To recap, the Alabaster has hung on as one of my favourite pens. It’s just so smooth, so perfectly polished. The Fox, on the other hand, was a great clay-orange colour, but felt cheap and sharp.
So here’s the Kaweco Art Sport Coral, combining the wonderful finishing of the Art Sport with the orange / coral colour that’s so hot right now.
Except: the acrylic is not at all what I was expecting.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely colour and the polish is suitably shiny, but the underlying material looks… grainy. If you’ve ever put soy milk into coffee and had it immediately separate into a roiling suspension, it’s like that. Or like bits floating in orange juice.
Let me get this straight: it doesn’t look glittery or shimmery or chatoyant; there’s no glow or metallic element in here. It’s just like the particles of colour are suspended in a clearer plastic, which actually makes the colour darker and muddier than it probably should be, particularly where the finial, cartridge and nib unit put the plastic on a dark background.
The product photos on the shop I ordered it from in fact showed me this graininess, but I assumed they were taken on a camera with the ISO cranked up high, because the plastic looks exactly like noise on a digital photo.
Anyway, moving on from the plastic.
The finish is good, although perhaps not as perfect as on the previous generation of Arts. There was the odd surface scratch and imperfection out of the box.
The nib is silver-coloured. I ordered a medium and the tines were rather misaligned; once correctly, it wrote OK, although still not as smoothly or as wet as I like (inked with a cartridge of Kaweco orange). Just as I experienced on the Fox, the nib runs narrower than I would expect for Kaweco. I swapped in my FPnibs architect grind anyway.
Bizarrely the cap finial is in a dark, pewter-black — which matches neither the orange plastic nor the silver nib. A bad choice, in my opinion.
I got a great deal on this Art Sport, but I’m still not as thrilled with it as I was my Alabaster. The retail price is £160, which still seems very high for a steel-nib cartridge pen of this size, hand polishing or not.