You can read all about how they came to be on my previous post, on the TWSBI Diamond 530, or you can go directly to the TWSBI website.
So here at long last, is the TWSBI Vac 700, in Smoke (it also comes in Sapphire and Amber). I chose Smoke because my Pilot Custom 823 Vac is Amber.
[You can click on any of the photos to enlarge for more detail]
As I began writing this, I went back to my Diamond 530 review and noticed that the original estimated introduction date for this pen was March 2011. The actual introduction was April 2012. I don't know why all of this took so long, but whatever the reason, the delay was worth it. I really like this pen.
You cannot really see it in these photos, but the clip on the TWSBI V700 is a brushed finish, while all the other trim is smooth. I have not figured out the reason for this, but my very first reaction when I removed it from it's box what "WHY?" I really like the brushed finish, but wish that they had been consistent and brushed all the trim or left it all smooth. You can see the differences much more clearly in the review by Brian Anderson at AndersonPens.net and in the review by Brian Goulet at Ink Nouveau (just forgive him the "dance moves")
Here you have the Vac 700 next to the Custom 823. They are very close to being the same size.
Capped or uncapped.
The major difference in the nibs is the material. The Pilot has an 18kt nib while the TWSBI is steel. This also accounts for some of the difference in the price. The 823 runs about $290 while the TWSBI is only $85. The other difference in these two specific pens is the nib size. The TWSBI is an XF while the Pilot is an F.
You can see how close the nibs are in size.
If the TWSBI Vac 700 had been available a year ago, I might never have purchased the 823. But that's ok, I love them both.
The TWSBI Vac 700 is available at many fine retailers, including:
or directly from TWSBI
Stayed tuned as there is supposed to be a clear demonstrator version of the Vac 700 out later this summer? year? I've also heard that additional nib sizes will be available i.e. the Stub 1.1 and 1.5, but have not yet heard a time frame on the availability.
Oh and go visit Ravensmarch - he's done it again by completely dismantling his Vac 700.