The TWSBI Diamond Mini is exactly what the name promises: a reduced size edition of the Diamond 580 series. If you're familiar with the TWSBI Diamond 580, then you know that they a...view morere smooth writing, thoughtfully engineered pens built in clear plastic. The TWSBIs feature interchangeable nib units (but be warned, the Mini take different replacements from the Diamond 580s, as the Mini nib assembly is, predictably, shorter), a piston filling system, and user-friendly disassembly for easy cleaning and maintenance. Like their bigger cousins, the Diamond Mini comes with a wrench and grease in the box, and instructions abound online for how to safely take your pen apart and maintain it.
Better still, the Diamond Mini works with the TWSBI Diamond ink bottles, which you can fill with whatever ink you fancy (they have a capacity of about 50ml), with very little mess. You can also go the conventional route of dipping the nib in a bottle, or even the route I sometimes use, which is to fill the reservoir directly with a clean blunt ink syringe. With a careful eye and a steady hand, you can fill the reservoir of the pen right to the brim for pages and pages of writing.
The Diamond Mini does *feel* smaller than the Diamond 580 (compare the two in the photo), and if you switch back and forth between the two sizes it can briefly feel a little weird. For those who feel that the Diamond 580s are a little end-heavy with the cap on (and I don't disagree, but it doesn't bother me all that much), the Mini doesn't have this problem, and seems as well-balanced as the 580 without the cap on the end. Additionally, there's a clever feature on the Diamond Mini: not only does the cap screw on over the nib, it also screws onto the back of the pen! For those using the Diamond Mini on the go, this will be a huge help and save a lot of dropped caps (personally, I know that I'd lose the bugger in a heartbeat otherwise). As far as writing goes, since the mechanism is almost identical, you get the same smoothness that you'd expect from a TWSBI, and my sample ink (the LAMY Crystal Azurite) came out in gorgeous dark-blue lines with the Fine nib.
Of course, the downside of the smaller pen is that you store less ink in the Diamond Mini than in the Diamond 580. My hunch, however, is that it still holds more than a standard cartridge, and certainly more than a mini cartridge (that will be my next test).
Delivered with their usual swiftness by Atlas, I was thrilled to get this pen, and it's sure to be one that I use regularly in my day-to-day writing life, especially on the go with a notebook or just working at my desk. view less