Sheaffer Balance Vac Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XXF

(Sold) This is a late 1930s White Dot Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler in striated Marine Green celluloid with a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime XXF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tune-up, and a gentle hand polish. This is a full-length slender White Dot Balance, measuring 5.4" capped with a barrel diameter of 0.42". I work according to current best practices in pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement components.

Sheaffer Balance Vac Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XXF, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

In the 1930s, the fountain pen was the writing instrument of choice in the office. Most office personnel would have outstanding penmanship and employ it all day, every day for the majority of clerical tasks. The Balance was Sheaffer's most successful model, and the White Dot Lifetime variant, carrying lifetime warranty, was its flagship. It was was beautiful as it was functional. A truly superb example of the successful marriage of art and engineering.

Sheaffer Balance Vac Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XXF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

The phrase I wrote comes from an old penmanship book, used frequently to train office workers. I can easily imagine the pen I'm offering today in the hand of an a book keeper, a secretary, or an office manager. Thanks to its large ink capacity, it probably needed filling once a week, and thanks to its fantastic XXF nib, it was most likely a very versatile tool, capable of writing a precise line on all kinds of paper, including carbon copy.

How does it write? I'd describe this nib as very precise. Ink flow is a touch above average, which gives you most options in terms of ink and paper choices. Fill with an iron-gall dry ink, and it will write perfectly on copy paper, ink it up with a wet, lubricated conventional ink, and it will bring out its beautiful color depth, shading, even sheen. The nib writes at the lightest pressure, and would be an ideal instrument with which to write or learn a business cursive handwriting. The resulting line of about 0.3 mm is confident, consistent, and utterly enjoyable.

The Marine Green celluloid is gorgeous, with excellent vibrancy and depth. Barrel transparency is outstanding, as is the gold-filled trim. The imprint is strong. A truly gorgeous specimen!

Sheaffer Balance Vac Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XXF, capped

Sheaffer Craftsman Touchdown, Burgundy, F

(Sold) This is a late 1940s Sheaffer Craftsman Touchdown fountain pen in Black, with a 14k gold, "33" Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. This is a medium-size pen, measuring 5.08" capped and 0.44" in diameter.

Sheaffer Craftsman Touchdown, Burgundy, F, uncapped.

The price range between $50 and $100 is somewhat odd in the modern fountain pen market. The vast majority of the pens are likely to be mass-produced, plastic, C/C filler pens with a stainless steel nib. Some exceptions do exist, with nicer acrylic or metal bodies, but the steel nib is the constant fixture on those pens. What if you could find a pen that's just as well made, with a unique, high-capacity filling mechanism, and a gold nib? Impossible? Well, yes, unless you consider pens such as this awesome Sheaffer Craftsman Touchdown.

The Craftsman is a very interesting pen in its own right, but its key feature is the 14k gold nib. The least expensive gold-nibbed pen on Goulet Pens is the Pilot E95S, priced at $136. Though it's a very interesting pen, it's way outside our range of interest. If you're in the market for a new, economically priced pen, perhaps a gift for a friend, under $100, may I suggest that you consider this Craftsman?

It is a fantastic pen in excellent condition! In true Sheaffer fashion, it is well-balanced, posted or not. It's built to last, and holds a lot of ink. The nib writes a gorgeous, smooth, luscious Fine line of about 0.5 mm (on my paper), and has a very pleasant springy feel. It's tuned to write at the lightest touch, but it will take increased pressure in stride, giving you a hint of line variation. The nib is a dependable writer, without any hard-start, skipping, or ink starvation issues. It would be a perfect school or office pen, and it will put the fun back into note taking. Do you enjoy writing in a journal? This pen will deliver a superb performance on the go.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XF

(SOLD) This is a 1942 White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Vac fountain pen in striated Marine Green celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone Triumph Lifetime XF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). This is a full-size pen, measuring 5.15" capped and 0.45" in diameter.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XF, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

Sheaffer was a mighty brand in the 1940s. Today, we take advanced R&D from companies such as Apple and Google for granted, but in wartime America, Sheaffer was a pioneer, a leader in precision product design and manufacturing. For the Iowa company, "the laboratory was the quality proving ground for all new materials, all new designs," and it is thanks to the progressive engineering and "watch-like precision" conceived in the lab that we can enjoy Sheaffer pens today, decades later. 

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XF, nib profile

It's no secret that celluloid can be a very tricky material to manufacture and to ensure its long-term viability. Even today, only a handful of pen companies use celluloid anymore, precisely because of how labor-intensive and unstable it can be. However, Sheaffer did succeed in creating a celluloid of superb quality and breathtaking beauty. The vast majority of Sheaffer pens I've worked on showed no signs of material deterioration, unless they had been abused or stored in severely unfavorable conditions. It's fair to say that a well-restored Sheaffer celluloid pen is going to last for years to come, giving its new owner a reason to write.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XF, nib close-up

The pen I am offering today is made of the gorgeous striated Marine Green celluloid, with very good barrel transparency and a rich, vibrant color and depth. The pen is in excellent condition, showing only minimal signs of use. The pen is so gorgeous, so comfortable, so efficient as a writing tool that it's likely to bring a smile to your face every time you pick it up. With a completely rebuilt filling mechanism, the pen is a writer's dream.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XF, capped

