Mood Indigo: The Kaweco Student In Vintage Blue

IMG_2492

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!

IMG_2484

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?

 

IMG_2487

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:

IMG_2498

The chrome finial is the same size as the ones found on the Sport. The larger diameter of the Student’s cap dwarfs it, in my opinion.

IMG_2500

“Kaweco-Student, Germany.”

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.

IMG_2496

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.

IMG_2517

Skipping on the capital I in “It skips”

IMG_2516

Skipping on the lowercase J in “just a hint”

IMG_2515

Skipping on the lowercase V in “posts via friction”

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.

IMG_2514

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.

IMG_2513

Your experiences with Kaweco’s M nibs? I thought I’d avoid flow issues by not going with the B or BB… alas.

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Mood Indigo: The Kaweco Student In Vintage Blue

  1. In this case, buy a replacement nib in F or XF. In a pen at a higher price point, or one that doesn’t have an easily replaced nib, take/send it to a nibmeister and have it custom ground! If that’s too expensive, then sell the pen. 🙂

    Side note — I’ve gotten to the point that $56 does not seem like a substantial amount (unless the pen is really subpar). Which I guess means I’m officially a Collector….

  2. My M nib Kaweco Sports were both terrible writers. I sold one, and kept the other for years. A few months ago, I pulled the nib off the feed and examined the feed channel down to the top of the nib. It looked like it had been poorly groved — even blocked in some places. I used a very sharp, thin blade to widen the channel a hair. When I reassembled the nib, it wrote beautifully. It was like a brand new pen. I have been able to fix some finicky Lamy pens this same way as well.

    • Clever fix, and that’s good to know! I’ll have to check out the feed and see if mine has the same problem. Fortunately the Kaweco replacement nibs aren’t pricey, so if I ruin it, I can just buy a replacement nib in F — which was my other backup plan.

    • The body/housing is awesome! I just need to switch out the nib. A fine or extra-fine is just $10.50 at JetPens.com and it’s a snap to change. But it doesn’t change the fact that Kaweco seriously needs to fine-tune its broader nibs.

  3. Anna says:

    Sorry to hear about your nib woes! I had issues with the medium nib I got with my Kaweco Special AL. I tried a B nib replacement, but it had the same issues. I haven’t gotten around to trying the B again, but I was able to fix the M by doing #5 on this list: http://www.nibs.com/Article6.html Now the nib is fantastic! I’m not happy I had issues, but at least it was something I could fix myself. 🙂

    • Thanks for the link! I’m slightly terrified of working on my own nibs, but considering that out in the wasteland of the Midwest a good pen mechanic is hard to find, I want to learn easy fixes I can do myself. 🙂

  4. Sebastian Gutberlet says:

    If you have problems with Kawco nibs you can contact the service of Kaweco. You can send the pen or nib and they will exchange FREE of cost the bad nib with a good one. Please write a email to: info@kaweco-pen.com if you have any problems.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s