The Tangerine TWSBI – The Transparent Orange Eco

This version of the Eco has generated a lot of interest since it was released and rightly so, and like many other people I can say with certainty the pictures do not do it justice.

For me as a fan of TWSBI pens, my particular favourite is the Vac 700R, I have a soft spot for the Eco’s and when TWSBI released the Sunset Orange Eco last year I was hoping it would make it to this side of the world but alas it was not to be, the Sunset Orange Eco was a Japan only release.

So, when I saw this new transparent orange version I was intrigued but not enough to buy one; it was only when reading posts and reviews that I noticed the oft repeated comment that the pictures didn’t do it justice that I took the plunge. I’d wanted to try a broad nib for some time and this was the ideal excuse to go for it.

Order placed along with a bottle of Diamine Pumpkin Ink; I decided to order what I hoped would be a matching ink (it was).

At this point I should explain that I had succumbed to a madcap theory that a Broad nib in an Eco was probably the same size as a Medium nib in a Vac 700R, the whole idea being bigger nib bigger tip, well you get the picture. Needless to say, this was nothing but hooey as the pictures below show, in this case Medium is Medium and Broad is Broad.

So back to the review. The pen arrived the next day along with the bottle of ink and it was time to open the box and ink the pen; so I opened the box and peered inside and I was genuinely taken aback, the transparent orange Eco really is so much nicer than it’s pictures; the transparent orange is just one of those things I think it is hard to convey well in pictures.

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As delivered in the usual minimalist box.
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Minus the card sleeve.


As for the rest of the box you get the usual spanner, grease and instructions; I think it would be quite cool if in the special editions TWSBI made the spanner to match the pen colour.

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Everything within.

For anyone not familiar with the Eco it is a piston filler that holds a generous supply of ink and you load it by using the end cap to wind the plunger down as far as it will go towards the nib, then submerging the nib and whilst it is submerged winding the plunger back towards the end cap. 

No matter how many times I do this I always get some air trapped in the barrel and for this there is only one option; over a thick absorbent cloth (which should already be under the ink bottle in case of spillages) hold the pen nib up and wind the plunger towards the nib to expel the excess air. 

At this stage you have two options:

  1. 1. Leave well enough alone and start writing with your pen or ……
  2. 2. Re-submerge the nib in the ink and wind the plunger back towards the end cap again and fill the space recently vacated by the air.

Either is a good solution it’s just a matter of personal preference.

Having exercised your freedom of choice otherwise known as ‘to fill or not to fill, that is the question’; (no prizes for guessing which option I chose) and got some ink into the pen I decided to take my first Broad nib out for a spin.

As you can see from the images below there is quite a difference, in size, between TWSBI Medium and Broad nibs and this is where the madcap theory I talked about earlier keeled over and fell flat on its face.

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Side by side, Medium Eco nib (left) & Broad nib (right)


Writing with a Broad nib was a whole new experience, there is just more nib to work with and consequently I found my writing coming out bigger than it would ordinarily be (see writing sample, below), I also had to get used to a pen that lays down more ink which can lead to smudging (it did!). So, all in all it’s been a bit of a learning curve; it’s not like a stub nib where I am conscious that I’m using a different type of nib, this one is the same just bigger.

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Writing sample, Medium nib at the top of the page and Broad nib at the bottom of the page.

On the whole my experience with this pen has been very positive; it’s nice to have a larger nib to work with and like all my Eco’s there is some noise when writing which I like. 

Finally, is it worth your pennies? 

Yes, Eco’s are reliable inexpensive everyday demonstrator pens with a good range of nib sizes and the addition of transparent coloured fittings is a nice touch; currently they are available with red, green, blue, orange and clear fittings and there are also with some solid colours as well, I have black and I’m waiting for more transparent colours to add to the collection.

So that’s it, the end of the review and I can honestly say that if you do decide to order one I don’t think you will be disappointed.

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Disclaimer: This pen was purchased with my own funds at retail price. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and I am not connected with either the retailers or manufacturers in any way.

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