Who are Kaweco? Discover the Brand

Kaweco Brand History

Kaweco is a German pen brand with a rich history that spans over a century. Since 1883, the company has been producing high-quality writing instruments, including the popular Kaweco sport fountain pen, that are revered by pen enthusiasts and everyday users alike. Today, Kaweco is known for its innovative designs, attention to detail, and commitment to quality craftsmanship.

The History and Origins of Kaweco

Kaweco is a brand that was founded in Heidelberg in 1883 under the name Heidelberger Federhalterfabrik.   Despite its German origins, Kaweco is often mistaken for a Japanese brand, perhaps due to the popularity of Japanese pens in the world of fine writing. However, Kaweco has remained steadfastly German throughout its more than a century-long history.

1883 Heidelberger Federhalterfabrik early Kaweco

In 1889 business men Heinrich Koch and Rudolph Weber acquired the company and marketed under the brand name KaWeCo derived from Koch, Weber & Compagnie.

The company began as a small factory producing wooden dip pens, but it quickly expanded its product line to include fountain pens and other writing instruments.

1899 Perkeo Fountain Pen

One significant milestone in Kaweco's history was the introduction of the Sport pen collection in 1911. This collection included a compact-sized pen that could be carried in a pocket, making it a popular choice among sportsmen and other outdoors enthusiasts. Today, the Kaweco Sport remains one of the brand's most iconic and popular collections.

In 1926, the company officially changed their name to Kaweco instead of the original name Heidelberger Federhalterfabrik, after discussions around marketability and brand awareness.

In the late 1920s the company began to face stiff competition from the likes of Montblanc, Soennecken and, among others, KWG.  With Kaweco steadfastly remaining focused on producing black ebonite pens, their market was eroding quickly from competitors who began to release coloured models made from cellulite.  Added to this, their exports, usually strong, began to wane due to competition from American pen manufacturers.  The inevitable happened, and on 24th May 1929, the company went into liquidation.

At this time, the earlier mentioned KWG, an up and coming pen company, were interested in buying the Kaweco brand, and in September 1929, they completed the purchase and changed its name to Kaweco Badische Füllhalterfabrik, Woringen & Grube.  You may recognise their logo, it looks familiar.

Kaweco Historical Logo

(Photo Credit: https://www.fountainpen.it/index.php?curid=1747)

To provide a clean break and a fresh start, they merged their company logo, with the initials of the original founders of Kaweco  KA WE CO, and the now iconic Kaweco logo was born.

Kaweco Historical Logo 2

The acquisition by KWG helped to grow the Kaweco brand immeasurably, expanding its distribution and production capabilities with the aim of producing reasonably priced fountain pens at scale.

During World War II, production is stopped completely due to the scarcity of available materials, until several months after the end of the war, they received permission to resume trading and at the same time adopting the German Shephard dog as their new mascot.

Kaweco German Shepherd Dog Mascot

In the 1950s and 60s, Kaweco struggled to compete with the influx of inexpensive ballpoint pens from Asia, and the company experienced financial difficulties as a result. Mr. Friedrich Grube Senior died on 5th May 1960 and management of the business is passed over to his wife and sons. They continued to produce high-quality writing instruments despite the economic challenges of the time.

Kaweco Factory Workers

In 1981 the company filed for bankruptcy once again, after years of little to no innovations or new ideas.  This appeared to be the end of the story for Kaweco, a once illustrious German pen brand.  However, in 1994, a company called H & M Gutberlet GmbH had the chance to buy the brand name Kaweco.  Michael Gutberlet and his father had a passion for collecting writing instruments, and were fascinated by the rich history of Kaweco.  Having already had experience in the pen market with their company producing components for the leading pen brands, they were intrigued with the possibility of resurrecting this historical brand.  Working tirelessly, Michael was able to rebuild Kaweco into the popular brand it is today.  Slowly reintroducing modern versions of the old pens to once again capture the interest of pen lovers around the world.

