The Conklin Empire is a discontinued line of pens that were inspired by early Roman and Greek architecture, according to the Yafa site. The Empire was one of the pen lines that Conklin designed and produced prior to Yafa's purchase of that label.
The pen is readily identified by the chrome cap that is wider at the top than at the base and by the characteristic threaded chrome section at the back of the pen designed to securely post the cap. The clip is strong and springs back crisply. "Conklin" is imprinted on the pen clip and with a decorative etching at the base of the clip.
The Empire barrel is fluted and came in four flat - non-glossy colors: Yellow, Burgundy, Blue & Black. The pen grip, like the cap is done in chrome. These are converter/cartridge fill pens. The Empire has a weighted barrel, giving it just a little heft and gravitas for a fairly economical pen. Unlike many Conklins, there is no flimsyness to the Empire. The pen has a solid feel and, the pen shows few signs of use even after more than three years of regular writing
The Empire was generally available from close out sources four to five years ago. So their original release must have preceeded that by at least a couple of years. Most Empires were equipped with steel Bock nibs. A few, such as this one, were equipped with 14K gold nibs. The medium nib is fairly short, stiff and lays down a smooth, wet (7) line.
Original retail price for the steel nib version of this pen was $95. I don't know how much of a premium ordering a gold nib originally added to the cost of the pen. Close out prices for the steel-nib variety ranged from $40-$60. These pens have become difficult to find. There is a NOS Empire in the dark blue currently posted on line at $64.99.
The Empire is a fountian pen that won my admiration slowly. When I first got it, I found the pen unremarkable and the small, stiff nib less than imposing. So, I stored it away in the pen box. At one point, convinced I owned too many fountain pens, I put the pen up for sale. Fortunately, it failed to draw a buyer and I began writing with it. It has become one of the pens I enjoy and use frequently. It is the right weight and grip for extended use and delivers attractive script using any ink I've loaded.