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Swan 0160 Fountain Pen


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3 replies to this topic

#1 Malcy

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 15:59

I bought this pen with a view to harvesting some spare parts from it to finish off my Mk1 Swan Visofil. However, I like it so much that I will be keeping it as a user.

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This is a mid-late 1930's Swan Leverless pen made by Mabie, Todd and Co in the UK. It is typical of their leverless design of the time and is very well made. The pen is meant to be black all over. We know that the 60 in the 0160 model number indicates black celluloid and the barrel and cap are indeed made from this material. The filler knob at the end of the barrel, the cap top and the section are all made from BHR, though they have faded into a brownish colour.

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The pen is 16g in weight and 129mm capped, 152mm posted. It is a medium sized pen and not to heavy to be tiring to use. The section has a comfortable shape as well. The top of the cap has a brass Swan logo embedded in it, a nice touch.

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Swans can be found with a vast array of nibs, many flexible. This pen houses a number 2 size 14ct gold Swan nib and is an unusual flexible left oblique which writes with a med-broad line if not pressurised. It is largely very smooth but has a bit of tooth in one direction which I will have a look at some time but it's not enough to affect writing.

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As stated earlier this is a leverless design. There are two types of Swan leverless, this is the prewar type which is not as efficient as the post war type. To fill the pen, the nib is put into the ink in the usual way and the knob at the barrel end is twisted. This has the effect of wringing out the ink sac and squeezing air/ink out of it. When the knob is returned to it's original position, the ink sac resumes it's original shape and fills with ink.

Here is a writing sample. I have not tried to write with the nib flexed but you can see how wide it goes without much pressure.

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So a bit of a surprise and with Swan prices on the rise the price of £24 was good too, I have seen this model go as high as £75 recently. Needless to say that this will join my user rotation and be enjoyed every so often.

Scores:

Appearance & Design 8
Construction & Quality 9
Weight & Dimensions 8
Nib & Performance 8
Filling System & Maintenance 7
Cost & Value 9

Final score 49/60
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#2 Uncle Red

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 17:57

A very nice pen Malcy. How long can you write before it goes dry?

#3 Beechwood

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 18:01

Nice review.

I have one of these but mine is missing the swan on the end of the cap, so nice touch there.

I took mine apart because the thread was twisted on the knob, others say they are awkward to take apart, I think I was just lucky.

Its a very odd action seeing the rod twist around the sac, best done on an empty stomach.

One minute you are driving down the road, every window open, singing along to 'I dont want to miss a thing' at top volume, the next you are driving and turning down the volume on the radio to help you see better.


#4 Malcy

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 19:10

A very nice pen Malcy. How long can you write before it goes dry?


The simple answer is 'I don't know yet'. However I can say that this pre-war leverless design holds a lot less ink than the post-war leverless design does just looking at the amount of liquid that comes out when flushing them.


Nice review.

I have one of these but mine is missing the swan on the end of the cap, so nice touch there.

I took mine apart because the thread was twisted on the knob, others say they are awkward to take apart, I think I was just lucky.

Its a very odd action seeing the rod twist around the sac, best done on an empty stomach.


It is certainly an unusual mechanism and must shorten the sac life. At least the post-war version uses a conventional pressure bar actuated by the twist knob.
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