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    Wink Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    I don't own any Sheaffer's but am aware that they are of the most popular vintage pens, the words 'Balance' and 'White Dot' alone immediately imparting connotations of quality; so, why are they so popular and which is your favourite Sheaffer pen?

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    Default Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    I only own my father's Statesman (which has a white dot), but it remains uninked.

    As mentioned on my Changing Perspective thread, I would like to acquire an oversize Balance with a Lifetime nib. However, being unable to accurately assess these things using only the internet does make the whole venture a whole magnitude more difficult. Why do I want a Balance? Not sure really. The shape appeals to me, as does the nib design. Regarding materials though I am only drawn to the marine green (or maybe a black version).

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    Default Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    Quote Originally Posted by SIR View Post
    I don't own any Sheaffer's but am aware that they are of the most popular vintage pens....
    You've noticed? My preference for Sheaffer pens evolved gradually such that my collections of other vintage American, German and Italian marques slowly eroded while I kept Sheaffers that came into my possession, especially 1929-1946. It's mostly subjective, so it isn't easy to pin down, but here are a few of my observations:

    - The Balance design that predates the venerable Montblanc 14x series remains a favorite shape (I like both).
    - For an EF flex nib that can handle a heavy hand without being sprung, those uncommon Sheaffer flex nibs from the '30s can't be beat.
    - The Vac-Fill plunger is a great filling system despite the challenge to restore. It is simple, needs no thin diaphragm, and holds a large quantity of ink,
    - Modern Sheaffers through to the end of the 20th century continued to offer great nibs (both open and inlaid), especially the stubs.
    - They offer great value for both purchase and resale.
    - I have experienced only one celluloid failure from constant use over ten years.
    - Parts are reasonable to come by.
    - My favorite pensmith welcomes Sheaffers about as much as any vintage or modern pen, and he's got the parts!
    - I'm still "discovering" pens, currently the '40s deco conical Vac-Fill pens with their ultra-smooth tips.
    - And after two decades of buying and selling, my favorite nib remains a Sheaffer that now resides in an oversize ebonized pearl Balance lever-filler.

    There are more reasons, but that's enough for now.

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    Default Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    For me it's the incredibly creative snorkel filling mechanism combined with the usually superbly smooth and elegant triumph and inlaid nibs. The PFM has the perfect combination of these features for my money and is extraordinarily well-balanced in use (with cap posted of course).

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    Default Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    Sheaffer is probably the most consistent in terms of maintaining high-quality production, especially considering that they produced massive amount of pens. And the sheer number of variations and models would occupy a pen collector's years in research (and debates). On top of that, Sheaffer successfully developed and delivered innovative filling systems that are so well made, that today, decades later, we still get to experience and enjoy.

    My favorite among Sheaffer pens: Any Sheaffer with Touchdown filling system. Also the Triumph nib and its successor the Inlaid nib. I also love the "Dolphin" and the "Tucky".

    While a lot of us are fans of the Snorkel, I much prefer the Touchdown system because it is simple, effective, and elegant. It still have the "coolness" factor of blind-cap and chrome tube going in and out of the barrel, but it has a decent ink capacity and restoration is easy compared to the Snorkel.
    - Will
    A new place to shop for restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Cool Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Sheaffer is probably the most consistent in terms of maintaining high-quality production, especially considering that they produced massive amount of pens. And the sheer number of variations and models would occupy a pen collector's years in research (and debates). On top of that, Sheaffer successfully developed and delivered innovative filling systems that are so well made, that today, decades later, we still get to experience and enjoy.

    My favorite among Sheaffer pens: Any Sheaffer with Touchdown filling system. Also the Triumph nib and its successor the Inlaid nib. I also love the "Dolphin" and the "Tucky".

    While a lot of us are fans of the Snorkel, I much prefer the Touchdown system because it is simple, effective, and elegant. It still have the "coolness" factor of blind-cap and chrome tube going in and out of the barrel, but it has a decent ink capacity and restoration is easy compared to the Snorkel.
    Ideally, if i did decide to make a foray into Sheaffers, i would want a Snorkel/Touchdown - the engineering vision is amazing, kind of shows how little other manufacturers tried to really innovate.

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    Default Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    I don't really do "vintage" pens, but I have a Sheaffer Legacy II from the nineties. I understand these were some of the last Sheaffer pens made in the U.S. For a semi-objective appreciation of this pen, see...

    https://youtu.be/7eFp6_oq84o

    The one I have is sterling silver and oozes elegance. I'm not so much into elegance, so I don't keep it polished, but the function is perfection. The feel in the hand is exactly what I believe a fountain pen should be. The nib glides over any sort of paper and consistently delivers a bold, strikingly deep line of ink. It's one of the pens where you don't have to even think about the tool -- just a direct channel from the mind to the paper. And from pure aesthetics, I don't know that there is anything more beautiful than the inlaid 18K gold nib. I've never used the "touchdown" filling system. I just fill Sheaffer cartridges with the ink I want, and I'm off to the races.

    Because of this, I suppose if I got "into" vintage pens, I'd probably start with Sheaffer.

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    Default Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    I do not own a Sheaffer pen. I can not keep Sheaffer pens. My wife has some sort of Sheaffer fetish and any that have come into the house have been seized by her to go into a collection I don't get to see very often.

