If you've followed the forums on Fountain Pen Network then you know about the TWSBI Diamond 530 fountain pen, a clear vacuum filling pen that FPN member Speedy debuted for comments back in February 2010.
With a polycarbonate clear body, steel nib, and silver accents, the TWSBI has gotten a lot of buzz on FPN. I'd only seen the pen on eBay, but had the chance to see it in person at the NYC 2010 Pen Show.
This is an amazing pen, no doubt about it. The steel nib comes in EF, F, and M, and as noted on FPN it is a nail. No flex or give at all, just lays down the ink. But the way it does that one job makes it my new "have you see this?!" fave to show people.
This has to be one of the smoothest writing pens I've ever used that is not a roller ball. My friend C has the medium nib, and we both wax ecstatic over how fine a pen this is. C is a lefty but doesn't write overhand, so she's basically safe from ink smears.
Included with this amazing clear plastic case (which is functional and good looking but not overly heavy or a resource-waster like some cases) is a small bottle of silicone oil and a tiny wrench for maintenance on the pen. What's great is that everything is packaged in the bottom, and only the pen is on the top for viewing.
Besides how well this pen writes, the way the nib really glides over the paper and the fine feel of it in my hand, is how really simple the design is. A polycarbonate clear body shows off the ink (Sailor Gentle Ink in Blue-Black) and the internal design. You can't see the shape of the barrel or the molding of it, but it's there.
I really enjoy taking this pen out and writing with it. TWSBI, Rhodia, and coffee have become a weekend ritual. Price at $40, this is a remarkable writing experience. Would I give up my Namiki 823 for it? No. But my Parker Sonnet and Latitude are cringing in their cases and acting a bit more well-behaved than before!