Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

Some Obscure 1980s Japanese Sheaffers


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Univer

Univer

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,444 posts

Posted 29 June 2007 - 21:29

Hi All,

Forgive me, please, for a detour into Sheaffer obscurity.

I've been wondering: does anybody have any information about the 1980s Japanese Sheaffers? I recall a post or two about the black lacquer fountain pen that is thought to be a collaborative effort between Sheaffer and Sailor; one of those pens appears at the bottom of the group shot below. There was speculation, I believe, that this was not a pen meant for the U.S. market.

Well, I recently acquired a whole bunch of Japanese Sheaffer instruments; they were promotional sales samples, along with other 1980s Sheaffer products like NoNonsense pens (some of them with those awful "surfboard" plastic clips). Each one is adorned with a sample company logo - along with the model number of the instrument. So I've got to think that these were very much intended for U.S. distribution; otherwise they would never have been included in such a kit.

I find it interesting that this was actually a fairly extensive family of products. Interesting, too, that there is so little information available about any of these models...a mere twenty years after they were made. So in the hope of adding just a bit to that body of knowledge (and of eliciting some insights from folks who know more), I thought I'd post some photos and descriptions.

Without further ado, let me introduce (top photo): the LJ Family - no relation to the Esterbrooks that bore the same designation. From top to bottom (all model names per barrel printing):

The LJ-1 Pencil. It takes 0.5mm lead, and it's a push-to-advance model. It has design similarities to the Zebra mechanical pencils I was using back in the 80s, but that may be purely a function of the decade and the country of manufacture.

The LJ-1 Ballpoint. A push-click model; it takes standard Sheaffer BP refills.

The Lazer LJ-1W. A ballpoint variant, with a barrel window that shows a message that "scrolls" with each click of the top button (didn't Parker have an early Jotter that did this?). My guess: "W" stands for "window."

The LJ-1 Pen. A fountain pen with a steel nib. It takes a Sheaffer Slim cartridge. (How charming that Sheaffer called only the fountain pen a "pen"; the ballpoint was just a "ballpoint.") I bought this pen separately, but it, too, is a promotional sample.

The last pen is the black lacquer model referred to above. Its nib is gold-plated, but otherwise identical to the steel nib above it. The section is the same as the upper pen's, and it also takes the Slim "Cartridge II." This one is not a sample, and it was not acquired with the others. Both fountain pens are smooth writers, producing a fine line that is very much in the Japanese tradition.

OK, some commonalities and some differences to note. The top four instruments are all made of stainless (or brushed chrome). They all sport a distinctive clip resembling a lower-case letter "b," with a black plastic ball held in a circular opening near the bottom. The pencil and the ballpoints feature a textured black plastic gripping area. The black pen has gold-plated trim, as well as a completely different clip: this one is a simple elongated rectangle, with a letter "S" engraved at the bottom, below a single engraved dot. All five instruments are marked on the cap: "Sheaffer" (below the clip), and "Japan" (directly opposite). Unless one counts the non-Sheaffer-typeface "S" clip engraving, this is the only brand identification anywhere.

Now...for the cousins. The second photo shows two more c.1980s Japanese Sheaffers.

Top: the Sheaffer SJ-3 Duo System. This is a stainless (chrome?) ballpoint/pencil combo. One twists the cap one way or the other to select an instrument; once the pencil cone emerges, a push of the top button extends the lead (the button is disabled when the ballpoint is selected). The ballpoint refill is very slim: definitely unlike any other Sheaffer BP refill. The pencil seems to use a cartridge, like the 0.3mm model below it. The clip is identical to that of the black fountain pen in the top photo, although this one is finished in chrome.

Bottom: the Sheaffer 0.3 Ultra Fineline pencil (also bought separately, and not a sample). This is a nicely made brushed-finish push-to-advance pencil that uses a proprietary cartridge to hold the super-thin lead. This is the only mechanical pencil I've seen that has a "visulated" window to check on the lead supply. It uses a totally plain bar clip. The packaging bears a code that suggests a 1985 production date.

