Sheaffer Triumph Crest Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, F

(On hold) This is a 1942 White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Crest ("1500") fountain pen in striated Golden Brown celluloid, with a 14k gold-filled cap, and 14k gold, two-tone Triumph Lifetime Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). This is a full-size pen, measuring 5" capped and 0.47" in diameter. The Crest was the "flagship" of the Sheaffer catalog in the 1940s.

Sheaffer Triumph Crest Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, F, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

In the early 1940s, Sheaffer was the leader of the U.S. pen industry, with an extensive catalog, where even the entry-level pens were of outstanding quality. At the top of the catalog, sat its the Crest, the Iowa company's flagship model. The pen I am offering today is a beautiful, immaculate Crest that dates back to 1942, the early days of the Triumph line. The pen has two important characteristics that set it apart from later Triumph models. First, the barrel acts as an ink reservoir. It's semi-transparent, so you can easily see the ink inside it. Second, the pen has a matching striated section, which is as beautiful as it is functional, with a  pleasant, "warm" feel that only vintage celluloid can provide.

Sheaffer Triumph Crest Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, F, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

Sheaffer attributed a large part of the success to their R&D laboratories. While most modern high-end pen makers focus on creating highly decorative, luxury pens, Sheaffer's attention was primarily on features that enhanced the pen's utility as a writing instrument. The Triumph truly was a triumph of ingenuity and engineering, yet it was also beautiful. The Crest is perhaps as much "bling" as you're ever going to get on a 1940s Sheaffer pen. It's a classy, handsome implement, made of extraordinarily beautiful striated celluloid, with a gold-filled cap with a subtle Art Deco guilloche decorative pattern. And it's in excellent condition, without any flaws or defects. The material has great color, depth, vibrancy, and chatoyancy, the gold-filled trim smooth and glossy, free of imperfections.

Sheaffer Triumph Crest Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, F, nib close-up

A full-size pen, the Crest posts very well, so it should be comfortable even for people with large hands. The pen is perfectly balanced, posted or not, with a large, comfortable, gently ribbed section and a wrap-around, two-tone nib. The Crest comes equipped with a vacuum filling mechanism, which has been completely rebuilt, functioning smoothly and holding a lot of ink. 

The 14k Lifetime nib is a delight! In true Triumph fashion, it has two writing surfaces, a large sweet spot, and a soft feel on paper. It lays down a standard Sheaffer Fine line of about 0.5 mm (on my paper), and writes self-assured strokes in virtually any direction. The nib is perfectly smooth, but its smoothness is achieved by clever engineering and superb craftsmanship rather than by polishing the writing surface to an extreme degree. As a result, the Crest is a dependable writer that will never let you down, and, unless you're a fan of extra broad nibs, will bring you a lot of joy and help take your handwriting to the next level.

Speaking of handwriting, the Triumph nib is a fantastic tool with which to practice penmanship. Because of its forgiving geometry and a slightly upturned tip, it excels at writing long, rapid strokes that are needed for cursive handwriting. It truly is a precision tool, and it will not hard-start, skip, or starve for ink, rewarding you with a line that you can rely on for that smooth, flowing, graceful handwriting you want. And, did I mention it writes at the lightest pressure? It does, indeed, and, as importantly, it will take  a heavy hand in stride.

Sheaffer Triumph Crest Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, F, capped

Sheaffer Crest Vac Black XXF

(SOLD) This is a mid-1940s White Dot Sheaffer Crest Vac-filler in striated transparent Black, with a 14k gold, two-tone Triumph Extra Extra-Fine Lifetime nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle polish by hand. I work according to current "best practices" in fountain pen restoration, and I use high-quality replacement materials. I do not use aggressive restoration methods, such as machine-buffing and nib grinding, so as to preserve the pen as a historic specimen.

