Here is a beautiful Sheaffer Imperial IV fountain pen in deep and vibrant Navy Blue. Sheaffer made a relatively large number of different models under the "Imperial" name, this particular pen being the fourth iteration of the model. The "Mark IV" was first made as a Touchdown filler, later transitioning to the now ubiquitous cartridge/converter filler.
The pen is a Touchdown filler, which, in my opinion, is the more interesting variant. Cartridge filled pens are so common these days that having a pneumatic filler is so much more enjoyable. The Touchdown filling mechanism works very well, indeed. One stroke is all that's needed to fill the ink sac to capacity. Once restored, the Imperial is going to last years before it needs to be serviced.
I must admit, this is one of the better Imperials I've ever come across. The deep, vibrant, Navy Blue color is gorgeous against the gold trim, a truly classy look, without being ostentatious or gaudy. The plastic and the gold-filled clip and cap band are in great shape. Clearly, the pen saw little use over years, and it will rival some of the best selling, high-end pens today.
The nib is the star of the show, as is often the case in vintage pens. Sheaffer made some incredible nibs during its heyday, including the Lifetime "open" nibs, as well as the "wrap-around" Triumph and the inlaid Imperial nibs. The design is as beautiful as it is functional.
Writing feels smooth and effortless. The nib is neither a nail, nor is it a flexible nib, yet it maintains a unique, soft and pleasant feel. There's no skipping, no hard-starts, no issues with flow - just a gorgeous, fine line. Again, I believe this nib would rival some of the best nibs made today, including those by Montblanc, Pelikan, and Pilot. Why pay hundreds for a new Pelikan M600 if you can have a restored Imperial Touchdown for much less?