review: twsbi diamond 540

318Scan10007I thought I would begin my series of reviews here, with my TWSBI 540 Diamond. This pen has been with me for quite a long time (since 2011, possibly?) and is pretty near and dear to my heart.

The TWSBI 540 Diamond is a product of TWSBI, a Taiwanese company. It’s a pretty long story and you might have already heard of it–if not, I would suggest reading their about page, since it’s kind of a long story and I’d really hate to butcher it. When I first caught sight of this pen, I was smitten. I love demonstrators like this, which are pens with clear bodies so you can see their inner workings, and it’s made by a Taiwanese company! I’m Taiwanese, so having something that was made by my country was pretty exciting. I received this pen as a birthday present and loved it within seconds of opening it. I mean, how could you not?

IMG_2906It’s a beautiful demonstrator with a piston mechanism, which means it can hold a lot more ink than your run-of-the-mill cartridge/converter fountain pen. Mine has seen better days–the plastic (which is very rugged, don’t get me wrong!) has started to crack in some places because of my rough use, and the piston mechanism gets stuck sometimes because I… am not very good at putting things back together. While I’m on that subject, did you know that you can take this pen apart completely all by yourself? That’s pretty cool! The pen comes with a wrench and silicone grease (for you to grease the piston so it works nice and smooth) so you can maintain it.

I love this pen to death. I love the way it looks and the way it feels in my hand–it’s very substantial and feels good without giving you hand cramp within the first four words. I used to have this pen filled with Noodler’s Black and brought it with me to school: the extra fine nib I got meant I could write for days without worry. After cracks started to form because of the fact that I threw it around my backpack a lot, it got relegated to desk duty. Still, it’s not there to be pretty–well, not only. It writes darn good, too.

IMG_2907The TWSBI Diamond 540 has been retired for the Diamond 580, which you can consider Diamond 3.0, if you want. It’s basically an updated form of the Diamond 540 like the Diamond 540 was the updated version of the Diamond 530. Lots of numbers, I know! But I can basically promise you that the Diamond 580 is better than the Diamond 540. TWSBI is never quite satisfied with high quality and shoots for the best. You’ll often see them featured on websites for their customer service and responsiveness, which I really appreciate.

Another super cool thing: the TWSBI Diamond 540 was only $50–which puts it at one of the more (possibly most?) affordable piston-filled fountain pens out there. If you want to give this bad boy a shot, I heartily recommend it.

I am in no way affiliated with or sponsored by TWSBI: just a happy customer!


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