TWSBI stepping up the filling System! by Kathryn G.
The TWSBI GO! is the latest offering from the popular Taiwanese brand. It features a choice of #5 steel nib (EF, F M, B, 1.1mm stub), interchangeable with the nibs found on the TWSBI Eco, Vac Mini and Mini. The steel nib is made by the German manufacturer JoWo and branded with the TWSBI logo. The GO! is currently TWSBI’s cheapest pen at around €10 cheaper than the TWSBI ECO making it an excellent starter pen or a first foray into the brand.
The pen also heralds the welcome return of the Sapphire colour option for pens, which has not been seen since the now discontinued TWSBI Vac700, although the GO! is a somewhat lighter shade of Sapphire than previous pens. One of the main attractions of the TWSBI GO! is the innovative new spring-loaded filling system, which is highlighted by the transparent barrel; it is also the first time that TWSBI has made the decision to rely entire on the quality of the inner-cap to keep the pen from drying out and forgo their normal screw cap for a simple pull cap.
TWSBI is one of my personal favourite brands (my current count for TWSBIs is 8 in varying colours and models) so I was extremely excited to get a chance to try out their new model. Now, I made the mistake of assuming that the new Spring-loaded filling mechanism would function much like TWSBI’s usual piston filling mechanism where only the small breather hole on the upside of the nib would need to be submerged in ink; however, it turned out that the system is actually more like a Vac or Power filler (systems normally only found on vintage or more expensive modern pens; the TWSBI Vac/Vac Mini being one of the cheaper modern options) in that the entire nib and exposed feed needed to be submerged. I also made the mistake of convincing myself that the grip section would be small enough for me to be able to fill the pen directly from a sample vial. It wasn’t. I ended up with very inky fingers courtesy of Krishna Black Rose. In the end (as I was unable to find my normal inkwell) I cannibalized the small plastic inkwell insert from a 50ml bottle of Sailor Oku-Yama (more ink on my fingers) and used that. It wasn’t the perfect solution but I was able to get a reasonable fill by using it-maybe ⅔ to ¾ full.
As you would expect from a TWSBI the nib is super smooth and wonderfully juicy, even a 1.1 stub! The grip section is similar to the one found on the ECO-T in that it is shaped to encourage the writer to use the traditionally correct grip; it’s great for those who prefer a more structured grip or wish to learnt to hold a pen in the traditional grip but at the same time the shaping isn’t too pronounced, so should be just as comfortable for those who grip the pen differently or find a shaped grip irritating. As the pen is primarily made of plastic it can be easily posted without throwing off the balance so it still feels great in the hand and it’s just as comfortable and well balanced un-posted! As with the majority of TWSBIs it is a demonstrator model so you can keep an eye on the ink level whilst enjoying the sight of the ink sloshing around as you write, the fact that it makes for some very pretty pictures is an incidental bonus :)
TWSBI is an amazing brand; their products are always brilliant value for money, incredibly well built and exceptionally user friendly. You really can’t go wrong with the TWSBI GO!