What does it say if I’m inking a pen that’s still cold from sitting in my mailbox for a couple of hours? If you said that I have problems, you’re probably right. Then again, you’re reading a pen blog so who really has the problem? Then again, I’m writing a pen blog…I’ll stop while I’m behind.
Onto the TWSBI Classic. I went for the blue color which strikes me as a fairly typical midnight blue. The cap and body have eight flat sides so the pen won’t be rolling off the desk, even when uncapped. The cap has a simple, dare I say classic, look with a silver nut finish at the bottom. The bottom of the body has a stainless knob that is used to fill a relatively small-capacity piston. The grip section is round and features a small quarter-inch (that’s a bit more than half a cm for those using SI units) ink window on one end and what appears to be the same nib used on the TWSBI Mini on the other end.
To me, everything about this pen screams late ’50s/early ’60s design with the only nod to the modern being the bad ass TWSBI emblem at the top of the cap. As you can see from the pictures, the uncapped TWSBI Classic is about 3/4 inch (2 cm in SI units) shorter than the posted TWSBI Mini. While the cap does fit over the end of the Classic, it does not legitimately post. Like the 580, this is a non-posting TWSBI. Frankly, the lack of “postability” is a bit of a disappointment. I guess it’s hard to have an octagonal body on a pen that can post, but I would think something named Classic would be able to do a classic pen thing like posting. The Classic is also notably thinner at the grip section and lighter in the hand while writing when compared to the Mini. If you like lighter pens combined with medium-to-thin grip sections, then the Classic is your TWSBI.
Given that the Classic is using the same nib as the Mini, the writing experience is familiar. Compared to my Mini (F nib) loaded with Waterman Florida Blue, the Classic (F nib) writing with Diamine Majestic Blue put down a slightly thicker line but I suspect this was ink related. I don’t have pictures here, but I did reload the Classic with Florida Blue and got a line thickness very much like the Mini. If you’ve written with a Mini, just imagine a slightly thinner and lighter feel and you’ve got the Classic. Now, this part might sound weird but if you’ve used pens enough you’ll get what I’m saying. The Classic makes a satisfying plastic-on-plastic clicking sound as you take off or put on the cap. You know the noise I’m talking about, right? That noise that says, “I’m about to do some writing” or “I’m now finished writing” as you take off or put on the cap, respectively. You’re reading this blog so of course you do.
It’s a TWSBI. It’s has a simple and effective design. It has all the hallmarks of a well-made pen. But, it’s a bit light for my tastes. I suspect the pen is going to fall somewhere between “Carry It” and “Desk It” for me. It will frequently be inked and ready to go but it’s not likely to supplant my Mini in the pocket.
The TWSBI Mini is like a favorite Miles Davis album (at least the stuff he did before 1969 – don’t you dare diss the post 1968 stuff though). The sound of a Miles Davis album is familiar yet undeniably original. His music is readily accessible while also being continuously revealing. I don’t listen to Miles Davis every day or even every week, but when I do I enjoy it thoroughly. I don’t think I’ll be using the classic-looking yet original TWSBI Classic everyday, but when I do I suspect I’ll dig it.