Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 362

Today I'm reviewing a lovely writing instrument I acquired from Dan "The Nibsmith" Smith of last Spring - a TWSBI 'Draco' Limited Edition fountain pen. Only 3000 of these pens were made, with supposedly half of that number going to North and South American retailers. I'm a big TWSBI fan, so I was really worried about missing out on getting one of these LEs. They were selling like hotcakes, so I ordered mine from Dan, even though I knew the shipping from the U.S. would be higher and that I might have to pay duties on it.

The model was released on March 31, 2021, so it's sold out in many places, but you can still find some for sale online (a note of caution: some folks have had problems getting stuff from a Canadian online pen retailer whose website currently--ie. as of this blog post--shows some 'Draco' pens still in stock--see the first paragraph of this old blog post
on our site for details)

(please click on images to enlarge)

And here it is! The pen came in the familiar opaque white plastic TWSBI box, but it had a black cardboard sleeve covering it (presumably because it was a Limited Edition pen). Inside the box were: the fountain pen, a small wrench (to take apart the pen's piston-filling system) and a small vial of silicone grease (to lubricate aforementioned filling system), along with illustrated instructions on how to fill and take apart the pen. I generally don't take my TWSBI vacuum/piston-fillers apart, but it's nice that they can be disassembled by their owners for maintenance purposes.

Though they're well-known for their faceted writing instruments, the 'Draco' LE is a smooth, (slightly-tapered) cylindrical flat top with rose gold trim and a rose gold nib. The pen is made of a gorgeous burgundy/red/deep pink and black marbled acrylic that matches the rose gold trim extremely well. The acrylic is highly polished and mirror-glossy. I think it's a stunning pen.

I posted the pen for this photo, but I never use it posted because it might damage the acrylic. Also, it's very easy (trust me!) to inadvertently twist the turning knob while unposting, which can result in a big ink spill if the pen is inked. TWSBI actually warns users against posting the pen, and some retailers will not accept returned 'Draco' pens that have been scratched due to posting  There's actually very little need to post this pen because it's long enough to use unposted; it's about the length of an uncapped Lamy 'Safari' (nib tip to barrel end), which is perfect for my hand.

Even the barrel threads are rose gold in colour :)

Here are some specs, courtesy of

Product Specifications
Capped Length: 5.55 in.(141.0mm)
Posted Length: 6.57 in.(166.9mm)
Length of Body: 5.01 in.(127.3mm)
Length of Cap: 2.53 in.(64.3mm)
Diameter of Body: 0.52 in.(13.2mm)
Diameter of Cap: 0.61 in.(15.5mm)
Diameter of Grip: 0.44 in.(11.2mm)

I weighed the pen on my digital kitchen scale and its total weight is 30 grams. Cap weight: 10 grams.

The TWSBI logo on the cap top is done in relief and looks very classy. They could have engraved it, but I think this type of machining is more complex --I could be wrong-- so I applaud TWSBI for doing that. This is a Limited Edition pen and it deserves this kind of elegant, tasteful ornamentation (I'm looking at you, Conklin pen company, makers of the 'Nozac' I just reviewed on Monday lol)

The TWSBI name is tastefully engraved just above the rose gold cap band. There is no model name anywhere on the pen, and the pen isn't numbered, but that's fine with me because it doesn't look like any other TWSBI fountain pen I've seen -- most of them come in single colours only (the '580 RB'/'580 US'/'540 ROC 100' --all red & blue pens -- being exceptions). The unadorned rose gold spring clip is tapered, like the barrel of the pen.  It clips well, without being so stiff that I worry about breaking it off. The cap is a screw-cap and it takes about 1.5 rotations to cap or uncap.

(I'm so grateful TWSBI made the section out of the same material as the rest of the pen... Whew!)

I love my 'Draco' fountain pen, but if I could change one thing, it would be the size of its nib. It's the same nib (#5 size) that's on TWSBI's flagship model, the 'Diamond 580' and its cousins (the 530/540/580AL/580 ALR/580 RB et al.),  but the 'Draco' pen body is a little wider than those pens, so I think TWSBI could have justified putting a slightly larger nib on it.

"Family portrait" (L-R): TWSBI 'Vac700R' Iris, TWSBI 'Draco' Limited Edition and TWSBI 'Diamond 580' "Smoke Rosegold II"

When I put them next to each other, the 'Draco' and '580' are the same height, but the 'Draco' is wider than the '580' and its section is girthier than the '580's. The 'Vac700R' is the longest of the three pens, and has a much larger nib.

It's hard to capture all the reddish hues of the marbled acrylic, so I took photos of the pen on different days, under different lighting conditions, with different backgrounds.

A closeup of the stainless steel rose-gold nib and the neat little inkview window. I chose a Medium nib for my 'Draco', but they also come in Extra-Fine, Fine and Broad widths. They are not available with a 1.1mm Stub nib, though. I don't believe the rose gold nibs are available for purchase separately, either, which is a shame because this particular shade of rose gold is very warm and rich.

The pen has a beautiful flared section and is very comfortable to hold. The nib writes well, as expected --- it's the same #5 nib as the one on so many of my other TWSBI fountain pens --- and it looks really nice. Being a true piston-filler, it only takes bottled ink, not cartridges.

TWSBI had released four rose gold models in the past year or so (the 'Mini White Rosegold V2', the 'Eco Rosegold' in Smoke and White colours and the 'Draco' LE) and they just released  the 'Diamond 580' "White Rosegold II" this month; I predict it will sell very well. There were rumours floating around that TWSBI would issue the 'Draco' in another colour at some point, but I haven't heard anything about that recently.
The TWSBI 'Draco' is a wonderful fountain pen that writes very smoothly and is a joy to use. It's a real looker, too --- it truly is eye candy. Its price point ($150 USD) makes it the most expensive pen in TWSBI's current lineup, but it is a limited edition and the gorgeous acrylic, rose gold trim and overall quality are all top-notch, so I think it's well worth the price. I'm so glad I bought one. Many thanks to Dan of for this lovely fountain pen!

(photos & review by Maja)


Cableguy said...

Great review Maja.
Exquisite photos and just spot on details!

Vancouver Pen Club said...

Very kind of you to say that :) It's a wonderful pen and well worth the money!