Kaweco Brass Sport - Raw Brass (F)
Length Capped: 107mm
Length Posted: 126mm
Length Unposted: 100mm
Section at Thinnest Point: 7mm
Section at Widest Point: 9mm
Weight with Cartridge: 43.5g
Fast Writing: Feed does struggle a bit to keep up, though I think this may be due to the nib issue.
Line Variation: Decent, but will railroad quickly. Not practical.
Upside down Writing: Scratchy, but doable
Wetness: Fairly Dry
Pros: Unique, hefty (could be con as well, depending on the person), patina, customizability
Cons: Hefty (depending on the person), nib issues (see below), converter options
Parts of the Pen:
Like all Kaweco Sport models, the pen features a fairly long cap with an octagonal facets. The body is cylindrical with a step down at the end leading to an end cap with a rounded top and a dimple in the middle. The section is tapered and flared, and has a small grouping of threads at the top where the cap screws on. Unlike other Sport models, this one has a plastic lining in the cap, which I believe is meant to prevent seizing of the brass parts to one another. The raw aluminum one may have this as well - I've not seen that one in person. One good thing about the plastic lining is you don't get the scratchy sound of metal on metal when you screw the cap on. Finally, the finial is very slightly conical and features the 3-syllable Kaweco logo.
As soon as I saw the Kaweco Brass Sport, I knew I had to have one. Knowing what kind of patina could develop on raw brass made the pen appeal to me. Up to this point, I'd only used the Skyline Sport, and I really fell in love with that pen, so I couldn't wait to get ahold of some more Kawecos.
The first thing that will strike you about this pen is obviously its incredible heft; especially if you're accustomed to using a regular Sport or Skyline. The Brass is around 33g heavier than a regular Sport, so that's something to consider if you don't like heavier pens. Me, I really enjoyed the extra weight. I've done some fairly long writing sessions with this pen and didn't experience any fatigue. The extra weight actually assisted in getting the pen to write with what I unfortunately found to be a pretty poor nib out of the box. More on that in a moment...
With my Skyline, I didn't have too many issues with the nib - I did make it a little wetter, just for personal preference, but other than that it was decently smooth. The Fine nib that came with my Brass Sport was misaligned and had a pretty bad case of "baby's bottom" which hampered the ink flow and gave a ton of hard starts. Luckily I've gotten accustomed to smoothing my own nibs, so once I hit it with some micromesh and widened the tines just a bit, it wrote like a dream. It was unfortunate to get a poor nib on such an awesome pen, though I was glad to have been able to fix it. I know some others haven't been so lucky, and have written the brand off completely. I encourage you to give it another try and even practice some smoothing on cheaper nibs (try eBay) so that you can remedy these issues yourself should they happen again. Granted, I certainly don't think that nib issues should happen on any pen, let alone one of this price. Sadly the pen world is never perfect.
Now onto the good stuff - the patina that has developed on this pen in just a few days is awesome. I really can't wait to see how this thing looks in a few months. Out of the box, the pen is a very bright shiny raw brass with no flaws to speak of. As soon as you touch your fingers to it, it'll start to develop some darkening, or patina. For those that don't know what that is, it is a fine layer or "tarnish" that forms on various metals such as brass, copper, bronze, etc. due to oxidation or other chemical processes. A tarnish or patina can protect metal from corrosion or weathering. You'll notice that pennies that are very old have actually darkened over time - that is the same as what's happening to this brass pen.
As is always a topic of conversation with the Kaweco Sports, you don't have a ton of options in the way of converters. I'm currently refilling empty cartridges until the Kaweco Squeeze Converter comes back in stock at JetPens. The downside to refilling cartridges is that they will eventually wear out over time and have to be replaced, making it a continual investment, albeit a small one. A lot of folks have had a bad time filling the squeeze converter and end up using an ink syringe to fill it. I'm fine with that, as it at least eliminates the need to keep buying cartridges. Another option I've heard of is the Templar Mini Converter - I'm eager to try that one out as well, as Stephen Brown says in one of his reviews that it holds a tiny bit more ink than the squeeze converter. Also please note this pen should not be eyedropper converted as it is metal, which does not play nice with a lot of fountain pen inks.
Not unlike the Al Sport Raw Aluminum, the Brass Sport will change based on the way you use it, giving it a look and feel that is unique to you. I really love that about this pen; it's design is a reflection of its user. It's a pen that I won't be afraid to throw in a pants pocket with keys, or toss into the bottom of a bag full of loose articles. Each ding and dent will be part of its character. One downside that some may not like, is it does make your hands smell like metal. I'm hoping that will fade over time.
If you can't tell I'm smitten with this pen. If you're interested in one for yourself, they're still slowly making their way to the US - Goulet has it listed but doesn't have it up for sale just yet. I believe it's currently listed on CultPens for my friends in the UK. Online retail is $100 - it might be steep for some folks since it comes standard with a steel nib, but I believe the uniqueness makes it worth it.
Thanks for reading!
(Kaweco has provided this product at no charge to The Desk for the purpose of review - I have since chosen to purchase the pen from them. My opinions are honest and without bias - visit the About Me page for more details).