Kaweco has introduced new ranges and designs along the way, such as the AL Sport and Special collections, that have helped to attract new fans and rekindle the interest of longtime collectors. Despite the challenges it has faced over the years, Kaweco has remained true to its core values of quality and craftsmanship, making it a beloved brand among pen enthusiasts around the world.

They have been able to stay relevant with the adoption of social media and the ability to bring out new limited edition ranges and colours on a regular basis, and now there is always much hype around what their next offering will be.

What ranges do Kaweco Offer?

Kaweco offers a range of pen collections that cater to different tastes and needs. Here are some of the brand's most popular collections.

Kaweco Sport Classic Pens

Kaweco Sport Range

The Kaweco Sport pen collection is one of the brand's most iconic and beloved collections. Here are some of the things that make the Kaweco Sport special:

  1. Portability: The Kaweco Sport pen is a compact-sized pen that can be carried in a pocket or small bag, making it a popular choice among people who are always on the go. Despite its small size, the pen is comfortable to write with and has a good weight and balance.
  2. Design: The Kaweco Sport has a distinctive design that has remained largely unchanged since it was first introduced in 1911. The pen features a hexagonal barrel and cap that give it a unique look and feel, and it is available in a range of colors and finishes to suit any taste.
  3. Durability: Kaweco Sport pens are made from high-quality materials, such as brass, aluminum, and acrylic, that are designed to withstand daily use and abuse. The pens are also known for their reliability and ease of maintenance.
  4. Customization: Kaweco Sport pens are highly customizable, with a wide range of nib sizes and styles available, as well as the ability to swap out nibs and ink cartridges to suit your preferences.

Overall, the Kaweco Sport is a unique and versatile pen that is loved by writers and pen enthusiasts around the world. Its combination of portability, design, durability, and customization options make it a standout choice among fine writing instruments.

Kaweco Al Sport Pen Range

Kaweco AL Sport Range

The Kaweco AL Sport Collection is a unique line of pens that is known for its durability and portability. These pens are made from high-quality aluminum, which not only gives them a sleek and modern look but also makes them incredibly sturdy. The AL Sport Collection is a popular choice among travelers and outdoor enthusiasts due to its compact size and ability to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. Additionally, the AL Sport Collection features a variety of unique finishes, including the popular raw aluminum, which adds to its overall appeal. With its combination of style and functionality, it's no wonder that the Kaweco AL Sport Collection has become a favorite among pen enthusiasts and everyday users alike.

Kaweco Dia Pen Range

Kaweco Dia Range

The Kaweco Dia Collection was first manufactured in the 1920s, and it has since become one of the brand's most iconic designs. It is known for its sleek and sophisticated, yet traditional design. Key features of the collection include:

  1. Timeless design: The Dia collection features a classic and elegant design that has remained popular for decades.
  2. High-quality materials: The pens in the Dia collection are made from high-quality materials, including brass and acrylic, that are built to last.
  3. Comfortable grip: The pens in the Dia collection have a comfortable grip that makes them easy to write with for extended periods of time.
  4. Wide range of options: The Dia collection includes fountain pens, rollerball pens, ballpoint pens, and mechanical pencils, giving users a wide range of options to choose from.
  5. Refillable ink: The fountain pens in the Dia collection use standard international cartridges or converters, making it easy to refill the ink when needed.

Overall, the Kaweco Dia collection is a great choice for anyone looking for a stylish and reliable writing instrument that will stand the test of time.

Kaweco Liliput Pen Range

Kaweco Liliput Range

The Kaweco Liliput Range is known for its extremely compact size, making it one of the smallest fountain pens available in the market. Despite its small size, the Liliput is durable and well-constructed, crafted from high-quality materials such as brass and stainless steel.

The Liliput's design is simple and sleek, with a classic look that has remained popular for over a century. Its compact size also makes it incredibly portable, allowing users to easily carry it with them wherever they go.

Another unique feature of the Liliput Collection is its compatibility with a range of nib sizes, allowing users to customize their writing experience to suit their preferences. The Liliput also offers a range of colors and finishes to choose from, allowing users to select a pen that matches their personal style.

