My first review here at FPN. After reading a lot about the TWSBI pens on FPN, I was really tempted to try one of them. So, I purchased the recently released TWSBI Diamond 580 with a medium nib (and later on bought an EF nib too) directly from TWSBI.
The pen cost me $80 ($50+$30 for shipping).
An aside, noticed today that the TWSBI website has increased the shipping cost by $10, which means, you may have to shell out nearly as much as the pen if you are from India, like me. Edit: as pointed by hari317 below, the shipping rate is still $30 (when not logged in through a mobile)
Coming back to the pen, the first time I wrote, I was blown away by the smoothness of the pen. The medium nib is really that smooth. And though I feared that the pen might be huge, looking at the images, but never felt so after actually handling it for a while. Also, I found the grip of the pen very pleasing and now, I am really comfortable with the length, grip as well as the weight of the pen.
But my initial pleasure of using such a smooth nib vanished very quickly as the nib skipped a LOT and got dry very soon.
I wrote to TWSBI and Philip Wang was quick to respond, asking me to press the nib using my thumb and index finger to stop the skipping issue. I followed that but didn't find much of a difference, but when I followed what TWSBI has demonstrated on their YouTube channel, I was surprisingly able to correct the issue and pen never skipped afterwards.
With regard to the drying of the pen, unfortunately, the issue still persists, The solution, though not entirely pleased with it, is turning the piston knob to push the ink and then do it again after about a page. Meaning, if you are using the pen for longer periods, this might be bit of an irritation.
When it comes to the extra fine nib, I had requested Philip Wang to test it and make sure that the nib doesn't skip, and then ship it. Thanks to TWSBI, my EF nib never skipped, but unfortunately, even that faced the same drying issue. After about a page, the nib/feed started getting very dry. Apart from that, the EF nib is, naturally, not as smooth as Medium and was too dry for my liking. So, followed the same method suggested by TWSBI, mentioned earlier, to make it wet and it worked and now, happy with the ink flow. (I separated the nib from the feed while following their method)
Have to mention that I have changed the ink lot of times and it is a very easy and quick process to clean the pen.
Overall, my experience with TWSBI, if I have to summarise in just a line, is it gives one of the smoothest writing experiences, except when it gets dry.
I like the look of the pen a lot (pardon my photography skills) [original image]
Writing sample of EF nib [original image]
Writing sample of Medium nib [original image]
Initial skipping of the nib (M) [original image]
You can notice the difference between the dry nib (EF) and the wet nib immediately after turning the piston ring [original image]
Edited by vishwaskrishna, 25 May 2013 - 17:58.