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 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.