My husband isn’t really into pens, but he was a great sport at the DC Supershow and even tracked down a great deal on some Retro 1951 pens. Pen Boutique had a 50% off deal running on all of their Retros so a purchase or two was a no-brainer. Their selection wasn’t huge (wish that they had the Ace Tornado, but alas, they did not), but I still managed to walk away with the Limited Edition Numbers Tornado as well as a pair of ballpoints- an Original Vintage Mickey Deluxe (Jubilee model) and a Harley-Davidson Hex-Pathfinder.
I own a number of Tornado rollerballs (soooo collectible!), but no ballpoints, and while I loved the look of these pens, I had my doubts that the refill would be anything but average. A bit of scribbling at the Pen Boutique table instantly erased those doubts. The Retro 1951 branded Easy Flow 9000 refill (probably a Schmidt) is dark and super smooth. At 1.0 mm, it IS fairly broad, but it’s so crazy smooth, that I don’t mind the thicker line. In fact, THESE are the new pens that have nudged their way into my daily carry since I’m back home and back at work.
So we have a great writing refill coupled with Retro 1951′s flair for cool design. There’s so much fun and quality packed into these pens that they’re impossible to resist. While the Harley-Davidson pen is simply boxed (possibly a missed opportunity there), the Vintage Mickey tube would look at home in an antique shop. Covered with classic comics featuring Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Pluto, the packaging and pen can’t help but make you smile. It’s a fun mood booster. While I’m not really a Harley fan, I love the sage green hex barrel on the H-D pen, and the branding is not at all in-your-face.
Both pens are twist action. The tip of the Harley-Davidson pen is extended by twisting the H-D branded end cap, while the Vintage Mickey twists at the pen’s center band. Both feature distinctive clips that integrate perfectly with the look and theme of each pen.
It should be noted that the refills DO sometimes “click” a bit when the pens are held in a certain position. I can tone this down by making sure that the pen clip points away from my hand. Not sure why this helps, but it does. Also, the refills are so glassy smooth that I feel like my handwriting suffers a bit. It’s as if the pen gets away from me a little. The Vintage Mickey pen is quite wide and hefty, so it’s possible to feel a bit of hand fatigue during long writing sessions.
Despite these quirks, I’m very pleased with both of these pens, and I’m grateful that Fred tracked them down in the vast sea of pens at the pen show. Super deal. Super pens.