(sold) This is a vintage Sheaffer Lifetime Balance Full-Size fountain pen in Black with a 14k gold Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism (incl., a silicone sac), ink flow adjustment, nib tune-up, and a gentle hand polish. This is a large pen, measuring 5.4" capped, with a barrel diameter of 0.47". The pen was made in the early 1930s.
In the early 1930s, competition in the fountain pen market was more intense than ever before. Pen companies, each, came up with a strategy of their own to compete in the market. Sheaffer's strategy was centered around three major features: (1) the use of plastic, (2) the new "Balance" shape, and (3) the Lifetime nib and the included unconditional warranty for the lifetime of the original owner.
The phrase I chose for my writing sample comes from a 1932 Sheaffer advertisement, in which the company highlighted the fact that you only have to pay for your pen once, the rest of the maintenance costwill be covered by Sheaffer, free-of-charge. A very generous offer, considering the fact that fountain pens were used all day, every day, in all kinds of environments, for professional and personal purposes, and needed servicing at one point or another.
The cornerstone of the warranty program was the huge, 14k gold Lifetime nib. The nib is enormous and made of a thick sheet of gold. The tipping material is generous, and of perfect geometry. The imprint strong. Clearly, this nib didn't get much use at all.
And what a nib it is! Truly deserving of its "Lifetime" moniker, this nib writes like a dream, providing a cushioned ride across the paper that rivals that of some of the best nibs ever made (including modern Aurora and Sailor nibs). A delightful writer, performing reliably under the lightest of pressures. A firm nib that feels soft on paper. It writes a true-to-size, standard Sheaffer Fine line. I tuned ink flow to be rich, so you can enjoy that gliding sensation, but without flooding the page with a river of ink. The filling mechanism has been restored with a modern silicone sac, so it will work reliably and will not harm the celluloid.
Cosmetically, the pen is in good shape. The plastic is smooth, with a nice gloss to it. There are a couple of rough spots, but they're shallow and, in my opinion, not significant. If you are a high-end collector, this pen is not a new-old-stock item, so it's probably not for you. For everybody else, this is a fantastic fountain pen! The gold-filled trim is in equally good condition, without plating loss.
The pen is priced at $139. Please, contact me if you're interested in ordering it. Thanks!