Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Pen - Kaweco AL Sport - Stonewashed Black

Back in January when perusing the blogs that I follow (way too many) I came across a post at FPGeeks which caught my eye, so I proceeded to read it.

It seems that Kaweco, that wonderful producer of those pocket sized fountain pens was going to be introducing a new finish for their AL Sport - stonewashed.

I don't know why, but I am often attracted to products that have that "loved by use" look. The Japanese call it wabi-sabi: "Wabi-sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble". This is the same principal that my new Hakumin Irushi pen (which has not yet arrived) is based upon.
The Sport comes in a number of options: 
  • Classic which is entirely acrylic.Tyler Dahl has written a wonderful review of the Classic here. This pen is available in eight colors.
  • Ice which features a range of translucent colors. The body of the pen is clear translucent while the cap and nib section come in 6 translucent colors. Delectable Pens has done a nice review of this model.
  • Luxe which features brass plated parts and furniture. It is available only in black. Here is a great review at PencilCaseBlog
  • AL which is the all aluminum model. The stonewashed fits into this category although the Kaweco website breaks this down into two separate categories: AL Sport and AL Stonewashed. The AL Sport is available in 5 color options and the Stonewashed in 2.
  • ART - this is the pen to get if you want more color options. This pen is also acrylic but it is offered in 8 lovely acrylics if you want to get away from basic back or a solid color.  Ed Jelley reviews the ART model on his blog
  • AC - this model is a mix of aluminum and carbon fiber. It is available in four color options and happens to be the other modern Sport that I own. You can review my review here.
  • Skyline - this is a new model. From the Kaweco website: "The Kaweco Classic Sport series gets competition soon as Kaweco launches Kaweco Sport Skyline in May [2014]. Compared with the Classic Sport, which has a gold plated nib, imprint and logo cap, the Skyline comes with silver coloured characteristics. The Skyline series is available in three basic colours. Additional to the two trend colours 2014, mint and grey, the Skyline is available in classic black as well."

The Kaweco Sport comes in a very nice little presentation tin.

Kaweco Sport History - from the Kaweco website:

"The Kaweco Sport certainly resulted from a logical progression of the Kaweco product development. You can read the following information from old documents:

1908: In a catalogue for penholders there are the first Kaweco pocket fountain pens pictured.

1911 / 1912: In price lists (1911 for Germany and 1912 for France): A Kaweco Safety pen for ladies, officers and sport guys is advertised.

1913: The short Safety pens are offered with the headline "SPORT-SERIES"- safest closure in every situation.

1925: Now, the Kaweco Safety pens with the sport series for ladies are offered.

1934: A flyer shows the first Kaweco Sport set with safety pen no. 9 and the mechanical pencil no. 17 plus the matching leather pouch. You can thus conclude that at the beginning of the 30's the Kaweco Sport had become an own special product and been consistently merchandised.

Not just in specialist shops Kaweco became a bestseller as well as in B2B business. A lot of well-known companies used the Kaweco Sport as a promotional gift. Particularly in the years 1950 to 1970. Special editions were co-developed since 1965. For instance the Kaweco Sport Set in a wooden case with "Kaweco clock" at the leather pouch or together with a Stoffels handkerchief.

In 1972 the Sport was marketed with a pendant for the Olympic Games in Munich.

From 1980 until 1994 nobody thought of the Sport until h & m gutberlet gmbh revived it."

You can read about Kaweco's revival in this interview with Michael Gutberlet at

I really love the look and feel of this pen.  It is worn, without being worn (if that makes sense).

I ordered this pen with an F nib. My AC has an EF nib. Another great feature of the Kaweco is that the nib units simply screw out, so you can acquire nibs to your taste and easily replace them.

Above is the AL Stonewashed with the AC Sport and my vintage Sport.

Above and below: Top is the vintage Sport and bottom is the AL Stonewashed.

Here is my one complaint about the Kaweco - it only takes cartridges. I don't know why Kaweco can't produce these pens as piston fill, like my vintage Sport, which I will feature in the future.

However, there are a few of solutions: first you can buy the new Kaweco Sport Converter from several sources:

But be careful, this converter does not work on some early Sports. See the review on the JetPens product page.

Another option is to make your own squeeze converter (this is what I did with my AC). Here is a link to a description of this hack Kaweco Sport Bulb Filler Conversion. This description says that he chose not to seal the sac to the cartridge, I highly recommend it though. It is still a simple task to clean both.

 If you are more adventurous you can modify a standard converter. But be sure this converter will attached to the nib unit before you spend the time on it.

Or you can convert it to an eyedropper. However, this is only appropriate for the acrylic Sport.

Oops, forgot to mention that this pen is not yet available from US sellers. I acquired it from via Amazon.

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