Parker Lucky Curve in Black Chased Hard Rubber, XXF Full-Flex

(On hold) This is a 1920s Parker Lucky Curve "ring top" button-filler fountain pen in black chased hard rubber (BCHR) with a 14k gold XXF full-flex 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).

Parker Lucky Curve in Black Chased Hard Rubber, XXF Full-Flex, uncapped

This is a superb example of the well-respected and highly collectible Parker Lucky Curve from the 1920s. It's in amazing condition, without any trace of wear or fading, which plagues the vast majority of BCHR pens from that era. The pen looks as good as new, and it would be a perfect specimen for the high-end collector. The imprint is strong.

Parker Lucky Curve in Black Chased Hard Rubber, XXF Full-Flex, nib close-up

The pen was designed specifically with Spencerian penmanship in mind. It's a classic "ring top," meant to be worn around one's neck, so it's a lightweight, compact pen when capped (4.5"). However, it converts to a full-size pen when posted (5.7"), as it is meant to be used that way. In terms of ergonomics, the pen resembles those of a well-designed dip pen holder, with a somewhat long, streamlined shape and great balance. It's extremely comfortable to hold, lightweight, and very pleasant to the touch. The button filling mechanism works flawlessly and holds a lot of ink. 

The pen is a calligrapher's tool, a high-precision writing instrument, capable of producing beautiful penmanship. It was designed for a skilled hand, and will perform as well as any flexible pen of that era. I would rank it as a "full-flex," just shy of being a wet noodle, but it offers excellent flexibility, and fantastic snap-back. With light pressure, it writes an XXF line of about 0.3 mm (on my paper), and you can get the line even thinner if you use dry ink and dry paper. The nib excels at transitions between hairlines and swells, which is the cornerstone of Ornamental Penmanship. If you are new to flexible nibs, this pen is probably not for you, unless you're willing to learn its dynamics and try to write with a light hand. The best news is this pen had not been used much in the past, if at all, which means the nib is free from any (invisible) damage that many vintage flex nibs develop over time (due to using excessive pressure). The tipping material is ample and of perfect geometry. 

Parker Lucky Curve in Black Chased Hard Rubber, XXF Full-Flex, posted

Parker Vacumatic Major, Golden Pearl, XF Full-Flex

(Sold) This is a 194  Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major fountain pen in Golden Pearl celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone XF Full-Flex 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. This is a full-size pen, and it measures 5.1" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Golden Pearl, XF Full-Flex, uncapped

Parker make a few kinds of nibs for its highly successful Vacumatic line. They all share one thing in common - a superb writing performance. The nib's ability to write a consistent, juicy line and its soft, gliding feel rank among the best ever made. Today, decades after the last Vacumatic left the factory, very few modern nib makers can boast a similarly high level of nib design, engineering, and craftsmanship. Most Vacumatic nibs are of the firm variety. After all, the pen was guaranteed for life (the Blue Diamond series), and a firm nib was more resilient to heavy-pressure writing. The Janesville company also made a semi-flex nib, which is less common, but equally good in terms of performance. A discerning customer was  also able to special-order a fully flexible nib that was designed specifically for Spencerian and Ornamental Penmanship. Such nibs are very rare today, and, understandably, remain highly sought after by calligraphers and collectors alike.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Golden Pearl, XF Full-Flex, nib profile

The pen I am offering today comes vested with a rare, two-tone XF Full-Flex nib. With light pressure (i.e., "normal writing"), the pen writes a fantastic XF line of about 0.3 mm. With increased pressure, the tines open up with ease to produce a wide and juicy line of up to 1.3 mm, with excellent snap-back. Many flexible vintage nibs on the secondary market have signs of having been abused, flexed outside of their normal range. This nib, however, is perfect, virtually without any signs of use. It has ample tipping material, of excellent geometry. The tines are perfectly aligned, and I tuned the nib to write a somewhat wet line with light pressure so that you can take advantage of its ability to write a beautiful hairline with a light hand. For the best calligraphic effect, I recommend that you use a dry-writing ink (here, a KWZ IG Violet #3), which will enable you to get very subtle gradations of line width, necessary for the graceful transitions between hairlines and swells in Ornamental Penmanship.

This pen will perform at its best in a skilled hand. If you don't have much experience with vintage flex nibs, I recommend that you go slowly and gently, at least at first. High-quality flex performance is not about how soft the nib is or how wide it opens up. Rather, it's about the nib's responsiveness to minute variations in pressure, and this nib excels at that.

