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Kaweco Dia 2 - Review


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#1 wastelanded

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 13:57

The Kaweco Dia 2 is a modern interpretation of the company’s historical Dia line of pens. Kaweco produced a ‘Dia’ in some form between the 1930s and early 1960s: this modern version contains the stylings of a 1930s-era model, with the knurled end caps and the distinctive bowed clip. I’ve owned this pen for about a year and a half now, so it’s really time to have a good look at it. 
 
Note: The Dia 2 is the updated version of the modern Dia. The differences are mainly cosmetic, with a differently shaped section, shorter end cap on the barrel, and a gentle swell on the barrel that gives this basic black pen a hint of sexy. And, more importantly, the Dia 2’s cap screws on, where the Dia’s did not (even though it looked like there were threads on the section).
 
I received this pen as a gift. It came in one of Kaweco’s lovely tins, with the embossed design on the front: this is one pen box that didn’t go into the trash. It could be used as a pencil case, or to store pen-related bits and bobs. I keep the Dia 2 in it when not being used.

 

dia01.jpg

 

In a nutshell, the Dia 2 is a very well put together pen: fit and finish are excellent. The acrylic used is very high gloss. Perhaps it could be called ‘precious resin’, but I won’t go there. The hardware looks to have a fairly thick chrome plating. The clip is not spring loaded, but has just enough tension to be useful (and not wear a hole in a shirt pocket). There are also the now trademark little Kaweco logos in both ends of the pen. All in all, this pen looks like it cost much more than it did.
 
dia08.jpg 

 
The cap screws on and off in just under one complete turn.  While turning, there is very little wobble: tolerances are pretty tight. The section is made of metal, with a turned centre of acrylic laid over it: no slipping or coldness here. The section screws into brass threads fit inside the barrel. Recently fellow FPNer Tinta was checking this out, and noticed that the brass seems to go the entire length of the barrel! It’s certainly thin brass if this is the case, for the entire pen weighs only 26 grams (20 grams uncapped). The term Tinta used was I believe, 'bulletproof' design. However, like many other high gloss resins (ahem), I feel this one could be on the fragile side. Avoid dropping on floor.
 
cb41df2b-8e5c-4845-8ee3-811ee68fbdac.jpg

 

This combination of metals and acrylic has been fashioned in a way that this is one of the best balanced pens I have tried to date. Very little effort is needed by the hand to keep the pen in writing position. This is probably a good time to mention the length of the pen: 134mm capped, 125mm uncapped, 158mm posted. Quite the jump in length when posted, but even so the pen retains its good balance (I never post, but I have tried it with the Dia 2 and it feels good).

 

d29fe2d1-96a5-4e0f-819b-32f867248a33.jpg

 

 
  
One nice touch on the cap is near the end cap, on the opposite side of the clip: small script saying “Kaweco Dia”, with “Germany” printed beneath. I had assumed this was merely a stencil, but Tinta noted that it is actually stamped or engraved, and filled in quite admirably with white. For a basic black pen with chrome hardware, with the gloss of its materials, the fit and finish, and the very gentle curve of the body, it’s fairly commanding. Looking at it right now, as I type, the thought of Audrey Hepburn in that little black dress came to mind. Sorry, hmm? Oh right, the pen!
 
99bfb584-c5a1-4e90-85b8-f1bfb4dc54df.jpg

 

 
Now we come to the business end of the Dia 2, the nib. Like all Kaweco’s pens except the Sport Classic and Ice Sport, this one uses the Bock 060, which is a screw-in nib/feed unit.  My pen, which was a gift from a dear friend, came with an M nib. This particular nib was a dud, the only bad Bock I’ve ever owned. Contact with the dealer and the manufacturer in Germany brought me a new nib within a week, this time a B nib. And what a lovely nib it is. Smooth, but not overly so: enough feedback to know you are writing on paper and not glass. You can see the design of it in the pics, so I won’t get into that. All nib sizes available are EF, F, M, B, and BB, but only F, M and B seem to be available with the pen: EF and BB can be ordered from various sellers. I purchased a BB nib from an online seller in Germany, and it is wonderful: not quite as luscious as the BB on my Sport Classic, strangely enough, but still wonderful. Eventually it will be ground into a stub.  I have to say, I do like the screw-in nib system.
 
dia05.jpg

 

 
The Dia 2 is a cartridge-converter pen of the international kind, and a perfectly running one. I know that some would deduct points because it isn’t a piston filler. If it was, the price would be at least double. And personally, I don’t consider piston fillers the be-all and end-all of filling systems: I enjoy changing inks waaaay too much to really use it. The Dia 2 came with a standard Schmidt K1 converter, but there is also a ‘deluxe’ converter available with the Brand name printed on the clear part, and can be taken apart for cleaning. The term ‘deluxe’ here means about €2 online, so not a major outlay.
 
Just about the only fault I can find with this pen is that long international cartridges don’t seem to fit. I tried a long Pelikan cart, and as I was screwing the barrel on over it the nib was unscrewing itself out of the section.  I haven’t tried a Waterman long yet, so I can’t speak for those.
 
As I mentioned earlier, this particular Dia 2 was a gift. I have noticed that the chrome version seems to run between $100 and $120 online. I think for the price, it’s very good value. The Kaweco Dia 2 is a well-made, classy and quietly attractive pen.
 
I do keep it in its tin when not in rotation, but that’s not very often. I use this pen a lot. I do take care of it, transporting it in a leather case or roll, but all my pens roll that way. I would definitely buy replace it if something happened to it.  And there you have it.


Edited by wastelanded, 14 August 2013 - 17:25.

"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

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#2 The Good Captain

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 14:58

I got mine with the Fine nib and it's been a great choice. The little bit of flooding immediately after a fill is easily remedied by just forcing out a couple of drops of ink like I do with piston-fillers. A nice pen.


