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Kaweco V4 fountain pen


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#1 Malcy

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 17:02

I occasionally have a look at the Buy Now offers in the fountain pen section of ebay and have had a few bargains from there in the past. I saw what looked like a fairly nondescript grey pen on offer, shown only as capped. It could have been any of a number of possible models. The description showed Kaweco but did not give a model or nib width. For £8, I thought it was worth a punt and went for it.

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Looking at the pen capped, the closest that I could find was the Kaweco 582 which looked to have an identical shape and trim but different colours. On receipt, I was surprised to find that it was not an open nibbed model like the 582, it is actually a model called the V4 and has a semi hooded nib.

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After extensive research, I have not been able to find a single mention about this model anywhere on the Internet which is most unusual. I have found a V2 mentioned which looks like a lower model, but there doesn't seem to be any detailed information anywhere about this series.

Appearance & design. 6/10
Capped it looks like a typical 1950's German fountain pen, not unlike my Montblanc 3-42G. I am not sure if I like the grey colour, in some light it looks quite distinguished, in other light it looks dull. Uncap the pen and a blue ink window is unveiled along with a stubby semi-hooded gold nib. It is not the most elegant design but is more a victim of the move away from open nibs at the time. I would date the pen to the late 1950's or very early 1960's because the capped body has the style of the earlier Kaweco fountain pens like the previously mentioned 582 but it has the semi-hooded nib that is fitted to most Kaweco models made around the mid 1960's (I could be completely wrong though :)). A sort of transitional design.

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Construction & Quality 7/10
The pen has lasted quite well. There are the usual surface scratches and a hairline crack in the lid which seems to be stable but in general the pen is sound. The gold plate seems to be very thin and has mostly worn away. So construction and quality is mostly up there with other mainstream makes of the time. It has a synthetic piston seal which is working well, a good thing as I think that it would be difficult to fix.

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Weight & Dimensions 7/10
Lightweight due to the plastic construction but not so much that it feels cheap or flimsy. The pen is 128mm capped and 150mm posted, so it is a usable size for many people and is what would be the standard pen size for it's day.

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Nib & Performance 8/10
I was very happy when opening the pen unveiled an OB nib. I try to collect B and wider nibbed pens, so this is right there. The nib is a semi-hooded 14K gold design. I am glad that it has not needed major work as I cannot see how to dismantle the nib/feed/section and I am not going to force anything. The nib tines were slightly misaligned when I got the pen. I have managed to get them to the point where it is pretty smooth, just a tiny bit of tooth is left and I will dial that out at some point. There is a large amount of iridium on the tip which is fashioned into an OB shape, though I think that it is more of an OBB width. The nib has a tiny bit of flex but it doesn't need it as there is so much line variation form the shape.

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Filling System & Maintenance 9/10
What is there to say - a typical German piston filler. Easy to fill and reliable at the same time holding a lot of ink. The pen should go on and on if it is looked after and cleaned out regularly. I would like to clean the feed but I can't see a way in.

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Cost & Value 10/10
A quality piston filler with an OB nib for £8 has got to be great value. I have no idea what the pen is worth as I can't find any other examples but I think that it was very undervalued. The curiosity value is high for me as well.

Conclusion 49/60
Overall, I like the pen. It's uniqueness and nice OB nib are enough to keep it in my collection. I am not too sure about the colour and given a choice would go for something else. It has made me interested to find out more about Kawecos of this period but information is rather thin on the ground.
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#2 Malcy

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 21:32

Great Review! Looks simmilar to a vintage 88....


Thanks for your comments. The original 88 is on my wanted list too. :)
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#3 majorworks

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 04:04

Very nice review and, I think, sort of a "sumgai" on your part. Looks like a great old Kaweco.

You might ask some questions of the sellers on penboard.de about the V4. I don't see any posted for sale there at this time but there are other similar models. Maybe they can tell you more.

I have a Kaweco piston filler that says "Colleg V5" with a fine Kugel nib (steel). The nib and feed come straight out of the front of the hood on that pen. You might try soaking it and then trying to wiggle them out.

Edited by majorworks, 13 March 2011 - 04:08.

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#4 Malcy

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 18:29

I have a Kaweco piston filler that says "Colleg V5" with a fine Kugel nib (steel). The nib and feed come straight out of the front of the hood on that pen. You might try soaking it and then trying to wiggle them out.


I had a similar thought. I saw that it folds around the feed like a Lamy Safari nib so you may be right. It seems to be working all right at the moment but I will use it at work tomorrow as a sterner test. I think that the body probably screws apart at the metal ring near the ink window but I am not going to force it unless i need to.
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#5 RMN

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 23:24

I have a Kaweco piston filler that says "Colleg V5" with a fine Kugel nib (steel). The nib and feed come straight out of the front of the hood on that pen. You might try soaking it and then trying to wiggle them out.


I had a similar thought. I saw that it folds around the feed like a Lamy Safari nib so you may be right. It seems to be working all right at the moment but I will use it at work tomorrow as a sterner test. I think that the body probably screws apart at the metal ring near the ink window but I am not going to force it unless i need to.

Well, I would be very carefull, as that feed does look a little iffy. Wriggle too hard and it will break in half.


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#6 akrishna59

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 08:09

that writing sample looks great. wish i could write like that. some people have gifted hands. :notworthy1:

rgds.

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#7 Malcy

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 21:15

that writing sample looks great. wish i could write like that. some people have gifted hands. :notworthy1:

rgds.

krishna.


Thanks, I hadn't thought about it as this is my normal hand. :embarrassed_smile:
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