Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Matador Click 320

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jeph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    South Texas
    Posts
    1,617
    Thanks
    2,027
    Thanked 756 Times in 433 Posts
    Rep Power
    9

    Default Matador Click 320

    Matador is one of my favorite German pen companies although they are not very well known. I landed this one quite a while ago and it was in pretty rough shape so I just tossed it into the “to do later” box and forgot about it. It caught my eye this weekend when I was looking for a pen to take a picture to help out a member restore an old East German pen. It had the look of a parts pen but at least it had a 14K nib to steal when the inevitable happened.

    So I started my normal initial checks and things started looking up. There was no warpage. The nib was secure on the feed and both were undamaged. The cap held securely and posted well. The piston actually felt pretty good. The ink window was stained blue but was still functional. And during all of this the majority of the grime just wiped away. The nib looked like a screw-in unit so I tried it and sure enough the complete nib unit screwed right out. Everything looked good and secure but the nib was pretty grimy. It was so bad that I skipped the water soak and went straight to pen flush. I rinsed most of the blue ink out of the pen and tried the draw of the piston. It was strong and I could see the edges of the rubber seal in the ink window and they looked correct. That was great news but the piston unit had to come out for me to clean the ink window properly. Surprisingly the piston unit came out easily with no complaints.

    There I ran into the first problem. The back of the piston was cracked. That happens when somebody screws out the piston unit with the piston bottomed against the back of the section. That drives me crazy but I see it so often that I almost expect it. So somebody had been inside this pen before. I looked at the piston seal and realized that this pen used to have a cork seal and it had been replaced with a pair of o-rings. The measured out to be properly sized so I left them alone. I thought that this was a post war pen but now I am thinking that it is not. The piston rod appeared to be brass but surprisingly there was no corrosion on it. I do not know exactly how these piston units go together so I decided against any further disassembly as everything was working fine. I did notice that the piston housing looked to me made from hard rubber so I was glad that I had not just chunked the pen into water to soak when I started. I put some silicon on the threads and adjusted the piston travel a couple of mm short (losing ink volume) to keep the load off of the cracked end of the piston and called it good.

    After a short water soak and scrub of the barrel I had not really made a dent in the staining of the ink window. So it went into the pen flush and I decided to clean the worst of the crud off of the nib and then put it back in to soak. But when I pulled the nib unit out (less than 1 hour of soaking) it was almost completely clean. Most of the discoloration was gone from the feed and a couple of quick passes with a polishing cloth and the nib was finished. I tested the fit of the parts together and everything was still secure. One of the tines was misaligned so I fixed that and then turned back to work on the ink window. But there was no blue tinge to the pen flush the barrel was soaking in. I scrubbed it with pen flush and still no color came off. Bugger. I put it back in to soak some more and started working on the cap.

    The cap was pretty filthy inside. There are 5 metal spring clasps that extend from a ring about half way down the barrel. I could not tell how that was installed (and therefore removed) so I left it alone. I went to work with some water and my favorite test tube brush and it promptly ate the bristles off of the brush. So I spent the next 30 minutes taking bristles out of the cap. After I while I got the inside of the cap as clean as I could although I never did figure out how to get the cap apart. After polishing the clip and the cap jewel were near perfect. The cap band has pitting along both edges but it still reacted well to polishing and I ended up with an overall nice looking cap.

    I took a break for a couple of hours and then came back to work on the ink window some more. There was still no blue color to the pen flush. More scrubbing did not change anything. I got out the loupe and my barrel light and realized that the ink window IS blue and the only thing that I could accomplish was to put more scratches into it. The entire pen is covered with small scratches and drawer marks plus a couple of serious dings. It looked like a great candidate for some Novus but I decided to leave it alone for one very good reason. I was sure that I was going to be carrying this pen around often.

    The thing that makes this more than just another boring black pen to me is the section contour. Because the pen has a slip cap, and the entire retention mechanism is within the cap, the barrel is wonderfully smooth. The contour fits my hand perfectly. The first time I air wrote with it, it literally took my breath away. I do not like black pens. I do not like oblique nibs. I do not like broad nibs. This black pen has an OB nib and it will still be in my rotation. That is how much I like it. And (for now) I am still too much of a purist to customize the nib to be other than what is marked on the barrel. I will probably replace the o-rings with cork down the road for the same reason but that can wait.

