Sheaffer Balance Vac Gray Pearl (350) F

(sold) This is a vintage Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler in Gray Pearl celluloid, with a 14k gold Fine nib. This model is known as "350." The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism (using best practices and highest-quality replacement materials), ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle hand polish.

Sheaffer Balance 350, Vac

The phrase I wrote comes from an early 1930s Sheaffer advertisement, in which the Iowa company claimed to offer pens that are comfortable and easy to use, all day, every day. In many ways, Sheaffer was similar to Apple; they invested a lot in R&D, in knowing the market's needs, and in responding rapidly to their competitors. Sheaffer patented and promoted several incredible innovations, though they were rarely the first to come up with them.

The Sheaffer Balance was a groundbreaking design, not the first of its kind, but certainly the most effective. The streamlined shape was not only elegant, but it was supremely comfortable, with ergonomics that promoted effortless writing. Let's not forget, people used fountain pens in the workplace, students in the classroom, even soldiers in the field, all had to rely on their pens for most of their handwriting needs. A comfortable, reliable pen, with a large ink capacity, was just what the market needed.

The pen I am offering today is a beautiful example of the classic Sheaffer Balance. It's a smaller pen (4.7" capped, and 0.422” in barrel diameter), but it handles very well. Its compact size makes it an ideal pen for writing on the go, journaling, urban sketching. The pen is in excellent cosmetic condition. The celluloid is deep, rich, and smooth. Barrel transparency very good. You can watch the pen getting filled and gauge remaining ink level with ease. The chrome-plated trim in perfect shape. The imprint is strong.

The pen functions as well as it did when it left the factory. The filling mechanism is efficient and holds a lot of ink. The 14k gold nib writes a satisfying F/XF line. It probably sold as a Fine, though I'd rank it as closer to a Western XF. It has ample tipping material, of excellent geometry. It connects you to the paper, writes confidently and consistently. It even has a bit of spring, which is rare for Sheaffer nibs of the era. If you like the TWSBI Vac Mini, you're going to love this pen. You'll get comparable features, but beautiful celluloid and a gold nib to boot.

The pen is priced at $69. Please, contact me if you're interested in ordering it. Thanks!