Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Kaweco sport luxury variants

I was amazed when I looked closely at my black-and-white (think a fountain pen made out of Licorice Allsort) Kaweco Sport Art that it actually does have a gold nib. I thought they all came with gold plated steel, but this one clearly states 14k / 585. That got me doing a little bit of work to find out the history of the luxury variants of the Sport.

The Sport itself, by the way, was first issued in its modern form in 1934. Kaweco closed down in 1980, and the 'new' Kaweco company opened for business in 1995 with a range of Sports in 'outdoors' colours - camouflage grey-green, brown and dark blue. Brighter Sports followed the year after, but it wasn't till 2000 that Kaweco decided to produce a luxury version.

In 2000, Visconti made a limited edition of green celluloid Sports for Kaweco. Only 883 were made, which means I may never get my hands on one of these delightful gold-nibbed pens. (They combine Italian wickedly glowing celluloid with Germanic austerity of form, which hits two of my fountain pen sweet spots bang on. A bit like the glowing red Lamy 2000 auctioned a while back - Bauhaus, but in vivid colour!) And it's a piston-filler, too.

My black-and-white Sport's proper name is the Tango, and it was part of a four pen range that included also the Blues, Samba (purple and dark indigo), and Mamba (gold and brown marbling), issued in 2003 with the intention of bringing in new colours every two or three years. The pens were turned, not injection moulded like the basic range, and the colourful acrylics really make a splash.

I haven't found out when the current Sport Art range was first produced. These are:
  • Amber
  • Amethyst
  • Lapis lazuli
  • Amecitrin - a lovely yellow
  • Aksehir - black and white, with Arab-calligraphy style loops
  • Alabaster - pearly white
  • Granit - white and grey, with an interesting ghost-like effect of grey showthrough
  • Rosit - bright pinkish red, with soft stripes of two slightly different hues
Again, they are produced by turning from solid acrylic. The amber, amethyst and lapis are perhaps the most stunning, with their transparency and glittering effect, but I rather want to get my hands on an Aksehir, for the striking pattern.

I make that twelve pens to collect, if I stick only to the fountain pens, and excluding the Visconti version. Four down so far!

Martini Auctions sometimes have interesting prototypes of different Sport versions. At the moment there are some with silver pens and coloured caps; I must admit, they're not my favourites.

Sweet Joy befall thee!

Lamy Joy.
Photo from Lamy Twothousand on Flickr. I only have the black and red one.

What a beauty this pen is. Sleek shiny black. Cylindrical top. Tapered barrel.

Accents in red. Big red paperclip clip. Red disk closing the cap. Tiny red insert right at the end of the barrel, neatly balancing the clip.

Simple geometrical forms. Cylinder cap. Triangle section. Triangular nib. Flattened cone taper. An elegant oscillation between rounded and flat, circles and angles.

At work; 1.5mm of sharp italic, flowing wet.A section that feels as if it's part of my hand.

Doesn't post. Obviously.

Practicalities. Nibs swap in, swap out. £7 or so for a new one. Swaps with Safari and Vista. Swaps with Studio, Al-Star, Accent, CP-1, Logo. Up to 1.9mm, down to extra fine.

This is a lot of joy.