This review is of the Kaweco Skyline Sport mechanical pencil…
A couple of years ago, you’d have been hard-pressed to find a pen made out of solid, untreated brass. Fortunately nowadays they are much more common, in part due to the contributions of German pen manufacturer Kaweco! Brass is different from most other metals that are commonly used in pens; it’s about three times as dense as aluminium, and it forms a beautiful patina after some use. Put those properties in a pen, and you get something quite unique!
The Kaweco Brass Sport is, in essence, still exactly the same pen as all the other versions of the oh-so popular pocket pen. The design remains the same: a large octagonal cap and small body, which makes it compact when closed, but large when posted. However, the use of brass gives it a completely different look and feel.
Of course, the much heavier brass alloy (compared to lightweight aluminium) makes for some pretty drastic changes to how it feels in the hand. For me, the extra weight is a clear winner. It feels solid, which is something I’ve always enjoyed in a pen. The complete pen totals at 43 grams, which is substantial for a pen this size, but not overly heavy. It feels solid in the hand, but not to a point where it’s fatiguing to use. Because the cap is lined with a plastic insert, it doesn’t weigh down the back of the pen, so it’s very well-balanced in the hand.
The Kaweco Brass Sport, the same as all other Kaweco Sport pens, is a small, pocketable pen when closed (only 10.5cm), but with the cap posted it’s a comfortable 13.2cm long.
As I mentioned earlier, brass ages over time, and it only becomes more beautiful with use. When it arrives, it’s a shiny bright gold color, but that changes as soon as you start using it. After just a few days, a dark patina will start to form on the surface of the pen. This patina gives the Brass sport a unique and warm character. You can choose to leave it on, or polish it off with copper polish and a soft cloth.
A small but noticeable detail is that the brass Sport has a plastic inner cap (something that isn’t present on the aluminium versions of the Sport pens). It sits flush with the edge of the cap, so it is visible (which could be a downside for some). This does offer a very specific benefit that I quite enjoy: whereas capping and uncapping the regular Al Sport pens results in a scratchy metal-on-metal sound, this isn’t the case with the brass one because of the plastic. Opening and closing the pen is much smoother and feels almost ‘cushioned’. In terms of durability this could be a downside as the threads on the inner cap might see some wear after prolonged use. However, so far I haven’t had any issues with it, and it doesn’t deter from the solid feeling of the pen.
Apart from a few exceptions, all Kaweco pens come equipped with a small #5 steel nib, made by Bock. This means all nibs can be interchanged between different Kaweco pens quite easily, and they are fairly inexpensive to buy separately too.
Kaweco nibs usually tend to have a balanced flow, not too wet. They are smooth writers and come in a bunch of nib sizes, ranging from extra fine to double broad and even calligraphy nibs. In this case, the Kaweco Brass Sport came with a broad nib installed, and it wrote consistently out of the box.
The Kaweco Sport is a tried and trusted (pocket) pen, yet Kaweco manage to come up with something new and exciting with every release. For me personally, the Brass Sport is a favourite, so I think the slight premium over the Al Sport (£63.50 compared to £57.90) is well worth it.