Sheaffer Lifetime Balance Vac, Golden Brown, F

(sold) This is a mid-1930s Sheaffer Lifetime Balance Vac-filler in striated Golden Brown celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an adjustment to ink flow and nib tuning, followed by a gentle polish with a soft cloth. I use current "best practices" in pen restoration, and I use high-quality replacement materials. This is the so-called "Slender" model, measuring 5.1" capped, and 0.43" in diameter.

Sheaffer Lifetime Balance Vac, Golden Brown, F with the cap off and plunger rod partially extended

The Sheaffer Balance gave rise to generations of pens based on this timeless design. The beauty of the design was its simplicity, and the strength its comfort. I cannot think of another 1930s pen that embodies these two characteristics better than the Balance. Add to it the gorgeous, gleaming, semi-transparent Golden Brown celluloid and tasteful gold-filled accents and you have a pen that looks as handsome as some of the well-known modern Italian pens.

Sheaffer Lifetime Balance Vac, Golden Brown, F, nib close-up showing excellent geometry and alignment

To me, and many other pen enthusiasts, the true source of the Balance's success is its writing ability. Vested with a large 14k gold Lifetime nib and a large ebonite feed, the pen writes like a dream, the instant you put it to paper. It's tuned to write at the lightest touch, but it will take greater pressure with ease. Sheaffer boasted that "no one can wear out a Lifetime nib," and I find this statement truthful. This particular nib is in excellent shape, with ample tipping material, of perfect geometry. Today, Visconti has the trademark for "Dreamtouch" nib but I feel the Lifetime deserves the moniker just as much.

Sheaffer Lifetime Balance Vac, Golden Brown, F, capped

Cosmetically, the celluloid is gorgeous, with a deep, rich, and vibrant color, and nice barrel transparency. You can watch the pen fill (up to 1.7 ml of ink) and gauge remaining ink level easily. The gold-filled trim is also in very good shape.