TWSBI Classic

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Rating
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.

Analogy
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.

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Has anyone else reviewed the TWSBI Classic yet?  Amazingly enough, yes!
FP Geeks
FP Quest

TWSBI Mini

Hey, you know what’s a really good pen – the TWSBI Mini.  This thing is a good-looking workhorse that never, I mean never, skips or has a false start.  This pen is so consistent and darn near perfect for my hand when posted that it has become the metric by which I compare all my other fountain pens.  Now, this is not to say that it’s the supreme writing pen I own or the most convenient to carry with me or my favorite pen to gaze upon, but it may be the one pen I own that balances these attributes best.twsbimini

I own the TWSBI Mini with a fine nib and the classic trim which consists of a clear plastic body along with a black grip section and a black cap.  The badass red TWSBI emblem completes the look at the top of the cap.  It’s certainly not a showy pen but the “diamond” body gives the crook of my thumb and forefinger something to hold while catching the light nicely.  Even though it’s a smaller pen, the piston filling barrel holds plenty of ink.  Given the modest amount of handwriting I do, I’ll clean the pen and swap ink colors well before running dry.

There is one minor drawback of the Mini for me – you have to twist the cap onto the end to post it.  Now, I like the ceremonial process of twisting open a fountain pen as much as the next person; it’s a neat moment of reflection before the actual writing begins.  But, having to twist to post is a bit of a hassle especially if you like to line up the clip with the nib.  Is that a bit overly anal retentive of me?  Sure, but if you’re a fountain pen user you know what I’m talking about.

Rating
The TWSBI Mini is absolutely a “Carry It” pen and that’s exactly what I do with this pen, everyday.  If it’s not in a shirt pocket next to a Night Sky Field Notes, it’s nestled in my jeans pocket or clipped near the buttons of a polo shirt.

Analogy
My TWSBI Mini is like my Honda Civic.  Neither may be the best looking or best performing examples of what they are but they both balance looks and consistent functionality nicely.

Other reviews of the TWSBI Mini, featuring way better pictures and more technical details, are available at:
Anderson Pens
The Pen Addict
The Well-Appointed Desk
Ink Nouveau
FP Geeks