TWSBI just came out with their 580AL, and here at GouletPens.com we're already getting a lot of questions about them. The #1 question is "what's the difference?" Understandable, given that the only pen that's been released so far is the 580AL in silver, which is hard to tell apart from the regular chrome trim and stainless steel nib that's on the regular 580.
|TWSBI 580AL aluminum parts|
There are basically 4 parts of the pen that are aluminum instead of plastic, and that's the difference. The grip is one part, and that's the only one that you can even touch on the pen. The others are all internal components, part of the piston mechanism: the screw, connector, and screw bolt. These 4 pieces add a little bit of durability, a little bit of weight (4g increase total making the whole pen 32g), and a little bit of bling. The bling will be more apparent when the other colors of the 580AL are released, which will feature aluminum components that are, well, colored. No ETA on these yet.
I don't think you need to rush out and buy one of these if you already have a 580, unless you're gathering up a collection (like me). And if you're debating between the 580 and 580AL, the aesthetics are going to be your main determining factor. That and the $60 price tag for the 580AL over the $50 580. It's really up to you, either pen is a solid choice. You're getting the same nib, same body, same ink capacity with either pen. But at least now you have a little more information at your disposal.
If you have any further questions about the 580AL, don't hesitate to ask in the comments below.