Kaweco Traveler Case Review

Besides great pens Kaweco continues to venture out with accessories and products for the writer in all of us. Most of us don’t carry just a single pen so we end up with some type of pen case. The Kaweco Traveler Case I recently tried out proved to be a quality participant.front-closed

  • Weight 5.5 oz.
  • Depth: 1.5”
  • Length: 4.5”
  • Width: 6.25”
  • Price: $115

CONSTRUCTION

The leather construction is typical Kaweco high quality and surrounds a well-executed design case. The finish and feel is rich and should hold up well. The light color will probably show some daily travel patina but your pens will stay healthy inside. The zippered closure on three sides allows the case to open completely flat

back-closed

branding

flapWHAT’S INSIDE

Inside there are 6 elastic loops to hold a good collection of daily carries securely. The loops are close together and to fit 6 pens in a compact footprint your pens are snug. That’s good but if you are particular about your pens rubbing and you carry clipped or larger diameter pens you might consider taking a little bit of time in positioning each pen. Not a big deal or a negative of the case just a design consideration. A leather flap adds further protection in the event you want to stuff the case with other supplies.

full-openThe mesh pocket on the inside front cover is perfect to add that one other pen you need, ink cartridges or other small items that might help you prevent carrying another case or reducing the load in your pockets.

mesh-pocketIN USE

6 Kaweco Sports look great in this case and Kaweco was smart, they kept a small profile product that will carry other small to medium size pens in this case. The largest I see fitting is a Karas Kustoms Retrakt. That covers a broad selection of pen brands and model sizes to meet your daily carry needs.

6-kawecos-no-flap 6-kawecos-with-flap 6-other-pensCONCLUSION

Kaweco has put together a quality leather case that should stand up to daily wear very well. If your needs are carrying 6 pens or less, a compact design and a classy look and feel the Kaweco Traveler’s Case would fit you very well. Thanks Kaweco for sending this loaner over for me to try out.

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Two New Kaweco Colors

bothnewI have written many words on the joy of owning and using the Kaweco SPORT line of pens. Recently Kaweco came out with two new colors in their SPORT Fountain Pen series. First is a Red Classic series that Kaweco calls, well, just Red. I like the hue, it’s a bold fire engine red with maybe a touch of orange but it’s an unmistakable red. The red is a nice contrast to it’s gold colored stainless nib.


The second new color is in their Skyline series called Macchiato and looking at the pen I can see the resemblance to a favorite coffee blend. Maybe vanilla with a hint of brownish yellow. Attractive without being flashy. On the Macchiato they chose polished stainless steel finish.

red newmacciato newInside mechanicals and writing experience are same as I reviewed here on the aluminum bodied stonewash version. These two new colors are in the all plastic line. Both come with Kaweco’s very good medium stainless steel nib.

  • Stainless Steel Iridium Tip Medium Nib
  • Street Price: $27.00
  • 4.15” capped
  • 4” uncapped
  • 5.25” Posted
  • 10.6 grams with ink cartridge

If you’re a colors collector you’ll want to add these two attractive additions.

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Kaweco Classic Sport Ballpoint Guilloche Review

I ended up with two similar Kaweco pocket pens about the same time. A couple of weeks ago I reviewed the The Classic Sport Gel Roller in Black Chess Pattern so I won’t bore you by repeating much of what I’ve penned in the past about the Kaweco Sport line and I will spare you the duplication on my commonly written philosophy on the pocket pen genre. Most all of it was summarized in my review of the Gel Roller.

Today I want to share with you about my time with the The Classic Sport Ball Pen in Black Guilloche  Overall5 Length: 4.15″
Weight: .4 oz
Uses D1 Size Refills

APPEARANCE

The Guilloche variant features a black octagonal barrel with a subtle guilloche engraved effect and gold colored metal decal on the push button. Manufactured from ABS or sometimes called macrolon plastic, the guilloche is small, light and attractive.

Overall3 Overall4 End Cap2 Tip3Black pens are hard for me to photograph well but in the pictures I hope you can appreciate the creative design Kaweco has added to this one.

ERGONOMICS

The Guilloche is a close cousin to an Ice Sport I have carried and abused for several years. So no get familiar time was needed for me.

