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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

TWSBI Diamond 580 - First Look

Well, it’s not really fresh news anymore that the TWSBI 580 is out. I kind of missed the entire production and launch when I was down in Texas, and was totally surprised with it when I got back. 

This post is just going to be a "first-look" so to speak. For a review, you can still check out my slightly dated, but nevertheless valid TWSBI Diamond 530 review. This really is a comprehensive review (six parts!), so I have no need to re-review this pen.

But hey, that doesn’t rule out a good look at it, to see some of the improvements made in this version. I know a lot of folks are still wondering if this third rendition of the popular TWSBI Diamond is worth upgrading too.

I know I was a little skeptical at first, just because honestly, the 540 seemed perfectly fine to me. For that matter, the 530 was already an excellent pen. Up till now, I'd been clinging to my old 540. When the 540 originally came out, it made some really minor improvements. They were rather invisible/internal, but some where noticeable, especially performance-wise.

I am pleased to say however, that the TWSBI Diamond 580 is a very large improvement over it’s predecessors. It’s been changed for the better in many ways. Both appearance, and function have been altered in what I call “the best TWSBI Diamond” yet. It’s definitely an improvement worth your time, and the short of it is - if you were looking to see if the 580 was worth buying, I can give you a definite “yes”.

Now let’s hop into the details of exactly what makes this pen better than the previous 530 and 540 models.

I won’t really go into the packaging, because that’s one thing that has remained perfect since the first TWSBI Diamond. I will say that it looks as good as always. Every time I see this packaging, it feels so clean, and fresh, unlike so many other modern pens.

Onto the pen. You’ll probably notice some physical changes, but I’ll make note of the important ones. In this photo you can see how the barrel is a bit more “refined” now. I was a little worried when I heard about this at first, because I loved the original pen’s shape, especially for stopping it from rolling off of my desk when I placed it don uncapped.

Thankfully they didn’t remove the diamond pattern completely. Instead, you will find a slightly smoother, cleaner, and more modern looking pen barrel. I like it quite a bit actually. It looks more minimal, while still retaining that classic TWSBI look we’ve all gown to love.

The clip of the pen has been refined, and it goes along just right with the new look of the pen body. It’s just a little sleeker, and more minimal, while still maintaining a classic look.

Another notable addition is this new tail-band. It should not only prevent cracking, but it adds just a touch more “bling” to a fairly plain pen. I can’t say I love it, but I definitely don’t hate it, and the added functionality of extra durability make it a keeper.

The last majorly noticeable, stylish, and durable upgrade is the nib unit. These new nib units sport a fancy metal housing both inside and outside, which again adds a touch of “sparkle” to the pen, whilst adding some much needed sturdiness to the nib unit.

Overall I really think this is a worthwhile upgrade for TWSBI 540 owners. If you’re still hanging on to the original 530, then you should definitely buy this pen! The visual, and functional improvements of the latest TWSBI Diamond make it once again my top pick for a $50.00-ish fountain pen. This pen maintains it’s best in class status, and is a must have for any fountain pen enthusiast.

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