Sheaffer Snorkel Admiral Fountain Pen and Pencil Set, XXF

(On Hold) This is a 1950s Sheaffer Snorkel Admiral Fountain Pen and Pencil set in the original box, in Black, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold XXF (needlepoint) 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. The pencil has been restored to proper functionality. It takes standard 0.9 mm refills.

Sheaffer Snorkel Admiral Fountain Pen and Pencil Set, XXF, uncapped

To most fountain pen enthusiasts, the name "Snorkel" evokes this incredibly sophisticated, somewhat obscure filling mechanism, and an altogether odd pen. While that might be true, the pen's most important feature, its incredible writing performance, is often overlooked. Whether it's the Triumph or the conventional open nib, the Snorkel can write! The pen I'm offering today comes with a fantastic XXF (needlepoint) nib that writes a consistent monoline of about 0.2 mm (on my paper) in virtually all directions, without ever catching the paper or feeling scratchy. 

If you love writing small, if you write a business cursive, or if you simply need a great office pen to perform very well on all kinds of unfriendly paper, this pen will be a great fit for you. And, if you need to use a great mechanical pencil, it's right there, in the same box.

There's one detail that I must disclose. The set came to me from the original owner, who had the cap replaced at some point. The cap appears to be from the Triumph model, which makes no difference other than the presence of the White Dot. Otherwise, the set is in excellent condition.

Sheaffer Snorkel Admiral Fountain Pen and Pencil Set, XXF, in box

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, XXF

(Sold) This is a 1944 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major in Golden Pearl celluloid, gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold XXF (needlepoint) 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). The pen measures about 5.1" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, XXF, uncapped, with the blind cap off

The quote I wrote comes from a Parker wartime advertisement, showing a mother with a daughter, looking  at a photograph of their husband/father in a U.S. Army officer's uniform. Today, such an ad would probably face a lot of criticism, but, regardless, one must appreciate the fact that the Vacumatic was designed to be a daily "workhorse" kind of pen to be used in all kinds of environments, including out in the field, at sea, and in the air, and it proved to be a reliable tool for tens of thousands of American servicemen.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, XXF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

What makes the Vacumatic such a good daily writer? Bearing the Blue Diamond lifetime warranty, the pen was designed from ground up to be a tough, dependable writing instrument. I've restored countless Vacs, and I rarely come across any cracks or material malformations. The celluloid of which the pens were made, is of the highest quality, stable, suitable for machining, resilient against environmental challenges, and, most importantly, drop-dead gorgeous. The filling mechanism, despite having some plastic parts, is equally dependable as the pen's body. It's an ingenious mechanism, and it has definitely stood the test of time. I must point out, though, that the pen is meant for heavy daily use, rather than for frequent ink changes and sporadic, quick note type of scenarios. Finally, the 14k gold nib. Though it's not as huge and thick as its competition (e.g., Sheaffer's Lifetime), it's, nevertheless, a reliable gold point, with just the right amount of tipping material, and of excellent geometry.

In the hand, the Vacumatic is supremely comfortable, it becomes an extension of your hand, and, hence, your thoughts. Writing with the Vac is such a pleasant experience. It's so effortless, gliding across the page, as if hovering above it.

This particular nib is a rare needlepoint, writing a line of about 0.2 mm (on my paper) with light pressure. Despite being very fine, it's also incredibly smooth, writing confident rapid strokes in virtually all directions, without feeling scratchy or catching the paper. Today, if you want a needlepoint nib, your only option is a custom grind. Yes, you can buy a Japanese XXF nib, but such nibs are designed to be used primarily with Japanese handwriting where short, downward strokes are required. If you have small handwriting, if you need to write a lot on poor-quality paper, or if you write a business cursive (e.g., Spencerian penmanship, Palmer Method, etc.), this nib is likely to become one of your top performers.

Cosmetically, the pen is in great shape! There are no defects or flaws, just very minor surface wear, difficult to see with the naked eye. The gold-filled trim is in equally great condition. The imprint is strong.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, XXF, capped, the red hues indicate barrel transparency

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen, Carmine, XXF

(On hold) This is a 1942 White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize fountain pen in striated Carmine celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone Triumph Lifetime XXF 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 was the largest pen in Sheaffer's Triumph line-up, measuring 5.1" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen, Carmine, XXF, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

Sheaffer's wartime manufacturing capability was among the best in the entire U.S. precision industry. The Iowa company ran an extensive R&D program, with laboratories that were at least a decade ahead of other pen makers. Sheaffer implemented a sophisticated testing and quality control program, including machine testing of all of the pen's features, including how well it would fit into a breast pocket of a business suit, without doing any long-term damage to the fabric. Such attention to detail is one of the important reasons why we can enjoy 1940s Sheaffer pens today. If restored well, these pens are going to give joy and awesome performance to even the most discerning fountain pen enthusiasts. 

