Kaweco is the Swatch of fountain pens.
This week, I’m breaking away from budget pens to bring you a splurge option: the Kaweco AL Sport.
“Al” stands for aluminum–as you may remember from the periodic table–and that’s what it’s made of. Other than the material, everything abut it is identical to the plastic Kaweco Classic Sport. But the metal makes a difference in terms of writing experience, looks, and price. At $65, this is an entry into the world of so-called “fine” pens or pens that would make you say “who the fuck would pay that much for a pen?” depending on how you look at it.
The Writing Experience
This is a hefty pen. It’s not overweight. It’s not unbalanced. It’s just substantial. A light touch is all you need because the AL writes under its own weight. This saves your hand over long writing sessions.
So far this has been a smooth, reliable, no nonsense writer.
The medium nib feels a little bit too much like a magic marker sometimes, and the extra weight makes for a bold line. If had known that, I would have gone with an extra fine–which, in Kaweco’s case, isn’t all that fine.
Looks & Design
It’s gorgeous. Kaweco over-delivers in the looks department. Even their cheaper pens have an attention to detail way beyond their price point.
The Nibs are gorgeous. The parts you never look at, like the back of the feed, are stamped with the logo.
The AL improves upon one minor aesthetic issues with the Classic. there are no cheap-looking seams on the body where it unscrews from the section.
There are more affordable
aluminum metal-bodied pens out there–like the Pilot Metropolitan–but what sets this one apart is the matte finish. It feels amazing in the hand–closer to the Lammy 2000 than its plastic counterpart.
From what I’ve seen so far, this is a durable little writing tool. It reminds me of those tactical pens that are popular at the moment.
It comes in a delightful, and useful tin box.
Also Available in Denim…
I love what Kaweco has done with the Sport line. They’re fun, they’re collectable, they give the impression that the company wants to innovate and delight rather than just cash in on their legacy. Kaweco is like the Swatch of fountain pens.
The AL Sport Stonewashed is the color of faded blue jeans, with the paint strategically worn and chipped away. This makes me excited to see how my AL weathers from years of abuse. The AL Raw Aluminum looks how they may have pictured pens of the future back in 1925.
The Bottom line
This is my pick for the best EDC (everyday carry) pen. Period. It’s unbreakable, reliable, and the design lives up to the Kaweco Sport slogan: “small in your pocket, big in your hand.”
Whether the advantages over the Classic Sport are worth the significant price difference is a personal thing. But if you’re ready for a more expensive pen, I can’t think of a better option in the $50-100 range.