Sunday, April 3, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 351

I got this gorgeous fountain pen a while back from the good folks at Nikaido and finally decided to snap some photos of it a few days ago, when we got some lasting sunshine. It's based on a very popular model made by a Taiwanese company - an iconic modern fountain pen that's surprisingly affordable...

(please click on images to enlarge)

Meet my TWSBI 'Diamond 580' Smoke Rosegold II fountain pen !

This model is called the Smoke Rosegold II because there was an earlier version of this pen (in opaque--not transparent--black) that came out in 2013. Apparently, TWSBI wasn't happy with the colour of that rose gold plating and there were issues with its durability (nib de-plating), so the model was discontinued. The company took their time improving the plating, and the 'Diamond 580' Smoke Rose Gold II was finally released, to much fanfare, in April 2020.

"Smoke" refers to the transparent black acrylic of the section, cap and piston turning knob. I think the colour and the high gloss of the material go beautifully with the shiny rose gold plating of the nib, trim and inner piston mechanism.

TWSBI didn't design the 'Diamond 580' pens to be posted; in fact, the process of unposting the pens could result in their piston knobs accidentally being turned, causing ink to be expelled. The pen, however, can be posted, but that results in a large gap between the bottom of the cap and the barrel ring (seen here in my TWSBI 'Diamond 580 ALR' review). The main issue with posting, I find, is that the pen winds up being unbalanced and far too long to use comfortably. It's 13 cm / 5.1 inches in length from nib tip to barrel end, which is long enough for most people to use unposted.

I love that the nib is rose gold in colour and not yellow gold (thank you, TWSBI !) It drives me crazy when pen companies use rose gold plating for a pen's trim, but put a yellow gold-plated nib on the pen.

TWSBI's rose gold plated trim & nibs can also be found on other current TWSBI models - the revamped 'Mini White Rosegold V2' , the 'Eco Rosegold' in Smoke and White colours, and the TWSBI 'Draco' Limited Edition (which I plan to review this month). I don't believe TWSBI's rose gold nibs are available for purchase separately, though, which is a shame because I think they'd look really nice on some pens I own :(

Above: TWSBI's famous logo (some say the red of the logo clashes with the rose gold trim, but I like it)

Above: cap band with "DIAMOND" on the top row, "580 RG II" below that, and "TAIWAN" on the bottom row. I appreciate pen companies making the effort to put this kind of information on their pens, especially when they reuse a model name or number.

Finally, a few shots taken with a white background (and a small copper bowl made in India):

(I forgot to remove the bowl's sticker before I took the photo above -- oops!)

The TWSBI 'Diamond 580' Smoke Rosegold II fountain pen retails for $85 USD, which is $35 USD more than TWSBI's iconic 'Diamond 580' clear model with chrome plated trim. Is the rose gold plated trim and nib worth the extra money? I say "Yes!" TWSBI took several years to improve on their original rose gold plating, and I think the end result is well worth it. Whichever of the 'Diamond 580' fountain pens you decide to buy, you'll be getting an attractive, well-made, well-designed piston-filling fountain pen.

Many thanks to Joe & Sara of Nikaido gifts in Steveston (Richmond), B.C for this lovely pen!

(all photos & review by Maja)

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