Here we have a limited edition pocket pen made in a very special and hard-wearing material: bronze. Bronze shares with brass and copper the very welcome property of being anti-microbial at a time when such might seem quite a boon in an age of plague.
Kaweco is a German pen manufacturer that commenced production in 1883 in the city of Heidelberg in the state of Baden-Württemberg where it remained until closure in 1980 before the brand was revived by pen enthusiast Michael Gutberlet in 1994 in the city of Nuremburg in the state of Bavaria. The revived and new enterprise is set in a very modern building in the revived and vibrant Nuremberg city region.
The move from Heidelberg to Nuremburg has not seen any diminution in design and build quality. In the 1930s Kaweco pens came with a 10 or a lifetime warranty which underscored the company’s belief in the reliability of its manufactory. This Kaweco Bronze Sport model will probably last as long and as well as the Kaweco Dia that it is compared, contrasted with below. (See pictures and dimension details below.)
The Pen Itself
The Kaweco Bronze Sport is a limited edition fountain pen. (It is also available in rollerball, mechanical pencil and ballpoint versions.) This is new edition in bronze is a lovely addition to the long-standing model of the Kaweco Sport, which goes back to a 1911 design for use by sportsmen. The design of a hefty hexagonal cap holding a cylindrical body has been a constant over a century and remains perennially popular. Previous limited or special edition versions of the Kaweco Sport have included brass and steel versions.
Typically the pen comes in a cardboard-sleeved beautiful and ornate art deco tin with the legend: License to Write and the familiar fountain pen finial tricuspid logo KA/WE/CO gracing the lower right corner. Inside the tin there is a mini leaflet in German and English of the firm’s history and a holographic logo sticker to use as you wish. The tin itself is made in China but everything in the tin is made in Germany.
PICTURE of TIN
The substantial hexagonal cap (70mm long and 18.5g) is as heavy as some pens and would suit a full sized pen. The cap’s finial features the classic tricuspid logo. However, it comes off in less than one full turn to reveal a cylindrical body with a small (15mm) section and 3.5mm of threads that did not feel sharp or noticeable to my grip.
PICTURE of CAP FINIAL
The shape and design of the body echo the vintage Kaweco Dia but the Bronze Sport ends in a concave rather than a convex. Unscrewing the body from the nib section revealed a mini cartridge filled with a purplish ink. (Standard longer international cartridges will not fit.)
As a compact pocket pen the ink filling options are on the small side. You can fuel your Kaweco Bronze Sport via mini international cartridges or using Kaweco’s unique mini converters, one is a plunger type mechanism and other a simple plastic squeeze bulb version. All three options are of very limited capacity, about 0.5ml. Both of the converter options are a little tricky to fill. The pen does not come with a converter; you have to order one with the pen. Similarly, if you require a pocket clip such as the lovely vintage looking bronze one to match the pen then this also needs to be bought separately, additionally.
PICTURE of CARTRIDGE & CONVERTER OPTIONS
Bronze is an almost perfect material for a portable pocket fountain pen instruments; it is hard-wearing and also sports anti-bacterial properties. As with brass and copper in time surface oxidisation will render a beautiful and unique patina to your pen. (See below the picture of Gravitas, Namisu and Ystudio pens of these ‘aged’ pens.)
Bronze is an historic material that has been used by human beings for almost 6 millennia. Older and ancient bronze was composed of a very wide range of metals, including in some instances high proportions of silver (over 20%). Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronze
Modern bronze alloy typically consists of 88% copper, mixed with about 12–12.5% tin but also often with other metals (chiefly: aluminium, manganese, nickel, or zinc) and sometimes non-metals, such as phosphorus to convey specialist qualities for use in marine environments (for example, for making ship propellers). Pen makers such as Gravitas, Namisu and Ystudio have all produced ‘normal-size’ variety of bronze and copper fountain pens. These are heavy beasts. The Gravitas is just short of 100g, the Namisu Naos: 80.6g, and the slimmer (12mm) copper Ystudio Classic (styed as a portable fountain pen): 48.25g.
PICTURE of GRAVITAS, NAMISU & YSTUDIO
How Does it Feel, How Does it Write?
Sitting snug and very substantial ‘between finger and thumb’, capped or uncapped, it is a pleasure to hold and to use. The former weighs in at just under 30g and capped the heft is almost 50g.This is some two times the heft of the fountain pen yardstick of the capped Lamy Al-star’s 24g. The texture of the pen in the hand is silky smooth; it is tactile joy.
In its own right this is a great little writer. Writing with it uncapped worked fine for me, but I have a small hand and most folk might prefer to write with the cap posted.
The pen came with a lush looking bronze-coloured fine steel nib with EF, M, B and BB size nibs being available. The nib units are screw in and come out clean and easy. (I have a Bock 076 No.5 nib unit and whilst this wider shouldered version of the No.5 screwed in nicely it appeared to catch in the cap innards so I did not push my luck.)
|Pen||Length (mm)||Diameter (mm)||Uncapped Length (mm)||Weight (g)|
|Kaweco Bronze Sport||107||13||101||48.2|
|Kaweco Dia (1930s vintage)||115||10.5||108||11.4|
As noted above the Kaweco Bronze Sport came with an almost full mini-cartridge of Kaweco Purple and I really enjoyed writing with it. It leaves a lovely line on the page and looks and feels very comfortable in the hand. Posting the cap made the pen feel much more heavy and slightly unbalanced in the hand. I think that my preference would be to use this bronze edition unposted. I have a Kaweco Brass Sport which is a mere few grams less than the bronze version and always use it unposted.
PICTURES of WRITING SAMPLES
Kaweco is well-known and has a strong reputation for its compact pocket pens. This one is well-made. It looks and feels good in the hand. Over time as it gets roughed and scuffed in your pocket or bag it will gain a range of scratches and patina unique to
It is not a cheap pocket pen and going for bronze will typically set you back between: £130 to £160, depending on which retailer that you go for. Some of these retailers offer a discount to Facebook group: Fountain Pens UK members, or have periodic bank holiday offers so you could get it for about £117 or so.
If you want a mini converter or a bronze clip to go with the pen then those will be extra. A mini plunger converter would cost about £6 and the bronze pen clip about £6.
It is certainly a classy pen with a classic look and feel to it and its excellent production standards and values strike me as value for money. Intrinsically it works for me and I am definitely enthused and inspired to get one and this is despite already possessing five Kaweco Sport fountain pens.
Disclaimer: The pen was kindly provided on loan from Kaweco. This review was written for personal satisfaction, freely and without favour.