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TWSBI Precision - Quality Will Out


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Mostly pens
2019/06/05
201   0  


Like lots of folks, I got my start with modern fountain pens with TWSBI. The Diamond 580, the Diamond Mini, Micarta, Vac 700 and eventually a Vac Mini.

My Vac Mini has been inked since I got it, making it one of the longest continuously inked pens in my collection.

TWSBI was the right combination of price and quality. Not as expensive as Japanese or German pens but miles better than pens coming out of China. To their credit, TWSBI engaged directly with the fountain pen community to improve their products and I was impressed with the effort to create a coherent brand, something not too many Taiwan companies are able to pull off.

By the time the Classic and the Eco rolled around, however, other pen makers had caught my attention. And vintage pens... It's a big fountain pen world out there.

So when the TWSBI Precision came out last year, I didn't immediately jump. The pen was a little unexpected anyway: all metal, on the small side and available in just one finish. At, US$80, it was pricey for a TWSBI.

Does this look like a TWSBI to you?

Nonetheless, the Precision stayed on my radar and earlier this year I decided to take the plunge. I picked it up partly to scratch my completist itch and partly to add a stub nib pen to my collection. The range of nibs they offer is one of the true advantages TSWBI brings to the table.

I visited TY Lee's pen shop and brought home a Precision with a 1.1 stub nib. Suffice it to say, I'm impressed.

Style and Substance

Probably the most overriding feeling one gets from holding the pen is quality. The thing feels solid and very well made. The details, and there are a lot of them, are thought out and harmoniously executed.

The cap comes off in just ½ turn. The facets on the cap and barrel line up perfectly, thanks to  an o-ring on the barrel that lets you ease the cap into just the right place. As you'd expect, the cap has a liner to prevent the nib from drying out.

The brushed gray finish is uniform and understated. The rounding of the facets at the ends is smooth and balanced - longer at the ends and shorter where the cap and barrel meet. The hexagonal facets are flat enough so that the pen definitely does roll about. They feel great in the hand.

The clip is springy but firm. I'm still not sure exactly how the clip is held in place, but the partial wrap-around add a unique visual element. The angle of the clip wings give the design a feeling of movement. There's actually quite a bit of silver in the design but it balances well with the gray.

For as busy as this pen is style-wise, it works as a contemporary, industrial look. The Precision easily fits in a modern business setting.

Weights and Measures
  • Capped 138mm
  • Uncappped 126mm
  • Posted 167mm
  • Barrel width 12mm
  • Section width 10mm
There's some real heft to this pen

20g is my preferred weight. The Precision is right there.

The pen does post. In fact, it posts very securely.

The cap fits snugly onto the piston filler knob thanks to twin o-rings. Once you get a feel for the resistance, posting the pen is simple and positive. With the piston knob firmly in the open (clockwise) position, posting doesn't risk turning the piston filler knob and expelling ink.

If you like to post, you're in luck

The length posted is a little longer than a PenBBS 456 and very similar to a Natami Inception. 30g, however, is a bit heavier than I prefer.

Top to bottom: TWSBI Precision, PenBBS 456, Natami Inception

The section is flat with no taper at all. At first glance, it appears to be the same material as the barrel, but it actually has a more defined texture. It feels very similar to the section on the Kaco Edge. Designing a little extra grip into the section is a nice touch.

The threads behind the section are short and smooth. The step from the section to the barrel is equally unobtrusive. As one who tends toward a tripod grip, being able to rest my thumb on a barrel facet with the section cradled between my index and middle fingers is great.

The TWSBI Precision is a piston filling pen and has an ink window just above the section to show how much ink there is in the pen. The piston mechanism works as I expected, i.e., no issues.

It's a TWSBI so it comes apart...

Like all TWSBIs the Precision is designed to be user serviceable and it comes with the usual TWSBI tool and silicon grease for servicing the piston. The section unscrews from the barrel for easy cleaning.

TWSBI doesn't sell separate nib units for the Precision, but the pen uses the same nib as the Diamond 580. Swapping nibs involves pulling the nib and feed out and changing it directly. It's easy.

When I bought the pen I also picked up a 580 broad nib.

Putting Nib to Paper

Writing with both these nibs turned out to be great fun.

I picked an ink I found at Juspirit, the Robert Oster agent in Taiwan and overall a fantastic store. Inkantadora recently paid a visit and created a great intro to the shop.

Juspirit May 2019 - Inkantadora Inkantadora — YouTube

Smooth and wet with no tuning necessary, both nibs wrote wonderfully from the jump. The 1.1 stub has plenty of horizontal vs vertical variation and the feed keeps up without difficulty. I haven't experienced any skipping at all. The broad nib was equally satisfying.

In the end, I'm keeping the 1.1 stub in the pen. Such a cool addition to my rotation.

Conclusions

The Precision is unlike any of the other TWSBI pens in my collection. Nonetheless, it's turned out to be a more than welcome addition. The design has won me over; I'm all in. The quality is more than evident. The writing performance is flawless. This is a world-class pen.

For TWBSI fans, if your budget has room, I can't think of a reason not to get one. If you're looking to gift someone a pen that works in business settings, the Precision will impress. Highly recommended.


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About the Author

More often that not, my desk is my pocket. But everyday desk items doesn't have the same ring.



Tags: robert oster ink x 1 metal fountain pens x 1 broad nib x 1 stub nib x 1 piston filler pens x 1

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