TWSBI seems to find its way into my small always-inked group of fountain pens. First was my TWSBI Eco, which was one of my first good fountain pens. Now the TWSBI Diamond 580ALR Limited Edition Purple fountain pen has followed suit.
TWSBI is not an old brand by fountain pen terms, stemming from an older OEM in plastics, and is based in Taiwan. In the relatively short time that they have been manufacturing their own pens and pencils under the TWSBI brand they have established a good reputation for quality at good prices. The Diamond 580ALR, like most of TWSBI’s fountain pens, utilizes a piston mechanism. The piston is integrated into the pen body for a large ink capacity, and tools are provided in the box to disassemble the pen for maintenance. I have not had to do this yet but have only had the pen for several months. Eventually I will have to add new silicone grease to the piston seal, which I have no problem doing.
The pen is made of a combination of plastic and aluminum. The pen body is faceted plastic, providing a mesmerizing view of the ink sloshing around inside. The grip and the components for the piston mechanism are made of aluminum—thus the AL portion of the pen model. The grip is textured with fine grooves which help the metal grip section feel less slippery and don’t protrude so much as to be uncomfortable. The R in ALR designates this model as featuring these grooves.
The cap can be posted onto the back of the pen, but adds too much back-weight in my hand due to the metal components of the cap. I rarely post my pens anyway, so it isn’t an issue for me. The cap has an insert that seals the nib. I haven’t had any issues with the nib drying out after being left unused for extended periods—something I have also observed being true of my TWSBI Eco.
The nib is a TWSBI-branded JoWo medium nib. It writes very well as expected of JoWo nibs. The nib moves smoothly on a page with no scratchiness, although not quite as smooth as some of my other (more expensive) pens. I haven’t had problems with hard starts or ink skipping.
The TWSBI Diamond 580ALR has become one of my go-to pens for daily carry in my pocket. I would be sad if something happened to it, but I feel less worried about this pen leaking or getting too scratched compared to my more delicate gold nib pens. It writes every time I uncap it and does the job of a daily carry pen very well.