Smokey Grey – Kaweco

Founded in Heidelberg in 1883, as Heidelberger Federhalterfabrik, the company started by producing a modest range of wooden dip pens. The Kaweco brand name, originally developed as a model name and coined after Koch, Weber & Company, the owners, was adopted as the company name in the early 1900’s. By the 1930’s over 600 staff were producing a huge array of fountain pens and pencils, including the popular Sport range of pocket pens. The company’s survived almost one hundred years but in 1980 its operations were closed.

Happily that wasn’t the end of the brand. Horst Gutberlet – owner of H&M Gutberlet GmbH and pen enthusiast and his son Michael were able to but the brand name in 1994. They started working on reviving the brand. It took many years of dedicated work. The brand was initially distributed by Diplomat however over the years their line-up has extended and they were able to create their own international network of distributors.

As with most big dreams the realisation took many years of dedicated work. The Kaweco brand was initially distributed by Diplomat. Over the years, the model line-up has expanded and Kaweco has created their own international network of distributors.





Today Kaweco offers wide variety of fountain pens and accessories. They have eight inks in their line-up. I don’t know makes their inks, however I’ve read somewhere it was Dr. Pflug from Aratrum (creator of Caran d’Ache inks). If anyone has some data on this topic, I’d like to learn it         :)


Anyway the inks are sold in generic glass bottles (30 ml) and their price is steep. Given that in my country Kaweco inks are priced higher (price per 1 ml)  than Edelstein or Graf von Faber-Castell I keep on aking myself “what were you guys thinking”? I expect premium priced products to offer premium experience – premium inks should be well-behaved and offer some added value as aesthetic bottle. Here KaWeCo doesn’t deliver. The bottle is cheap, generic and boring. Practical, no doubt, but if you want me to pay premium give me premium       :)

  1. Karamel Braun (Caramel Brown)
  2. Konigsblau (Royal Blue)
  3. Mittertnachtsblau (Midnight Blue)
  4. Palmen Grun (Palm Green)
  5. Paradies Blau (Paradise Blue)
  6. Perlen Schwarz (Pearl Black)
  7. Rubinrot (Ruby Red)
  8. Smokey Grey
  9. Sommer Lila (Summer Purple)
  10. Sunrise Orange


Smokey Grey is one of two new colors. With time and experience I started to enjoy grey inks. Not all of them, mind you, but many. As soon as Kaweco inks became available in my country I bought cartridges in order to try iy and share my thoughts.

Basically the color looks rather well although for some people it’ll be too light for everyday use. As for the quality and writing experience, well, it’s nothing special, really. Lubrication is average, it feels a little dry in most pens. Shading is visible but it’s not interesting or complex.

Frankly just another grey on the market. Ok, it has some unusual undertones but for me it’snot enough. When we take into account Kaweco’s ink price I can’t help but notice that this ink is ridicoulously overpriced for what it offers. Diamine’s Grey is much better ink (and 4x cheaper). Unless you collect grey inks you won’t loose anything by making a pass on this one :)

Ink Splas



Drops of ink on kitchen towel



Software ID


Leuchtturm 1917, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib




Clairefontaine Triomphe, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib



CIAK, Lamy Al-Star, different nib sizes








5 thoughts on “Smokey Grey – Kaweco

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