I believe someone wrote into the Pen Addict Podcast a couple of months ago asking whether there was one brand you couldn’t quit, even though you may have had some issues over the years. For me, that brand is Kaweco, and the Sport models in particular. While Kaweco has frustrated me in the past with their inconsistent quality control on nibs, I love the form factor of the Sport lineup, making it one of the pocket pens I reach for most often. Nib quality has improved recently, though I still have the most luck with mediums and fines. This post will take a look at a few new additions to the Kaweco lineup over the past year that have managed to make their way into my collection.
Skyline/Classic Sport: Two New Colors for Late 2018
In late 2018, Kaweco announced two new colors for their basic lineup, the Classic/Skyline Sport: Navy Blue and “Fox”. Since I had recently purchased a Dark Blue Art Sport (see below), I passed on the Navy Blue, plus it had gold trim and I preferred the Art Sport’s chrome. The Fox, however, spoke to me immediately, with its muted, almost terra-cotta tone coupled with the Skyline series’ chrome trim. Other than the new color, there’s not much new to say about this pen. The medium nib is a good enough writer, and the standard Kaweco Sport continues to be one of those pens that is easy to recommend at the lower end of the pricing spectrum, especially for beginners.
AL Sport: Finally, a Red One!
This pen caught me completely by surprise at the 2018 Atlanta Pen Show, where Lisa Vanness had quite a stock at her table. I believe this ruby red color was a North American exclusive for a limited period of time, and for a while Vanness was the only retailer who stocked this particular version. I initially reviewed the AL Sport back in the early days of this blog, and everything I said about that pen still holds true: it’s a pocket-sized workhorse that’s quite durable, and will look even better over time as the anodized finish wears off and takes on that “stonewashed” look.
Art Sport: The Best Version of What The Sport Can Be?
A word of warning: the higher-end Art Sport can spoil you forever on Kaweco pens, and make you never want to touch a Classic/Skyline again. Though Kaweco’s “premier” non-metal Sport model is expensive, the pen kicks the quality up a notch - it’s made from turned acrylic, not injected molded plastic, which gives the pen a warm feel in the hand. Once you’ve written with an Art Sport for an extended period of time, you start to REALLY notice the sharp facets and injection-molding lines of the standard version. Whether this justifies paying the upcharge is a personal decision. (More on that below). Along with the better QC and tighter manufacturing tolerances, the key selling point of the “Art Sport” line is definitely these unique acrylics. While this particular dark blue color, of course, isn’t especially unique, it does have a vintage vibe that I enjoy. The current series also has a lighter blue, as well as “Perlmutt Orange,” and “Metallic Green”. If you’re willing to shop around, you can also find the gorgeous “Tiger Eye.”
Takeaways and Where to Buy
Kaweco Sports are the one pen that I allow myself to pick up on a whim, if I like the color. Because they’re so handy to “grab ‘n go,” I keep a handful inked up at any given time on my desk at home and at work. I don’t anticipate giving up this habit anytime soon. Now if only Kaweco would resurrect the piston-filling Sport that’s sitting in their vintage archives…
As I mentioned, I purchased the red AL Sport from Vanness Pens, who still has it in stock for $90. I acquired the Skyline Sport in Fox and the Art Sport in Dark Blue from Pen Chalet, where they’re currently priced at $25 and $130, respectively (before any applicable coupon code). When this series was first released, Kaweco priced the Art Sport models at $175, which I consider way too steep. The turned acrylic and limited edition colors are nice, but this is still a small pen with a steel nib, and a standard $125-135 price point seems appropriate given the “small batch” nature of the production. If Kaweco kept the current pricing standard, they’d gain a lot more traction with the Art Sport, in my opinion.
[Note: to see the best Pen Chalet prices, always check the “Specials” section, and sometimes you may have to create an account and login for certain promotions.]
Disclaimer: This post contains links to paid sponsors and affiliates. I purchased the AL Sport pictured in this review with my own funds from Vanness Pens, and acquired the Fox Skyline Sport and the Art Sport from Pen Chalet using store credit generated through their affiliate program. All opinions expressed herein are my own.