The next pen that I tried from the brand IWI is called Essential. It immediately struck me as being very similar in form factor as the Handscript, except that the rubberized wrap is more of an accent rather than a barrel design. Like the Handscript, it has a Bock steel EF nib and they write practically the same.
I like the minimalist design of the pen. It’s just a long cylinder with thinner strips of rubberized material for accent. I personally think this is more eyecatching than the Handscript. I liked the faux wood design of these pens, but I opted for the carbon fiber print instead because I find it easier to pick an ink when the pen is black.
Like the Handscript, the Essential has a comfortably long section with a little rounded bump at the end for the snap on cap.
It also has those two rubber o-rings at the end which grips against the cap when you post the pen. I’ve pulled the pens in and out of my leather slip and so far the o-rings haven’t come loose yet.
The carbon fiber accent feels smooth and isn’t too shiny. It makes the pen look very simple and understated. I love that the clip is a simple square-ish design, unlike the Handscript which has a curved end as you can see in the photo below. The clip slips through easier, though, than the Handscript’s clip. The grip is secure but not overly tight.
The pen comes with an international standard converter and a short cartridge. The converter, as you can see is pretty short and it’s plunger-type, not the type that you turn like a screw. It’s also pretty small. I tried it on a Kaweco Sport and it fits, though I didn’t try to ink it.
The page below is an example of a whole page written with the pen inked with Cross Black ink. The ink flows dry so the writing looks very thin, but it was consistent in flow throughout the page. It didn’t dry out towards the end.
I inked the pen with Platinum Carbon Black and it wrote very close to a Fine nib because the ink flows wetter. I used it to make a simple sketch of Count Olaf below:
When the nib is reversed, the lines are very fine but still quite consistent in flow. I think it will do nicely for sketching on smooth paper. Not sure how it will do with textured paper, though. Here is a size comparison between the Essential and Handscript.
The Essential is a little over 13.5 cms long when capped and 12 cms long uncapped. Here is a size comparison with a Kaweco Sport for reference:
Like the Handscript, this writes pretty well, especially for a steel XF nib. I enjoyed using it both for writing and for sketching. Here’s a video of a writing sample:
Overall, I really like the simple, clean, design of this pen. It’s thin, which makes up for the heaviness of the steel barrel. Using it posted makes it a bit top heavy for me, but since the body is sufficiently long, it’s really easy to use it unposted. This is a great pen entry-level pen, very affordable. Check out Everything Calligraphy for more details.