The TWSBI Draco: I Had My Doubts

First things first. I have two cats—TWSBI and Edison—the sweetest kitty brothers you ever knew.

That’s TWSBI on the left, Edison on the right

When one names one’s cats after pen companies, there’s a high probability that the cat owner is a fan of said companies. So there’s that.

(Truth be told, I also get a kick out of hearing vets try to work out how to call out TWSBI’s name in the waiting room. This name will never make sense to them, and their butchered attempts always make me snicker. Weird pen humor, I know.)

Pet names aside, when the TWSBI Draco was announced, I had my doubts. Brad and Myke raked the pen over the coals on Episode #453 of the Pen Addict podcast, and their criticisms sounded completely justified. I usually agree with their assessments, so I pretty much wrote the pen off.

Then it was released. And I kind of liked the look of it. But I waited. Mulled it over, as one does. As one should.

Hmmm. What to do? What to do?

At $150—much higher than your typical TWSBI—this wasn’t a purchase to take lightly, but in the end I went for it, because, honestly, I’ve never used a TWSBI that I didn’t love. Even the super-economical TWSBI GO, that I swore I’d never own because of the clunky look of that inelegant spring, has become a favorite. I now have three GOs, in various nib sizes, and they’re all great writers (as well as being SUPER EASY to clean).

I anxiously awaited the arrival of my Draco. Had I made a $150 blunder? <eyes mailbox nervously>

In a week or so my TWSBI Draco arrived, and I immediately inked it up with Organics Studio Emily Dickinson Posey Pink because of the way that ink complements the pink flecks in the very pretty acrylic.

I really do like the look of the pen—the rose gold-plated steel nib and trim against the predominantly deep red acrylic—but it’s those little hints of pink, where you can see some depth, that really made me love this pen.

Speaking of the nib, that’s what really makes or breaks a pen, doesn’t it? Turns out, the bold nib on my Draco absolutely sings. It is very, very smooth. Phew.

That said, would the Draco look better with a more-to-scale #6 nib versus the #5 it’s equipped with? No doubt. Is the $150 price tag too high? Probably. (This is a limited run of 3000 pens worldwide, so I suppose that justifies the un-TWSBI-like price tag.) But I don’t care about either of those criticisms. The pen feels great in my hand as my fingers rest comfortably on the slightly flared grip. The nib makes me happy every time I use it, and the colors in the acrylic give me an opportunity to write with some of my lesser used red and pink inks. (I’m strongly drawn to all kinds of blues, and it takes quite a bit to pull me away from those colors.)

After I drained this decently large capacity piston-filler by journaling with it every morning, I refilled the pen with Iroshizuku Yama Budo—another great match.

Mary Oliver in Yama Budo

This may not be a perfect pen, but it’s a true joy to use. My TWSBI Draco brings me as much joy as hearing the vet try to pronounce “TWSBI.”

High praise, indeed.

“Hey, vet- it’s easy. Just say TWIZ-BEE.”