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#3 wastelanded

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 15:25

I got mine with the Fine nib and it's been a great choice. The little bit of flooding immediately after a fill is easily remedied by just forcing out a couple of drops of ink like I do with piston-fillers. A nice pen.

 

Is that something that happens every time? I had that once, with another pen, and it turned out the converter wasn't seated properly.


"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#4 The Good Captain

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 16:03

 

Is that something that happens every time? I had that once, with another pen, and it turned out the converter wasn't seated properly.

Have to say I've only filled it a couple of times but didn't notice at first. I am using a wet ink though and Sailor advise one to let a few drops out after filling so it's not an unknown policy, I'd have thought.


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#5 wastelanded

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 16:15

Have to say I've only filled it a couple of times but didn't notice at first. I am using a wet ink though and Sailor advise one to let a few drops out after filling so it's not an unknown policy, I'd have thought.

 

Ah, I misunderstood I think. I thought you meant the pen was burping out a blob of ink.

 

To be honest, I don't use converters a lot: I refill cartridges. But when I do use one, after the last cycle of filling I turn the screw maybe one rev, push a little ink back out. Then, turning the pen upright, turn the screw back, which draws the excess from the feed back in. I *think* that helps.


"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#6 The Good Captain

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 16:17

 

Ah, I misunderstood I think. I thought you meant the pen was burping out a blob of ink.

 

To be honest, I don't use converters a lot: I refill cartridges. But when I do use one, after the last cycle of filling I turn the screw maybe one rev, push a little ink back out. Then, turning the pen upright, turn the screw back, which draws the excess from the feed back in. I *think* that helps.

That's exactly what I was trying to say! I've some spare Faber Castell converters which I've found to be one of the best for replacements so if I've more problems I'll try one of those.


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#7 wastelanded

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 16:24

That's exactly what I was trying to say! I've some spare Faber Castell converters which I've found to be one of the best for replacements so if I've more problems I'll try one of those.

 

Yep, F-C converters are good ones. They're Schmidt K-5's, sort of the industry standard. The one that came with my eMotion is my go-to converter.

 

Just thought of something: with this pen the collar around where the converter goes is fairly snug. Some converters might take a good push and turn to really seat. Which is good, it's not moving after that.


"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#8 The Good Captain

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 16:26

 

Yep, F-C converters are good ones. They're Schmidt K-5's, sort of the industry standard. The one that came with my eMotion is my go-to converter.

 

Just thought of something: with this pen the collar around where the converter goes is fairly snug. Some converters might take a good push and turn to really seat. Which is good, it's not moving after that.

Good points, all. They are great pens, aren't they?


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#9 RMN

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 21:59

I have the gold trim version. It is a nice enough pen. I did notice some hand fatigue after using it for a day. 

I will have to take the pen in rotation again to see if that was me or the pen....

 

The nib wrote without hesitation, but is not super smooth like I love them.

 

The pen is worth the price.

 

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#10 Colin68

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 13:17

Nice review of a nice looking pen.

On your point about nib sizes, for UK-dwellers cultpens (no affiliation except as a happy customer) look like they have all five available from stock via their website.

 

C


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#11 wastelanded

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 14:59

I have the gold trim version. It is a nice enough pen. I did notice some hand fatigue after using it for a day. 

I will have to take the pen in rotation again to see if that was me or the pen....

 

The nib wrote without hesitation, but is not super smooth like I love them.

 

The pen is worth the price.

 

D.ick

 

I would say the girth is average, or slightly below: the section is 10mm at its narrowest point. Overly large hands may have a problem, but I usually hold a pen further up towards the threads anyway.


"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#12 wastelanded

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 15:00

Nice review of a nice looking pen.

On your point about nib sizes, for UK-dwellers cultpens (no affiliation except as a happy customer) look like they have all five available from stock via their website.

 

C

 

Thanks Colin. Pretty good nibs. And not too expensive, so one could have a couple of different widths and swap them out at will.

 

Once I have the BB made into a stub, I may just pick up an AL Sport. Then I could use the nib in that pen as well.


"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#13 wastelanded

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 15:05

Good points, all. They are great pens, aren't they?

 

Yes indeed. Kaweco doesn't make a lot of different models, but what they do make is quality. Even the Sport, although made of cheaper materials, is a pretty good-writing little pen. The Elite also looks very interesting.


"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#14 wastelanded

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 15:06

I forgot one photo, of the engraving on the back of the cap. A nice touch, I think:

 

dia07.jpg


"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#15 tinta

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 04:14

I was very impressed when I saw this pen "in the flesh".

Thank you for this thorough & insightful review.

You have inspired me to review a pen in the near future. 

I'm also looking forward to trying out your Dia2,  once you get that BB nib reground to an italic.


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#16 wastelanded

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 14:16

I was very impressed when I saw this pen "in the flesh".

Thank you for this thorough & insightful review.

You have inspired me to review a pen in the near future. 

I'm also looking forward to trying out your Dia2,  once you get that BB nib reground to an italic.

 

Thanks tinta, also for your insight into this gem of a pen. Looking forward to your next review!


"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#17 terminal

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 14:36

Thanks for the review!

 

That chrome dipped trim is totally off-putting for me.  I just see that and want to run the other way, especially for the price.


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#18 wastelanded

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 15:04

Thanks for the review!

 

That chrome dipped trim is totally off-putting for me.  I just see that and want to run the other way, especially for the price.

 

Thanks for reading! Gold trim has the same effect on me. But there is a gold version for those that prefer it.


"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#19 The Good Captain

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 15:32

Mine's the chrome one and it looks great.


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#20 lovemy51

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 07:47

thx for the review! i like the style of this pen -love that "old" look!








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