(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'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.
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.