The Triumph nib is a superb example of Sheaffer's advanced writing system. Yes, it's not just a nib, it's an entirely different ink delivery system, never before (or after) seen on a fountain pen. The system is particularly adept at regulating ink flow, regardless of atmospheric conditions, ink, paper, or writing technique. With an oversize ebonite feed, you can be sure the pen will never starve for ink or refuse to write. The nib is ground to have two writing surfaces, a feature that inspired Sailor to employ it on its high-end Naginata Togi nibs. The nib is firm, yet feels soft, as it effortlessly glides across the paper. Are you left-handed? Do you write with a death grip? Do you have a heavy hand? No problem! The nib can take it all in stride. It writes a line of about 0.4 mm (on my paper), which makes it close to a Western XF, yet without the toothiness typically associated with extra-fine nibs. If you've been wanting a pen with a superb writing performance, a precise, enjoyable line, and a handsome, classy appearance, look no further!

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XF, posted

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen, Carmine, XXF

(On hold) This is a 1942 White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize fountain pen in striated Carmine celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone Triumph Lifetime XXF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). This was the largest pen in Sheaffer's Triumph line-up, measuring 5.1" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen, Carmine, XXF, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

Sheaffer's wartime manufacturing capability was among the best in the entire U.S. precision industry. The Iowa company ran an extensive R&D program, with laboratories that were at least a decade ahead of other pen makers. Sheaffer implemented a sophisticated testing and quality control program, including machine testing of all of the pen's features, including how well it would fit into a breast pocket of a business suit, without doing any long-term damage to the fabric. Such attention to detail is one of the important reasons why we can enjoy 1940s Sheaffer pens today. If restored well, these pens are going to give joy and awesome performance to even the most discerning fountain pen enthusiasts. 

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen, Carmine, XXF, nib close-up

The Valiant was Sheaffer's pride and joy. A pen that was truly as beautiful as it was functional. Made of the vibrant, complex striated Carmine celluloid, the pen I'm offering today looks as classy as some of the modern Italian celluloid pens, yet you can have it for a fraction of the price of a Montegrappa or a Visconti. Celluloid is the royalty of fountain pen materials, visually stunning and extremely pleasant to the touch. It's been described as warm and inviting, even luscious. The pen has a semi-transparent barrel, which adds complexity to the material and offers an important functional advantage. The gold-filled trim complements the streamlined design, with a touch of luxury. There's one small scratch on the cap, but otherwise, the pen is in excellent shape, including flawless trim and a strong imprint.

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen, Carmine, XXF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment. Also note the transparent barrel and strong imprint

The pen comes vested with the awesome "wrap-around" Triumph XXF nib. The nib lays down a consistent line of about 0.2 mm, which puts it in the needlepoint vicinity, yet it feels smooth on paper and writes rapid upstrokes without ever catching the paper. For a point that fine, the nib has a large sweet spot. It would be an ideal tool with which to write a business cursive, the Palmer Method, or any of the modern logographic writing systems. You're not going to find a modern XXF nib that will come even close to the Triumph in terms of performance with a light hand and rapid strokes. Did I mention it is a beautiful, huge chunk of gold? 

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen, Carmine, XXF, capped

The pen is priced at $169. Please, contact me if you're interested in buying it and I will email you a PayPal invoice. Shipping fees are listed on this page. Thanks!

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Marine Green, F

(Sold) This is a 1942 White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Vac fountain pen in striated Marine Green celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone Triumph Lifetime Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). This is a full-size pen, measuring 5.1" capped and 0.46" in diameter.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Marine Green, F, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

Why do you write with a fountain pen? Me? I do because it brings me joy. Writing with any other instrument feels more like a chore, yet the fountain pen is a continuous source of pleasure. And no pen brings me more joy than the wartime Sheaffer Triumph. It's everything I want in a fountain pen. A beautiful, ergonomically sound design, a gorgeous, semi-transparent striated celluloid, a high-capacity vacuum filling mechanism, and, last but definitely not least, the Triumph nib.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Marine Green, F, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

The pen I am offering today is one of the nicest specimens of the model I've seen in a long time. It's flawless. A beautiful, vibrant, luscious celluloid, with excellent barrel transparency and awesome gold-filled trim, paired with the amazing Triumph nib, together, make this a superb fountain pen that should satisfy most fountain pen enthusiasts. Even if you've never owned a vintage fountain pen, you really owe it to yourself to try the Triumph at least once. The Triumph is such a departure from the classic, conventional fountain pen, that it is a writing instrument in a class of its own.

The Lifetime nib lays down a confident, even cocky, line of about 0.5 mm (on my paper), and feels incredibly smooth, yet without any flow issues that plague modern gold nibs of equal smoothness. The nib writes fantastic strokes in virtually any direction, has a large sweet spot, and gives one that gliding, almost hovering sensation. It grabs on to the surface of the paper, and holds on, until you command it otherwise. It writes under the lightest pressure, yet it will take  a heavy hand just as easily. A fabulous writer!

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Marine Green, F, capped

Sheaffer Craftsman Touchdown Fountain Pen, Black, F

(Sold) This is a late 1940s Sheaffer Craftsman Touchdown fountain pen in Black, with a 14k gold, two-tone Feather Touch Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. This is a medium-size pen, measuring 5.08" capped and 0.44" in diameter.

