Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Flashback to TWSBI

Two months ago to the day I wrote something about the TWSBI Diamond 530, a relatively new fountain pen from a Chinese (Taiwan) company. It was an unfamiliar pen until a friend visiting from Tokyo in March brought one as a gift. From the first moment of bringing pen to paper the TWSBI had a good feel and led to second thoughts about Chinese fountain pen makers. Until then, experience with several other Chinese made pens was nothing to write home about. All this I said in the earlier post and rounded up my impressions by describing the Diamond 530 as an all round solid product, well-made and boasting a handsome design incorporating both traditional and modern elements. I also said that first impressions didn’t always play out in the long run, that opinions can change after a longer period of regular use.

With all the use my TWSBI Diamond 530 has gotten in the two months it’s been on my desk, the time has come to say that in this case first impressions have stuck. The pen has become a regular member of my pen rotation, many times jumping to the head of the line with its solid and dependable performance. Two things I especially like are size and weight. This is not a small or dainty writing instrument and the bulk is particularly comfortable in my grip. Looking at the Diamond 530 beside a Pelikan M1000, unposted it is only slightly smaller than the M1000, but posted it becomes slightly longer. Like I said, a big fountain pen.

Performance wise, it never skips, neither leaks nor spurts ink and on all kinds of paper writes like liquid silk spilling across polished wood. For the first couple of weeks the smoothness of the stainless steel medium nib had me wondering when the glitch would come. Unlike many stainless steel nibs the TWSBI nib doesn’t have the characteristic stiffness, and while flex was minimal at first, the more use it got the softer and more flexible it became. At this point there is a degree of softness in the nib that makes me think it could be gold.

Quick review of the main design points… The pen has a clear demonstrator injection mold plastic body with the black piston fill mechanism visible, and with stainless steel pocket clip and trim. The top of the cap has a beautiful silver TWSBI seal inset in red. The company describes the 530 as a fusion of traditional mechanisms and industrial design—appreciative of the past and relevant to the present. All parts of the pen are detachable. The nib comes in fine, extra fine and medium.

This is a very reasonably priced fountain pen with a big serving of high quality performance. Treat yourself or a friend to a TWSBI Diamond 530 and spread the good.


  1. Great update, especially on the nib after more use. I think this is one of my favorite pens, it just writes so well out of the box or months later.

  2. Agreed, a good pen, great even for this price.

    With the nib though, I find it lacking any character?

    A good tool when you have a lot of writing to do though.

  3. I don't know how you guys find the nib to be flexible. To me, it seems stiff. Of course, any nib can flexed if pressed hard enough but I haven't tried, nor do I find the need to. Here's my review of the TWSBI with the EF nib.


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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America