Product choice/ordering experience
I looked at the available colors and chose the cyan model with a medium nib. Presently the pen comes in multiple colors (including clear). Of all the pens I owned this is my first "demonstrator" pen.
I ordered the product from the TWSBI eBay store (http://stores.ebay.com/twsbipenstore) on Friday evening after which I received a shipping notification the following day. I received the product the following Monday. Ordering was seamless and shipping was fast.
The pen came in a rectangular cardboard box containing the pen enclosed in a clear/beige plastic case containing the pen, wrench, a small bottle of silicone grease and disassembly instructions. The cyan color is a blue/green (appears to lean toward the green side). The pen has a solid feel to it in my hand. The clip and pen barrel is well made with the barrel having a faceted texture. The cap screws on the lower section easily and without effort. I had read on FPN that some owners had remarked that the cap was difficult to screw on. I didn't notice that at all with my pen.
There had been some leakage problems with earlier Diamond 530 models but I read that this has been addressed with upgraded pistons for existing owners. I had talked to speedy from TWSBI before I ordered and was assured that all the piston-type pens listed on eBay now have the upgraded piston.
I inked the pen up with Montblanc Midnight Blue. The piston turned easily and the pen filled quickly and evenly. I noticed that the piston didn't go all the way back (looks like there's a ¼" behind the piston), but it looks like it holds ~ 1" of ink (not sure how much that is in milliliters).
The pen has a steel nib which writes like a true "western Medium". Not any flex which is what you would expect from a steel nib. Pen started up immediately and wrote without skipping with good tactile "pen-to-paper" feedback. I write with all my pens posted this one will be no exception. The pen is almost 7" posted. Some owners have commented that they felt that it was too long to post or it felt unbalanced. I didn't notice that at all but maybe I'm just used to it. Some others had also mentioned that when they removed a posted cap the piston had a tendency to turn & expel ink. Again, I have used mine all day long and didn't have this problem. Maybe TWSBI had already addressed this problem before I got mine or I don't twist my cap off.
Coming from the custom/production knife world I appreciate the fact that the pen can be taken apart, cleaned, and parts replaced without sending it off. I'm probably not going to spend the money for any additional nibs but there's definitely a lot of people who will and I appreciate the fact that users can "tweak" theirs however they wish.
Does the pen have the same springiness like a Pelikan M1000 or the crispness of a Montblanc 149? Of course not, but for less than $50 (including shipping) you have a good writing fountain pen that you can take completely apart.
Thanks to speedy at TWSBI, and the FPN for this pen!!!
Edited by razr, 01 February 2011 - 03:32.