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Sheaffer Admiral Snorkel

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5 replies to this topic

#1 Ernst Bitterman

Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 13:46

Transcribed in case of link failure:
Sheaffer Admiral
Snorkel Model

First Impressions-- I had been used to Triumph point Snorkels, so this was a bit aside from my usual Sheaffer experience. While not a flex pen, this {demonstrative squiggle} comes as a nice surprise. That aside, it's very much in keeping with Sheaffer's quality of the mid-20th century.

Appearance & Design: An evolution of the Balance shape, and rather the standard pen-shape for post-flattop pens; I've only seen pictures of the Pilot 78G, but this thing sure looks like them {later-- while transcribing this, I've had another look at those pictures, and the similarity is less than memory had provided. The Sailor 1911 is closer in shape}. Nice grippy texture on the section. 8/10 (nothing exciting)

Construction & Qualiy: Sheaffer. Not quite as stable a plastic as Parker's Lucite-bodied "51" but not given to shrinkage. A minimum of 50 years old, there's only tiny scuffs on the plastic, while the metal furniture is nearly unblemished. 8/10

Weight & Dimensions: Light, given all the mechanism in the barrel. Good balance for writing unposted. A "Thin Model", it is on the edge of too narrow for my just-above-average man-hands, but it is a fine length. It's not a good pen for posting {note the editing of emphasis}. 8/10, but if you're a heavy pen fancier, you'd probably differ.

Point & Performance: "F5" indicator, it leans towards extra-fine. Hemi-demi-semi-flex-- but don 't demand the action. 14K gold monotone, surprisingly damp and as smooth as one could hope without completely lacking feedback. Plays well with Parker Quink black. 9/10

Filling System & Maintenance: Snorkel, which is a blessing and a curse. One only need remove the cap, the rest of the pen remains all one piece during filling, and a nice long repair interval. When repair is needed, though, it's not quite in the power of any owner to refit it; it's a relatively fiddly job. 7/10

Cost & Value: If you can do you own repairs, you can get one for $10, which is a brilliant value for this pen. Refitted, user-grade pens like this one would be a fine value at $40 - $60, depending on local conditions and colour. Remember, it's not less than fifty years old, and there's no sign of impending, irretrievable failure. Original MSRP: $10.00 (Modern equivalent: $70:00 or so) 9/10

Conclusion: 49/60, but I'm trying to be as objective as possible. Subjectively, I really like it; I'm unlikely to part with this example. It would certainly suit as a daily writier.

Edited by Ernst Bitterman, 29 June 2009 - 20:27.

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#2 MYU


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Posted 02 July 2009 - 02:37

Thanks for the first Snorkel Admiral review, Ernst! thumbup.gif

Looks like a great daily writer and a fine price for it too.

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#3 dhlr14454



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Posted 02 July 2009 - 02:43

Nice review: thanks.

#4 pen2paper


    arty o the irst art

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 03:15

Thanks for the review Enrst..I'm constantly amazed at the smooth solid quality of these nibs, even on the lower end models.
Though slim, the length, imho, is quite comfortable, with pleasant, dignified appearance.
loved your handwritten support, suppliment by typed report. {demonstraive squiggles}
also you example of the line variation..nice nibs!
Thanks for the fine review, and congrates on the little one:)

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#5 diplomat


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Posted 03 July 2009 - 08:10

7/10 for the Snorkel filling system? blink.gif
Just kidding, I see your point on the hassle of the repair.

I love the review index and I have myself noted some "blank spot" I will be able to fill in the future.

So, thank you for filling this one!


#6 blopplop



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Posted 07 July 2009 - 03:24

Kudos Ernst on the great review.

I have agree with the sentiment of these Sheaffer nib types. IMHO these nibs don't get enough praise. I know the Triumph's are considered the elite on the Snork's; but I've had dozen's upon dozen's of both types come through my hands in the last few years and these open nibs, in most cases, have needed less tweaking than the Triumph's when I find them in the wild.

Great nibs...

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