Brad was kind enough to send me one of the Kaweco pens he recently received so that I could play around with it for a bit. The Kaweco Allrounder is a thing of beauty, seriously. The brushed metal finish, a nicely weighted cap, the vintage style-clip…and I really can’t ever see picking up the pen again.
Like Brad, I’m a Kaweco fanboy through and through and pretty much everything in the Sport line has been a favorite of mine forever. I’m pretty envious of the ART Sport Brad just got his hands on. The Allrounder, though, is an entirely different pen. Full sized, heavy, all silver trimmings - the thing is a walking talking writing specimen of German industrial design. It is sleek yet solid, which is a tough feat to pull off in a pen. However, I still don’t end up wanting to use it.
I’ve been trying to figure out what it is that makes the pen not work for me. At first, I wondered if the problem might be, well, me. I tend to over-rotate my hand when writing with fountain pens so I’m almost writing with the nib sidewise, and that ends up resulting in a great deal of skipping with some fountain pens. With the Allrounder, I tried my normal rotation and forced myself to write with the nib at the proper angle to the paper. Nothing really worked. It isn’t so much that the pen skips - there isn’t that usual feeling of scratching or catching that accompanies that terrible moment in fountain pen writing. Rather, I just can’t get a consistent line out of the thing.
If you press too hard, you get a line that ends with more ink than you started with, which leads to some unintended shading. If you hold the pen lightly…well, it is hard to hold the pen lightly. The weight and the girth of it mean you have to grip it fairly firmly. Light-handed attempts just left it skittering across the page.
I asked Brad to kit this out with an EF nib as I almost never write with anything larger than a fine, except with italics. I actually found myself wondering as I wrote whether I should have gone with a bold nib. With a wide nib, I think the ink variation would actually look expressive rather than accidental, and you might be able to hold the pen with a lighter grip and let it skate atop the paper.
I certainly wouldn’t advise against trying out the pen, though it is at a relatively hefty price point for an experiment. I will say, though, if you have small hands and prefer thin nibs, you’re likely better off with something from the Sport line.
(This pen was provided by Kaweco for review purposes.)