Sheaffer Oversize Lifetime Balance Marine Green

The Sheaffer Oversize Balance is one of the most iconic fountain pens of the pre-war era. Most vintage fountain pens are rather small by today's standards. There are probably good economic reasons for why that is the case, but I believe that smaller pens were more desirable because of the penmanship techniques used at the time. The so-called business cursive (a.k.a., "Palmer Method Business Writing") was written with a very light touch, the palm off the table, with just the fingernails of the ring finger and pinky gently skating across the page. Such a technique required a thing and light pen, so that it would become a natural extension of one's hand. Today, oversize vintage pens are rather scarce, and they command a premium among fountain pen enthusiasts. They're particularly suitable to today's handwriting, and their physical size attributes are more in line with modern fountain pens.

Sheaffer Balance Oversize in Marine Green celluloid

This particular pen is a writer's dream. The large Lifetime nib is slightly upturned (Sheaffer's trademark design) and the tipping material has perfect size and geometry to facilitate effortless and thoroughly enjoyable writing. The pen;s moniker, "Balance," captures the pen's ergonomics perfectly. A supremely comfortable writer, with a slightly tapered section with a gently rounded off lip, this pen will easily outperform most modern fountain pens.

A beautiful, huge two-tone 14k gold Lifetime nib. Firm, but smooth.

The Marine Green celluloid is a gorgeous material, though, now decades old it tends to be discolored. However, this particular material is still vibrant, with good depth and chatoyancy, and only slight discoloration. To avoid further discoloration, I fitted the pen with a silicone sac. There is some plating loss at the top of the clip, so this pen would probably not satisfy the high-end collector.