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    Default Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawler View Post
    I do not own a Sheaffer pen. I can not keep Sheaffer pens. My wife has some sort of Sheaffer fetish and any that have come into the house have been seized by her to go into a collection I don't get to see very often.
    Haha - I imagine your wife hiding round a corner, watching you open your latest pen purchase and then rubbing her hands together with an evil grin on her face as she realises it's time to plot another sheaffer abduction!

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    Default Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    Quote Originally Posted by WabiSabi View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawler View Post
    I do not own a Sheaffer pen. I can not keep Sheaffer pens. My wife has some sort of Sheaffer fetish and any that have come into the house have been seized by her to go into a collection I don't get to see very often.
    Haha - I imagine your wife hiding round a corner, watching you open your latest pen purchase and then rubbing her hands together with an evil grin on her face as she realises it's time to plot another sheaffer abduction!
    You are surprisingly not far off. However she does not have an evil grin, and her plot to obtain the pen is well practiced and almost always the same. She smiles with delight "Oh, that's nice, did you get it for me?, thank you" or some variant of the same.

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    Default Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    I'd like a Balance in a nice stripy material eventually - the shape and the stripes look great together. The celluloid pens are a lot less common on UK eBay than US (and cost significantly more when I've looked) so it is more of an idle wish than something I'm actively looking for just now. Oh, and I'd like something with a Triumph nib too. I didn't check the price range of Balances when I was last at a pen show, so I should probably do that! I think I'm going to be looking more closely at the Conway Stewarts next time though...

    I do have two Sheaffers. A big jade Senior with the huge nail of a Lifetime nib. The jade is a good colour, but the clip's broken off and it has had something of an impact and melty repair to the cap rim in one place. I got it for the colour. The other is a desk pen fountain and ballpoint set with an inlaid nib - I think it looks great with the lines of a desk pen.

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    Default Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    They're a well-made, yet still accessible brand if you want to own a vintage pen. It's true that some of the pens are quite expensive, but many of the more common models and colors are quite affordable. Yet you're still getting a well-made product that has a long lifespan. And it's hard to beat what you're getting for the price. As an example, take a basic TM Touchdown or a slender lever Balance in a common color. These are commonly available online in the US for $50 or even a little under if you look and are willing to change the bladder/o-ring. You're getting a lot for the money. And for the more experienced collector, there's a great deal of variety in the Sheaffer brand to fill a collection.

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    Default Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    I like Sheaffers from the 1950s to the 1970s mainly. From when I was a young pen hoarder. Touchdown Imperials and Dolphins, and the translucent school pens. Then I came to like the 1996 Holly pens.

    I don't much go in for the others, but I will say that the Preludes are good pens. Haven't made up my mind about them yet. No sense rushing into things.

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    Default Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    /reserved (will get back to this when home from work tonight...)
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    Echoing everyone else's comments about the quality of construction, the innovation of design and filling systems. And they invariably write exceptionally well.

    My favourite is my PFM II. It is the most comfortable pen I own, lending itself to longer writing sessions. The PdAg nib is a joy to write with, putting down a glorious wet line of Aurora Black with a delightfully smooth traversal across the page.

    I'm also emotionally invested as the first pen I bought for myself when I was at university (1984) was a Targa. That thing must have logged tens of thousands of pages by now and it has never skipped, hard started or burped, despite being pretty shoddily treated in the early days (loose in a bag with football boots, books, and the other crap you have to lug around for a day). On exam days, I'd show up with the Targa, a bottle of ink and a 12-pack of kleenex, and knew that no matter how many pages I had to churn out during the day (often 2 x 3 hour exams), the only thing I would not have to worry about was my writing instrument.

    That white dot delivers on its promise, and that can't help but breed brand loyalty. I'm an unabashed fan.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    Quote Originally Posted by SIR View Post

    Ideally, if i did decide to make a foray into Sheaffers, i would want a Snorkel/Touchdown - the engineering vision is amazing, kind of shows how little other manufacturers tried to really innovate.
    That's a little unfair. After all, Parker developed the 61 in this period. It's a flawed pen, but it's a creative solution to the problem of how to fill a fountain pen.

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    Default Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    Quote Originally Posted by guyy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SIR View Post

    Ideally, if i did decide to make a foray into Sheaffers, i would want a Snorkel/Touchdown - the engineering vision is amazing, kind of shows how little other manufacturers tried to really innovate.
    That's a little unfair. After all, Parker developed the 61 in this period. It's a flawed pen, but it's a creative solution to the problem of how to fill a fountain pen.
    Ok, tell me more - i know nothing about the Parker 61.

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    Default Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    I've given up on PFM but I still have a few Legacies and Targas that are in regular use because they are great starters. The stub nibs are magnificent, the rest good enough. As for the filling system, it's alright but I miss an indication of the ink level.

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    Default Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    I think they are pretty and elegant. I have a few skripserts and lady skripserts. These take today’s cartridges. I also have two of the pretty ebonite and abalone pens.
    Lady Onogaro

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    Default Re: Sheaffer - why so popular and what's your favourite?

    I agree with all of the statements about how Sheaffer made (makes?) great pens. I have a small collection, maybe 25 vintage Sheaffers. I also have a Legacy and a Balance II.

    I think that their availability is probably the primary reason that I have become a fan. I have stumbled across them at flea markets and estate sales. They are all over ebay. And, probably because they aren't so scarce, the prices are usually quite reasonable. Heck, there are even folks who have made small businesses out of turning new barrels and caps and putting old Sheaffer guts inside them!
    Last edited by although; July 23rd, 2019 at 06:56 AM.

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