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Vintage Kaweco Sport 11 Review



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I've posted about this pen in a couple of threads, and have received some questions about it, so I thought I'd do a full review.

 

I'm a fan of pocket pens. They're handy, easy to carry, and you never find yourself without a pen. I have several modern Kaweco's, and splurged on a Franklin Christoph 40 with Masuyama CI. Still, I've always wanted a piston filling Kaweco.

 

The V12's and V16's are pretty easy to get, but I prefer the older 12G with the open nib. I saw one being sold through an antique vendor on eBay, and took a chance on it. This is what I got:

 

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa163/roomdog/Pens/50s%20Kaweco%20Sport%2011/50sSport009_zpscbb4a6a9.jpg

 

The only thing I was worried about was whether or not the old cork seal had dried or rotted, but the description said it was in working order and there was a picture with it inked. As an aside, they shipped it with ink! and since it didn't leak I knew the cork was good (and that the inner cap wouldn't let it leak in my pocket... ;) Here you can see the piston knob that's hidden by a blind cap:

 

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa163/roomdog/Pens/50s%20Kaweco%20Sport%2011/50sSport003_zps5b359e27.jpg

 

What I didn't pay attention to, and what wasn't in the description, was that this pen isn't a 12, but an 11. Not that big of a deal, and maybe even a little bit of a bonus since it's just a bit smaller than a 12. From the Kaweco History pdf (the pencil is 2nd from the right, and the pen is 3rd):

 

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa163/roomdog/Pens/50s%20Kaweco%20Sport%2011/SportHistory_zps10a6533c.jpg

 

As a bonus, the pencil works too and is full of old (perfect condition) lead...

 

The pen is small, and about as small as I could use to write with. Posted, the end of the barrel rests on the webbing between my thumb and index finger. It's close enough to an unposted M400 so as to make no difference. It's great for jotting notes, and I could easily write a few pages with it. I prefer something more substantial for serious writing though. Here's a size comparison between the 11, a modern Sport, and a Lamy Safari.

 

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa163/roomdog/Pens/50s%20Kaweco%20Sport%2011/50sSport004_zpsffa62a63.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa163/roomdog/Pens/50s%20Kaweco%20Sport%2011/50sSport005_zpsaa399d19.jpg

 

Although the piston sealed well, the nib was a little boogered up. I pulled the nib and feed, aligned the tines, ground the OM to a regular stub, reset the feed and smoothed everything out. I love an ebonite feed, and thought about those workers in the 50's polishing them (it almost looks like plastic).

 

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa163/roomdog/Pens/50s%20Kaweco%20Sport%2011/50sSport001_zpse28cef4e.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa163/roomdog/Pens/50s%20Kaweco%20Sport%2011/50sSport002_zps2d342078.jpg

 

One thing about the feed that puzzled me, was the way it was cut. Sorry I don't have any pictures of when it was disassembled (or a picture of the clear ink window). It is shaped like this:

 

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa163/roomdog/Pens/50s%20Kaweco%20Sport%2011/50sSport007_zps8697f89d.jpg

 

Two ink channels and an enormous air channel? That can only mean one thing...

 

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa163/roomdog/Pens/50s%20Kaweco%20Sport%2011/50sSport008_zps9bf8f91b.jpg

 

It's not a full-flex, but it's a little more than "semi" flex. The problem is that the length of the pen and the pressure of the posted cap don't lend to exerting pressure on the nib to flex it. Still nice to know it's there if you want to use it... Otherwise, the pen is a joy to write with. It is buttery smooth, has perfectly controlled ink delivery (not to dry and not too wet), and offers some line variation from the stub alone. It writes as well as any pen I own, and better than a lot of them. Again, it's a joyous experience.

 

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa163/roomdog/Pens/50s%20Kaweco%20Sport%2011/50sSport006_zps535c133c.jpg

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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  • dneal

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  • R. N. Dominick

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Nice review. I have an 11 as well, like you I didn't realise I was getting the smaller model. It is a wonderful little pen. My experience is similar to yours in that it has good flow and some flex, although mine has a fine nib.

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Congratulations on a great find! It looks like an excellent set; thanks for the well-done review.

 

I lusted after a piston-filling Sport for some time and finally obtained one earlier this year. Mine is a later model, probably early 70s and marked V16 F. It has a steel nib but is a little flexy, enough for expressive writing.

Happiness is an Indian ED!
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R. N. Dominick

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa163/roomdog/Pens/50s%20Kaweco%20Sport%2011/50sSport007_zps8697f89d.jpg

 

Two ink channels and an enormous air channel? That can only mean one thing...

 

That this was once the Bat-pen?

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