Review by Jessica Coles
Imagine this: Exhausted from 8 hours of travel and flight delays, plus the pleasure of being jammed in a big metal tube with strangers and offered snacks that consist of exactly three pretzels. Then my wonderful and beautiful friend, Kimberly (aka allthehobbies. NOT Kim) drives up and helps me to load my suitcase (which was ounces shy of the weight limit) into her vehicle. I gratefully melt into the front seat. Kimberly is picking up another passenger, Mike Allen of Woodshed Pens and asks me to check if his flight has arrived yet. She has the number written on a piece of paper with a pen sitting nearby. It was a TWSBI Go. What an ugly pen! I scribble down a few notes about the flight with the beautiful stub nib and realize, I like this ugly pen!
Hence my first introduction to the TWSBI Go pen ($18.99 at most pen retailers).
Of course, I needed to get one for myself. By the time I was able to get away to Sunny’s table (Straits Pen), there were only extra fine nibs left. I grabbed one to add to my other purchases thinking it would be an interesting experiment.
The TWBI Go was the first pen I inked up when I returned home after the San Francisco show. The box came inside of a cardboard sleeve, as most TWSBI pens do. The box itself I found surprisingly sturdy for a pen at this price point — small but well made.
On to the filling. The instructions absolutely show you all of the steps. Rather IKEA-esque I think.
My children thought it looked like an Epi-Pen.
Open the back end of the pen to expose the spring contraption. Place the nib into the ink bottle. Press the end of the filling mechanism. Watch the ink get sucked up into the pen. Wipe off the nib, ready to write.
I loved that you could see all of the internal workings of the pen.
As I wrote, the pen felt rather dry. However, this is an extra fine nib, and I usually find EF nibs in the TWSBI line dry. But the nib itself was smooth with only a bit of tooth to the writing experience.
I did find myself wishing I had been able to purchase a wider nib when I saw the color of the ink. I inked the Go with the Pen Show ink from the San Francisco show — Robert Oster Pacific Ocean Teal.
This ink has some shading (as you can see from this writing sample with a Franklin Christoph Medium Cursive Italic nib, 14kt) and even a slight reddish sheen when it pools. The color is a wonderfully bright teal/turquoise. I would even say the color is peppy.
The color is close to Montegrappe Turquoise and not that far off from Robert Oster Fire and Ice.
This ink is another amazing win for Robert Oster although I do think it tends towards turquoise more than teal. The brightness of the color sets it apart from other inks that I own in this hue.
I’m loving the pen. It’s cute and ugly, solidly built, and inspires many comments from non-pen users. I’m planning to add a second Go with a 1.1 stub nib. These are great for testing with a sample of ink and I believe they will be incredibly user-friendly for first-time fountain pen users. There is no need to remove and replace a cartridge or wonder how to fill it. All of the fun of using bottled ink is available to the beginner without the frustration. For those who have been using fountain pens for years will also enjoy the pen since it’s a great one to throw in a pocket or purse or in your car when playing taxi driver to an entire pen show! (Thanks again, Kimberly. You are amazing.)
- Paper: Seven Seas Writer Journal ($26.00) and Rhodia A4 Notepad ($16.95)
- Pens: TWSBI Go Sapphire, EF nib ($18.99), Ranga Bamboo pen ($100), Franklin Christoph Medium cursive italic nib, 14kt ($120)
- Swatches: Col-o-Ring Ink Testing Book ($10)
- Ink: Robert Oster Pacific Ocean Teal (50mL for $20)
DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were purchased by me. Please see the About page for more details.