review: kaweco sport skyline

318IMG_7949The moment I saw the Kaweco Sport Skyline, I knew I had to have it. I mean, look at it.

You definitely don’t get a color like this in a pen very often. Possibly ever. I’ve always been mooning over the Kaweco Sports–especially the Classic Sports–ever since I bought a white one for a good friend’s birthday. I wasn’t that into the gold hardware on the Classic Sports, but I decided that I would–eventually–buy one. And then the Sport Skyline was released–in mint–and my defenses crumbled. There is a very nice voice in my head that yelled (in a nice way!), “BUY IT”, so I did. I imagine the voice inside my head sounds a little like my skate coach after she catches me leaning out of the circle instead of into it on my crossovers (gently admonishing). But that’s completely irrelevant at this point. I bought the pen. I waited about a week and a half. And then I got a box, and I ripped it open, and I inked it, and I haven’t looked back since.

Honestly, I love this pen. I love the color. It’s a beautiful light blue-green, almost delicate in its lightness, kind of like the green part of mint chocolate chip ice cream except not so dark. Ana over at the Well-Appointed Desk said that the mint Skyline has a “ghostly almost supernatural color” and I am definitely inclined to agree. The cool part about the Sport line (whether Classic, AL, AC, Chess, Luxe, Art Asia, Ice, or Skyline) is that as long as you have the money, you can pretty much get what you’re looking for in a pen. The Art Asias are made of acrylic; the ALs are made of aluminum; the ACs are made of carbon fiber and aluminum; the Luxe is made of brass (I believe?); and the Skylines, Classics, Ices, and Chess(es) are made of plastic. Up until this point, only the Ice Sports had steel nibs and silver colored-details: all the other plastic Sports had gold-plated nibs and gold-c0lored details. The Skylines, however, follow in the Ice’s footsteps. You may notice that none of the Sports (other than the Luxe) come with clips: you have to purchase the clips separately. I don’t find this to be an issue, because I think a clip breaks up the design of the Sport. As well, the pen’s faceted cap does an excellent job of preventing the familiar and terrifying sound of a pen rolling off your desk. However, if you want one, you can definitely get one in two different styles: Retro and, uh, “normal”, I guess. It doesn’t really have a name. Wow, this review is already super confusing with all these names. Sorry about that.

Let’s simplify it down, because I’m actually confusing myself. The Sports all have at least one thing in common: design. All Sports are approximately 4 inches (10 cm) capped and 4 inches uncapped. 4 inches is definitely way too small for most adults to hold, so it becomes almost necessary to post. When posted, the pen is approximately 5 inches (14 cm) long. In my experience, the pen when unposted is great for scrawling a quick note, but you should definitely post if you want to write long letters. The pen is both light and small, which has made it a great candidate for a pocket/bag pen. It’s relatively inexpensive and quite sturdy, so you probably don’t need to worry about scratches and the like. Scratches add character! Sort of.

IMG_7955I got my Skyline in a broad nib, and I love it. The pen comes with an international cartridge inside in blue (you can fit an extra cartridge in the back of the pen in case you run out of ink), but I opted to get a similarly itty bitty squeeze converter, which I use instead. Some people have struggled to get ink into the converter because of how weirdly basic (it’s literally like the aerometric filler you would find in, say, a Pilot Metropolitan, except it doesn’t have the bar for you to depress). Basically you just squeeze the sac part of the converter until you fill it, more-or-less. Here’s my technique, if you do get it, and want a full fill: insert the converter into the nib section, dip the nib in your ink, and squeeze the sac. You’ll get maybe 1/4 of the sac filled at most, but you’ve drawn ink into the feed which means you’ll get ink flow immediately when you start writing. Turn the pen upside down and lightly tap or flick the sac until the ink drops to the bottom of the sac. Reorient the pen. The ink should stay at what is now the top of the sac, and you just have to dip and repeat until the converter is full. It’s a bit of work, but that’s how I got a full fill. The plastic Sports, by the way, are great for eyedropper conversion: just make sure to grease the threads with silicone grease.

IMG_7967The moment I inked it up, it was ready to go. I didn’t flush the pen beforehand. For a first impression, I was really quite blown away. The nib is extremely smooth and practically floats across the page, although a broad nib definitely helps with the smoothness. Regardless, I’m not going to chalk it up to only the broadness: I gotta give a hand to the fine folks at Kaweco for making a darn good nib. It lays down quite a bit of ink, so I imagine with such a small converter you’re going to have to fill it pretty often.

So in conclusion: I love this pen. You will also probably love this pen. Get it. Well, I guess I didn’t actually need the rest of this review, did I?

A lot of people like to match inks to their pens, and I am one of those people sometimes. A pen like this definitely deserves an ink to go along with it. I filled mine with J. Herbin’s Vert Réséda, but I think J. Herbin’s Diabolo Menthe or Diamine’s Soft Mint would also fit very well.

Here’s a writing sample if you’re interested:Scann10003

I bought this pen at Fontoplumo, which was the only place you could find it when I purchased it. The Sport Skyline comes in three different colors (black, gray, and mint) and sell for $22.74. You can purchase the mint here. You can also buy this pen at JetPens for $23.75.

Interested in purchasing some of the inks I’ve mentioned? At JetPens, you can find J. Herbin’s Vert Réséda for $12.00/30 ml bottle or $4.75/10 ml bottle, and Diabolo Menthe for the same prices here (30 ml) and here (10 ml). Diamine Soft Mint sells for $14.50/80 ml bottle. And at the Goulet Pen Company, you can find 30 ml bottles of Vert Réséda and Diabolo Menthe for $10.00. Diamine Soft Mint comes in at $12.95 for an 80 ml bottle.


I’m not at all affiliated with Fontoplumo, Goulet Pens, or JetPens: just a happy customer!

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