the weight of the cap makes this pen uncomfortable when posted despite the fact that the pen does not really become that long. And if unposted, it is a bit too short.

The regular Kaweco Sport made in plastic, posted.

The cheaper plastic version of this pen works a lot better—lighter and better balanced.

Length capped: 104 mm
Length open: 100 mm
Length posted: 130 mm
Diameter: 13 mm
Weight: 23 g

4. Nib and writing performance. (7.0/10)
Kaweco was the first German company to produce its own nibs. That was in 1914, when the company purchased the former American supplier J. Morton. But after the resurrection of the company in 1995, the nibs are supplied by Peter Bock.

The Bock nib in M.

The Kaweco Sport can implement three different points—F, M and B. There also exist a Kaweco Calligraphy pen with four italic nibs with widths between 1.1 and 2.3 mm. However, finding one of them in particular can be difficult as distributors not always know what the options are.

These are rigid nibs and lack character. The ink flow is correct and generates no problem. Occasionally, the nib becomes dry and does not start promptly.

All in all, correct but boring nibs.

Nib and feed and section.

5. Filling system and maintenance. (8.5/10)
The Kaweco Sport uses short international cartridges, but Kaweco does not sell small converters to fit inside the barrel. But they exist!

Although previous versions of this pen were piston fillers, it could be argued whether we should sacrifice the convenience of the portable cartridge over the romanticism of the old inkwell. Small pens are easy to carry around, in a pocket or in a rucksack—for that, I rather use cartridges.

Cleaning this pen is no problem, as is the case with most cartridge/converter pens.

6. Cost and value. (5.0/10)
This is not an expensive pen –around €50—, but it is remarkably more expensive than the plastic version, and its heavier weight makes it uncomfortably unbalanced.

7. Conclusion. (44/60=73/100)
Attractive pen, but better go for the cheaper and lighter and equally convenient plastic version of the Kaweco Sport.

(Kaweco AL-Sport – Waterman Havana)

Bruno Taut
(In exile, December 22th, 2010)
[labels: Kaweco]

19 December 2010

Nib Questions

The Súper T ads in the 1940s and 1950s spoke of twenty different possible nibs for its pens. The Kaweco Sport in the 1930s had the option of twelve different nibs including three Kugel (sphere) points.

Súper T ad from 1948. On the left hand side it reads that there are 20 different nibs available for this pen with "everlasting guarantee". Advertisement collected by Grafopasión member Claudio.

In 1934 the Kaweco Sport could have up to twelve different nibs. Image taken from the Kaweco website (December 2010).

Those are only two examples of the wealth of nib possibilities in former times. Nowadays, the options are mostly reduced to the typical F, M and B triad, and, if anything else, some oblique nibs catering the snobbish rather than any real writing need. The main exception to this observation are the big three Japanese companies and their interesting nib catalog.

Cross nib by Sailor. My thanks to Mr. Noguchi, of the Wagner Association in Japan. Some other nibs by Sailor can be seen on the British Sailor website.

Three music nibs by two Japanese companies: Platinum on the top, and Pilot on sizes 5 and 10. Platinum's nib selection is a lot more reduced than Pilot's. Its sister company Nakaya has some additional points, including a stub.

Now I wonder what the real reasons for this were. Is it just a matter of supply and demand? Might it be a result of pens being more of a collectible object than a real writing tool?

I have no answers. I do know, however, that I find fewer and fewer interesting features in modern pens and, consequently, I turn my face to vintage pens.

(Kaweco AL-Sport – Waterman Havana)

Bruno Taut
(In exile, December 18th, 2010)
[labels: Kaweco, Japón, plumín, Súper T, fora]

15 December 2010

German Pocket

To the regular reader of these chronicles, pocket pens are well known and need little introduction. Suffice to remember now that the first of them was launched by Pilot in 1968. But that might not be the first time the idea of a “pocket pen” came to light.

Kaweco is a German pen company in business since 1883. As early as in 1908, the model Sport was created—a dip pen of very compact dimensions: 10 cm when capped, and 14 when posted. A 1909 patent allowed the company to create a safety pen that did not leak, and in 1911 a new safety Sport was marketed.

Pilot pocket pen and Kaweco Sport in aluminum. Posted, the Pilot is 148 mm long, and the Kaweco is 130 mm. Capped, 118 mm for the Pilot; 105 for the Kaweco.

The year 1934 model was a safety pen made either in artificial horn or in ebonite in a shape very much alike to the current Kaweco Sport. Since then, the Kaweco Sport has preserved that basic style while changing the filling system -- safety, piston, and cartridge-- and the materials –ebonite, celluloid, plastic, aluminum, etc.

This Kaweco Sport model and the typical Japanese pocket pen have some similarities: both are very compact pens when closed, and they have unusually long caps. And posted, they become long enough for a pleasant grip.

Now, the construction of both pens is completely different. Might them be different interpretations of the same idea.

(Kaweco Sport with 1.1 italic nib – Diamine Evergreen)

Bruno Taut
(In exile, December 14th, 2010)
[labels: Kaweco, Japón]