Chubby Checker has been crooning in my brain since the Pelikan Hub. Why? Because Endless Pens was generous enough to send our hub some “new old stock” of Pelikan Twist fountain pens from the 1980s. Since I was lucky enough to get one of them, I figured why not order the newer Pelikan Twist ($20) and do a little side by side comparison? Here goes nothin’!
The “old school” Twist and the “new Coke” Twist are quite different in aesthetics! The older Twist is brightly colored (it came in a variety of hues), whereas the new Twists tend to have slightly more muted colorways. But the really big difference is the pen body!
Whereas the older version is a round barrel and cap with a slightly tapered section, the new Twist is all angles. I have to say that on aesthetics, the new Twist wins for me. Despite its slightly less vibrant colors, those angles are so appealing! It also has a slightly reduced tapered section.
Both models are plastic barreled. In the case of the older Twist the pen comes in weighing a cool 10g; the newer pen weighs 21g coming in closer to a Lamy Safari or TWSBI Eco. Both pens feature snap caps that are postable. The older version has a clip; the newer version has an angled body to keep it from rolling away so they haven’t added a clip. They’re relatively close in length, with the newer TWSBI running about 1/4″ longer.
There is some difference in the nibs. Both are steel and marked with a single bird. The nib on the older version is slightly smaller than the newer one. The older nib is unmarked, whereas the newer nib is a medium (no options on it as far as I can tell).
Both take international cartridges. The older pen came with a long one, and the newer one came with two short ones.
So let’s get down to the details. Which one do I like better? Going into this, I was convinced that I was going to be a fan of the new Twist. As I said before the aesthetics made it much more appealing to me. It’s fun, it’s cool, it’s so different (reminds me a bit of the fun shapes of the BENU pens).
But the writing experience was definitely the deciding vote for me, and I just didn’t care for the newer Twist. In the older Twist I had assumed that the nib was a medium, but it was actually a crisp writer and wrote more like a western fine nib. Pelikan nibs are somewhat known for being wet writers, and this wasn’t at all. The smaller girth of the pen was super easy to hold in my hand with zero fatigue.
The newer Twist was simply harder for me. While I don’t hate the triangular grip as much as I hate the Lamy Safari’s angled grip, it just wasn’t comfortable in my hand. I think the pen might just be too big for me (do remember that I have super special tiny hands so it might be a me thing.) The thing I disliked the most was the nib. While it wrote softly with no friction, it was kind of all over the place. It felt much more like writing with a Pelikan medium firehose.
This was a superfun comparison, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be using that old Twist a lot!