Cosmetically, the pen is simply gorgeous, without any flaws or defects. The celluloid has a vibrant color of incredible depth and chatoyancy. Barrel transparency is very good, the imprint is strong, and the gold-filled trim as good as new. Quite honestly, this is a beautiful pen. The only issue is a very slight plating loss on the nib, which happens to the vast majority of 1940s Vacumatics, and it has no bearing on performance.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Golden Pearl, XF Full-Flex, capped

Eversharp Skyline Navy Blue, XF Flex

(SOLD) This is a mid-1940s Eversharp Skyline fountain pen in Navy Blue, with a gold-filled cap, and a 14k gold XF Flexible nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, gentle and careful cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). I work according to current "best practices" in pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement materials.  This is a full-size Skyline, measuring 5.2" capped, and 0.45" in diameter.

Eversharp Skyline Navy Blue, XF Flex, uncapped

The phrase I wrote comes from an Eversharp advertisement and, though it does seem a bit trite today, I do believe that the Eversharp Skyline is the one vintage fountain pen to own if you want to experience that famous writing ability and superb ergonomics. The Skyline, one of the most iconic pen designs of all time, was a desirable pen then, and it is a desirable pen now. Two reasons: (1) superb ergonomics and timeless design, and (2) fantastic writing performance, esp. with a flexible nib. 

Eversharp Skyline Navy Blue, XF Flex, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

This particular Skyline is in excellent condition, certainly used very little in the past, if at all. There are subtle clues as to its provenance, and, judging by the pristine quality of the nib, I'd say this pen as close to new-old-stock as it gets. The material is deep, rich, and vibrant, and the gold-filled trim is in equally great shape. A beautiful specimen!

Eversharp Skyline Navy Blue, XF Flex, cap detail

I get a lot of requests for a vintage flex pen. Unfortunately, vintage flex pens have gone up in price significantly over the years. To make it worse, a lot of flex nibs on the second-hand market have signs of having been abused, flexed outside of their designed range. The most economical way to a quality vintage flex is the Skyline. No, it's not the cheapest flex out there, but it is well worth the price, which, by the way, is significantly less than a Waterman 52 of comparable performance.

Eversharp Skyline Navy Blue, XF Flex, nib close-up

The nib is an ideal flex nib for someone wishing to write Spencerian or Ornamental Penmanship. It has an extra-fine point, capable of writing a hairline of 0.2 mm with a light hand, and it opens up easily to at least 1.2 mm. That puts it in the vicinity of a full-flex nib. The nib has not been "broken in," which means it is free from  microscopic discontinuities, cracks (i.e., material fatigue) that plague so many vintage flex pens, so it will not feel as soft as a wet noodle, but that is a good thing. It will give you more control over your line, such as gentle transitions between hairlines and swells. The tipping material is of excellent geometry, and the tines are in perfect alignment. Flexing is not all about the range, it's also about the incredible, oversize ebonite feed that never starves for ink, and delivers just the right flow for all the detail you need in your handwriting. It's also about the "snap-back" property, which this nib definitely excels at.

Eversharp Skyline Navy Blue, XF Flex, capped

If you are new to vintage flex, this would be a great "first vintage flex" pen, but I do advise you to be careful and give yourself ample time and opportunity to familiarize yourself with the pen, how it feels, and what it's capable of. Though the nib is designed as a flexible nib, you need to be careful not to spring it.

Eversharp Symphony Set, Flex nib

(SOLD) This is a late 1940s Eversharp Symphony Fountain Pen and Pencil set in Burgundy, with gold-filled trim, and a flexible 14k Medium nib. The set appears to be new-old-stock, with all original parts, and a sticker still in place. I made sure the set worked properly, adjusted the nib and ink flow, but kept the original sac, as it was pristine. I cleaned the set and gave it a gentle hand polish.

Eversharp Symphony Set, Flex nib

Eversharp advertised this set as "A luxury set at a pre-war price." Even today, I'd consider Eversharp Symphony the most affordable true vintage flex pen. I've been getting a lot of requests for affordable vintage flex. To be honest, it's almost an oxymoron, as the demand for vintage flex is at an all-time high. Still, I was able to source this exciting set for you, and I am offering it at an affordable price.

I'd rank the nib as a medium flex, possibly even close to full-flex. It's soft and springy. It's nominal width is a Fine, though it was sold as a Medium. It has ample tipping material of perfect geometry. A smooth writer and will give you the line variation you seek.

