Saturday, October 16, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 271

A few weeks ago, I decided to pay a visit to the Opus art supply store in Langley. The last time I was in the shop was back in January 2020, when I bought a nice Faber-Castell 'Basic' fountain pen from them; the store is quite far from where I live, but I had an appointment in Cloverdale that day and their Langley store wasn't far away. 

Anyway, I'd recently checked the Opus website  to see what pens they were currently carrying, and I noticed that they stocked Kaweco 'Sport' fountain pens. I own two other 'Sport' fountain pens, but I didn't own a version with a gold-plated nib & gold-coloured trim. I had an appointment in the area, so I decided to drive out to Langley and buy a burgundy one from them... 

(photos by Maja ~ please click on image to enlarge)

(Above: the burgundy Kaweco 'Sport' fountain pen I bought, along with an 'Opus X-Compact' reusable shopping bag. The bag is foldable--with snaps--and is made of rip-stop polyester that can hold up to 45 lbs--impressive for just $2.50!)

From Kaweco's official website:

"In 1911 something remarkable by the name of Kaweco Sport was created. A pocket fountain pen which could be carried everywhere. It only measured 10.5 cm when closed, but it grew to a standard-sized pen when the cap was mounted on top of the barrel. Back at that time, the pen was advertised to the well-dressed society, and sportsmen were targeted, hence the name Sport.

All nibs are made in Germany and you can choose your favorite nib size to make your pen more individual...Additionally you can choose between the writing systems ballpoint pen, rollerball pen, a mechanical pencil, and clutch pencil. The high-quality writing instruments of the Classic Sport series are produced and assembled in Germany...

Sepp Herberger was among the most famous users. The national German soccer team's former coach wrote down his successful tactics with a Kaweco Sport, which led to the World Championship title in 1954.

As a perfect addition to these writing instruments, we offer suitable refills, eleven colourful inks, as well as clips in silver, gold, bronze, or black. "

**For an excellent, in-depth look at the long history of the Kaweco 'Sport', I'd highly recommend this document:'Kaweco Sport History' document (34 page PDF)

The Kaweco 'Sport' is a great little pocket fountain pen that comes in a large variety of colours and materials. A few days ago, fellow pen club member Lawrence did a nice review of his brass 'Sport' fountain pen here on our blog. Though our two 'Sport' fountain pens are made of different materials, design-wise, they're pretty much the same pen --same octagonal cap & barrel, same nib, and same medallion-like finial with the Kaweco logo. Their price points, however, do differ -- the plastic 'Sport' fountain pens are considerably less expensive than the metal (brass, steel, aluminum) or aluminum + carbon fiber versions. Mine cost $40.60 CAD at Opus, but I see they've dropped their price to $34.51 recently.

Because the 'Sport' has such a short barrel, it can only accommodate short international ink cartridges (it came with one with blue ink it) or one of two types of short Kaweco converters. In his review, Lawrence mentions the two types of
short Kaweco converters that fit the 'Sport'---the squeeze-type and the plunger type. Kaweco also makes a full-sized converter, but it won't fit the 'Sport' models.

The Medium nib on mine wrote smoothly out of the box. The Opus store didn't have other nib options, but you can buy the 'Sport' nibs separately in various nib widths (EF, F, M, B and BB) and in different materials (stainless steel,
gold-plated stainless steel, and black PVD-coated stainless steel). If you want to upgrade your 'Sport', you can even buy spare nibs in 14K gold and rhodium-plated 14K gold (for a premium, of course). To give you even more choices, Kaweco also makes some "calligraphy" nibs for the 'Sport', and they come in five nib widths--1.1mm, 1.5mm, 1.9mm, 2.3mm and Double Broad--but they are only available in "regular" stainless steel (ie. not gold-plated/black).

**Jet Pens has a comprehensive guide on how to swap out the 'Sport' nibs here that's worth reading if you're planning to change nibs, because the nibs on the metal 'Sport' pens are removed in a different manner than the plastic versions.

As mentioned earlier, Kaweco makes clips (which are octagonal, like the pens) for the 'Sport' that are availabe in four colours - gold, silver, bronze and black. The clips are sold separately, but I didn't see any for sale at Opus (I have seen them at other local pen shops). I had one in the gold colour that I purchased from Charals a few years ago, and that's the one you see in the photo above; I think it complements the pen's burgundy colour quite beautifully. Kaweco also makes clips for their 'Liliput' and 'Supra' models, but these clips will not fit the 'Sport' models, and vice-versa.

There are actually two versions of the 'Sport' clips (they fit the same pens, though) -- the clip you see on my pen (which has a curvy shape and an etched design that resembles a snake), and another clip that is straight and unadorned. The latter clip only comes in two colours- silver and gold; the curvy clip comes in all four colours. 

The curvy clip is sometimes referred to as the "Sport N" clip ("N" for "Nostalgia" or "Nostalgic"), and it really does make the pen look more like a vintage fountain pen. Of the two types, the "N clip" is by far my favourite, more than likely because my parents used vintage Kaweco fountain pens when they were younger (photo here) 😊

My new Kaweco fountain pen resting on the little ledge of the ink bottle I also bought at Opus...

...and yes, it's a bottle of J. Herbin ink, specifically the "Bleu des Profondeurs" (which roughly translates to "blue of the depths"--ie. the colour of deep ocean water). Bit of trivia from the J. Herbin website: the 30mL J. Herbin bottled inks with the little pen rest are known as “D bottle" pen inks, the “D” referring to an old French unit of measure - “la Demi Courtine".

(Above: A quick writing sample, on scrap paper lol)

I hesitated to buy it because it's not a very saturated ink (and I prefer saturated inks), but it's a nice dark blue colour, and it behaves well in my Kaweco. Opus sells J. Herbin inks (the regular line only, not the '1798'  line) and they had a good selection at the Langley store from which to choose.

Many thanks to the staff at the Opus Langley store for their friendly, attentive, helpful service, and this cool little pen and the nice ink I'm currently using in it :)

(~ Photos and review by Maja ~)

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