Sheaffer Craftsman Touchdown Fountain Pen, Black, F, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

One of the reasons I enjoy restoring vintage Sheaffer pens is that all of the models made between the early 1930s and the late 1950s, including entry-level pens, were of very high quality. Such pens, if restored well, can be enjoyed today even by people who are new to the pen hobby. No special skills required! The pen I am offering today is a very interesting Craftsman from the late 1940s, equipped with Sheaffer's trademarked Touchdown filling mechanism. The mechanism is very easy to use, and, with one push of the plunger, the pen fills up to capacity, holding more ink than most modern cartridge/converter pens. A simple, yet efficient design. And, it's a lot of fun to use!

Sheaffer Craftsman Touchdown Fountain Pen, Black, F, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

The Craftsman was economically priced then, and I price it economically today. I think it would be an ideal first vintage pen for a pen novice, and it would be perfect as a gift for your friend or family member, to start them on the exciting and utterly enjoyable journey into the world of vintage stationery and penmanship. The pen is in very good condition, without any flaws or defects, with excellent gold-filled trim. It functions as well as it did when it left the factory. 

The Feather Touch really deserves its name. A soft, springy nib, it writes reliably at the lightest pressure, laying down a consistent line of about 0.5 mm (on my paper). Today, gold-nibbed pens are extremely expensive, but you can purchase this complete pen, restored and tuned, for much less than the price of a modern gold nib alone.

Sheaffer Craftsman Touchdown Fountain Pen, Black, F, capped

Sheaffer Triumph Crest Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, F

(On hold) This is a 1942 White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Crest ("1500") fountain pen in striated Golden Brown celluloid, with a 14k gold-filled cap, and 14k gold, two-tone Triumph Lifetime Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). This is a full-size pen, measuring 5" capped and 0.47" in diameter. The Crest was the "flagship" of the Sheaffer catalog in the 1940s.

Sheaffer Triumph Crest Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, F, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

In the early 1940s, Sheaffer was the leader of the U.S. pen industry, with an extensive catalog, where even the entry-level pens were of outstanding quality. At the top of the catalog, sat its the Crest, the Iowa company's flagship model. The pen I am offering today is a beautiful, immaculate Crest that dates back to 1942, the early days of the Triumph line. The pen has two important characteristics that set it apart from later Triumph models. First, the barrel acts as an ink reservoir. It's semi-transparent, so you can easily see the ink inside it. Second, the pen has a matching striated section, which is as beautiful as it is functional, with a  pleasant, "warm" feel that only vintage celluloid can provide.

Sheaffer Triumph Crest Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, F, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

Sheaffer attributed a large part of the success to their R&D laboratories. While most modern high-end pen makers focus on creating highly decorative, luxury pens, Sheaffer's attention was primarily on features that enhanced the pen's utility as a writing instrument. The Triumph truly was a triumph of ingenuity and engineering, yet it was also beautiful. The Crest is perhaps as much "bling" as you're ever going to get on a 1940s Sheaffer pen. It's a classy, handsome implement, made of extraordinarily beautiful striated celluloid, with a gold-filled cap with a subtle Art Deco guilloche decorative pattern. And it's in excellent condition, without any flaws or defects. The material has great color, depth, vibrancy, and chatoyancy, the gold-filled trim smooth and glossy, free of imperfections.

Sheaffer Triumph Crest Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, F, nib close-up

A full-size pen, the Crest posts very well, so it should be comfortable even for people with large hands. The pen is perfectly balanced, posted or not, with a large, comfortable, gently ribbed section and a wrap-around, two-tone nib. The Crest comes equipped with a vacuum filling mechanism, which has been completely rebuilt, functioning smoothly and holding a lot of ink. 

The 14k Lifetime nib is a delight! In true Triumph fashion, it has two writing surfaces, a large sweet spot, and a soft feel on paper. It lays down a standard Sheaffer Fine line of about 0.5 mm (on my paper), and writes self-assured strokes in virtually any direction. The nib is perfectly smooth, but its smoothness is achieved by clever engineering and superb craftsmanship rather than by polishing the writing surface to an extreme degree. As a result, the Crest is a dependable writer that will never let you down, and, unless you're a fan of extra broad nibs, will bring you a lot of joy and help take your handwriting to the next level.

Speaking of handwriting, the Triumph nib is a fantastic tool with which to practice penmanship. Because of its forgiving geometry and a slightly upturned tip, it excels at writing long, rapid strokes that are needed for cursive handwriting. It truly is a precision tool, and it will not hard-start, skip, or starve for ink, rewarding you with a line that you can rely on for that smooth, flowing, graceful handwriting you want. And, did I mention it writes at the lightest pressure? It does, indeed, and, as importantly, it will take  a heavy hand in stride.

Sheaffer Triumph Crest Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, F, capped

Sheaffer Balance "Vigilant" Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XXF

(Sold) This is an early 1940s White Dot Sheaffer Balance "Vigilant" fountain pen in Marine Green striated celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). The pen measures 5.1" capped and 0.42" in diameter.

