Finally! The Kaweco Perko fountain pens are available. These entry level plastic-bodied fountain pens look to be direct competitors to other student pens with a molded grip section, poppy colors and a faceted barrel. The price point is €14,95/$17.65 (€12,36/$14.59 Outside EU) There are four color options available: the “Bad Taste” which is the hot pink and black, the “Cotton Candy” which is a soft pink with cool grey cap, “Indian Summer” which is mustard seed yellow-green with a black cap and the “Old Chambray” which is a white body with a blue-grey cap.
The Perkeos are a matte finish plastic with faceted bodies and the classic hex barrel cap. The caps are snap caps with a tight fit. The caps can be posted. Because these are lightweight plastic pens, they do not feel substantial but they also don’t feel intimidating. They walk that fine line — playful without feeling too juvenile.
The pens with black details have black nibs and the lighter colors have steel nibs. I got two pens with fine nibs and two with medium nibs; one chrome, one black of each nib size.
While the nibs aren’t exactly the same as the nibs on the Sport models in terms of design, they seem to write pretty consistently to them. Actually, I find the medium nib on the Perkeos to be better than the Sport mediums which I’ve always had issues with.
I really like the black nibs! They look slick!
The finials on the end coordinate with the nibs and are the classic Kaweco logos.
The other awesome upside to the Perkeo is that they take full-sized converters and extra long cartridges! Any standard European cartridge or converter is fair game. I used a Waterman cartridge, a Pelikan Edelstein cartridge, and two random converters I had laying around. The Perkeos ship with one Kaweco blue cartridge so you will need to order additional cartridges or converters if you don’t have your own personal cartridge roulette wheel like I do.
Because the Perkeos are so reasonably priced, I couldn’t resist having all four so that I could play Perkeo mix-up. I swapped caps and bodies to make new color combinations. I wanted an all-black with the citrus-y green grip and the hot pink and green above all other things (so Bad Taste and Indian Summer are MUST-HAVES for the swap). I also like the look of the white body with the grey cap. I’ve swapped things around about four times already! But a mod black-and-white would be cool too.
In writing tests, I noticed just a slight difference on the Tomoe River paper between the medium and the fine nibs. The Papier Plume ink was a bit wetter and spread a bit more than the other three inks I used so that was the only place I really noticed the nib difference. With a drier ink, the medium nibs in the Perkeos were quite pleasant. I’m not normally a medium nib fan, but these I like a lot. I’ve used these pens for about a week on other paper surfaces and enjoyed them. They are pretty stiff nibs but smooth.
On the downside, the colors may not be for everyone. Right now, the only nib options are fine or medium and like I said earlier, they do not come with a converter. There is no packaging. The pens came wrapped in a cellophane sleeve each. I suspect these were designed to be sold on store countertops like lollipops.
But for about $15 each, Perkeos are some of the least expensive full-sized fountain pens available from a major European manufacturer. Yes, the Pilot Metropolitan is still a (Japanese) metal alternative at $14.50 but if I was looking to buy a pen for my niece, I’m more inclined to get her a Perkeo which is a bit lighter for her younger hand but still cute. I’m certainly not embarrassed to use them.
DISCLAIMER: Some items used in this review were sent to me free of charge by Fontoplumo. Please see the About page for more details.