(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 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.
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.
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.