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Tombow Havanna (Rollerball): A Japanese Writing Instrument-Aesthetic

There is no doubt – he who loves notebooks must love writing instruments, too. Truth be told, that is the way it is.

There are of course a lot of really good standard writing instruments out there (and I will have some posts coming about my favorite ones in this category). But there are also the ones that are a bit more elegant. The Tombow Havanna Rollerball certainly belongs to that latter category.

When you get one of them, you will notice that for a rollerball costing around 30 – 40 €, the pen skillfully conceals its grace in an understatement black cardboard packaging.


The one I am about to unveil here is the “BW-2000LZA41 Havanna”, which is a  rollerball from the Zoom 505-series.


The rollerball is a limited edition Japan-import – the color is “blue black”. It is probably a bit hard to see on the pictures, but it really looks classy.


As you can see, the Havanna comes in a pretty minimalistic and puristic design. Some years back it even received the red dot design award. I find it looks really gorgeous. The barrel and cap are made from lacquered aluminium, the clip is tool steel and the grip a soft black rubber.


As you would expect from an upper class writing instrument, you get a lifelong warranty. When you take the rollerball out of its box, first thing you will notice is the smooth feel of the barrel and the nice weight in the hand, which gives it a quality touch and feel. It is heavy, but not too heavy. On the cap, it testifies of its heritage: Tombow, Japan.

Tombow Havanna Rollerball

And, on the other side of the cap, its lineage: the Zoom 505-series.

Tombow Havanna Rollerball

It looks even better when you remove the cap.

Tombow Havanna Rollerball

The rollerball comes equipped with document-proof ink. There are three line thicknesses available: 0.3, 0.5 and 0.7. It comes with 0.5. The ink is a wonderful pitch black.

Tombow Havanna Rollerball

In order to replace the ink cartridge, you simply unscrew the barrel from the top. When you take a look at the barrel now, you know the reason for the weight of the pen. It is a really solid piece of aluminum.

Tombow Havanna Rollerball

Since I do also have a penchant for pipes and cigars, it is no coincidence I had a cigar at hand. Hence, I could simply not resist the temptation to compare the pen that boldly claims to be a “Havanna” with an actual cigar. I had a Montecristo Purito around. It tasted really nice…uhmm…it really resembles the rollerballs shape, this is supposed to say.

Tombow Havanna Rollerball

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