Sheaffer Lifetime Balance Marine Green fountain pen, XXF

(sold) This is a vintage Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler in striated Marine Green celluloid, with a 14k gold needlepoint Lifetime nib.  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 Vac, XXF Nib

I am often asked for pens with XXF nibs, as such pens are ideal for business cursive and Spencerian handwriting (though without shading). In the vintage pen world, such nibs did exist, though they were somewhat rare. They were sold under the "Accountant" moniker, and each brand had its own equivalent nib of this kind. Today, we use the term "needlepoint" to describe such nibs, and they're available on off-the-shelf Japanese pens, or as a custom grind from a reputable nib mesiter. Here you have a chance to buy a beautiful vintage pen with a beautiful needlepoint nib, at an affordable price.

The pen is a beautiful example of the classic Sheaffer Balance Vac filler. 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 gold-plated trim in excellent 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 fantastic XXF line. It has ample tipping material, of excellent geometry. It connects you to the paper, writes confidently and consistently, under the lightest touch. The nib is large and firm, typical of its Lifetime designation. 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.