Sheaffer Balance "Vigilant" Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XXF, uncapped

Sheaffer's "White Dot," usually found on the cap, and the designation "Lifetime," stamped onto the nib, indicated an unconditional warranty for the lifetime of the original owner. Sheaffer claimed that "the total cost of a Sheaffer Lifetime is its original price," as all repairs and tune-ups would have been done free of charge. It's not surprising, these pens were built tough. The might look dainty or frail by the standards of today's all-metal, tactical, EDC, and other overbuilt pens, but don't let the gentle looks deceive you. The pen I am offering you today is going to be an excellent daily "workhorse" writer. It would make an ideal "first vintage pen" for a fountain pen novice, but it would also be a perfect pen for an experienced pen enthusiast, particularly for journaling, sketching, business writing, and other situations where a dependable, XXF writer is needed. Did I mention this pen was meant to be used by U.S. Armed Forces? Yes, it's that durable and dependable. If you've been thinking of ordering another Pilot Custom 74 or Sailor Pro Gear, I encourage you to give this affordable "Vigilant" a chance.

Sheaffer Balance "Vigilant" Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XXF, nib profile

The Lifetime nib writes a line of about 0.2 mm (on my paper), which puts it in the needlepoint vicinity. Yet, it does not feel scratchy, it doesn't catch the paper, and, most importantly, it writes confident strokes in virtually all directions, without varying line width, which can be a problem (or a feature) for modern Japanese XXF nibs.

Cosmetically, the pen is free from any flaws or defects. The celluloid has a rich, and vibrant color, with some minor surface wear present. The gold-filled trim is in excellent condition, the imprint is not terribly strong, and there's some "ambering" (darkening) of the ink window. 

Sheaffer Balance "Vigilant" Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XXF, capped

Sheaffer Craftsman Fountain Pen, Evergreen Green, F

(Sold) This is a mid-1940s Sheaffer Craftsman fountain pen in Evergreen Green with a 14k gold Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish (by hand, with a soft cloth). The pen measures 5.1" capped and 0.45" in diameter.

Sheaffer Craftsman Fountain Pen, Evergreen Green, F, uncapped

One of the reasons I love restoring Sheaffer pens is the excellent quality throughout the entire product range. This Craftsman is a great example of Sheaffer's leadership in the pen market. An lower-priced pen, it has the Iowa company's familiar ergonomics, beautiful material, a fantastic 14k gold nib, and superb quality of craftsmanship. 

Sheaffer Craftsman Fountain Pen, Evergreen Green, F, nib profile

The pen comes vested with an exquisite gold nib. It probably sold as a Medium, but it writes closer to a modern Western Fine, a confident, juicy line of about 0.5 mm (on my paper). It's a firm nib, yet it feels soft on paper. Sheaffer was a master nib maker, and the "33" gold nib is among my favorites. It gives you that desirable gliding, almost hovering sensation, but without disconnecting you from the page. An expert shock absorber, the nib will feel smooth even on fairly rough paper, a quality that most modern gold nibs lack. If you don't yet own a vintage pen, this would be a fantastic pen with which to start your exciting journey into the vintage world, a great tool with which to practice your penmanship and take it to the next level.

Sheaffer Craftsman Fountain Pen, Evergreen Green, F, capped

Cosmetically, the pen is awesome, without any flaws or defects, and some very, very faint surface wear. The ink window is clear, the gold-filled trim excellent, the imprint strong. A handsome pen!

Sheaffer Balance "Defender" Vac fountain pen, Golden Brown, XF

(Sold) This is a wartime Sheaffer Balance "Defender" Vac fountain pen in striated Golden Brown celluloid with a gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold, two-tone Feather Touch XF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). I work according to current "best practices" in pen restoration, and I use high-quality replacement materials.

Sheaffer Balance "Defender" Vac fountain pen, Golden Brown, XF, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

This is a beautiful, rare Sheaffer fountain pen made specifically to comply with U.S. Armed Forces regulations, such that the pen had to be flush with a uniform breast pocket. These pens are beautiful, yes, but they were also made tough. They were dependable daily writers, performing very well in the office, out in the field, at sea, and in the air. Today, they still make fantastic performers, and their rare beauty makes them particularly desirable among collectors.

This particular pen is in fantastic condition, with vibrant, rich celluloid, excellent barrel transparency, fantastic gold-filled trim, and a gorgeous XF nib. Did I mention the vacuum filling mechanism? It works flawlessly, holding a lot of ink (2.2 ml using the two-stroke method). If you still aren't convinced this pen is for you, read on :).

Sheaffer Balance "Defender" Vac fountain pen, Golden Brown, XF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment. Also, note very clear barrel transparency

This is a full-size pen, measuring 5.2" capped and 0.48" in diameter. It posts well, so it should be comfortable even for people with large hands. The material has incredible depth and chatoyancy. Barrel transparency means you can watch the pen being filled, which is always fun, and you can see your favorite ink sloshing around inside the barrel. This is a writer's pen - one fill is going to last for weeks and the awesome writing ability is going to have you keep coming back for more. Being part of the Balance family, the pen is ergonomically sound, and it writes effortlessly. The Feather Touch really deserves its name. It does write at the lightest touch, laying down a confident line of about 0.4 mm. It probably sold as a Fine, but, by today's Western standards, I'd rank it has a generous XF. If you press harder,  you will be rewarded with a gentle "give," a little bit of spring that's going to make your writing that much more enjoyable and might even give you a hint of line variation.

Sheaffer Balance "Defender" Vac fountain pen, Golden Brown, XF, capped

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize, Chocolate Brown, XF

(SOLD) This is a mid-1940s White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Vac Oversize ("1250") in Chocolate Brown with a 14k gold, two-tone Fine  nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. This model was the largest in Sheaffer's wartime catalog. 

