Pen Review: TWSBI Diamond 580 (Rose Gold)

My first experience with a TWSBI pen was when I purchased the TWSBI Vac 700.  This also happened to be my first experienced with a commercially-available, mass produced pen, my first few pens having been custom-made, hand-turned wood pens.  I liked by Vac 700 quite a bit, despite some initial difficulties with ink flow, and one ruined nib caused by some over-zealous adjusting.

However, over the course of the last year, I have been introduced to a little bit wider range of pens (to say the least), and I have never felt particularly compelled to return to the TWSBI line for an additional pen, feeling as though the Vac 700 gave me what I needed from the pens TWSBI had available.

Well, never letting contentment with what I have stand in the way of acquiring more pens (and depleting my retirement fund at an alarming rate), I decided several weeks back to purchase the newest member of the Diamond 580 family, the rose gold-trimmed Diamond 580, this time with a Broad nib.

The Diamond 580 is a lovely demonstrator, with a clear, faceted barrel, a black cap, the glowing red TWSBI logo on the top, and a nicely-functioning piston system.  Like the Vac700, the pen is highly dissemble-able, with a screw-off nib section, and a tool to assist with the removal of the piston mechanism. What really shines (pun intended) on this pen, however, is the rose gold trim.  I’ve not had much experience with rose gold, but I find I much prefer the warm, coppery-tinted luster of rose gold to the brighter and showier sheen of standard yellow gold. And offset against the black of the cap, this rose gold shines beautifully.

The nib is a Jowo-made rose gold-plated steel nib.  It’s a beauty. My past experience with TWSBI nibs has been that they are rather good (despite my one incident with a dry medium nib on the 700 a year ago.)  This broad nib, however, is wonderful. It is wonderfully smooth, but not to the point of being too smooth to start regularly or flow properly.  (No BBS, in other words.)  It is quite a firm nib, but it is quite pleasant to write with. And, it is just barely on the dry side of being perfect. In fact, when I write for long periods of time with this nib, it starts out with spot-on, perfect ink flow. The longer I write, though, I do notice the feed has just a touch of difficulty in keeping up with me, and the pen will being to run just a touch dry.

When I compare the Vac 700 to the Diamond 580, there is no real comparison. The 700’s power-filler system, which is nifty and all, is just too fiddly for me. I prefer the convenience of the 580’s piston filler. And when it comes to looks, the 580 wins, hands down in my book.  At least the Rose Gold version does.  I still like both pens, but if I had to pick just one to keep, the 580 would handily win that competition.

  • Shirley Furby

    I have trouble getting excited by another clear demonstrator. I do collect my pens generally by eye appeal although I do use them. So I think I would have to save some of my retirement for the next one. Keep me involved with more of your reviews so I can find more treasures.

  • Denise Rogers

    I see that Pendleton Brown is selling the rose gold 580, and I imagine that I could get pretty excited at having one of those.

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  • Bob M

    Thanks for the review. I own two 540’s and really like them. I share your lack of enthusiasm for the 700 series vac fill. Cool, yes, reliable, not so much in my experience. I really want a 580 but think I’m going to wait for the colored one that are rumored.

  • Glenn Higley

    Thanks for another fine review, Matt. I got the standard 580 with the 1.1 mm nib recently and like many other buyers mine proved unusable with poor flow and a terrible skipping problem even after many attempts at adjustment. I ordered a replacement nib unit that TWSBI tuned before shipment and now I’ve a pen I really like. I expect the 580 to become one of my favorites.

  • brainofsteel

    Just picked up a Diamond 580 as a result of a generous birthday gift card. 🙂 Love the feel, finish, and the pen’s ability to hold a lot of ink. You’re right that it’s definitely not meant to be posted… I had no trouble posting the cap, but when I attempted to twist it off after writing, all it did was move the piston. Yikes!

    • Yeah. Hopefully you weren’t inked with Baystate Blue… 🙂

  • Yaser Rais

    Dear matt. Happy birthday, if I were in us ,certainly I would give you a great gift,I myself am honor of your works and I like to say I appreciate you for all information offering to all people in the world.unfortunately most of the pens you introduced can not be found in my country. I study applied linguistics PhD candidate and my fan is fountain pens and writing. I mixed some color to one another and made a nice purple,dark brown,light green,ocean blue .because I couldn’t find my favorite inks. At last I love your all people in US ,American people.I use anti filter to met your website and see and use information you are offering. Best wishes for you.

  • Just realized that TWSBI’s logo is formed by three interconnected Chinese character “Wen (文)”. Its Chinese name is “San Wen Tang” (“三文堂”, lit. “Hall of Three Writings”). “TWS” is the reversed version of its Chinese initials. “BI (笔)” means “pen” in English.