Sheaffer Crest Vac Black XXF, with the cap off and the plunger partially extended

People sometimes ask me for tips regarding handwriting improvement. I do not consider myself an expert, but, for what it's worth, I believe that the key is speed. Handwriting, unlike calligraphy, is meant to be done without deliberation, rapidly. However, if you browse through Internet discussions about handwriting improvement, the most common advice is "slow down." I am sure it works for a lot of people, but it doesn't work for me. The instant I slow down, my handwriting becomes shaky and loses its flow. Again, that's just me. I might be the odd duck here, so please, take what I say (and the phrase I wrote) with a grain of salt.

Sheaffer Crest Vac Black XXF, nib profile, showing excellent geometry and alignment

The Crest was the flagship of the Sheaffer catalog for many years. This particular Crest is a gorgeous Vac-filler of decent size (5" capped, 0.43" barrel diameter). It posts very nicely, so it should be comfortable even for people with larger hands. Everything about this pen screams class. The material itself is transparent, with a striated barrel, and ink being stored directly inside it. You can gauge ink level with ease, and it's a more elegant solution, IMHO, than the latterinternal, built-in "cartridge" design. The 14k gold-filled cap has a beautiful shape to it and is in excellent condition, only with very minor signs of use. The section is long and has a very gentle ribbed texture, which makes your grip a bit more secure. The cap threads are gold-filled, too.

The nib is a fantastic example of the Triumph design. It writes an XXF line (0.3 mm), and, if you write on dry paper, such as Rhodia, it will be as fine as a needlepoint, but without any of the typical "tooth" associated with conventional needlepoint nibs. This might be one of the smoothest XXF nibs you'll have ever written with, thanks to the Triumph "rocker" design and Sheaffer's precision craftsmanship. I tuned the flow to be just north of average, so you can take full advantage of the nib's fineness. It'll be an ideal nib for modern or business cursive, the Palmer Method, even Spencerian penmanship (without swells). Frankly, I can't think of a better nib to write or learn cursive with, including some of the most expensive modern pens.

Sheaffer Crest Vac Black XXF, capped

Sheaffer Crest Touchdown Pen and Pencil Set, M

(SOLD) This is an early 1950s Sheaffer Crest Touchdown fountain pen and pencil set in Burgundy with gold-filled caps and a 14k gold, two-tone Triumph Medium nib. The pen has been restored, which included a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle hand polish. The pencil has been brought to full functional order, and comes ready to write with a fresh refill. I work according to current “best practices” in the area of pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement materials and specialized tools. The set comes in its original case.

Sheaffer Crest Touchdown, M, with the cap off and the Touchdown piston partially extended

This is a beautiful set! The Crest was the top-of-the-line item in the Sheaffer catalog at the time, and it shows. The set is in excellent condition, looking almost as good as new. There are no flaws or defects, just one small scratch on the pencil's body. The gold-filled caps are in equally excellent shape. Today, as in the 1950s, this set would make a great gift for a graduation, professional advancement, or a birthday. The phrase comes from a Sheaffer advertisement of the Crest, as it was the model that the Iowa company was proud of being used by the U.S. Diplomatic Corps.

Sheaffer Crest Touchdown, M, showing a profile of the Triumph nib and a clear ink view window

The Touchdown filling mechanism makes this pen a lot of fun to use! It's a system that is currently enjoying a small, but significant revival with the likes of the Edison Beaumont and Eversharp Pneumatic Oversized Decoband pens, and for good reason, as it's an efficient, easy to use, and downright cool mechanism.

The Triumph nib sold as a Medium, but I'd rank it closer to a modern Western Fine. A fantastically smooth writer, it glides across the paper effortlessly, laying down a consistent line. I tuned it to writes a bit more wet than Sheaffer originally intended so that you could take advantage of and enjoy your inks' color, shading, and sheen. You can flip the nib upside down for an XF line that's equally smooth and enjoyable. It would be very difficult to find a modern gold nib that feels as smooth, but without the unwanted effects of an overly polished writing surface, such as hard-starts and skipping.

If you've never owned a vintage pen, the Sheaffer Touchdown is a great pen to start, and this one, in particular, looks as great as it writes. It comes with a fully functional mechanical pencil so you can take it to work with you and enjoy an incredibly versatile set of writing instruments, and at an affordable price.

Sheaffer Crest Touchdown Set in its original box