Where the ballpoint excels over the gel roller in my mind is speed to deploy. The knock push button is one handed and just faster than two hands needed to remove a cap.

The downside is there is no cap to post. The cap of the gel writer makes it a more comfortable pen to write with, you just can’t pull that feat off with the ballpoint design. Where the ballpoint shines is convenience. Receipts or signatures are a quick and efficient execution, unpocket, click, sign, click, repocket, done.

REFILL

Apart1The D1 refill scared me at first as there is an obvious trade off with size and ink capacity but there is a bigger variety of D1 refills than I expected. With these manufacturers producing the D1 size I’m sure you can find something you like.

    • Retro 51
    • Monteverde
    • Uniball Jetstream
    • Zebra
    • Pilot
    • Staedtler
    • Kaweco
    • Platinum
    • Ohto
    • Pentel
    • Tombow

I don’t worry about proprietary refills with the Kaweco. The Soul 1.0 that ships with the pen is worthy performer or if you prefer another here is a review I did on a wide variety of these D1 refills. I found a favorite.

CONCLUSION

The two newest Kaweco Sports to my collection are a really hard toss up on which to carry. I really like the quick deploy of the knock push button on the ballpoint but the writing comfort (posted) and Parker refill of the gel writer makes for a nicer writing experience. Either one you pick, or both, I think you will enjoy the Kaweco quality and know it’s going to work for you every time you call it to action.

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Kaweco Sport Chess Gel Roller Review

Like most everyday carry items the best one is always the one you have with you. I have reviewed, carried and maintain a collection of about 30 pens that I would consider pocket size. 5 of these 30 are in the Kaweco Sport line.

Overall CappedKaweco Classic Sport Chess Gel Roller Black

The Classic Sport line is based on a design dating back to 1935. The fountain pen is probably the most popular model followed by the click ballpoint and the parker size refill gel roller I’m reviewing today. Made from ABS macrolon plastic, this pen comes in comfortably as a pocket size variant pen but when posted it’s a comfortable handling length for anything but the longest of writing sessions.

  • Length capped: 4 1/8”
  • Length uncapped: 3 15/16” with refill
  • Length posted: 5 ¼”
  • Weight with refill: 11.4 grams

APPEARANCE

Where the Ice Sport and other finishes in the Sport line would be considered a fun look, I would suggest the black CHESS version gives a slightly more upscale look to the pen. On 4 sides of the signature 8 sided cap there is a nice checkered pattern that you can see and feel in the material. I suspect it’s mainly for looks and it succeeds very well.

Overall UncappedThe cap is topped with the traditional gold cap of the Kaweco brand and sets off the rest of the pen quite nicely. At the tail of the body is a very small ridged tail piece. Nice aesthetic touch but I’m not sure if there is a functional purpose for it. The only thing I could think of is maybe to help with retention of the posted cap.

CapCONSTRUCTION

Fit and finish on the pen is top notch, as we have come to expect from Kaweco. They execute well on what can be a challenge of mass producing a nice looking and attractive designed pen for under $30.

The engineered size of the Gel Writer impressed me. The body of the pen, sans refill, is actually shorter than a parker refill. You can’t get more compact than that and still use your favorite refill!

Refill2ERGONOMICS

The Sport Gel Roller has a screw on cap that requires a small ¾ of a turn to uncap and recaps in 1 turn. The threads on the body of the pen look deceiving and I was expecting a longer twist on and twist off so there is some cool thread magic going on in the cap that I would never be able to explain. It works. The difference in rotations probably has to do with the positioning that my test just happened to choose in relation to engaging a lead thread to start the engagement. With some experimenting I could get it to full close in ¾ of a turn but in practical use a full turn is very acceptable in regards to deployment and return to pocket speed.

The section is a slight concave which helps with the finger resting and unposted the pen writes fine but for my larger hands anything more than my signature on a receipt I’ll be posting the cap. With the cap posted I find the overall length of 5 ¼” very easy to handle and comfortable for most writing tasks. The cap is a push on posting style with good retention and no wiggles.

