Kaweco


Exciting new colours from Kaweco 14

You might have noticed that guest posts are few and far between on Bleistift, so it’s even more exciting when there is one. The one today is from my wife who you might have seen on Instagram and Twitter as Paperbound’s PingPing.


If you are into Kaweco’s special colours you might have come across the Al Sport in rosé gold which was available in Taiwan, Macao and HongKong. It’s simple, stylish, and yet sophisticated!

A couple of days ago I came across the exciting news of more special colours that Kaweco are releasing in Asia end of September. Sebastian Gutberlet has confirmed that for the first year these will only be available for the Chinese market. This means that in the future there’s the possibility that these colours will be released to the rest of the world.

New Kaweco colours for China

New Kaweco colours for China (Image ©wfjsb)

There are three colours for the new release. They are (to my eyes): black blue for the Sport, grey green for the Sport, and red for the Al Sport. As a pocket pen lover, I use Kaweco’s (Al) Sport and Lamy’s Pico and compared the red colour of this latest edition with my lovely Lamy Pico in red. Well, from what I can tell, the Kaweco Al Sport is slightly lighter (pinkish) than the Lamy Pico, while still having the amazing sheen. Personally, I’d go for the red Al Sport ☺️.


I believe that the use of wfjsb’s image shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


Suspicious Sellers 11

There seem to be a few suspicious sellers on Amazon Marketplace.

Well, I say they are suspicious, but I prefer to tell you what’s going on so that you can judge for yourself.

There are several accounts on Amazon Marketplace selling fountain pens for £7.99, £8.99 and £9.99, but even pens usually selling for several hundreds of Pounds are being offered for under £10.

Some of these sellers have real names, some just have random letters as their seller name. All of them seem to be registered in the USA. I wrote ‘seem’ because I don’t know whether Amazon will actually check the address used by sellers who register.

Why would they sell these pens so cheap, far cheaper than what they’d have to pay from the manufacturer?

..and especially when Amazon offers their “A to Z Guarantee”, which means that if there is a problem the customer won’t be out of pocket (and Amazon will probably chase the seller to get their money back…).

I rule out that this is just a simple mistake form the sellers. All these pens are sold by new sellers on Amazon Marketplace and they put a lot of them online. One wrongly priced pen might be a mistake, but not if all you offer is under £10.

Explanation a) Maybe it’s a bored millionaire who just wants to make people happy by reselling pens with a colossal loss.

Explanation b) Maybe they want to get people’s address details? ..but I guess there are easier ways of collecting people’s addresses

Explanation c) When you pay they get the money from Amazon and keep it for a while. Delivery times are very long (many weeks), so they have many weeks before the customers can complain that the product didn’t arrive (and then the postal service can be blamed), so it will be a long time before they have to return the money. Time they could use to get interest on the money or time to pack it all up and disappear.

Well, the good thing is that if anyone wants to try these sellers out and my suspicion that this is dodgy is right the customers are only out of money for a few weeks – until Amazon reimbursed them, so the risk for customers seems small.


Update: shortly after posting this I have been told that Scribble has discussed this issue a few days ago in Facebook’s Fountain Pens UK group. Thanks Mark Porter, for letting me know.


Kaweco’s Perkeo 6

Sebastian Gutberlet, image from my blog post about the Kaweco factory tour

Recently I have contacted Sebastian Gutberlet to find out more about the Kaweco Perkeo. All I knew is that there used to be a Kaweco fountain pen with that name in the (early?) 20th century.

Just a reminder, Sebastian is the son of Michael Gutberlet, the man who revived Kaweco. The main intention of asking Sebastian about the Perkeo was to collect some more information for the Stationery Wiki – because I couldn’t find much information on the web, but then I thought: why not turn it into a blog post.

Thanks to Sebastian Gutberlet for this image

It’s been a long time coming

It came as quite a surprise to find out that this new Perkeo has been in the making for a very long time. Sebastian’s grandfather Horst Gutberlet ((Michael Gutberlet’s father)) actually developed the new Perkeo’s precursor in 1997. The prototype was resting in Michael Gurberlet’s desk for many years before now being finalised and released.

