Kaweco Student in Vintage Blue
+ Medium Nib
+ De Atramentis’ Myrrh (review forthcoming)
Dimensions: 5.125 inches capped and 6.375 inches posted.
Today is our first day back at the university, and in honor of that (and because I’m so excited to be teaching German again), here is a review of the Kaweco Student pen in the special edition color vintage blau!
It’s true: I’ve got a soft spot for Kaweco (pronounced Kah-Vay-Co for my non-German-speaking readers). The company was founded in 1883 as the Heidelberger Federhalter-Fabrik Koch, Weber & Co. Heinrich Koch and Rudolph Weber’s company was responsible for turning Heidelberg into the German center for fountain pen manufacturing — and Kaweco makes its pens there to this day. So the name “KaWeCo” is just the spelled-out abbreviation of “K. W. Co.” The More You Know!
The Kaweco Student has been on my wish list for a while because I had trouble finding the vintage blue version, but I eventually found it through Amazon from Seitz-Kreuznach. It was worth the wait, but is it worth the $56 price tag?
It comes packaged in the usual Kaweco vintage-looking tin on a bed of black velvet. The pen’s body is made of glossy, injection-molded acrylic in a medium blue with a hit of powdery turquoise. The clip and section are chrome-plated brass, resulting in a pleasant heft. The chrome detailing is very bright, and the branding is well executed:
I’m used to writing with more petite pens — the Sport being a mainstay in my growing collection — but I’ve found this pen incredibly comfortable to hold. It’s hefty, but not so heavy that it fatigues the hand. On the other hand, while the cap posts, I find posting unbalances the pen; a bit of a frustration for me, a consummate pen-poster.
I’m glad I waited to find the vintage blue. However, I wish I’d gotten the pen with a fine or extra-fine nib. This was my first experience with Kaweco’s medium nib, and I have to say I’m dismally disappointed. The nib skips on almost every in-stroke. There seems to be a very, very narrow “sweet spot” — and unfortunately, to achieve it requires an angle too close to perpendicular to suit my handwriting.
I’ve tried it with two inks: the Kaweco Royal Blue cartridge that came with it, and De Atramentis’ Myrrh. Neither solves the problem. Posting it actually makes it worse; I guess the extra weight shifts the nib even further out of its infinitesimal sweet spot. The line, when it runs smooth, is beautiful, wet, and full of character — but the skipping is an unacceptable character flaw in a pen at this price point. At least in my book.
If I later find an ink that works better with this nib, I’ll post an update. Considering that I acquired another Kaweco product with an M nib and had the same issue, I’m inclined to believe it’s endemic.
Your experiences with Kaweco’s M nibs? I thought I’d avoid flow issues by not going with the B or BB… alas.