Demonstrator fountain pens made of clear plastic material are the most exciting type of fountain pens to have because they allow you to see right into their guts, “demonstrating” how they work, and see how much ink you have left. They boost productivity because now you’ll never run out of ink – scritch, scritch – in the middle of a sentence.
I own several demonstrators, among them Pilot, Sailor, and Pelikan, but do not use them everyday. I don’t like ink getting into the section.
Then the TWSBI Diamond 540 came along. *cue choirs of angels*
TWSBI is a Taiwanese manufacturer of quality fountain pens. They won the prestigious red dot design award in 2010 and their products are red hot collectible among users.
Filipino FP enthusiasts used to buy them online, but they are now available in the Philippines, at Scribe in Eastwood Mall. The store carries fine writing instruments, ink, and stationery, among other things.
So I finally got one at Scribe, and because the TWSBI Diamond 540 is reasonably priced (for something so awesome), I had no hesitations about filling it right away, damn the be-inked section and full speed ahead.
It is inked because I had it tested in the store before taking pictures. Here it is back in the box for a full-length shot.
The TWSBI also comes in blue, amber, and smoke-colored demonstrators. While I have colored demonstrators (yellow and blue Pelikans), I prefer the clear. That way the colors of the inks show through, gleaming translucently when you hold the pen up to the light.
A close look at the piston-fill end.
The pen comes with an o-ring, silicon grease, and a wee wrench to let you clean and service it yourself. The piston-fill is a convenient, easy-to-use, and nearly fool-proof system, and won’t give any trouble.
A view of the nib, capped.
I got an EF nib. In terms of line width, it’s between the Japanese EF (very very fine indeed) and the Western EF (which writes like a Japanese F).
The TWSBI nib is steel and a veritable nail, with only a slight hint of spring. But it writes smoothly, without skips or blots right from the get-go. It’s reliable and sturdy and is on the top of my present pantheon of daily road warriors.
A writing sample with the TWSBI Diamond 540, extra-fine nib. Ink used is Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses.
Glamour shot of the freshly-filled TWSBI Diamond 540 with a Moleskine Le Petit Prince pocket notebook.
It’s my current favorite. It’s always great when fantastic design, a clear body, and reliability come together in one lovely artifact.
Photos taken with an iPhone 4S and that wonderful 8mp camera it’s got.