Eversharp Symphony Set, Flex nib

Cosmetically, the set looks like it had not been stored in favorable conditions. There's one small nick on the top of the cap, and a couple of small blemishes here and there, but, otherwise, it's in an unused condition, at least judging by the internals. The pencil work, and I filled it with new 0.9mm lead.

Eversharp Skyline Navy Blue Celluloid Cap Flex Nib

(sold) This is a standard size, early Eversharp Skyline in Navy Blue with a Red and Green striated celluloid cap (measuring 5 1/4" capped). The pen has a visulated section and a flexible Fine 14k gold nib. The pen has been completely disassembled, thoroughly cleaned, the filling mechanism overhauled with the highest-quality replacement parts, the ink flow has been adjusted, and the nib tuned. A gentle hand polish completed the restoration process, followed by testing with ink.

The Eversharp Skyline, introduced in 1941, is one of the best pens ever made. Most vintage pen aficionados seem to be in agreement about that. The company used an aggressive and inventive advertising campaign to sell the pen as having an advanced ink delivery system (even safe for flying) and a gorgeous, unique design, credited to Henry Dreyfuss.

Eversharp Skyline in Navy Blue with a Red and Green celluloid cap, flex nib

While the advertised features are generally interesting, to me, the Skyline wins because of its incredible ergonomics and fantastic 14k gold nibs. Have you ever used a modern OMAS Extra Flessibile nib? Well, the Skyline nib is similar, only better. This particular nib is flexible, by design, and is in excellent condition. It writes a Fine line, but opens up really nicely to at least BB, perhaps wider. I am not a fan of pushing flexible nibs too hard, so what you see in the writing sample is a conservative degree of flex that I dare try.

The nib has a unique feel, a very pleasant sensation, of gliding across the plane of the paper, as if hovering above it, while still being connected to it. No other nib (except the OMAS) feels like that. It has just the right amount of tipping material, and of perfect geometry, so there's going to be no issue with hard-starts or skips. The line is as confident as it gets.

The other winning feature is the pen's ergonomics. It's a streamlined shape that feels just right in thehand. The cap posts very deep, so you're never bothered by it, a property that I wish more modern pen makers would build into their pens.

Visually, the pen is stunning. The Navy Blue body is smooth, rich, and vibrant. The visulated section looks as clear as if it was made yesterday. The Red and Green striated celluloid cap is gorgeous, as is the gold-filled trim, and the instantly recognizable derby.

Waterman Thorobred with an XF nib

It seems that a lot of people are interested in vintage flex pens, particularly Waterman, and for good reason. Waterman, in the first half of the 20th. century, made a lot of beautiful pens with incredibly good flexible nibs. However, these pens are rather pricey and scarce.

The Thorobred, made in the 1930s, is a great, full-size pen. It's made out of gorgeous brown, red-veined celluloid, and has chrome trim. The nib is the same #2 nib that people know and love. This one is extra-fine in width when writing with normal pressure, and opens up nicely with heavier pressure.

This is not the softest nib I've ever used, but it does fall into the "medium flex" category, and can be used for shaded writing. The XF line is great for hairlines! This pen would make a great, affordable "first vintage flex" pen. Contact me if you're interested. Thanks!

Waterman 301V vintage flex pen

Waterman is famous for its flexible nibs made during the first half of the 20th century. The model 52 is perhaps the most common, performs very well, but it can be pricey. Waterman also made pens that were supposed to be carried in a vest pocked, hence the "V" designation. These were smaller pens when capped, with a really convenient and stylish clip, but converter to full-size pens when posted. Sure, by moderns standards, these are rather slender pens, but they are perfectly comfortable for most people's hands.

The 301V is made of gorgeous brown, red-veined celluloid. The material is gleaming, so beautiful, and in absolutely mint condition. The depth and chatoyancy are excellent, and a testament to the quality of vintage celluloid.

Waterman 301V in gorgeous brown, red-veined celluloid

The star of the show here is, of course, the 14k flexible nib. The nib is in excellent condition, with perfectly preserved geometry, and ample tipping material. It writes a fine line, even and extra-fine line with light pressure, but opens up nicely under pressure. The "snap-back" property is what sets these vintage nibs apart from most modern flex-wannabe nibs made today. I would not call this nib a full-flex, but it is easily a medium flex nib. It would make a perfect first vintage flex nib for a fountain pen enthusiast.

Here's my attempt at flex writing, a pretty poor attempt to be sure.

Here's my attempt at flex writing, a pretty poor attempt to be sure.