Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 166

 And now, a pen that needs very little introduction - my new TWSBI 'Diamond 580 ALR' fountain pen (in the aptly-named "Punch Pink" colour), recently purchased at Nikaido , a lovely pen & gift store in Steveston (Richmond), BC:

(all photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)

The TWSBI 'Diamond 580ALR' is essentially the much-loved TWSBI 'Diamond 580' with an aluminum piston mechanism, and a finely-grooved aluminum grip section and finial collar:

 The grooves on the grip section are an attractive design feature, but they also serve a purpose--to prevent its user's fingers from slipping (although opinions on this vary, it does make gripping my own pen easier). The machining of the grooves seems very well done--I can't feel any rough edges at all--and I find the texture really quite pleasant to the touch :)

 If you don't find the grooves all that groovy, the TWSBI '580AL' model (the '580ALR's older cousin) has a smooth (not grooved) aluminum grip section and finial collar. Another difference: the aluminum used in the '580ALR' has a matte finish, whereas the '580AL''s finish is shinier.

TWSBI claims the pen cannot be posted, but it actually can (see photo below). The company doesn't recommend doing this, though, because the barrel end (which is actually the piston knob) can --theoretically-- be inadvertently twisted by the posting/unposting action, causing ink to be expelled.

Posting the pen also results in a rather long fountain pen...with a large (and rather unsightly) gap between the bottom of the cap and the barrel ring (see my blurry closeup in the photo below). I've never had a problem with the piston knob inadvertently turning when I've posted my pen, but at 5.12 inches/130 mm unposted, I think the pen is long enough to be used comfortably without its cap on. 

The steel nib on the TWSBI '580ALR' comes in Extra-Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad and 1.1mm Stub widths and uses the same nib unit as that on the 'Diamond 580' and 'Diamond 580AL'. The nib units on the TWSBI 'Mini', 'Vac Mini', 'Vac700' and 'Vac 700R', however will not fit on any of these models. My particular nib is a Medium, and it writes smoothly (with absolutely no flex, though... but it was never advertised as having any, so I can't complain).

All in all, a great fountain pen in a colour that looks even better in person :) Many thanks to Sara & Joe of Nikaido for this wonderful pen and their excellent customer service!

Not sure which TWSBI model is right for you? There's a nice overview of the TWSBI brand and a handy comparison chart of TWSBI's six most popular fountain pen model types here

(~ photos and review by Maja ~)

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