Mosaic: The Levenger True Writer Kyoto Fountain Pen (F nib)

I’ve been a fan of Levenger’s goods for a LONG time, and am a happy user of their Circa notebooks and address books. I thumb through their catalogs repeatedly, making mental wish-lists, and flagging pages with sticky notes (much like I did as a kid with the Sears catalog of toys). I’ve been hearing good things about their True Writer fountain pens on FPGeeks, so when a recent promotion popped up, I made my move and purchased the True Writer Kyoto Fountain Pen.

Kyoto True Writer by Levenger

Man, oh, man…what colors! I’m particularly drawn to shiny colorful pens, like the Edison Collier Persimmon Swirl and Ken Cavers’ Tiger Stripey pen, and now, the True Writer Kyoto. Its acrylic body is, as Levenger puts it, “a marbled mosaic of turquoise, lavender, espresso, and caramel.” To be honest, I didn’t even notice the lavender until I shot a few pictures for this entry. And that’s the real fun of this pen…there are so many colors and shades and layers, that the look of the pen changes constantly. In low light, it looks quite subtle, while in brighter light, the colors and sheen POP.

A mosaic of colors

I chose a fine nib, as I almost always do, and this one writes smoothly and consistently, and has done so from the moment I filled the converter with Montblanc’s Toffee Brown. This is my go-to brown ink, and it pairs perfectly with the pen, as it also reveals a range of brown shades when the ink hits the paper.

The Kyoto’s fine steel nib

The pen measures 5-1/2″ in length and 5/8″ in diameter and weighs 0.77 ounces. The body is accented with a chrome clip and chrome bands that I think compliment the look of the pen. Your eye sees the amazing colors first, then is drawn to the subtle accents. It’s a well-balanced look, in my opinion.

Chrome accents

The screw-style cap posts nicely and I find it equally comfortable to write with the cap posted or unposted. The body is big enough to hide a spare ink cartridge, if you’re using cartridges rather than the included converter.

Did I mention that the colors are really cool?

Well, they are.

They certainly are.


A tip: Levenger is currently offering a $100 gift card for orders of $125 or more. (Check their website for details.) Might be the time to do a little shopping!

A note: Though it sounds like I’m doing a Levenger commercial, I haven’t been compensated by them in any way. I just love their paper products, and now, their pens.

22 thoughts on “Mosaic: The Levenger True Writer Kyoto Fountain Pen (F nib)

  1. Dear Mary,
    Thanks for the illuminating review and the luscious photos. You’re making me grab my Kyoto now. As a reminder, all our True Writers have nibs you can swap out, so if you want to convert your fine point to a stub nib, you can. Thanks for your business and especially for sharing your passion.
    Steve Leveen

  2. Oh how I wish this pen came with gold tone furniture and nib – it would complement the acrylic perfectly. The chrome just looks out of place.

  3. I noticed you didn’t go into detail about the nib performance. Do you think it truly performs like a fine nib or is it bolder? I was just reading reviews about the True Writers on FPN yesterday and people have had very mixed opinions. Any advice about the nib performance and quality would be helpful. Thanks!

    • I probably shy away from nib details as so much is subjective (i.e., my idea of “fine” may be different than yours), and dependent upon ink and paper, etc. I would call this a nice “fine,” and I REALLY like the performance/feel of the True Writer nibs. I own three so far, and all are great writers. No hard starts and smooth. Not slippery smooth, but very nice to write with. I’m sort of ashamed that it took me this long to try them. (I read some mixed reviews, too, and was a little leery, but have had zero issues with all three.) Should you have an issue, it’s been my experience that Levenger is good at making sure you’re happy. Very pleased with them! I bought the True Writer Anniversary Pen Case so I’m sure there are more in my future!

      • Thanks for the quick reply. I do know that there is a lot of personal bias around nib performance but was wondering if there were any glaring discrepancies. I guess my question was, compared with say a Lamy F or EF, is the Levenger F nib similar in width to you or did it seem bolder? I would love to try their stub nib but the reviews on FPN have not be favorable. Thanks again!

      • I don’t have a Lamy with me at work, but I took a look back at some scribbly, pen-testing pages I have, and though I notice some variation in the Lamy nibs (some Lamy EFs are fine than others), I would call it equivalent to a Lamy fine. It doesn’t seem bolder to me…at least not on Rhodia paper. It definitely doesn’t feel as bold as a medium.

      • Thanks. That definitely helps me. I had heard comparisons between the Levvie TW fine and other European brands M or B so you have eased my concern. Also, I think it sounds like if I am not happy with the quality, Levenger would replace the pen or refund my money so it seems like a safe gamble. Thanks again!

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  5. Resurrecting an old post here, but I realizing my experience with this pen when purchased from Levenger a few years ago was nothing like you describe. This was my first fountain pen purchase and it never ever wrote well. It was difficult to get the ink flowing right from the first, then once I tinkered for a while it would go and then skip. Not to mention starting over the next day…eventually it just sat there. I thought I did something wrong. It’s been something I would just look at.

    My fountain pen urges started up again and this time I started watching videos & reading reviews like this one and one thing is clear…something wasn’t right when I got it. Now with warranties long expired, and I can’t get things apart properly to inspect or attempt to tune it…I’m not sure what to do. I’m so annoyed that I didn’t question it from the start. IT’s a gorgeous pen for certain…if only I could use it!

    • Oh and I purchased the much cheaper Lamy Safari F & EF and they just write like a dream right out of the boxes…no skipping and so so smooth!
      I wish my Kyoto wrote like that!

      I guess I’m just complaining over here and should actually ask something: Any suggestions?

      • I would still contact Levenger and tell them the story to see if they can help. Also, the True Writer nib units can be purchased separately and can be swapped in easily so that’s an option, but means more money. Better than having it sit unused, though. See what Levenger can/will do for you…can’t hurt to ask. Keep me posted!

  6. Thanks for your reply….I may try…it feels so pointless & such a shame all at the same time. I’ve been missing out!

    • I have to tell you that I did email Levenger and they in fact sent out another nib unit to replace mine, Now I just have to figure out how to remove the other one again! Thanks for the encouragement to reach out to them.

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  8. I have a True Writer which came with a medium and I prefer a finer nib. I ordered a nib and it sat because I couldn’t get the old one out. Then I flushed out the pen and gently twisted the nib unit and it came loose. I swapped out the medium for the fine which is NOT as fine as the EF on my Lamy Safari. But I like the feel of the TW in my hand and it does write very nicely and quite smoothly.

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