This review covers something that I have coveted and finally given in to temptation on – finding a fountain pen that I love. My eye had finally been turned by the TWSBI Eco fountain pen. I had enviously eyed many a fountain pen passing through our website for some time but I knew the right pen would catch my eye. And so it did.
What drew me to the TWSBI Eco pen was that is stood out as being a smart pen. A cut above. Available in clear, white or black trim I opted for the fully clear version. I wanted to see the ink in all its glory in the pen.
Although similar to the Lamy Vista fountain pen it just had a certain industrial-chic appeal to me and certainly had a stylish edge over the Vista. The pen has a solid feel, is a nice weight and looks simple and modern. It’s not a pen that shouts loudly for attention but that suited me. I wanted the ink to be the star of the pen. The Eco is also well packaged which adds to the appeal of what you are buying.
The TWSBI Eco comes with some little gadgets that add to the sense of you buying something a bit special. Inside the box you will find a spanner and some silicon grease. To be honest both remain firmly in the box to this day and will likely always do so, but it never harms to have a spare gadget around and I may yet come to need them. Instructions for their use are included as well.
The big feature of the Eco pen is that it has an in-built piston for drawing ink into the reservoir, so no need for cartridges or converters. The barrel itself is an ink reservoir, which also means the ink can be viewed easily (and beautifully) without having to look into a converter or cartridge. There is also a good choice of nib widths from extra-fine to broad plus a 1.1mm nib.
The crucial part of the test, and the TWSBI Eco comes up trumps for me. It writes beautifully, a very smooth nib that has performed perfectly for me since I started using it. No skipping, not at all scratchy, just even and consistent. I’m no expert when it comes to fountain pens so this is a judgement based on my experience but this is one of nicest pens I have written with.
However…yes, there is always a catch. Nib choice is so crucial and after testing Mishka’s Eco pen I thought I had it right. Normally I would opt for a finer nib but her pen persuaded me on a medium nib. It’s not that I don’t like my medium nib, just that I think the fine nib would have been the better option.
That said, the ink plays a big part in how it feels to write with and having been mostly using KWZ ink, which is quite wet, it made for a very different feel to the nib width than other inks I tried. Currently I am using Blackstone ink and this does feel ‘finer’. Nib, ink and paper work together so it isn’t as simple as just the nib itself. But I would still prefer a finer nib!
Value for money
At £29.95 the TWSBI Eco feels like good value. Yes there are lots of pens for less, not least the similar Lamy Vista pen, but it just feels like a pen that I want to own and write with. I did mark it down a bit here as at that price you can find alternatives, and very good ones, for less. For me though it worth the extra.
Overall I am very happy with my purchase. I use it everyday and enjoy using it, and that is all I can ask for from a pen – that I seek it out rather than use it reluctantly. Yes I have slight issues with the nib choice but even that isn’t so clear cut and I am happy with my medium nib.
It’s a great pen not least because it writes so smoothly, and with the reservoir on show you can enjoy your choice of ink that much more.