DC or Bust: Retro 51 Monroe (Vintage Metalsmith Series)

Retro 51 Monroe
Retro 51 Monroe, one of the Vintage Metalsmith series

I spent a few hours in Washington, DC last Wednesday as part of a whirlwind bus trip. The weather was summer-like…very warm and sunny…which my snake belly white skin appreciated. In those few hours, a small group of us raced from monument to monument, snapping pictures and drinking in the history.

I was HOPING to find some sort of reference (monument, plaque, street name) to President James Monroe as I thoughtfully brought along my Retro 51 Vintage Metalsmith Monroe Tornado. I had a plan, you see. Monroe Retro 51 + Monroe landmark = Monroe blog post. But alas, there were no Monroe sightings.

We saw The White House…
White House

and the World War II Memorial.
WWII Memorial

The cherry blossoms were in full bloom…
Cherry Blossoms

and visitors paid their respects at the Vietnam War Memorial.
Vietnam Memorial

We climbed steps to gaze up at Abe…
Lincoln Memorial

and made the acquaintance of Alexander Hamilton in the Capitol Rotunda.
Alexander Hamilton

But as for Monroe? Well, he remained particularly elusive. And while this lack of a “front and center” memorial could make a dead president feel slighted, the Monroe Tornado rollerball, by Retro 51, is better than some old hunk of marble.

The body of the pen sports a finely cut diamond pattern in red lacquered metal, and the look is stunning. The finish is smooth, but slightly textured, and looks and feels a bit like glass. Light plays against deep red facets so that the pen shimmers and shines. I think it’s gorgeous.

Retro 51 Monroe

Gorgeous AND well made. As with the entire Retro 51 Tornado line, the Monroe is obviously solidly constructed and has a well-balanced, hefty feel in hand. The clip is springy and the knurling on the twist-action end mirrors the diamond cut of the body for a very cool look.

Accent color
Perfect accent

The level of detail in such a reasonably priced pen is impressive. The packaging is stellar, as is the writing performance, unless you require a super fine line. The Retro 51 rollerball refills lay down a 0.7 mm line so it’s a little broader than I usually like, but this pen is so good-looking that it’s become a non-issue for me.

Retro 51 Monroe

So, President Monroe, even though tourists in DC won’t find themselves tripping over monuments in your honor, the folks at Retro 51 have done you proud. And that is high honor, indeed.


7 thoughts on “DC or Bust: Retro 51 Monroe (Vintage Metalsmith Series)

  1. A totally non-pen related (except for the fact that you gallantly negated a trip to the pen store in DC) comment: Once again, brilliant.

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