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Sheaffer "reversible"?


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#1 Claes

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 08:51

Dear all,

If my memory serves me right, Sheaffer marketed a "reversible"
fountain pen during the 1960s or early 1970s, i.e. you could
turn the pen body 180 degrees and write with another width,
just like a Parker 180.

Might it have been called model "808"?
There might have been a white "S" on the clip,
and it could be had in a set (fp, bp and pencil).

Does anyone have more information about this model?

Sincerely,
Claes in Lund, Sweden

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#2 PenHero

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 21:31

Dear Claes,

The pen you are thinking about is the Stylist. Sheaffer introduced it in 1966 and made them until about 1968.

It had a two-way nib that unscrews from the section. There were four writing modes: fountain pen, ballpoint, pencil, and Glideriter felt tip.

It also has the dubious distinction of being the pen that Sheaffer experimented with the "S" replacing the White Dot. Seems like Textron felt it needed to make its mark on its acquisition and the Stylist was the Rosemary's baby.

I have several of them and have been holding off doing an article on them until I can actually write from a more neutral perspective. As pens go, they're an interesting study in what not to do when you own one of the most well known brands in the world.

The later Parker 180 is a much better pen. Perhaps Parker watched the debacle of the Stylist and said, "Neat idea. Bet we can do it much better." They let ten years go by before they introduced the 180. Possibly to let the bad impression die down.

It was not particularly successful, big surprise, and Sheaffer quickly revived the Imperial line afterward. It was the first new pen line introduced after Sheaffer was purchased by Textron.

I'm not exactly certain why, but later Stylist models appear to drop the two-way nib. I have heard that the two-way section is not reliable and prone to leaking, but that's hearsay. You can find examples of this pen with the 1960s short Triumph nib, and this nib is definitely not shown in any 1966-1967 materials.

It's no surprise, as with many failed pen lines, that Stylist pens can often be found unused in the box.

Can't tell what I think of the Stylist, eh?

Edited by PenHero, 11 February 2005 - 21:58.


#3 antoniosz

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 22:44

Jim may not agree but I like the Stylist. OK it is not a PFM but it is a nice light little pen. I have been using some of them on and off. As for the comparison with 180, I am sure I am not alone in thinking that the Stylist may not have the finishes of 180 but the probability of it working was much higher than for the 180.

OK here are the guts of the Stylist and the various finishes that I have :blush: I am not sure if the ones on the right are called Stylists - they have the white dot and a triumph nib (I have seen people refer to them as Imperials-is this correct?)

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#4 Maja

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Posted 12 February 2005 - 00:26

Nice collection, Antonios. I always wondering how they wrote, as I had heard not-so-great things about the Parker 180.....Thanks for posting a picture of the working parts, too!
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#5 antoniosz

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Posted 12 February 2005 - 03:09

Thanks Maja. I have written with 3 of them. All of them were new (sarcasm on : mint with chalk marks - :) ) and they all performed well. I had written with them for few weeks at a time and I did not face a problem. One of them was sold to a friend from Spain... He never complained. A reasonably wet and decent line. A minor line thickness difference between the two sides. The only problem I had was the clutch of the cap - for some it was too tight on the section, but it was easy to take out and adjust.

Jim has a long experience with pens so I am sure there is a reason for the way he feels about this pen...Obviously it does not have the look of an ultra sturdy pen so I would be worry if the user is a heavy pressure writer. Looking forward to hear the specific comments that Jim will offer. A warning about my opinion ... this is not the first time that I like a pen that some people hate - e.g., I love my Sonnets...

AZ

#6 Claes

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Posted 12 February 2005 - 09:12

Superb replies!
Thank you.

Yes, my copy leaks, too :o
The front gasket is not what it ought to be.

Sincerley,
Claes in Lund, Sweden

#7 rsilver000

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 00:16

I have two different stylists and write with them regularly. By that I mean for 6-8 hours a day writing notes in patient charts. I refill them at least once during the day when I am in the office. No problems at all with either one. I got converters from sheaffer, the new style ones work perfectly fine, so I don't have to use cartridges. I have never had either pen leak. In order to go through forms I write very hard. There seems to be no difference, or at best a very slight difference between the fine and medium nib sides. One of mine is plastic with a funky green-grey plastic and the other is a gold metal. Both picked up on e-bay for under $20.00/each, probably because of the bad rap they have received from evaluations in the past and a general unfamilarity from most fountain pen folks. Now having said that, I still like my pelikan M-800 a whole lot better. But I don't have to worry about dropping these pens or doing any of the 100 or so bad things that can happen to a pen if you use it on a steady basis for hours at a time.
Cheers, Rob






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