    Dimensions:
    Code:
    Length Capped    129 mm  5.07 in.  5      "
    Posted Length    144 mm  5.65 in.  5  5/8 "
    Unposted length  117 mm  4.60 in.  4  9/16"
    Cap Length        62 mm  2.43 in.  2  7/16"
    Cap Dia         14.1 mm   .55 in.     9/16"  
    Barrel Max Dia  12.0 mm   .47 in.    15/32"
    Section Min Dia 10.0 mm   .39 in.     3/8 "
    Talc added to the imprints for visibility
    Matador 320 Capped.jpgMatador 320 Posted.jpgMatador 320 Unposted.jpgMatador 320 Parts.jpgMatador 320 Barrel.jpgMatador 320 Model.jpgMatador 320 Nib Unit.jpg

  2. The Following 12 Users Say Thank You to Jeph For This Useful Post:

    + Show/Hide list of the thanked

    elaineb (March 26th, 2015), farmdogfan (March 27th, 2015), Flounder (March 26th, 2015), Kaputnik (March 27th, 2015), KrazyIvan (March 26th, 2015), pica pica (March 29th, 2015), Potter (March 27th, 2015), Robert (May 25th, 2014), RuiFromUK (May 25th, 2014), Tony Rex (May 25th, 2014), welch (May 27th, 2014), Xina (March 26th, 2015)

  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Frankfurt am Main
    Posts
    849
    Thanks
    969
    Thanked 284 Times in 216 Posts
    Rep Power
    7

    Default Re: Matador Click 320

    Well done Jeph and thank you for all the explanations of the process. It helps people like me who has less experience with piston fillers.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to RuiFromUK For This Useful Post:

    Lady Onogaro (March 26th, 2015)

  5. #3
    Senior Member Jeph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    South Texas
    Posts
    1,617
    Thanks
    2,027
    Thanked 756 Times in 433 Posts
    Rep Power
    9

    Default Re: Matador Click 320

    With normal and flexed wrting sample by request. This is the smoothest oblique nib that I have ever used and it is pretty forgiving with the contact angle. I also like that the nib has enough stiffness that I can write without flex without any special effort but it is there whenever you want it.

    Vertical .6 mm
    Down & Left (or Up & Right) .4 mm
    Down & Right (or Up & Left) .8 mm
    Horizontal .3 mm
    With Full Flex 1.7 mm

    Oh, and please ignore the purple blob that I keep forgetting to clean off of my scanner window.

    Matador 320 Sample 25pct.jpg

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jeph For This Useful Post:

    Lady Onogaro (March 26th, 2015), RuiFromUK (May 27th, 2014)

  7. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Frankfurt am Main
    Posts
    849
    Thanks
    969
    Thanked 284 Times in 216 Posts
    Rep Power
    7

    Default Re: Matador Click 320

    WOW I see what you mean about a flex OB nib! It is fantastic although I am sure it was not designed to be used as a flex nib.

    My only recommendation is that you use the deep purple ink with it. Can you imagine the shadows that one can see already above?

  8. #5
    Senior Member welch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    288
    Thanks
    382
    Thanked 149 Times in 93 Posts
    Rep Power
    7

    Default Re: Matador Click 320

    Well done and handsome pen.

    - Any history on the Matador company?
    - Any information on other East German pen companies? I have a modern Cleo Skribent "Chiffre"; have read that they were once an East German company making pens and technical instruments. Did any other East German companies make the leap and survive? (Of West German companies, I only know of Lamy, Pelikan, Diplomat, and Montblanc. Others seem to have died as the rest of the industry gave way to ballpoints etc)
    - Did you add water to that elegant Diamine Midnight? My bottle looks darker...less blue and closer to black.

  9. #6
    Senior Member Jeph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    South Texas
    Posts
    1,617
    Thanks
    2,027
    Thanked 756 Times in 433 Posts
    Rep Power
    9

    Default Re: Matador Click 320

    Going in reverse order:

    Diamine Midnight:
    I noticed the lighter color as well. I think it was just water left from cleaning. That sample was from the first 100 words from the freshly filled pen. It is writing darker now but still not as dark as I see in other pens. It might be that the nib glides so easily across the page that other than when I am flexing I might be moving too quickly. I have had some skipping, but that has been due to me lifting the nib from the page from lack of any feedback instead of flow, nib or ink issues. Some might call that a nib issue but I call it dreamy.

