Review: TWSBI ECO White Rose Gold
This model came out a while ago, so I know I'm "late" to reviewing it. I like to take my time with both purchasing and testing things. I purchased the TWSBI ECO White Rose Gold with a broad nib directly from TWSBI. Took a good while to ship. I've never ordered from TWSBI directly before. Packaging was pretty minimal, which is good. Like other ECOs, it comes in the usual container with the wrench, silicon grease, and care/cleaning instructions for longterm care of the pen.
Is the RG version any different than the normal ECO? There's a few changes, but overall it's the same pen. The nib is the biggest change. As you can see here, it's not the standard steel nib that comes with the other ECOs. It's still a steel nib underneath that pretty color, but it's rose-gold plated. Does this nib write better than the regular one? Initially, no. I had to fiddle with it a little, but I've had to do that with most fountain pens I've written with. After that, it wrote noticeably smoother than the other ECOs I have. I've seen others state they got scratchy nibs with this model before, so it may not be consistent (or IDK, I'm better at messing around with the pens?). I've never had a TWSBI pen with a scratchy nib myself, nor any cracks like I used to read about and my other ECOs have been with me for some years now. I was pretty pleased with the nib, especially since I was worried it might be scratchy, but it was a better writer than the other ECOs. For what it's worth, my wife doesn't write with fountain pens often and hasn't really gotten the hang of it, but I let her try this one to see her opinion. She noticed it wrote smoother than the other ECOs as well.
This one also posts better than my other ECOs. The cap stays pretty firmly in place, and the piston nob seems to stay in place more securely as well. These are all slight differences, and it may simply be that I happened to luck out on all fronts for quality. With the already steep price compared to the regular ECOs, I only purchased one and don't have another RG to compare to. Other differences are purely cosmetic. There's rose gold trim everywhere, including in one place where there's no trim at all on the regular ECOs. The pen cap has "ECO RG" on it rather than just "ECO" and the logo on the top is much nicer looking than the somewhat tacky one on the regular ECOs. When I was first getting into testing out fountain pens for ergonomic/environmental reasons, the two big things that put me off from the TWSBI ECO was the price (LOL) and the tacky logo on the top. I got over both of those, and I still pretty firmly believe quality peaks around the ECO's price range. Any pen pricier than that is solely about looks or brand name. In this case, while the nib was better than the nib on my other ECOs, I wouldn't say it justifies the huge price jump for this pen. At the end of the day, it's a slightly spiffier, slightly better version of the base white ECO. It has all the same pros/cons of all other ECOs (1.5ml ink capacity, ink sometimes stains the interior of the cap). Testing it against my other ECO broad, they wrote identically in thickness.
If you've never used an ECO before, I honestly wouldn't bother with this version as your first. This pen is really for someone who just likes TWSBI/the ECO model a lot in general. The normal ECOs are, IMO, the best pen choice is your goal is to maximize ink, guarantee consistent quality, decrease cleaning time, and at a lower cost. At nearly the price of the AL, I can't see any reason to recommend this as an "economic" pen. However, it is beautiful and writes very well. If this was intended as a special gift, for collecting, or you just really love the look and already know what you're getting into with these kinds of pens, then go for it. Here's a writing sample with Colorverse's Gravity Wave ink on a $3 notebook I got at Walmart. My light's terrible so you can't really see all the red sheen on the page, but it's definitely there. UStyle's notebooks actually show off more sheen than some more expensive brands I've tried, like Apica CD which barely ever has any sheen show up on it. Gravity Wave tends to come down pretty thick, so this is about the max thickness you'll get out of this pen with a B nib.
Final thoughts. I love the pen, but I feel like it's overpriced. For someone who's never tried an ECO before or a piston filler in general, I recommend the regular ECOs over this version.
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