Review: TWSBI Diamond 530 Fountain Pen


It's probably a bit late to be reviewing this particular TWSBI pen now because the 530 seems to have been replaced by the improved 580 and 580AL.

But let's still look at the 530 and see why it's popular with collectors.

TWSBI is a Taiwanese pen manufacturer who started as an OEM manufacturer but in recent years has moved to producing products under their own brand.

Design

This particular Diamond 530 I have is the demonstrator style fountain pen, which means you can see through to the parts and ink inside. The 530-series is also available in cyan, red, blue (sapphire), pink, orange (amber) and green. You can still see through all of them even though they are coloured.


This pen operates via a piston-filling mechanism. Basically, you turn the knob behind the pen and it will push out or suck ink in. It's very convenient when compared to other fountain pens where you have to remove the body to use the converter inside.


The cap comes with a TWSBI-logo embossed in bold red and metallic silver on its crown, and a smooth-surfaced clip. ‘TWSBI’ and ‘Diamond 530 Taiwan’ can be found imprinted separately on each diametric end of the cap band.


An advantage of the transparent body is that it allows users to spot ink leakages/stains around the pen-cap as well as remaining stains within the interior body of the pen. However, ink does get to parts inside the pen where you don't want to and that can be unsightly. I've used the pen long enough to not care about the stray dots or pools of ink inside because it's difficult to prevent that. The pen can be fully dismantled for cleaning though.


The barrel of the Diamond 530 is multi-faceted with subtle triangular and elongated diamond shapes. The grip tapers towards the nib before flaring out subtly at the end.

Nib

My pen is fitted with an EF nib. The stainless-steel Schmidt nib is also available in fine and medium.


Exquisite engravings as well as the TWSBI-logo engraving can be found carved into the nib.


The nib writes smoothly. Quite similar in performance to the Lamy Safari.

Build

The Diamond 530 feels a bit bigger than other fountain pens mainly because of its slightly larger diameter. It's still very comfortable to hold with its multifaceted barrel-body. I do not use it posted because the cap makes the pen much longer and balance is compromised.

The large diameter allows for a larger ink reservoir that's inbuilt into the pen. It looks like it holds 2-3 times more than those small detachable convertors. It saves you the hassle from refilling often. It's one of my favourite sketching pens because of that larger ink capacity.

The models released so far are 530, 540 and 580. 540 has 30% increased ink capacity, and 580 improves on the 540 in other areas. I've heard the owner of TWSBI listens to feedback from customers and designs the pen accordingly.

Maintenance

For users seeking a disassembly process to clean the Diamond 530, the instruction manual and side accessories within the packaging should come in handy.

Below’s a video of the disassembly:

Just remember to screw it back tight so that ink does not come spilling when you're refilling. It happened to me once with ink coming out of the grip area because I had not turned it tight enough.

Below are some sketches I drew with the pen and Noodler's Bulletproof Ink.


The strokes are predictably uniform.

Conclusion

I've always found it cool to have a transparent demonstrator fountain pen. Design-wise, I prefer this to the Lamy Safari fountain pen which can feel a bit cheap. The main feature I like is the 530 can hold plenty of ink.

I prefer the Diamond 530 to the TWSBI Vac 700 because this pen is nicer to hold and the size is just right. Performance-wise, the nib is smooth.

It's a beautiful pen that's great for beginners since it's not too expensive.

Availability

Since the 530 seems to have been discontinued with the improved 580, the links below are for the TWSBI 580. Do check out the 580AL versions too.

You can find the TWSBI 580 on Amazon (US | DE | IT | JP

Check out other fountain pen reviews at http://www.parkablogs.com/tags/fountain-pen-reviews

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