Newsflash: this is not the first review of the Kaweco Sport. But what the hell — here’s mine.
What’s the deal?
I’ve had this pen since October 2015. It’s one of the pillars of the starter fountain pen ecosystem — with all the nib and barrel choices, and a price under £20, it’s in the same ballpark as the Lamy Safari. But as a pocket pen with a very distinctive octagonal design, it looks and feels very different.
Cheap, simple, pocketable, reliable. Posts well. Looks great. Plenty of choices. What’s not to like? The word “iconic” is overused, but it really applies in this case.
OK, there are some things not to like. The guilloche pattern wore off very quickly, and the barrel picked up scratches despite living in a sleeve most of the time — the barrel plastic is pretty soft. The nib looks small, and sometimes runs a little dry. And most importantly, because the pen’s so short, it won’t take a standard converter.
There are a few obvious alternatives.
If you want a basic pen that you can spec out exactly as you want it in terms of nibs and colours, the Lamy Safari or Al Star are a great option.
If you want a more expensive and higher quality pocket pen, the Franklin Christoph Model 45 is in the same ballpark.
TWSBI makes two short models that, while a bit longer and a bit more expensive, are also pocket pens but have a very different design aesthetic and greater ink volume due to their piston or vac filling methods.
And within the Kaweco range, there is the Liliput, the smallest fountain pen I own.
Here’s a comparison. Left to right: TWSBI Vac Mini. Franklin Christoph 45. Kaweco Sport. Kaweco Liliput.
What about the ink?
At the risk of a cheesy pun about sunrise orange — I warmed to it. It’s a burnt orange colour that’s surprisingly legible and, even in the fairly dry medium nib of my Sport, exhibits some shading. In my limited ink library, there are no direct matches, but I’m waiting for some KWZ El Dorado that I expect to be pretty similar — although I also expect it to be wetter, like my other KWZs!
The last word
I honestly think that no pen collection is complete without a Kaweco Sport. Stick a cartridge in it, stick it in your bag, and it’ll be ready to go when you need it. Forget the odd scratch, don’t expect too much comfort or flair in the writing, and get on with your day. That’s what the Sport’s about.