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Monday, June 27, 2011

The ultimate TWSBI review! Part 3!

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Alright, we're now into the 3rd part of my ultimate TWSBI review. This multi-part, extensive, and detailed review has (and still is) taken me along time to put together. I'm working on it as I go, posting each part as I finish it. Make sure to subscribe to get notified of when the next apart comes out.

For those who are late in veiwing this review, here's a quick recap with links to the other 2 parts. Make sure to go back and look at these if you haven't. There's a lot of essential information in them.

Recap of Part 1:
  • How did the TWSBI come about?
  • What is the TWSBI is all about?
  • What exactly is the TWSBI Diamond 530?

Recap of Part 2:
  • Packaging
  • Presentation

In part 3 of this extensive review we will be discussing what is (to me at least) the second most important aspect of a pen. Aside from nib performance, design is everything. This is exactly what this entire part is going to be devoted to.

Part 3:
  • Appearance and design
To begin with, I'll just say that the TWSBI Diamond 530 didn't win a design award for no reason. This pen is extremely pleasing to the eye and to me, that makes it worth far more than other pens in its price range. Take for example these pens: Lamy Safari, Waterman Kultur, or perhaps one of Levengers offerings . While some of these pens look nice, for me at least, most of them are not at all to my tastes. The point of this is not to bash on these pens though.  The point of this is to show that the TWSBI is a superbly designed pen, not only for its price range, but for any pen. From top to bottom, nib to filling-mechanism this pen was well thought out. Whoever deigned it knew what they were doing. The only way to show this is by picture illustration. Here you go:

There it is - The TWSBI Diamond 530. Take a moment to appreciate its beauty. :)

Here's one hit I'll level against it. The outer-cap (as you can see in the photo) has a smoked/translucent inner-cap. I wish this had been made of entirely clear plastic but it's not to bad. It's even less noticeable in person than it is in the photos.

That hit against the cap aside it's a stunning pen! The body is faceted in a way to prevent it from rolling of a desk when uncapped and set down. It also goes along with the name TWSBI Diamond 530. I actually like the shape of it, though some would have preferred it smooth.

The nib design is also very pretty. It is engraved with the TWSBI logo and some flourishes to boot! I'll get more into the nib in part 4 of the review.

This is the top logo on the cap. Some have found this logo a bit goofy. While I can see why one would think that, I personally like the look of it. It adds some color to this clear pen. It's a very well done logo. Not cheap or anything. The silver part seems to be placed beneath the surface of the outer red part. It gives it a nice depth effect.

The cap band is nicely engraved with the brand name TWSBI. For this price I expected a very cheap engraving, but I'd say this one is top notch!
I also love the thick, meaty clip on this pen. It's a nice, big, wide, and strong clip. I think the industrial look of the clip matches perfectly with the pen.

The other side of the cap shows the model name DIAMOND 530 and the words TAIWAN.

Everything is finished well on the pen. The cap-lip is very smooth with no rough edges, the clip is very strong, the engraving well done, basically everything looks quality. 

One can see the injection molding lines on the screw and section area. While they can polish them out of the body of the pen it's not possible to polish them out of the screw section. I wish they had polished them out of the grip section though. It doesn't bother my hand at all, don't be worried about that. It ust cheapens the pen appearance slightly...
They're still hardly noticeable and don't bother me at all. Also, as you can probably see there a very nice o-ring right below the cap threads on the body of the pen. This makes the cap seal very nicely on the pen.

There's really not much that could be improved about this design. I love this pen. To me, it looks very much like a Pelikan m800 demonstrator.

All in all the TWSBI far exceeds the standards for what a pen of this price can be. For that I give it another solid 100/100. For what it could be, I'll give it 85/100. The smoked inner cap bothers me a little. Not a lot but enough to were I wish they would change it in the next version. Also, I think removing the injection marks from the grip-section would up the appearance slightly.

That just about concludes this part of the review! I hope you've enjoyed it so far! Make sure to subscribe so you'll be informed when the next part comes out:

Part 4:
  • The nib
  • Writing samples
Part 4 is going to be very interesting. I'm going to talk about what really makes the pen a fountain pen - The nib. I'll talk about its performance, and give some writing samples of both a B and M TWSBI nib. Dont' miss it, subscribe now!

777 - Tyler Dahl


  1. Tyler, have you ever read "The Fountainhead" or "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand? This pen is the pen her heroes, Howard Roark and John Galt, would have carried had it been available. Good job.

  2. As always, an excellent writeup Tyler.  I'm really looking forward to the nib review with writing samples.  Inasmuch as I usually prefer writing with a fine nib, I shall be curious to see just how thick a line the medium makes.  In other words, does it write like a true medium, or closer to what I would consider a fine line.  Keep up the great work.

  3. No, I haven't read either but they sound interesting.

    Might have to look them up and do some reading! ;)

    777 - Tyler Dahl

  4. Hey Freddy,

    Glad you're liking it so far. I'm also looking forward to seeing how part 4 turns out.

    As far as I'm concerned the TWSBI is spot on with the nib sizes. At least the medium and broad - I can't say anything about the others as I've never tried them...

    I wish all the nib sizes had the same flex/softness as the broad... :) It's a really nice nib!

    777 - Tyler Dahl

  5. Thanks! I think I've been improving thanks to some friendly help on

    I think photos make a huge difference in the quality of a review. :)

    You've got some really nice ones on your blog too!

    777 - Tyler Dahl

  6. Having fun reading the review. You may end up with my new M nib for mine to try as a stub grind. ;) 

  7. Glad you're enjoying the review!

    I'd love to grind your TWSBI medium nib. I hope I get the chance to... :)

    777 - Tyler Dahl

  8. Please for the love of God tell me what this ink is