So there they are: a range of seldom-encountered Sheaffers from the not-very-distant past. I would love to know more about them: which manufacturer actually made them, for one thing. (These were not pure exercises in rebranding, because re-engineering was required to fit the Sheaffer cartridges and BP refills.) Were there other instruments in the line? Is the Sailor connection, at least with respect to the fountain pens, a valid one?

Sorry to take up so much time with a post that is only 28% devoted to fountain pens; but I wanted to try to capture and circulate what little information I had about these interesting products.

Cheers,

Jon

Attached Images

  • LJ_Family_a.jpg
  • SJ3___Ultra_a.jpg

Edited by Univer, 31 August 2007 - 12:19.


Sponsored Content

#2 Guest_PeteWK_*

Guest_PeteWK_*
  • Guests

Posted 02 July 2007 - 23:05

Hi Jon. Sheaffer did indeed sell the Sailor Sheaffer's in the U.S. Market. I'm not sure about the part numbers, though. I'll post again when I get home from the office. Regards,

PeteWK

#3 Guest_PeteWK_*

Guest_PeteWK_*
  • Guests

Posted 03 July 2007 - 04:05

Hi Jon. I'm pretty sure these nine pages are the sum total of the 1980s Sailor Sheaffer info I have c1983. I'll continue to look through my stuff in its rather messy form.

Regards,

PeteWK

Attached Images

  • Sailor_1.jpg
  • Sailor_2.jpg
  • Sailor_3.jpg
  • Sailor_4.jpg
  • Sailor_5.jpg
  • Sailor_6.jpg
  • Sailor_7.jpg
  • Sailor_8.jpg
  • Sailor_9.jpg


#4 Guest_PeteWK_*

Guest_PeteWK_*
  • Guests

Posted 03 July 2007 - 04:24

I actually found another reference to one of the pens you (Jon) mentioned in your first post. Front and back scan included. If you need higher res scans let me know. These are about 800X600 sized to 8 X 6 inches. Hope this helps.

PeteWK

Attached Images

  • Sailor_A.jpg
  • Sailor_B.jpg


#5 Univer

Univer

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,444 posts

Posted 05 July 2007 - 14:10

Hi Pete,

Thanks so much for the info! Very interesting.

Gotta love the way Sheaffer has so consistently recycled its names - although it's frustrating for us collectors. "Sentinel" just never seems to go away, does it?

So the Sheaffer LJ-1 is a Sailor. It must have been a rebranded (and slightly re-engineered) Sailor model of the day. Very natural that the collaboration between the two companies would have gone beyond a pure distributorship relationship.

Do you think we can assume that the other Japanese instruments - the "LJ" pencils and ballpoints, and the "ultra" Fineline pencils - were also Sailor products?

Best,

Jon



#6 Guest_PeteWK_*

Guest_PeteWK_*
  • Guests

Posted 05 July 2007 - 15:49

QUOTE(Univer @ Jul 5 2007, 02:10 PM) View Post
Hi Pete,

Thanks so much for the info! Very interesting.

Gotta love the way Sheaffer has so consistently recycled its names - although it's frustrating for us collectors. "Sentinel" just never seems to go away, does it?

So the Sheaffer LJ-1 is a Sailor. It must have been a rebranded (and slightly re-engineered) Sailor model of the day. Very natural that the collaboration between the two companies would have gone beyond a pure distributorship relationship.

Do you think we can assume that the other Japanese instruments - the "LJ" pencils and ballpoints, and the "ultra" Fineline pencils - were also Sailor products?

Best,

Jon



For the moment, barring new information at least, I think we can assume that any "made in Japan" Sheaffer item from the 1980s is a product of the Sheaffer / Sailor relationship. It would make sense that what started out as a Sailor would have been rebranded a Sheaffer later. I'm saying that in the context of my information which is dated to a catalog pack from 1983. Who knows what they did a few years later? I may hit up Fred and see what his much larger stash of Sheaffer catalogs holds.

PeteWK

Edited by PeteWK, 05 July 2007 - 15:50.


#7 Aislingean

Aislingean

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 325 posts
  • Location:Smokietown
  • Flag:

Posted 08 November 2010 - 11:44

Thought I would bump this one a there is a current topic about these pens
Cheers
Dave






Sponsored Content




|