Kaweco Elite – Pen Review

Kaweco continues to impress me with their more traditional sized offerings. I love their SPORT line, of which I own several and I recently reviewed the Allrounder which was a great first experience with the full size line. The Elite is named appropriately as it sits near the top of the Kaweco Fountain pen food chain. My recent time with it left a big smile on my face so I present to you my experience with it.

The Pen:

openerKaweco Elite Fountain Pen

  • Acrylic Construction
  • Broad Steel Nib
  • High Gloss Black with a Chrome Cap
  • $150.00
  • 5.4” capped
  • 5.2” uncapped
  • 6.9” Posted
  • Weight 37.8g with ink

apartOverall Appearance

The Elite is my second full size Kaweco and I’m equally pleased with it. The octagonal barrel is turned from a solid block of acrylic that’s been hand polished to a high gloss black. The cap is chrome plated and gives a striking contrast to the black main body. The section is the same black lacquer acrylic and is tastefully separated from the barrel with a chrome ring.

The tail of the pen has some subtle but cool looking knurling that helps transition the end of the barrel from eight sided to a round profile. The top and the bottom of the pen are capped with the Kaweco button and branding is typical refined Kaweco printing on the cap.

Ergonomics

I like big pens so the Elite and I get along very well here at 5.2” uncapped and unposted. The bigger size is hidden well with a creatively engineered cap that sits very deep. Adding only .2” to the uncapped pen when it’s installed. The cap does post but it’s shallow and stretches the pen to almost 7” which is a bit cumbersome for my grip. The overall design of the pen makes it very comfortable for all but the largest of hands using it unposted.

The section is slightly concave allowing your fingers to rest comfortably without a lot of looking or feeling around if you carry a conventional grip. Cap threads are short and out of the way. The cap is round and sits as flush as could be expected with an eight sided barrel. The flush fit requires a small step down for the cap threads area on the barrel leading into the section. This may be designed for aesthetics purposes but it helps the threads disappear from your grip and feel when writing with the Elite

sectionConstruction and Quality

This is not an entry level pen and it shows. Level of finish and fitment are superb. I can’t see any micro scratches in the surface. The threads are well cut and the cap threads start immediately. Likewise for the section threads to separate the section from the barrel. Clip is tight, printing is consistent and aligned. Nothing to poke at here.

Cap

The cap is chrome plated with a beautiful mirror finish. Threads are an excellent match to their mate on the body of the pen. Printing is an attractive black script with Kaweco Elite Germany printed near the top. The cap is topped with a black acrylic top hat and the Kaweco signature crown button on the very top.

cap2Clip

The clip is well designed and just the right amount of curve for my taste to show a pleasing compliment to the aesthetics of the pen without taking away any functionality of the clip. Tension is good as are the entrance and exit ramps so attaching the Elite to clothing or folders just works.

capFilling System

The Elite uses international ink cartridges of which my test drive was performed with Kaweco’s excellent ink in this format. A converter is available at extra cost which I think should be included at this price range but that’s a minor nit pick.

Converter

At $3.00 from Jet Pens the standard Kaweco converter is a worthy add that is compatible with the Elite. It does not come included.

Nib

Kaweco calls the Elite’s nib their 250. It’s almost identical in size to a universal size #6. It’s well-proportioned for a bigger size pen. Tines were in good alignment right out of the box and Kaweco does a good job with tasteful ornamentation on the nib without it being gaudy or tacky.

nibWriting

The Elite is a smooth writer without being oil on glass slippery. You feel the paper and it’s a pleasant experience. I would consider the Elite a dry writer which I didn’t think I liked until I spent a little time with this one. I remain a wet nib kind of guy but I consciously reached for the Elite several times when I had to write out a quick note that I needed to dry quickly without worrying about a puddle of ink. Usually that would have been the duty of a gel or even a ghastly ballpoint but the Elite stepped right up to the task. The argument can be made that drier writers don’t let the shading of ink really stand out. For some, me included, that’s ok as I never grasp the allure of shading ink and the Elite lets the full color of the ink stand out wonderfully.

Cost and Value

At $150 the Elite would not be considered entry level. This is an odd price point where not a lot of popular pens reside. Maybe the Pilot Vanishing Point is the exception. The aesthetics and quality of the workmanship of the pen is there. I think Kaweco could throw in a converter at this level of coin but for the money you get a German quality pen that has some wow with is chrome cap and piano black lacquer finished body. A great writer with a great company standing behind it.

Conclusion

I like Kaweco’s traditional size pens. This is the second one I’ve spent time with and I was not disappointed. If I were shopping in the $150 range I would not hesitate to put the Elite in my top tier of final choices.

Other Reviews:

Do you have a favorite pen in this price range?

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