I NEVER WIN ANYTHING! Welllllll…until now! I recently took a stab at a photo captioning contest on the Retro 51 blog and…amazingly…won! Me! The never-winner! The prize? One of the new, very cool Retro 51 Tornado Rollerballs- Lincoln (Antique Copper) model. Oh, I had been eyeing these, and now one was on its way to me. Just knowing this polished up a plain old Thursday into a much shinier day.
The pen arrived on Saturday and it’s a beauty. The antique copper design looks truly vintage. Sort of modern vintage. (The best of both worlds, really.) Even the clip and knurled twist mechanism look like a well-worn penny. The finish is smooth, much smoother than it appears in some promotional photos, where it almost looks rough and rusty. I like the classic lacquers (have a couple), but this is a fresh departure…very sharp.
Of course, the packaging is killer. As you can see above, the box I received has the “man on scooter” graphic, which I particularly enjoy because it reminds me of my sweet Vespa. The inner “tube” is bright orange and blue- classic Retro 51 stylin’. (The tube says “Please recycle” But I can’t imagine anyone throwing away this packaging.)
The liquid ink/rollerball lays down a bold, solid line- very smooth. I DO wish that there was the option for a finer rollerball point, but this one is fine when I’m in the mood to write BOLDLY.
I did swap out the rollerball for a fine point Parker ballpoint refill, which is a nice option. I found that I had to turn around the spring (which is slightly tapered), so that the narrower end of the spring points towards the back of the pen. Otherwise, the spring catches and the tip doesn’t deploy/retract smoothly. Reversing the spring solves this little issue. The Parker refill isn’t Jetstream quality, but it’s a perfectly good option, especially for a finer line.
Oh- and I almost forgot to mention that the fine folks at Retro 1951 sent along a t-shirt as an added, surprise bonus– very cool! Who knew Retro 51 t-shirts existed? Well, we do now! (I wore mine IMMEDIATELY.)
I love my prize, and not just because it’s the only prize I’ve ever won. To me, I hit the Retro 51 JACKPOT.
Check out the rest of the Vintage Metalsmith line here. They all look vintage…AND modern…and very cool.
A couple of additional notes:
Though the Vintage Metalsmith Rollerballs are not yet available at JetPens, they do offer a great collection of the Classic Lacquers, as well as a few other special editions here.
While rooting through my treasure chest of refills last night, I discovered that the Schmidt refill P8126 (Short Body) is a perfect finer point rollerball option for the Tornados. It probably runs around 0.5 mm and has made this pen absolutely perfect. SO perfect, in fact, that I quickly ordered a handful via Daly’s Pen Shop.
I think that covers it!