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize, Chocolate Brown, XF, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

Sheaffer claimed that a large part of their "leadership" in the pen industry was thanks to the use of gold, "one of the finest raw materials." Today, the role of solid gold nibs is often questioned, particularly by pen companies, who have a significant business interest in selling steel-nibbed pens. The price of gold has gone up in recent years, and pen makers are finding it difficult to justify (and afford) putting gold nibs on their pens. In fact, a modern 18k gold nib alone costs a lot more than most decent fountain pens. Fortunately, we can still find wonderful vintage gold-nibbed pens at affordable prices.

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize, Chocolate Brown, XF, nib profile, showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment. Also, note the crisp imprint.

So what is the deal with gold nibs? Are they inherently better than stainless steel? No, stainless steel nibs can be very good, but the magic of vintage gold nibs is in the intricate combination of several important factors behind a high-quality vintage gold nib, such as this Sheaffer Triumph. The manufacturing process, which is largely lost to us, was focused on creating the best writing instrument possible. The gold alloy, its processing (incl., annealing, tempering, hammering, etc.), the design itself, and, most importantly, the finishing technique used, all contributed to creating a fantastic tool that remains unmatched by most gold nibs made today.

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize, Chocolate Brown, XF, nib close-up

The Triumph nib is firm, by design, yet it feels soft on paper. It provides that cushioned ride across the paper, as if hovering above the surface of the paper, yet without feeling disconnected from it. The material excels at dampening vibrations resulting from dragging the point across the rough paper, which gives the writer that highly desirable sensation of smoothness. But it's smoothness done right, i.e., without compromising the nib's writing ability, without the hard-starts and skips that plague overly polished modern "luxury" pens. A lot of my customers who have given the Triumph nib a chance, report back how much they love their Sheaffer nibs, how different they feel, how well they write.

The Valiant I am offering today is a large pen in excellent condition. The Chocolate Brown material is smooth, with a rich and vibrant color, a clear ink window, a strong imprint, and virtually no signs of use. The gold-filled trim, including the cap threads, is in equally great shape. Quite simply, a handsome, beautiful pen.

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize, Chocolate Brown, XF, capped

Sheaffer Triumph Fountain Pen, Carmine, F

(SOLD) This is a 1942 White Dot Sheaffer Triumph fountain pen in striated Carmine celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). I work according to current "best practices" in pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement materials. I completely removed the old Sheaffer "packing" material and replaced it with a modern material that's of higher quality and better durability than the original. This is a full-size pen, measuring 5.1" capped and 0.47" in diameter.

Sheaffer Triumph Fountain Pen, Carmine, F, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

As the U.S. entered World War II, the pen industry was at a pivotal stage in its history. Sheaffer was tasked by the Government to manufacture high-precision components for the war effort, including mission-critical bomb fuses. Despite severe material and labor shortages, the Iowa company not only succeeded in staying afloat, but it also fulfilled its obligations, hired new staff, and expanded its real estate. Sheaffer attributed a lot of its success to its use of high-quality materials, such as gold and celluloid, and, most importantly, its advanced research laboratories. Sheaffer engineers worked tireless to perfect the fountain pen as a writing instrument, and its child was the Triumph nib and feed system.

Sheaffer Triumph Fountain Pen, Carmine, F, nib close-up

The pen I am offering today is a great example of the venerable Sheaffer Triumph. Made of the gorgeous striated Carmine celluloid, with a wide gold-filled cap band and the characteristic rounded clip, the pen is one of the most beautiful writing instruments of the 1940s. The pen is in fantastic condition, with a gleaming, deep, rich, and vibrant material, a nicely transparent barrel, and excellent trim. In fact, the pen is so gorgeous that it would feel completely at home in a display case next to some of the modern Italian celluloid pens by Montegrappa. 

Sheaffer Triumph Fountain Pen, Carmine, F, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment.

The large Triumph Lifetime nib is in superb condition. It lays down a Fine line of about 0.5 mm (on my paper), and it glides across the page effortlessly. The nib is designed on the rocker principle, which gives it a unique feel and a large "sweet spot." In daily writing, the pen will feel smooth, virtually regardless of your grip, holding angle, and rotation about the page. It writes equally good strokes in all directions, without ever catching the paper or feeling scratchy. Yet, despite the smoothness, the nib writes confidently, never having any hard-start or skipping issues that plague modern buttery smooth nibs. And if you need an XXF line, just flip it upside down - it was designed to be able to write this way, too. The vacuum filling mechanism works efficiently and holds more ink than some of the largest modern piston fillers.

Sheaffer Triumph Fountain Pen, Carmine, F, capped

Sheaffer Balance in Marine Green, F

(Sold) This is a c. 1935 Sheaffer Balance Lever-filler fountain pen in Marine Green celluloid, with a 14k gold Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. The pen measures 4.7" capped and 0.42" in diameter.

Sheaffer Balance in Marine Green, F, uncapped

Do you ever wonder if your handwriting would improve if only you had that special fountain pen that does what your hand commands? I know I do, and this pen does. What joy this pen is to write with! Being part of the Balance family, its ergonomically sound, very comfortable (posted or unposted), it fits my hand like a glove, though if you are a lover of the Delta Dolcevita OS, this pen is probably not for you.

