Featuring the same aubergine ink as my first Kaweco review (not the EXACT same...that cartridge ran out months ago. But this is from the same box.)
This review is long overdue. I am not exaggerating when I say I had four separate photoshoots for this thing, in at least 3 different states, each time dissatisfied with the results. This pen DESERVES beautiful pictures, because this is a beautiful pen.
Taken in the fading sunlight outside of Central Park Zoo
This pen is small—though NOT Jetpens’ smallest, in spite of the claim on the Liliput’s page; the Liliput is 3.8 inches capped per Jetpens, and the Ohto Rook, per Jetpens, is 3.7 inches capped. HELLO, SOMEONE AT JETPENS PLEASE FIX THIS INACCURACY THANKS.
Dare to compare
In spite of being 0.1 inch shy of smallest, the Liliput still boasts an impressively diminutive profile among compact fountain pens.
Regular fountain pens Lamy Safari and Pilot Prera for reference, compact fountain pens A. G. Spalding & Bros. Mini Fountain Pen, Kaweco Sport, Pilot Petit1, Kaweco Liliput, and Ohto Rook for comparative littleness battle
Posted, I believe the Liliput is the smallest of these pens, but not so small as to be uncomfortable. I can even write with the cap off, no problems, but that has more to do with my weirdo-grip than the length of the pen.
Reasons why you would even want to write with the cap off will follow
One of the pen’s greatest strengths is also one of its biggest inconveniences. The cap unscrews to come off, and screws onto the back to post. The cap is very sturdy, once posted. But this is not a maneuver suited to quickly jotting something down; the rounded end doesn’t give enough purchase for the cap to line up and easily catch the thread, and it often takes me a try or two before I get the cap screwing on correctly. I do a little better if I sit here, focusing on the task, practicing—but focusing on getting the cap lined up is not my greatest strength when I’m trying to remember something I want to write down.
Hello, silky smooth aluminum. Wait...WAIT NO DON'T ROLL OFF THE TABLE
On the one hand, I love the barrel. Smooth. Uninterrupted. Slips into a pocket like it’s greased down and dripping with butter. On the other hand, this pen is CONSTANTLY rolling off and away (apparently none of the tables in my life are level) any time I set it on a flat surface without a book, additional pen, or some other object to chaperone it. I don’t know what I would do to fix this problem; I love the look of the pen. I don’t want some ugly bump protruding from any part of it, nor do I want the body to be anything other than rounded. I don’t want a clip. I want this pen to defy gravity, just a little bit. That’s the only reasonable solution I can come up with.
On to the writing portion of this never-ending talent show. The nib writes tactile-smooth; you can feel the nib on the page, but it doesn’t drag. Ink flow is nice and consistent. My only beef is that this fine nib seems to write just as fine as my medium nib; which is to say, I perceived no difference at all.
I'm completely baffled
I don’t know what the deal is. Maybe nib size for the Kaweco brand is just a game of Russian Roulette. Maybe you’ll get the nib size you want. Maybe you’ll get shot in the head and have vodka poured on you. Who knows.
Taken at a bus stop in Virginia
So it writes well, it’s nicely made. Let’s talk ink. Takes the standard short international cartridge. I’ve been asked if I know of any converter that fits in this pen. Here’s the smallest converter I know; I think it’s by Monteverde:
Top: plunger all the way out. Middle: plunger all the way in. Bottom: amount of room left when I put the empty converter in the Liliput and screwed the body back on.
I guess there’s theoretically enough room there for a drop, maybe two, of ink. Feel free to knock yourselves out trying. I’d say your best bet is to get a little syringe and use it to fill up an empty cartridge with the ink of your choice.
All the king's horses may have trouble with Humpty Dumpty, but I have opposable thumbs and no trouble reassembling this pen.
I think the biggest hesitation point for this pen is price. I got it at $53; the price has already increased to $55 (metal prices are going up, I hear). Now, I’m both cheap and poor, so this is a lot of money to me. For moneyed professionals and sensible people who save money wisely, and basically anyone other than me, have no hesitation buying this pen. If you’re like me, and you want this pen but $55 seems like more than one should be spending on any pen, wait one day for every dollar it costs, and if you still want it, get it (that’s what I did). I haven’t been disappointed, despite the few drawbacks. It’s adorable, writes well, and is constructed of quality materials. And JetPens just rolled out replacement nibs, for those of you who can’t decide between sizes; get one Liliput, and then another nib to go in it.
One last glamour shot.
Kaweco Liliput Al Fountain Pen – Fine Nib – Black Body at JetPens
Kaweco Replacement Nib – Broad – at JetPens
Kaweco Replacement Nib – Extra Fine – at JetPens
Kaweco Replacement Nib – Fine – at JetPens
Kaweco Replacement Nib – Medium – at JetPens