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen, Carmine, XXF, nib close-up

The Valiant was Sheaffer's pride and joy. A pen that was truly as beautiful as it was functional. Made of the vibrant, complex striated Carmine celluloid, the pen I'm offering today looks as classy as some of the modern Italian celluloid pens, yet you can have it for a fraction of the price of a Montegrappa or a Visconti. Celluloid is the royalty of fountain pen materials, visually stunning and extremely pleasant to the touch. It's been described as warm and inviting, even luscious. The pen has a semi-transparent barrel, which adds complexity to the material and offers an important functional advantage. The gold-filled trim complements the streamlined design, with a touch of luxury. There's one small scratch on the cap, but otherwise, the pen is in excellent shape, including flawless trim and a strong imprint.

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen, Carmine, XXF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment. Also note the transparent barrel and strong imprint

The pen comes vested with the awesome "wrap-around" Triumph XXF nib. The nib lays down a consistent line of about 0.2 mm, which puts it in the needlepoint vicinity, yet it feels smooth on paper and writes rapid upstrokes without ever catching the paper. For a point that fine, the nib has a large sweet spot. It would be an ideal tool with which to write a business cursive, the Palmer Method, or any of the modern logographic writing systems. You're not going to find a modern XXF nib that will come even close to the Triumph in terms of performance with a light hand and rapid strokes. Did I mention it is a beautiful, huge chunk of gold? 

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen, Carmine, XXF, capped

The pen is priced at $169. Please, contact me if you're interested in buying it and I will email you a PayPal invoice. Shipping fees are listed on this page. Thanks!

Sheaffer Balance "Vigilant" Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XXF

(Sold) This is an early 1940s White Dot Sheaffer Balance "Vigilant" fountain pen in Marine Green striated celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime 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). The pen measures 5.1" capped and 0.42" in diameter.

Sheaffer Balance "Vigilant" Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XXF, uncapped

Sheaffer's "White Dot," usually found on the cap, and the designation "Lifetime," stamped onto the nib, indicated an unconditional warranty for the lifetime of the original owner. Sheaffer claimed that "the total cost of a Sheaffer Lifetime is its original price," as all repairs and tune-ups would have been done free of charge. It's not surprising, these pens were built tough. The might look dainty or frail by the standards of today's all-metal, tactical, EDC, and other overbuilt pens, but don't let the gentle looks deceive you. The pen I am offering you today is going to be an excellent daily "workhorse" writer. It would make an ideal "first vintage pen" for a fountain pen novice, but it would also be a perfect pen for an experienced pen enthusiast, particularly for journaling, sketching, business writing, and other situations where a dependable, XXF writer is needed. Did I mention this pen was meant to be used by U.S. Armed Forces? Yes, it's that durable and dependable. If you've been thinking of ordering another Pilot Custom 74 or Sailor Pro Gear, I encourage you to give this affordable "Vigilant" a chance.

Sheaffer Balance "Vigilant" Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XXF, nib profile

The Lifetime nib writes a line of about 0.2 mm (on my paper), which puts it in the needlepoint vicinity. Yet, it does not feel scratchy, it doesn't catch the paper, and, most importantly, it writes confident strokes in virtually all directions, without varying line width, which can be a problem (or a feature) for modern Japanese XXF nibs.

Cosmetically, the pen is free from any flaws or defects. The celluloid has a rich, and vibrant color, with some minor surface wear present. The gold-filled trim is in excellent condition, the imprint is not terribly strong, and there's some "ambering" (darkening) of the ink window. 

Sheaffer Balance "Vigilant" Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XXF, capped

Sheaffer Balance "500" Vac, Marine Green, XXF Semi-Flex

(SOLD) This is a mid-1930s Sheaffer Balance "500" Vac fountain pen in striated Marine Green celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone Feathertouch XXF Semi-Flex nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, and adjustment to ink flow, nib tuning, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). The pen is also know as a "500" and it measures 4.8" capped and 0.42" in diameter.

Sheaffer Balance "500" Vac, Marine Green, XXF Semi-Flex, uncapped, with the plunger rod partially extended

This Sheaffer Balance will make a great precision writing instrument with which to write or learn a business cursive or Spencerian penmanship. The nib is ground to a needlepoint tip, and it is semi-flexible, giving you reliable line variation of about XXF-BB. It is not a full-flex nib, but the tines open up nicely and spring back quickly, giving you a tool that's bound to add character to your handwriting. Being such a fine point, the nib has a bit of a tooth, but it is perfectly aligned, with excellent tipping geometry. It writes consistent strokes in virtually all directions, but it does perform at its best with a light touch. The oversize ebonite feed provides a steady and reliable flow of ink.

If you like broader nibs and write with a heavy hand, this pen is not for you.

Sheaffer Balance "500" Vac, Marine Green, XXF Semi-Flex, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

Cosmetically, the pen is in excellent shape. The celluloid is deep, rich, and vibrant, with very good barrel transparency (with some "ambering" present). The filling mechanism works like a charm, holding a lot of ink. The gold-filled trim is in excellent condition, as well. A really handsome pen! The orange tones you see in the barrel is the wood background showing through the transparency.