Sheaffer Balance in Marine Green, F, nib profile

The nib writes a true-to-size Fine line (about 0.5 mm on my paper), laying down a silky smooth line with generous ink flow. The nib conforms to your movement perfectly, obeying your subtle shifts in movement in any direction. The downstrokes are as self-assured as upstrokes, the cross-strokes feel as smooth and as confident. It writes at the lightest pressure, and will reward you with a gentle "give" if pressed harder. This would be an ideal "first vintage pen" for a person who loves to write in their journal, for someone who loves inks, their color and shading, for someone who enjoys long writing sessions in a coffee shop, interspersed with delicious bites of tiramisu.

Sheaffer Balance in Marine Green, F, nib close-up

The pen is in excellent condition. If you saw it in a display case next to a modern Italian beauty, you'd think they absolutely belong together. This celluloid tends to be discolored on most pens of this era, but this particular pen is free of any discoloration or flaw. The gold-filled trim is excellent. The imprint is strong. A beautiful specimen of this fantastic model! 

Sheaffer Balance in Marine Green, F, capped

Sheaffer Triumph Statesman Vac "1000", Persian Blue, F

(Oh hold) This is a mid-1940s White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Statesman Vac "1000" fountain pen in Persian Blue with a 14k gold, two-tone Triumph Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). This is a full-size pen, measuring 5" capped with a barrel diameter of 0.46".

Sheaffer Triumph Statesman Vac, Persian Blue, F, uncapped with the plunger partially extended

Before the Lamy 2000 Black Amber was released, a lot of people speculated that the 50th anniversary model would be made of blue Makrolon. Consequently, there was a lot of disappointment when it turned out not to be true. I have good news for you. The pen I am offering today is very much like the Lamy 2000 of the 1940s. The Sheaffer Triumph Statesman in Persian Blue is a gorgeous, medium-size pen, with excellent ergonomics, a vacuum filling mechanism (1.9 ml w/ two-stroke method), an ink view window, and a fantastic gold nib. Sound familiar?

Sheaffer Triumph Statesman Vac, Persian Blue, F, nib and section close-up

The pen is in excellent condition, with only the faintest signs of use. The material is deep, rich, and vibrant, the ink window clear, the imprint strong, the gold-filled trim great, and the nib flawless. Quite simply, it's an awesome pen, every bit as good as the Lamy 2000, and it now can be yours!

The nib writes a beautiful, smooth, consistent line of about 0.4 mm on my paper. Unlike the Lamy 2000, it has a large "sweet spot" and is quite forgiving of your holding angle and rotation about the page. No matter how you hold your pen (well, almost), the nib's going to oblige, writing flawlessly, free of hard-starts and ink starvation. It will deliver fantastic performance day in, day out. A true workhorse of a pen, perfect for the office, home, or school. 

Sheaffer Triumph Statesman Vac, Persian Blue, F, capped

Sheaffer Flat-top Oversize, Black, XF Wet Noodle

(Sold) This is a 1920s Sheaffer White Dot Flat-top Lifetime Oversize fountain pen in Black, with a 14k gold Lifetime XF "wet noodle" flexible nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). By vintage standards, this is a very large pen, measuring 5.3" capped and 0.52" in diameter.

Sheaffer Flat-top Oversize, Black, XF Wet Noodle, uncapped

The notion of rarity is somewhat peculiar in the vintage pen world. A very small detail, such as the number of cap bands, can be the difference between an ordinary daily writer and a highly collectable "grail" pen. I think that, to the majority of my customers, such esoteric details do not matter nearly as much as they do to high-end collectors. However, some rare features are downright amazing.

Sheaffer Flat-top Oversize, Black, XF Wet Noodle, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

This Sheaffer Flat-top is a particularly rare pen due to its physical size and its nib. The Lifetime nib was designed to withstand years of daily use and offer its owner unconditional warranty. Needless to say, most Lifetime nibs were made tough. They were stamped out of a large, thick piece of gold, and they were meant to be firm, even rigid. It's is, therefore, exceedingly rare, to come across a flexible Lifetime nib. It is even more rare to have such a nib on an Oversize pen.

Sheaffer Flat-top Oversize, Black, XF Wet Noodle, nib close-up

This nib was most likely a special-order item, a one-of-a-kind nib made for the discerning customer, probably for someone who wrote Spencerian penmanship. Despite being very flexible, this is still a Lifetime nib, so it does have the toughness to take years of daily use (but not abuse, of course). It's a huge nib, with long tines, and it flexes very easily. A wet noodle is not about how much a nib will flex, but it's more about its response. This nib writes an XF line (about 0.4 mm on my paper) and flexes very easily with increased pressure to about 1.3 mm, with excellent "snap-back." In the hands of a skilled penman, the nib will produce beautiful, precise transitions between hairlines and swells. However, if you write with a heavy hand, this nib is not for you, as it will resemble a brush pen, rather than a fountain pen. I recommend you start with a dry ink, such as Pelikan 4001 or an iron-gall ink, as it will give you better creative control of the nib.

Sheaffer Flat-top Oversize, Black, XF Wet Noodle, capped

The nib is in amazing condition. Clearly, it had not been used much at all. The tipping material is of perfect geometry and the tines have perfect alignment, both with and without flexing. If you're used to writing with a Waterman 52 (or similar), this nib will feel different, due to its large physical size and long tines. But once you get used to it, it will be magical.

