The packaging for the Classic consists of a frosted plastic case with a parts diagram on the back, a molded in clasp on the front that seems more than capable of keeping the case closed, and instructional leaflets on the inside showing you how to operate and disassemble the pen. A dense foam interior has cutouts specifically for the silicon lube and piston wrench, and then, of course, the pen.
The Classic is available in three colors: black, burgundy, and the blue you see here. These rich colors are contrasted nicely by shiny chrome trim. The Classic features a simple design that’s different from any previous offerings from TWSBI. The pen has four flat sides with large radius edges, a rounding of the square, if you will. When the pen is capped, all the sides align perfectly and the cap and barrel are flush, creating a smooth, clean line.
Uncapping the pen, which requires only one revolution, reveals a thin section of uniform width and a feature we haven’t seen before on a TWSBI: an ink window. The #4, stainless steel nib is made by JoWo and comes in sizes extra fine, fine, medium, broad, or 1.1 stub.
Lets take a look at how the Classic stacks up to the rest of TWSBI’s lineup. From top to bottom we have the Vac700, the Diamond 540, the Micarta, the Classic, and the Mini. It’s clearly visible that the Classic has a slimmer profile than the rest of these pens while maintaining a useable length. Let’s see how removing the caps affects the situation.
Not much changed. The Classic is the same length as the Micarta, just a few millimeters shorter than the 540, and just a few more shorter than the Vac700.
Since the Classic is physically unable to post, it gets dwarfed by the others. Even the Mini ends up being longer. And this is what I think will really kill the appeal of this pen to a lot of people. It’s one thing for a company to say they don’t intend for users to post their pens, but it’s a whole other thing to completely remove the possibility. Just for fun, let’s see what the Classic would look like in my hand if it could post. It’s length is very reasonable and given how light the pen is, actually makes for a very comfortable writer.
Even without the ability to post, the Classic still feels good in the hand. I won’t be reaching for it when I write my next novel, but it’s plenty comfortable taking notes and will appeal to users who prefer thin and light pens. That is, if they can get over the mild step in transition from the section to the barrel. Some users are fiercely critical of any step, and while I don’t prefer it, I really didn’t notice it on the Classic. If you look at my grip, you’ll notice my thumb rests directly on the transition and it never bothered me.
One of my favorite features of the Classic is its ability to be used with the Diamond ink bottle. This provides a clean way to fill your pen without having to worry about cleaning the nib when you’re done. The piston unit is made by TWSBI in-house, and has a silky smooth feel. At max capacity, the Classic will hold about 1.1mL of ink.
The steel nib in the Classic really surprised me. I went with a fine nib as that’s what I use in my daily writers and it was as smooth as any fine nib I’ve ever used. Yes, it was stiff, as all steel nibs are, but there was no hint of scratching or roughness. It was perfect. And the feed performed flawlessly, supplying a steady flow of ink that was neither wet nor dry. During all my writing I never experienced any skips or hard starts.
As far as I’m concerned, TWSBI has made another great fountain pen. I don’t believe it’s a must buy and it won’t be for everyone, mostly because
it doesn’t post and it’s thinner and lighter than what most users prefer. But, it still offers more than other pens costing twice as much. The Classic is a good addition to the TWSBI lineup and gives new users, and those on a budget, another option.