Sheaffer Balance Vac Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XXF

(Sold) This is a late 1930s White Dot Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler in striated Marine Green celluloid with a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime 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 tune-up, and a gentle hand polish. This is a full-length slender White Dot Balance, measuring 5.4" capped with a barrel diameter of 0.42". I work according to current best practices in pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement components.

Sheaffer Balance Vac Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XXF, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

In the 1930s, the fountain pen was the writing instrument of choice in the office. Most office personnel would have outstanding penmanship and employ it all day, every day for the majority of clerical tasks. The Balance was Sheaffer's most successful model, and the White Dot Lifetime variant, carrying lifetime warranty, was its flagship. It was was beautiful as it was functional. A truly superb example of the successful marriage of art and engineering.

Sheaffer Balance Vac Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XXF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

The phrase I wrote comes from an old penmanship book, used frequently to train office workers. I can easily imagine the pen I'm offering today in the hand of an a book keeper, a secretary, or an office manager. Thanks to its large ink capacity, it probably needed filling once a week, and thanks to its fantastic XXF nib, it was most likely a very versatile tool, capable of writing a precise line on all kinds of paper, including carbon copy.

How does it write? I'd describe this nib as very precise. Ink flow is a touch above average, which gives you most options in terms of ink and paper choices. Fill with an iron-gall dry ink, and it will write perfectly on copy paper, ink it up with a wet, lubricated conventional ink, and it will bring out its beautiful color depth, shading, even sheen. The nib writes at the lightest pressure, and would be an ideal instrument with which to write or learn a business cursive handwriting. The resulting line of about 0.3 mm is confident, consistent, and utterly enjoyable.

The Marine Green celluloid is gorgeous, with excellent vibrancy and depth. Barrel transparency is outstanding, as is the gold-filled trim. The imprint is strong. A truly gorgeous specimen!

Sheaffer Balance Vac Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XXF, capped

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Marine Green, F

(sold) This is a early 1940s Sheaffer Triumph Vac-filler fountain pen in striated Marine Green celluloid, with a 14k gold Triumph, two-tone Fine nib. The pen was restored, which included a complete disassembly, thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism (using best practices in pen restoration and highest-quality replacement components), ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle hand polish.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac-filler, F nib

Most fountain pen enthusiasts have their favorite filling mechanism. During the first half of the 20th. century, the pen industry gave us a multitude of fascinating self-filling systems, many of which faded into obscurity as the market transitioned into the now ubiquitous cartridge / converter (C/C) system. Some of these rare filling mechanism have been recently revived, as pen companies realized that they can add a lot of prestige, cachet to their pens.

The vacuum filling mechanism is a fan favorite. Now, used by the likes of Pilot, TWSBI, and Visconti, the system was popularized by Sheaffer, who used it on a lot of their pens throughout the 1940s. It's an incredibly elegant design, and one that combines efficiencyand ease of use. All you have to do is dunk the nib in an inkwell and push the plunger in one swift downward motion. The pen will fill about 2/3 of the barrel, which makes for a large capacity indeed, lasting you weeks worth of daily writing. There's a trick to fill the entire barrel in a two-stroke method, and I will leave it up to you to decide if you need it.

The pen I'm showing today is a 1942 Triumph, with the characteristic wide gold-filled cap band. It's as much bling as it gets on a vintage Sheaffer pen, and it does look really elegant while providing extra protection for the cap lip for posting purposes. The pen is made of the gorgeous, transparent, striated Marine Green celluloid, which has depth and chatoyancy that cannot be matched by most of today's acrylics. The pen is in excellent condition, without any flaws or defects, and with only minor surface wear.

The nib is a dream to use. It's such a unique writing experience! The nib may look unusual, even jarring, to those of you who are new to the Triumph nib, but let me assure you that all of your doubts will disappear once you put the nib to paper. The slightly upturned tip is finished with traditional tipping geometry, so it will write a line that's not unlike that of a conventional open nib. However, the nib will reward you with incredible forgiveness with regard to angle and rotation. Some moderns pens need to be held a certain way in order to write smoothly and consistently, but the Triumph nib does not care much about that. It just writes. Whether you have a light or heavy touch, whether you're right or left-handed, with a tripod or death grip, this nib will just keep on feeling smooth and writing perfectly. If you need a thinner line, flip it upside down! It will make you believe that, as Sheaffer put it in one of their ads, "This is the time to write!"

Cosmetically, the pen is in very good shape. The celluloid is vibrant, rich, and smooth. The barrel transparency very good. The imprint is strong. There are no flaws or defects.