The pen is in excellent cosmetic condition, without any flaws or defects. The gold-filled trim is in equally great shape. The imprint is strong. The White Dot is on the top of the cap. A fantastic specimen of this rare pen!

Sheaffer Balance Junior Vac, Rose Glow, XF

(Sold) This is a mid-1930s Sheaffer Balance Junior Vac filler fountain pen in Rose Glow celluloid, with a 14k gold XF nib. The pen measures 4.8" capped and 0.42" in diameter. The pen has been restored, which included a a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand).

Sheaffer Balance Junior Vac, Rose Glow, XF, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

As the #fountainpenday2016 countdown continues, as part of my "special" theme, I have another beautiful, rare pen at a reasonable price. This Sheaffer Balance Junior Vac comes in a much sought-after Rose Glow celluloid. A truly distinguished, handsome pen, this Sheaffer will make a fantastic daily writer, and its gorgeous celluloid is bound to put a smile on your face every time you reach for the pen. And when you put it to paper, magic happens. A fantastic XF nib, it writes a line of about 0.3 mm on my paper, effortlessly gliding across the page, grabbing on to the surface of the paper, holding on, until you command it to stop. In my experience, very few companies make such nibs today; nibs with tipping geometry that promotes capillary action, allowing the ink to flow exactly right. The nib performs at its best with a light touch, but if you bear down on it, it will reward you with a pleasant "give," and will keep on writing, as it was designed to do.

Sheaffer Balance Junior Vac, Rose Glow, XF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

The pen is in good cosmetic condition, with some wear on the cap and the chrome-plated trim. However, the wear is rather minor, and the pen is free from any flaws or defects. The filling mechanism is quick to use and efficient, holding up to 1.7 ml of ink (using the two-stroke filling method). The phrase comes from an old penmanship book.

Sheaffer Balance Junior Vac, Rose Glow, XF, capped

Sheaffer Triumph Tuckaway (early), Carmine, XF

(Sold) This is a Dot Sheaffer Triumph Tuckaway Vac fountain pen in striated Carmine celluloid with a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime Triumph XF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). I completely replaced Sheaffer's original "packing" material with a high-quality modern replacement, using current "best practices" in pen restoration.

Sheaffer Triumph Tuckaway (early), Carmine, XF, posted

The Fountain Pen Week special offer continues with another rare, beautiful pen at a reasonable price. This time, a gorgeous Sheaffer Tuckaway in striated Carmine celluloid, with a fantastic Triumph XF nib. This is a rare, early clipless model, which is particularly hard to come by in red.

Sheaffer Triumph Tuckaway (early), Carmine, XF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

The pen is an ideal pocket or purse pen. It's very small when capped (4.4" capped and 5.2" posted), sturdy, and a fantastic performer. It's the kind of pen you carry with you at all times, and it will reward you with instant start-up, a smooth, controlled line (about 0.4 mm on my paper), and a nib that's particularly forgiving of your angle and rotation. Take it with you to work, your favorite coffee shop, on your travels. It will fit perfectly in the pen loop of your Traveler's notebook. In fact, it seems custom-made for it!

Sheaffer Triumph Tuckaway (early), Carmine, XF, capped

If you're a fan of the Kaweco Sport, Liliput, TWSBI Mini, you're going to love this pen. Except, I think it's a better "pocket pen" design than its modern counterparts. It's truly as beautiful as it is functional, the vacuum filling system holding up to 1.5 ml of ink (using the two-stroke filling method). The pen is in very good cosmetic condition, with faint signs of use, and no flaws or defects. There's some wear on the section threads (virtually unavoidable on this model). The imprint is strong. The gold-filled trim is in equally great shape, without a trace of brassing. Barrel transparency is good. The platinum mask on the nib is as good as new.

Sheaffer Triumph Tuckaway (early), Carmine, XF, compared to the modern Aurora Optima

Sheaffer "Fat" Touchdown, Black, XXF

(On hold) This is a 1949 White Dot Sheaffer "Fat" Touchdown fountain pen in Black, with a 14k gold, two-tone Triumph XXF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a through but gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). This is the largest Touchdown model, measuring 5.25" capped and 0.45" in diameter. This pen probably sold as an XF, but. by today's standards, it is an XXF (0.3 mm line on paper).

Sheaffer "Fat" Touchdown, Black, XXF, uncapped

Today, we use fountain pens mostly for fun, for the joy they give us. However, some of us still use fountain pens for work purposes, in the office, at school, taking notes in meetings, writing in our journals, and other purposes that require a fine, controlled, and consistent line that will not make a mess of poor quality paper. If you are in need of such a pen, look no further than this Sheaffer Touchdown.

Sheaffer "Fat" Touchdown, Black, XXF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

This is the "first-year" model, also known as the "Fat" touchdown. It's significantly larger than the later TD and Snorkel models, and yet it has the excellent ergonomics and the reliable, easy to use Touchdown filing mechanism of its successors. Sheaffer claimed it was the "easiest pen to fill," and I completely agree with that. One stroke fills the ink reservoir to capacity, holding as much ink as modern piston-fillers. The Triumph nib writes a gorgeous, dependable 0.3 mm line, which puts in in the XXF category. However, thanks to its ingenious design, the nib is virtually free from the toothiness typically associated with conventional XXF nibs. Moreover, it will write rapid strokes in all directions without catching the paper. It's an ideal pen with which to write a business cursive or Spencerian penmanship (without swells).