Overall, the Kaweco Liliput Collection is a popular choice for those seeking a compact and well-designed fountain pen that offers excellent performance and versatility.

Kaweco Collection Limited Edition Range

Kaweco Collection Range

The Collection range has been created in addition to the other ranges and runs alongside to complement the standard ranges.  Kaweco will release approximately 6 special edition pens per year, and will allow them to explore their creative side by introducing new materials, testing unusual colours and follow the latest trends to appeal to collectors and enthusiasts.

Each pen will be available for 1 year, but if the pen, colour or idea proves popular, they may decide to incorporate them into their permanent catalogue.  You can identify a ‘Collection’ pen by its signature badge on the cap.

Why are Kaweco Pens are Popular?

Kaweco pens are popular among both pen enthusiasts and everyday users for several reasons. Here are some of the key factors that contribute to their popularity:

  1. Quality and craftsmanship - Kaweco is known for producing high-quality writing instruments that are designed to last. The brand uses premium materials and employs skilled artisans to ensure that every pen is crafted to the highest standards of quality and craftsmanship.
  2. Affordable luxury - Despite their high quality, Kaweco pens are relatively affordable compared to other high-end pen brands. This makes them accessible to a wider range of people, including students, professionals, and pen enthusiasts who want to experience the pleasure of writing with a luxury pen without breaking the bank.
  3. Customizability - Kaweco pens are highly customizable, with a wide range of nib sizes and styles to choose from, as well as a range of materials, colors, and finishes. This allows users to personalize their pens to their own tastes and needs, making them feel more connected to their writing instrument.
  4. Classic design - Kaweco pens are known for their classic and timeless design, which appeals to people who appreciate understated elegance and simplicity. The brand's Sport collection, in particular, has a cult following among pen enthusiasts who admire its compact size and classic styling.  Their pens are also very different from run of the mill pens on the market today.
  5. Enthusiasm of Michael Gutberlet – his passion for the Kaweco brand shines through in every pen, through his attention to every detail and intricately designed component.

Overall, Kaweco pens are popular because they offer a unique combination of quality, affordability, customizability, and classic design. Whether you're a student, a professional, or a pen enthusiast, there's a Kaweco pen that's perfect for you.

Whats new with Kaweco

The newest Kaweco range the Kaweco COLLECTION featuring pens that are designed to suit different writing needs and preferences. Whether you prefer a fine or broad nib, a fountain pen or a ballpoint, or a classic or modern design, there is a pen in this collection that will meet your needs.

One standout feature of this collection is the wide range of colors and finishes available. From classic black and silver to bold and bright shades like pink, green, and orange, there is a color to suit every taste and mood. Some pens in the collection also feature unique finishes, such as brushed metal, steel and bronze, that add a touch of sophistication and elegance.

Another noteworthy aspect of this collection is the attention to detail in the design and construction of the pens. Each pen is made from high-quality materials that are built to last, ensuring that your investment in a Kaweco pen will provide years of writing pleasure. The pens are also designed with ergonomics in mind, with comfortable grips and well-balanced bodies that make writing a pleasure.

This newest variant in this range is called the Kaweco COLLECTION Toyama Teal and it takes its name from the Toyama district, where a stunning spectacle of bioluminescence can be observed during springtime.

Toyama Firefly Squid Bioluminescence Phenomenon

The bioluminescence in Toyama is caused by a species of squid called the firefly squid, which emits a mysterious blue sheen that illuminates the water. This rare and captivating natural phenomenon has inspired Kaweco to create a pen collection that captures its beauty and magic.

Kaweco Toyama 2023 Spring Limited Edition

The Kaweco COLLECTION Toyama Teal features high-quality plastic in a pearly teal color, with silver elements that complement the overall design. Depending on the light irradiation, the pearly pigments in the pen can sparkle more or less intensively, creating a unique and stunning effect.

To complete the overall design, the pen comes in a cardboard box that features a special effect, giving it the look of shimmering waves of water.

This new collection variant from Kaweco is a beautiful tribute to the natural wonders of the world and is sure to be a favorite among pen enthusiasts and collectors alike.