Section

Overall Length Posted

Here it is posted next to my Karas Kustoms EDK, another standard in the EDC pen genre.Compared to Karas Kustoms EDKREFILL

Best news of the whole pen: it accepts parker style refills. What that means to the owner is probably the widest selection of refills available for any style pen. The Kaweco refill that is included with the pen is very good. I will probably leave it in there though my replacement preferences lean towards the Schmidt line. Nobody has done a better refill guide for the parker style than Ana over at The Well Appointed Desk. Check out The epic refill reference guide or there is probably a good chance if you’re reading this you already have a drawer full of old refills collected in your hunt for the perfect one for you.

CONCLUSION

The Sport Gel Writer is not the fanciest, most exotic, most expensive or technologically advanced pocket pen I own but it has quickly become an MVP for pocket wear when I’m loading up each morning for the dangers and perils of suburbia. With the parker refill, the plastic construction that is safe to other, more expensive, toys in my pocket and at $30 I don’t worry too much about it. It deploys easily, writes every time and disappears back into my pocket with ease. One can’t ask for much more from a mini pocket pen.
I know I talk a lot about pocket pens so have you come up with anything new lately?

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Kaweco Zequenz A6 Notebook Review

I have a lot of pocket notebooks. I have reviewed many of them here and for the most part they have similar formats, a front and back cover, around 3” x 5” and about 20 sheets of paper. What I received the other day still probably qualifies as a pocket notebook but it is totally unique. I present to you my experience with the Kaweco Zequenz.

Front Wrapped

  • 80 Sheets of lined paper
  • 80 Sheets of blank paper (Yes 160 sheets total!)
  • White Paper
  • Grey printed ruling
  • 7.5 mm line spacing
  • 4 ¼” x 5 ¾” overall (A6)
  • 4” x 5 ½” sheet size
  • 7/8” thick

thickness  When picking a notebook many users engage in the debate, on which is best, lined or blank paper? I’m sure Dot Grid falls in there as well. Some notebooks have addressed the taste of both by throwing in a few blank pages in the back of a lined notebook. Now Kaweco comes along and takes it to the next level with the Zequenz. Even the name is great marketing with the Z’s reflecting the design of the covers as they work together.

The covers are a rich leather like feel with a slight pebble grain texture and contrasting stitching. The Kaweco logo and the Zequenz branding is tastefully implemented at the bottom of each cover. Ruled paper fans are greeted with a nice light brown cover that protects 80 pages of lined paper and if you don’t need the structure of lines just flip the notebook over to greet a darker chocolate brown cover and you have 80 blank pages.

opener

opener backlogoThe Z is reflected in the ingenious way Kaweco has joined the back covers of what conventionally would be two notebooks. When I first took the Zequenz out of the packaging it was really a HOW DID THEY DO THAT ? moment. Brilliant.

Z LookSizePAPER

Grading of a notebook is, and should be, heavily weighted to the quality of the paper. A great design with lousy paper is bad. On the other hand many can overlook a few design quirks in exchange for great paper.

The paper in the Zequenz is wonderful. Kaweco, as a pen company, knows good paper and they have executed it flawlessly. The ruling is a comfortable 7.5mm, the grey rule lines are helpful without getting in the way and the paper is smooth and accepted my wet broad nib Bexley with no feathering or bleed through. Ghosting was minimal and not distracting at all for two sided use. Drying time was seconds which pleasantly surprised me with how smooth the paper felt under nib.

lined paper blank paperWriting SampleCONCLUSION

Kaweco has a great niche product. I’m not totally sure what I will fill it up with but for those that enjoy blank pages and lined paper you can’t go wrong with the quality of the paper and construction of this unique entry to a crowded market.

A 160 sheet notebook is a bit thicker than your normal Fields Notes so pants pocket carry could be strained. I’m a big guy and relaxed fit jeans kind of person so the Zequenz fits fine. Cargo pants are equally good holders. After a couple of weeks with the notebook my preferred carry has become in my hand with my cell phone under the included elastic band. Speaking of which the tasteful elastic band comes with a nice pen loop to keep your writing stick close at hand.

pen holder

I love the concept as a quick note taker rather than a long journaler but at 160 pages you will be glad the covers are thick and durable. This friend will be with you awhile.

Thanks Kaweco!

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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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