Sheaffer "Fat" Touchdown, Black, XXF, nib close-up

This pen came to me in poor cosmetic condition. Because of the awesome nib, I decided to restore the pen, and I think I brought it close to my usual standards. However, some of the surface wear is still present, especially on the cap. Therefore, I am offering this pen at a significant discount. Why buy another TWSBI if you can have this fantastic vintage pen?

Sheaffer "Fat" Touchdown, Black, XXF, capped

Sheaffer Balance "Lady" Carmine, XXF

(On Hold) This is a mid-1930s Sheaffer Balance "Lady" (a.k.a., "350") fountain pen in striated Carmine celluloid, a lever-filler, with a 14k gold XXF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle but thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, adjustment of ink flow, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). The pen measures 4.7" capped and 0.42" in diameter.

Sheaffer Balance "Lady" Carmine, XXF, uncapped

Last time I posted a Carmine Sheaffer Balance, I received a lot of inquires and some of you missed out on that pen. I am happy to report that I have just restored another beautiful "Lady" Sheaffer Balance in the gorgeous striated Carmine celluloid, with a smooth, precise 14k gold XXF nib.

Sheaffer Balance "Lady" Carmine, XXF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment. Also, note a nice ink view window.

The pen is as gorgeous as it gets, in my opinion. It's probably my favorite fountain pen material of the 1930s. Sheaffer was a major innovator in the area of material science, and the striated celluloid came out of its laboratories, following years of research, trying to replace hard rubber as the main pen material. Obviously, the Iowa company succeeded, and the Carmine celluloid is among the most sought after materials in the vintage world today. The pen is in excellent condition, without any flaws or defects, with only very minor surface wear, excellent gold-filled trim, and a perfectly usable ink view window in the section. A handsome pen, it will make a perfect companion on your travels or a faithful friend on your visits to a coffee shop. It'll make your journaling that much more enjoyable. Once you hold it in your hand, put it to paper, you'll want to write, write, write.

Sheaffer Balance "Lady" Carmine, XXF, nib close-up

The nib is, once again, one of my frequently requested points. A true XXF, it lays down a consistent line of about 0.3 mm, and if you write on very dry paper, such as Rhodia, you might easily get it down to a needlepoint width (0.2 mm). However, the nib is free of most of the unpleasant toothiness associated with modern XXF nibs. That's thanks to the nib's incredible ability to absorb vibrations coming from the roughness of the paper, also known as "feedback." You will still feel connected to the paper, the pen being an extension of your hand, and, in turn, of your thoughts, but the experience will be full of joy. I do want to point out that the nib performs at its best if you write with a light hand. It will reward you with consistent performance in strokes in virtually all directions, including long curves, without ever catching the paper. However, if you write with a heavy hand, this pen is probably not for you.

Sheaffer Balance "Lady" Carmine, XXF, capped

Sheaffer Balance "Vigilant" Military Golden Brown, XXF

(On hold) This is an early 1940s Sheaffer Balance "Vigilant" Vac fountain pen in striated Golden Brown celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime XXF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough, but gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). The pen measures 5.1" capped and 0.42" in diameter.

Sheaffer Balance "Vigilant" Military Golden Brown, XXF, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

I think it's fair to say that Apple and Google are today's Parker and Sheaffer. The two pen companies were among the greatest innovators of their respective era. They both created incredible, timeless fountain pens, built around sophisticated technologies. The pen I am offering today is a great example of a 1940s pen. It's beautiful, ergonomically sound, performs very well, and was built to withstand "the hardest of pen ordeals." The pen came to me with a broken nib, so I replaced it with a better, Lifetime nib, which is correct for the "White Dot" version of the pen.

Sheaffer Balance "Vigilant" Military Golden Brown, XXF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

If you're thinking of buying the new Pelikan M400 Tortoise, may I suggest an alternative. This Sheaffer pen is about the same size, made of similarly beautiful material, has an even greater ink capacity, and comes with a fantastic gold nib that writes a much finer line (about 0.2 mm on my paper) than the Pelikan XF nib. And, it has some really interesting history behind it. A pen designed specifically for the US Armed Forces, it was meant to be used in the field, at sea, and in the air. A beautiful, sturdy, and dependable writer, at a fraction of the M400 price!

Sheaffer Balance "Vigilant" Military Golden Brown, XXF, nib close-up

The pen is free from any flaws or defects. The celluloid has a deep, rich, and vibrant color, with excellent barrel transparency. You can watch the pen getting filled and gauge remaining ink level with ease. The clip is known as the "Military" clip, and it's rather unique. Why buy a modern pen that thousands of other people already have, if you have have this beauty for a lot less?

The Lifetime nib is a fantastic performer. It writes an XXF line (bordering on a needlepoint), but without the typical "toothiness" of modern XXF nibs. It allows you to write rapid strokes in all directions (including curves) without catching the paper, and a generous, yet controlled flow of ink. A perfect pen for business cursive, a great journaling pen, a travel companion. This pen was meant to be used on the road. It'll fit in your journal's pen loop and will bring a smile to your face every time you reach for it to write down your thoughts. An extension of your hand.

Sheaffer Balance "Vigilant" Military Golden Brown, XXF, capped