Sheaffer Triumph Sovereign, Golden Brown, Needlepoint

(SOLD) This is a 1942 White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Sovereign ("1500") fountain pen in striated Golden Brown celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone Triumph Lifetime XXF (needlepoint) nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). I restore pens in accordance with current "best practices" and I use high-quality replacement components and materials. This is a rare pen in the Sheaffer catalog, distinguished by its price code ("1500"), the striated section, and the White Dot on top of the plunger cap (blind cap). This was Sheaffer's high-end model at the time. This is a medium-size pen, measuring around 4.9" capped and 0.46" in diameter. The pen posts very well, so it should be comfortable even for people with larger hands.

Sheaffer Triumph Sovereign, Golden Brown, Needlepoint, with the cap off and the plunger partially extended

The phrase I wrote is a quote by the Sheaffer Chairman, made in 1942, at the time when Sheaffer was at the peak of its technological and design prowess. The Triumph point was its crowning achievement, and its story, well, "speaks for itself." A needlepoint nib is perhaps where the Triumph nib really shines. You get a very fine line (0.2 mm on my business paper) but without never having to worry about the nib feeling scratchy, slipping out of alignment, or catching the paper. It's possible thanks to Triumph's unique "rocker" design. The nib feels firm, self-assured, and consistent. A great pen with which to write a business cursive or learn the Palmer Method (or similar) penmanship.

Sheaffer Triumph Sovereign, Golden Brown, Needlepoint, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

This rare pen is in excellent condition. The gleaming, glowing celluloid is deep, rich, and vibrant, with awesome chatoyancy. Barrel transparency is excellent, as is the gold-filled trim. The imprint is strong. The pen had been used very little in the past and has been stored in favorable condition. The filling mechanism works efficiently and holds a lot of ink (directly inside the barrel) Here's your chance to own this wonderful pen. You'd be hard-pressed to find one in similar condition anywhere near the price.

Sheaffer Triumph Sovereign, Golden Brown, Needlepoint, capped.

Sheaffer Balance Vac, Gray Pearl, Needlepoint

(SOLD) This is a late 1930s Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler in Gray Pearl celluloid and a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime needlepoint (XXF) 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 hand polish. I work according to current "best practices" in pen restoration, and I use high-quality replacement components, materials, and specialized tools.

Sheaffer Balance Vac, Gray Pearl, Needlepoint, with the cap off and the plunger rod partially retracted

This is a beautiful, full-length, slender Sheaffer Balance from the late 1930s, a Vac-filler made of gorgeous Gray Pearl celluloid, with a nicely transparent barrel, a chrome-plated trim, and a 14k gold, true needlepoint Lifetime nib (5.4" capped, 0.42" barrel diameter). The phrase I wrote comes from a Sheaffer advertisement issued at the time, and it conveys the important message about Lifetime (and "White Dot") pens and nibs, i.e., they were made to last, to write all day, every day, like a Stradivarius violin, they are meant to be used and will "never wear out." Sure, they need occasional maintenance, but those are durable, "workhorse" pens that will prove to extremely good daily writers for even the most demanding fountain pen enthusiasts.

The star of the show here is the needlepoint nib. It's a "true" needlepoint, one of the finest vintage tips I've ever used, a gorgeous, large nib, with excellent tipping material geometry. I would characterize this nib as a calligrapher's tool. It's so fine, precise, with excellent, controlled flow, great stroke consistency, writing under the lightest pressure, able to keep up with fast upstrokes and loops. A fantastic tool in the arsenal of a serious business cursive and Spencerian penmanship writer or student. Being so fine, the nib has some tooth, but it is not scratchy. As long as you write with a light touch, the nib is going to effortlessly glide across the paper.

Sheaffer Balance Vac, Gray Pearl, Needlepoint, a close-up of the nib, also showing transparency of the barrel (the warm tones)

Today, if you wish to buy a needlepoint nib suitable for Spencerian penmanship, your options are limited to either (1) buying a Japanese EF or UEF pen, or (2) getting a custom-ground needlepoint from a nib meister. The Japanese nibs are excellent! However, they're ground for short, downward strokes, primarily, as is required in Japanese handwriting. They are not going to be as good for fast upstrokes and loops, unfortunately, as some of you might have already experienced. A custom nib, ground by a nib meister, is going to be exactly what you want, but you're likely to have to pay extra for the service. May I offer an alternative: a restored, beautiful Sheaffer Balance pen with a fantastic needlepoint nib, at a reasonable price.

Sheaffer Balance Vac, Gray Pearl, Needlepoint, capped

Cosmetically, the pen is in very good condition. The celluloid is deep, rich, and vibrant. The trim is not perfect, it has a couple of small blemishes on the cap ring, but, considering how poorly this trim wore over time (in general), this specimen is rather good.