The Kaweco pen brand has a rich and colourful history and is known for producing high-quality writing instruments. From the popular Sport collection to the unique and beautiful Toyama Teal fountain pen, Kaweco has a pen for every taste and need. At Executive Pens Direct, we offer a wide selection of Kaweco pens that can be engraved for sale and are committed to providing our customers with exceptional service and the best writing experience possible. Whether you're a pen enthusiast or just looking for a reliable writing tool, a Kaweco fountain pen is sure to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

References and further reading:





  • Randall Robinson

    Thanks for your reply to my message of last Nov. 8. Yes, I got the Kaweco Brass Sport with the EF nib and I enjoy it very much. I’ve been so impressed with Kaweco that I more recently bought a Kaweco Dia 2 in black/chrome. I independently bought a Bock 076 EF nib for it and removed the original 060 EF nib to keep as a backup for the nib in my Brass Sport. With the 076 nib I adore this Dia 2. For these pens I bought Kaweco Royal Blue and Midnight Blue ink cartridges.
    Then I bought a black Kawecomat 3-in-1 black ballpoint/red ballpoint/pencil. I like it, though I don’t see an eraser for the pencil. The pen didn’t come with any literature specific to this model. It makes for a great matching companion set with the Dia 2 fountain pen.
    I’m sold on Kaweco! My Kaweco journey started with buying for my grand daughter that sage green Kaweco Sport Collection pen at Truphae pen store in Greenville, South Carolina. Now I hope that my suggestion about an ebonite body & feed retro pen goes somewhere.

  • Randall

    With Kaweco’s mindfulness of the brand’s heritage, I wonder if Mr. Gutberlet and the product development people at Kaweco have considered making a modern retro version of the Kaweco black ebonite pen of the early 20th century. It would be a special product if it was made of genuine ebonite.
    I bought a Kaweco Sport Collection series pen for my grand daughter for her 11th birthday. She chose sage green at the store. She chose the BB nib. I also bought a Kaweco branded leather case so she won’t lose it. Her school classmates think the pen is “cool.” And, yes, she knows cursive writing. Now I’m buying a Kaweco Brass Sport EF for myself.
    Executive Pens Direct replied:
    Hi Randall

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience with Kaweco pens on our blog. It’s great to hear that Kaweco (and fountain pens) can still connect with the younger audience.

    I’m positive your grand daughter will get a lot of use and fun with her Kaweco fountain pen. It seems like cursive writing is a dying art these days which is a shame. I hope the pen continues to inspire her love for writing.

    The idea of a modern retro version of the Kaweco black ebonite pen is quite intriguing. I imagine Mr Gutberlet is always open to considering new ideas and customer feedback their product development process.

    The fountain pen community is thriving at the moment, and it is because of brands like Kaweco and others for this success, with new designs and innovations that are helping to keep it fresh. (Along with smaller artisan brands like Ferris Wheel Press who are making inspiring fountain pen inks that manage to capture the imagination in a way that is both fun and exciting.)

    Feel free to reach out if you need any help in your fountain pen adventure.



    -Exec Pens

  • Stuart Gumley

    I have the blue steel looking Kaweco, I’m absolutely in love! It’s a joy in writing now, I’ve converted from voice to text on computer to written text again in evening note taking! Thank you very much for the experience! Do you do interchangeable heads for calligraphy? I’d be keen on getting into calligraphy but unsure which is the best way to go! Thank you once again!
    Executive Pens Direct replied:
    — Please reply above this line —

    Hi Stuart,

    Thank you for your comment, so glad you are enjoying using your Kaweco, they are great pens! The Kaweco fountain pens do have interchangeable nibs and the calligraphy ones you can find on the link below:

    https://www.executivepensdirect.com/collections/kaweco-pens/products/kaweco-replacement-steel-calligraphy-nib 1

    If you need help with anything else just let us know and we would be happy to assist :)

    Kind Regards, Abby

    Links: -—- 1 https://www.executivepensdirect.com/collections/kaweco-pens/products/kaweco-replacement-steel-calligraphy-nib

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