Those who are famliar with TWSBI, a Taiwanese pen brand know that they are renown for producing affordable pens which are usually aesthetically pleasing and designed partly by user feedback on this very forum. The Micarta however is TWSBI's foray into a more unique material.
Dimensions courtesy of Gouletpens (from their website)
Overall weight:21g (0.74oz) Body:14g (0.49oz) Cap:7g (0.25oz)
Overall, closed:135.5mm (5.3in) Overall, posted:169mm (6.7in) Body:127mm (5.0in) Cap:63.5mm (2.5in)Nib:22.5mm
So how does the pen feel?
A little longer than the Lamy 2000. The micarta material is surpisngly hard to touch. Very rigid despite it's initial soft and fibrous appearance.Almost like gripping a metal pen but without the weight nor coolness. It is a light pen.
Hmm... this is where I feel the pen is somewhat let down. Take my Lamy 2000 - perfectly balanced in the hand. Take the more expensive MontBlanc 146, perfectly balanced in the hand. Take my TWSBI 540, ergonomic unposted but perhaps could do with a bit more weight at the back, although it doesn't post.
The TWSBI Micarta? Again, I feel more went into the design of the pen material than the ergonomics. I could be wrong however. The pen feels unbalanced unposted and resulted in my hand tiring after a page. You can post the pen - unlike the TWSBI 540 - which balances it nicely but the pen is quite long in the hand.
Steel. Generic in writing characterstic, rigid. A little dry actually. Plastic feed. Smooth, very smooth which is the norm given my experience with TWSBI. A size '6' nib, not unlike the MB 146 in size but with quite different writing characteristics. If you like a smooth nail, this is for you. No flex. The writing sample with R&K Morinda is from the TWSBI Micarta. However, as Hari comments below - TWSBI would have had spent some money into the design, TWSBI stamping and colour.
The tipping is round, smooth and isn't really anything out of the ordinary. For comparison, the glimpse of writing with iroshizuku kon-peki is a Pilot VP (matte black) in medium and the brown (Visconti Sepia) is a TWSBI broad 540.
C/C ... nothing to write about here either. Average capacity for a converter and works well.
Others have noted there are quite a number of turns to unscrew the pen.This does't bother me one bit but you can see in the photos how many threads there are!
Others have commented that pehaps the fibres will wear. My experience with the material is that it is durable. The material is generally hard and wears well. Mind you, this pen is on loan from a friend so I won't be testing it's scratch resistance anytime soon! A small o-ring helps seal the pen section to the barrel, I imagine to ensure it is airtight and will not be drying out.
1. An interesting pen material. Harder to touch and quite a unique feel from expected. The colour and patterns vary. This is a limited release but still available from Goulet. This pen is a 'fine'.
2. I fill the pen converter with a drawing up needle and syringe! I woulnd't be dipping the fibres into a bottle of ink unless you thought staining was an inherently desirable pen character. Simple ink drops wipe off the glossy bits but I imagine the exposed paler fibres would stain.
Do I like this pen? It's not bad. $100 from Goulet it would have costed. However, it's not perfect. Balance is a litte off unless posted ... the nib writes a bit dry, is rigid and nothing out of the ordinary. However, the material is lovely to look at and unique. The brown micarta and gold clip is an attractive finish.
For $125, I could pick up the Lamy 2000 which is what I use in day to day work. The MB comparison wouldn't be fair! The Lamy is better balanced, just as smooth (and rigid), holds more ink and a well designed everyday writer.
Overall rating: 6.5 / 10 (average)
Photos taken with a Nikon D7000, Nikkor 105mm Macro lens.
Edited by tanalasta, 16 November 2012 - 06:05.