Kaweco AC-Sport fountain pen review14 July 2014
The Kaweco Classic Sport was the first pen I reviewed on Pens! Paper! Pencil! I love that pen. Until recently I kept it in my pocket and used it every single day. It got scuffed up but I didn’t care, although I did buy a lovely leather sleeve for it. It now sits stored away at home, sad and lonely. What happened? The Kaweco AC-Sport happened.
In 2003 Steve Jobs said,
Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer – that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
The Kaweco Sport is fantastically well designed. It does look and feel good but it also works very very well.
The ideal pocket pen needs to be:
- small in the pocket; and
- comfortable in the hand.
This isn’t easy to pull off but the Sport does it with its iconic oversized cap. It is not the only pen to do this, several Japanese pen makers do the same, but it does it better than any I’ve tried. The cap unscrews (just a few turns) from the section and then pushes on to the barrel to post securely. In doing so, it changes a small and eminently pocketable pen into an almost full-sized completely useable fountain pen.
The nib is a standard Kaweco steel nib and it suits this pen well. The one on this pen was a medium, which was quite a broad medium that wrote wetly and reliably. It’s easy enough to swap another Kaweco nib should you be lucky enough to have more than one.
You can use standard short international cartridges. You can also use a rather useless specially made converter. I refill my cartridges with Pilot Iroshizuku Kiri-Same.
There’s nothing I’ve written about so far that doesn’t apply to the Classic Sport as much as it does to the AC-Sport. The AC-Sport costs more than five times as much as the Classic Sport. Is it five times better?
Of course it isn’t. Or at least, not in any quantifiable way. But, much as I do love finding pens that are good value, we wouldn’t be so deep into this pen thing if we were only after value for money or things we could measure. The thing is, the AC-Sport is made of aluminium, which feels so much better than plastic, and it is precisely engineered which makes it ooze quality. Every time I pick it up to use (which is often), I appreciate just how well it’s been made and that brings me joy. It also has carbon inlays (that are without doubt more than a little unnecessary) and the carbon shimmers when you turn the pen, and accentuates the red coated aluminium, and makes the AC-Sport something very special.
Kaweco loaned me this pen so I could review it. I must admit: I probably wouldn’t have considered it if they hadn’t. The pictures I’d seen of the AC-Sport just didn’t appeal. (I remember Brad calling it butt ugly and I was inclined to agree.) It looks a lot better in real life, though, and I hope the photos I’ve taken for this review get something of that across. What no photo can ever convey, however, is how a pen feels when you pick it up and use it. I really do think this is something special. It had to be, to consign the Classic Sport to storage.