TWSBI Diamond 530 Fountain Pen Review

The heralded TWSBI Diamond 530 is a fountain pen born out of input of the Fountain Pen Network community. The Taiwanese manufacturers aimed their design as a pen for fountain pen enthusiasts. And their aim was true, as the Diamond 530 demonstrator was voted as the Goldspot Pen of the Year for 2010.

The one question on many pen enthusiasts may be, "what is a TWSBI?" Sure, it's not a brand name like Parker or Waterman, but was able to best every established competitor by staying true to the needs of writers. TWSBI has 50 years of manufacturing experience in metal-stamping, metal-turning and plastic injection molding. For 25 years, they have been making OEM writing instruments for well-known brands. Now, their aim is to make their own products under the name TWSBI, starting about a year ago.

The Diamond 530 is certainly a great first endeavor for TWSBI. It is a piston-filling fountain pen, offered in a stainless steel nib in Extra-Fine, Fine or Medium point sizes. The most unique concept about this project is the encouragement to disassemble and reassemble the pen. Fully-illustrated instructions, a wrench and a bottle of silicone grease is included with every pen to give you the knowledge and tools necessary to do your own pen maintenance.

When I first heard of the Diamond 530 piston-filling fountain pen, it was a knee-jerk decision to get it. Piston-filling fountain pens are hard to come by at such an affordable price. I would not have high expectations on the nib, but was pleasantly surprised at the writing quality and smoothness. The piston mechanism works perfectly, smoothly drawing up the ink through the nib without much loss of suction. The tank holds about 2 1/2 weeks worth of writing ink. Since the pen can be completely disassembled, thorough cleaning between fills is easy.

My only criticism of the pen is that writing with the cap posted is not an option (at least for me). The length of the pen with cap posted is just about 7" long, which throws off the balance of writing with the pen and makes my hand more tired after writing.

  • Writing Quality : Stainless Steel nib delivers with smoothness, even wet flow. (grade A-)
  • Aesthetic Quality : Injection mold plastic is crystal clear. The diamond pattern body interacts beautifully with the ink inside the tank. (grade A)
  • Utility : Unique ability to take apart and put back together is very useful for minor repairs and cleanings. Cap does post well, but becomes a bit too long to write with. (grade B+)
  • Price : Available in extra-fine, fine or broad nib sizes for $59.95 at Goldspot Pens. If this pen had "Pelikan" on the cap ring, it would easily be sold for twice the price. (grade A-)

Final Grade : A-
After hearing all the fan fare, TWSBI Diamond 530 is certainly worth the buzz and the title of Pen of the Year. You can read up on other reviews of the Diamond 530 at the following sites :


  1. I agree wholeheartedly with this review. The aesthetics and performance of this pen are great, and unbelievable at this price. (Shameless self-promotion: I reviewed the pen here.) I see TWSBI is now offering the pen in more colors, so it might be time for me to buy another!

    By the way, are you carrying these now, or are they still sold only through the TWSBI store on eBay?

  2. Thanks for the comment. Yes, we are carrying the clear Diamond 530, with the colors to be coming in a week or so. Here is the link to TWSBI on Goldspot : http://www.goldspot.com/Twsbi_pens/Diamond_530.html

  3. For the price, this pen can't be beat. It is the equivalent of a Pelikan MXXX but at a much, much lower price. I love mine with its EF nib.

    From your writing sample it seems there isn't much difference between F and EF. Oh, nice ink BTW.

  4. @Peninkcillin - Absolutely the equivalent of a Pelikan tradition series piston-filling pen. Plus, the added feature of being able to disassemble and reassemble the pen helps with long-term maintenance and is just plain cool. The Sailor Sei Boku blue-black was a nice color, but it was extremely difficult to clean when I was finished with it. I'm now using the Sailor Jentle blue-black. While it may not have as much vibrancy and shading as the Sei Boku, it is smoother and doesn't bleed through the pages of a moleskine. We will be putting Sailor on the website shortly.

  5. For the price, this pen can't be beat. It is the equivalent of a Pelikan MXXX but at a much, much lower price. I love mine with its EF nib.

    From your writing sample it seems there isn't much difference between F and EF. Oh, nice ink BTW.

  6. Love the Diamond 540, which I've had for about two months.  Comfortable in the hand and writes smooth and easy.
    My one concern is durability.  After three fillings mine has developed a couple of half-inch cracks at the top of the barrel.  I suspect I may have closed the piston too tightly when refilling.  Still, that is probably a natural thing to do, so this seems a real point of vulnerability.