I’ve mentioned more than once that when I went to school you had to use a fountain pen, at least in Bavaria where I’m originally from. I’m not sure about the current pen situation in schools there, but my guess would be that on the continent there are (still) many schools where pupils write with fountain pens. The grip zone is supposed to help the pupil with holding the pen the right way. As a beginner’s fountain pen the Perkeo is probably aimed at these pupils (..but that doesn’t mean we adults can’t have fun with this pen, too).

It will be available in four colour combinations and according to Sebastian Gutberlet the Perkeo will be released in Juni or July the latest.

Thanks to Sebastian Gutberlet for this image

 


I’d like to thank Sebastian Gutberlet for answering my questions and providing pictures for this blog post.


Repairs & Alterations – All On Liberal Terms 2


The weather was really nice this weekend and since there was something we had to do in Manchester anyway we decided to spend the afternoon in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Fred Aldous, mentioned in the past, is also located in the Northern Quarter.


One of the shops I discovered and I haven’t been to before is the Dedstock General Store. It’s a gem of a store selling a nice choice of wares for it’s size, including stationery, items for shaving (including Mühle blades), enamel items and other things.


The owner was just working on a sewing machine. He said he was mending things, but it looked like a much bigger operation (the word upcycling and hundred year old garments spring to mind).


In terms of stationery there were Dux and Gedess sharpeners, Kaweco and Mindori pens and accessories, the Blackwing remake and Calepino notebooks. Items priced above £50 were stored behind the counter (no photo, sorry).

Repairs & Alterations – All On Liberal Terms

I’m happy I came across this unusual store and will visit again next time I’m in the Northern Quarter.


Visiting Kaweco in Nuremberg 4

End of last year I had the opportunity to get a tour of Kaweco’s premises in Nuremberg, lead by none other than Sebastian Gutberlet himself. He is the son of Michael Gutberlet – the man who brought Kaweco back in the 1990s.

Sebastian Gutberlet

Kaweco did offer a tour of their premises at the time the Insights X trade fair was on, but back then I didn’t have the time to take this offer up.

The museum contains many pens from Kaweco’s past

 

..as well as more modern items from Kaweco’s recent history

 

The offices and the factory are actually just next to Nuremberg’s convention centre. They will soon house a shop and a museum, too.

Old Kaweco pens in the museum

 

Old machines in the museum

As you might know, Kaweco used to be based in Heidelberg (where Lamy is), but since Michael Gutberlet brought it back to life in the 1990s it is based in Nuremberg (where Staedtler and many other stationery manufacturers are).

..and old materials that were used to make pens

 

Sebastian demonstrating how the old machines worked

The factory visit was actually supposed to take place a few days earlier, but illness meant that our family’s trip to Germany was delayed. Luckily we were able to rebook the ferry. Kaweco was happy to accommodate, but as the tour now took place on 23rd December, with December 24th being kind of the most important Christmas day around here, there were no workers in the factory assembling pens and I couldn’t see (or film) the machines in action.

No workers that day, so I didn’t see the machines being used by professionals

Parts for assembling pens

That was a shame, I would have loved to see how fast workers are assembling Kaweco pens. At least I’ve seen this type of machine in action before ..when Kaweco let visitors assemble their own pens at Insights X.

Sebastian Gutberlet wasn’t the only Sebastian in the room….

In case you wonder: the plastic parts for the pens aren’t made at this location. They are designed by Kaweco but outsourced as you’d need a lot of expenditure for machines etc if you’d want to make all the parts yourself. The parts are however all coming back to Nuremberg to be assembled here. Depending on how big the batch or order is the pens can also be engraved here.

More vintage pens from the museum

 

Except housing the machines these premises also include the warehouse, which was busy because annual stocktaking was just taking place.

Hmm, the shelves must be full of stationery goodies

 

Even more goodies. Can I stay overnight?

Even more goodies. Can I stay overnight?

Since we were in Nuremberg anyway and it was just before Christmas we used to opportunity to visit Nuremberg’s Christmas market, probably the most famous one in Germany. By the way, Sebastian’s Ewok hat in the following picture from Nuremberg’s Christmas market that day was handmade by Shangching from East…West…Everywhere.

At Nuremberg's Christmas market

At Nuremberg’s Christmas market

We had a great day visiting Kaweco and Nuremberg. I hope I will have a chance to go back there once the museum and shop are officially open.