    East German Pen Makers:
    Names that come immediately to mind are Markant, Singwitz and Heiko. The problem with the East German manufacturers is that since they were "people's companies" the name was more about the location of the factory and each factory would make pens with many different trade names or none at all. And that does not even count the smaller operations that did not even have a trade name. Plus the market forced the various East German makers to consolidate. I think that of all of them Markant probably lasted the longest. When you consider that Montblanc and Lamy are the only German pen companies that have really survived to today from the pre-war period it is not surprising. Pelikan, Kaweco, Faber-Castell, Reform and Soennecken all failed. Heidelberg was really the post-war fountain pen Mecca and it was in the West. I am sure that there is more information out there. Maybe this bumbling attempt will coax some more information out.


    Matador History:
    A lot of this information is from this site Fountain Pen Chronology and I have seen it reproduced nearly verbatim in several sources. I have not found any conflicting information so I present it here.

    Matador pens were made by the Siebert & Löwen company in Wuppertal-Elberfeld which is in North Rhine-Westphalia, or mid west Germany. The company was founded in 1895 by Adolf Siebert & Ewald Löwen making stationary. The first evidence of their entry into the fountain pen market is in 1911 with French Patent 431.385 with what looks to be a stylographic pen. They reportedly initially focused on high quality inexpensive pens but so far I have not seen any examples of them. Before long they were in fierce competition with Pelikan, Soennecken (not Sönnecken by some rule of spelling that I don't understand) and Simplo/Montblanc for the high end pen market. I am lucky enough to own one of those which is currently the crowning jewel of my modest collection Jeph's Bling Matador.

    There are rumors of Montblanc pens with Matador markings and Matador pens with Montblanc markings. That could be an indication of collaboration but the accepted (without any documented proof that I have seen so far) explanation is that it was due to unrestricted industrial espionage and competition amongst the German fountain pen companies at the time.

    Supposedly E. E. König left Matador to start making pens as Mercedes. (I have also heard that he came from Montblanc.) I don't have a date for that but most of those pens that I see look to be early post-war models. Mercedes definitely made quality inexpensive pens as well as very good high end pens. I think I have one or two of their inexpensive models and have drooled over some of the higher end models but I have yet to acquire one.

    The Matador Click was introduced in 1949 (so much for my guess that it was pre-war due to the cork seal) and is claimed to be the world's first self-sealing slip-on fountain pen cap.

  10. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Jeph For This Useful Post:

    ehemem (June 3rd, 2014), farmdogfan (March 27th, 2015), pica pica (March 29th, 2015), welch (May 28th, 2014)

  11. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    2
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: Matador Click 320

    hi!

    i was rummaging through my old calligraphy stuff when i found an old fountain pen and i would like to find out more about it. what i do know about is as follows:
    - it is made by matador
    - weight: 23 grams
    - lenght: about 13 cm
    - gold cap with the logo at the tip, it has a clip with the logo written on it, otherwise the only text visible states "rolled gold", doesn't screw on, but rather clicks on.
    - the nib is a castell 14K 585
    - the body of the pen is... striped black and reflective silver

    here's a few photos, i tried searching on google for this pen, but found nothing. any help would be appreciated. here's a few photos.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/e3johaf4kn335lw/pen.jpg?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/cnub120xnu0e0wn/nib.jpg?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/bkvq3ihf1218shg/cap.jpg?dl=0

  12. #8
    Senior Member Jeph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    South Texas
    Posts
    1,617
    Thanks
    2,027
    Thanked 756 Times in 433 Posts
    Rep Power
    9

    Default Re: Matador Click 320

    I can't explicitly identify your pen, but it is definitely post 1950 and based on the basic Matador "Click" that is the basis of this post.
    None of the "Click"'s that I have seen were anything other than solid colored with celluloid caps.

    The rolled gold cap and striped celluloid points to it being a higher grade of pen then the basic "Click" but I can't place it.
    But I definitely want to, as now I need to find one.
    I will start digging around.

  13. #9
    Senior Member Jeph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    South Texas
    Posts
    1,617
    Thanks
    2,027
    Thanked 756 Times in 433 Posts
    Rep Power
    9

    Default Re: Matador Click 320

    Well, I have come up blank. Maybe you can get some better information from FPNuts
    I have no doubt that it is a legitimate Matador cap.
    The nib is clearly a replacement but that is not such a big deal.
    The barrel colors I could find no model, pre- or post-war that was similar. In fact, the coloring reminds me of casein which is a little bothersome from a restoration standpoint.

    Matador produced a great many pen models and colors over the years. I have only come a cross a couple of pages of catalogs and they were both for very early pens.

    I suggest you take some more pictures and give it its own thread either here or over at FPNuts, or both. I would like the know the answer myself.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •