I'm a big fan of TWSBI fountain pens, infact my first more expensive (than a Lamy) fountain pen was a TWSBI Diamond Mini. I've had that for a good couple of years and it's still going strong as one of my go-to pocket sized pens. Late last year TWSBI teased some coloured versions of their full size Diamond 580AL pen. The longer counterpart to the Diamond Mini but with aluminium mechanisms and grip section. One of the colours they teased was blue, which I needed immediately, that's my colour! Little did I know they'd hold off releasing the blue model for another 10 months, they decided to stagger limited edition colours one at a time through the year and they seemed to have gone down well. The orange and purple models looked great but I was holding off for the blue. I actually had a gift card for Goulet Pens from last christmas that I was holding on to for the release of this TWSBI and I'm glad I did.
All in all the TWSBI diamond models are demonstrator pens with a faceted body, which is where the diamond name comes from I guess, but it makes for a stunning and well thought out design. It feels great in hand but also stops the pen from rolling away whenever you set it down, pretty and convenient! The built in piston fill ink resevoir is one of my favourite features, it holds a surprising amount of ink and looks fantastic. When you catch it in the right light whatever ink you have it filled with shines through the clear resin body.
The anodized aluminium sections on the 580AL makes this stand out just that little bit more. The piston mechanism itself is in the blue aluminium as is the grip section and aestheticly I love the pop of colour. It's not as bright and vibrant as some pictures show it to be, but a nice metallic blue regardless. The grip section adds to the writing experience as much as it does to the look. I had no problem with the plastic grip section on my mini but now writing with the 580AL I much prefer having the aluminium. It has a slight taper to it and a silver metal band that's ever so slightly wider just before the nib which all comes together to be extremely comfortable when writing. The added weight of the aluminium parts also make for comfortable writing, it feels great in hand. Although I find it to be slightly top heavy and unbalanced when posted.
The cap is clear, like the body, but has a slightly tinted insert around the nib. I would have prefered it without to have better view of the nib when capped but it's not an issue. It screws onto the pen body and has a rubber ring in the cap to keep the nib from drying out. There's TWBI branding around the metal ring at the base of the cap and their logo at the very top. It has the same great pocket clip as the mini just on a bigger scale, flexible but not in a way that feels fragile.
Back to the filling mechanism. One of the things I enjoy about TWSBI pens is their ability to be completely disasemble. It makes the cleaning process so much easier being able to get full access to each part. Although it's not recommended for people without much knowledge of fountain pens to be taking these pens apart, it's not too much of a complicated process and there's plenty of YouTube tutorials to help you out.
Now on to the most important part, how it writes. I was always impressed with the EF nib on my mini, I opted for the M this time around and I don't regret it. For the price it's an incredibly smooth and reliable steel nib. The ink flow is great which works well with the slight flex the nib has, you can get a nice line variation when changing the pressure you write with.
I've only had this pen for a few weeks but it's quickly become a favourite. With an RRP of $60 (approx. £40) I would say it's perfect for anyone wanting to move on from a cheap beginners pen or for any collector who needs a reliable pen for everyday use. Although the blue model and other colours are limited edition, and they tend to go fast, you can still experience the 580AL in a plain silver model. I picked mine up from Goulet Pens.
Thanks for reading!