Saturday, April 26, 2014

Kaweco Elite fountain pen

In the last five or six months, I've reviewed a massive amount of Kaweco pens, thanks to the great people over at Kaweco. Many of these pens were very good, but I might have saved the very best for the last... the Kaweco Elite fountain pen! After reviewing so many pens of the same brand, it might seem hard to come up with something different, but believe me, this one is unlike any other Kaweco I've reviewed so far...

The Elite -as its name suggests- is a more luxurious pen within the Kaweco collection. Which is easily noticeably, even before you open the box! The box itself is already a bit different from the usual tin, and it looks really nice: it's a clamshell-type box with a nice faux-leather look. I actually quite like this box, it's really well made, and it gives a good first impression, great as a gift (to yourself)!

Unfortunately, I don't have a great picture of the box, only this quick snapshot I made with my phone, but at least this gives you an idea! If you want better pictures of the box, and another great review of this pen, hop over to Gourmetpens to check it out!

The moment you take the pen out of the box, the pen itself also gives a solid first impression. In fact, after using it for a few minutes, I immediatly mailed Kaweco to ask them if I could buy it, I just didn't want to sent it back! (Because of the higher value, I was supposed to send it back after I made the review.)

The construction of the Elite oozes quality, it's a bit heavier than most other full-sized Kaweco's  though it isn't too heavy, at just over 30 grams. At 13.6 cm capped (5.4 Inches), it's almost as long as a Lamy Safari, I wouldn't say it is over-sized, but it is definitely big enough. The cap is clearly the heaviest part of the pen, as it's made out of metal, with a small acrylic part on top. Because the cap is metal, and barrel and section are both acrylic, I probably won't need to explain why I don't really like posting the cap! Without the cap, it is still long enough to hold comfortably, and because it isn't too heavy uncapped, balance is quite good.

As for the design of the pen, I wasn't convinced atfer seeing photos on the internet, but as soon as I saw it in real life, I changed my opinion! It has a Doué design, meaning that the cap has a different colour than the rest of the pen, so in this case: a metal, chrome-plated cap and a piano-black acrylic body. The cap has a round profile, unlike the octagonal barrel, but the transition from cap to barrel is very smooth, and it gives the pen a unique appearance. The pen is quite thick, about 12mm (grip section and back of the barrel are a bit thinner.) , this is something I personally really like, it also makes the pen appear a bit larger than it actually is.
As I probably mentioned before in some of my reviews, I really like acrylic pens. It's a pleasant material to hold, and it feels warm to the touch!

As with most Kaweco pens, Kaweco tries to create vintage-looking, classic pens with a modern touch. I really like this mix of classic and modern elements, it's combined surprisingly well in the design of this pen.

Like the DIAII fountain pen, you can find a metal Kaweco logo both on top of the cap and on the bottom of the pen, which is something I still find a bit strange, but it is quite unique and it looks good. The clip is the same as on the DIAII, Student and Allrounder pens. In fact, Kaweco only has one clip design for all their pens (There's even a detachable version available for Sport and Special pens now!).

The grip section is large enough to be held comfortably, it has a comfortable shape and it also looks good, decorated by two chrome rings. However there's a noticeable stepdown from barrel to section, which might be a slight drawback for people who grip their pen above the section.

The writing experience with the Elite was very satisfying, the bigger #6 nib performed well. It writes very smooth, without skipping or hard starts. It has a very consistent, though surprisingly dry flow. Unlike Kaweco's smaller nibs that write much wetter. But as I said, it didn't give any trouble with the flow, so it didn't really bother me.

Another peculiar thing, is the fact that -even though it is a German Bock nib  the medium nib writes a bit finer, more like a Japanese medium (European Fine). But in a way, this was also quite pleasing, as I tend to prefer finer nibs lately.

As it suggests with its name 'Elite', the price category is slightly more elite as well, being a bit more expensive than most other Kaweco pens. It will set you back about 110 Euros, or 150 USDollars, which is a relatively steep price for a steel nibbed pen. In this price range you'd expect nothing less than perfection, and in my eyes, this Kaweco Elite certainly delivers, both aesthetics and performance are very good!

Note: this pen was sent to me by Kaweco, free of charge, so I could write this review.  I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, nor was I monetarily compensated. The opinions shared in this review are completely my own!.


  1. I really have a problem with steel nibs at this price when I can buy quality Japanese pens for less with 14Kt. nibs. At least you have some intrinsic value with a gold nib. Don't get me wrong I have two lower priced Kawecos which are great writers. A large part of the appeal of a pen is aesthetic and a gold nib does add to the eye appeal. Thanks for the review, as alwys yr fthfl srvnt brthr Shirl.

    1. Gold nibs are often a bit overrated though... I've tried many gold nibbed pens that wrote ten times worse than some steel nibs I own! But I do understand your point of view, to be honest, I also often go for the gold 'just because' it is gold! This Elite is probably the limit of what I would spend on a steel-nibbed pen, but in the end, all that matters is if it writes and looks good!

      Thanks as always for reading Shirl! :)

  2. One thing that I dislike about many of Kaweco's higher-end pens is that the barrels suggest a piston at the end, but the pens are in fact cartridge-filled.

    1. Haha, true that! Many pen brands do that these days, and I completely understand your frustration!

      Thanks for reading!

  3. What pen do you prefer ondoro or elite?