I think I was JUST discovering the TWSBI brand back when the first incarnation of this pen— the TSWBI 540 ROC 100— was around. At the time I was enamored with the TWSBI Micarta which couldn’t be more different than this pen. I remember seeing the ROC and thinking that the color scheme wasn’t really my thing. And so I passed. And then it was gone.
Which immediately made me want it. Well played, TWSBI, well played.
So when TWSBI recently released the TWSBI 580RB with the same red/clear/blue color scheme, I pounced on it on launch day. It’s a patriotic looking pen, but not necessarily applicable to just the USA. The cap features the “Blue Sky with White Sun” Taiwanese flag symbol. Though a version sporting a US flag design is promised, I prefer seeing this sun on the end of my pen. I’m patriotic(ish), but more in a “Give me your tired, your poor…” way than the “We’re #1!!” kind of way. The pen, at first glance, might seem like it’s screaming “USA, USA” but there SO MANY countries with red, white, and blue flags, that it could actually be considered multi-cultural.
When I was fascinated with the organic and muted look of the TWSBI Micarta, the 580ROC looked garish, but now I enjoy its eye popping red cap and section and blue blind cap. I’ve filled mine with Iroshizuku kon-peki which is a dead ringer for the pen’s blue accents. The piston filler works smoothly and makes the pen a breeze to clean.
The pen is available in fine, medium, and broad— no stub as yet— but a spare TWSBI stub nib unit could be swapped in. I chose the medium nib which writes very smoothly with excellent flow. I couldn’t be happier with the way this steel nib performs. I have a couple of other TWSBIs with EF nibs that I can swap in should I desire a finer line with this pen. I also have a 580 with a 1.1 mm stub, so I’ve got the nib range pretty well covered.
The pen’s clip is firm but functional. The branding— etched lettering on the cap’s band— is simple and clean. The cap doesn’t post. Well, technically you can jam the cap on the end of the pen, but it’s not a good look or feel. This isn’t an issue for me as the 580RB’s uncapped length of 5-1/8 inches makes it the perfect size for my average-sized hand.
While the pen’s red section is round and nicely tapered, the clear body is faceted, which gives the pen the “Diamond” moniker. I get endless amusement from watching the kon-peki slosh around in the pen body. Simple pleasures— or a simple mind?! It’s a cool look and makes monitoring the ink level a snap.
While I was asleep at the wheel when the TWSBI 540 ROC was available, and lost out on a chance to acquire that pen, I was wide awake when TWSBI launched the 580RB. While not a pen for everyone in terms of color-scheme, I personally love the look of this pen that celebrates its Taiwanese roots with the cap’s charming sun design. And whether you’re American, Chilean, Norwegian, French, or Slovakian, the 580RB’s red, white (clear), and blue colors will remind you of your country’s flag and history.
We’ll celebrate the 4th of July here tomorrow with cook-outs, parades, and fireworks, and lots of red, white, and blue decorations. My favorite one will be this pen. Thank you, TWSBI, for the second chance to own this pen with a decidedly global vibe.
I like to think of the TWSBI 580RB as a pen that reminds us we’re all in this together. Peace, friends.