Much that I enjoy fountain pens, I have only a few to show. An old Parker Vector that is about 15 years old, remains flushed, and snug in its cracking box. A Parker Frontier, carefully ground into a broad, is the everyday hero. And a Pelikan Grand Prix that was stolen. That makes it two in hand.
The third I recently bought, after months of debate. A Sheaffer 300, black with a gold trim, and a medium nib. And I don't know how to put it, but somehow all the expectations, sadly, just didn't add up. But don't mistake this for a negative review, for it is not.
I'd read that Sheaffer had closed its US operations, and was manufacturing pens across the globe. Not to mention that the brand had been bought by BIC. Which is all right considering Jaguar and Landrover are now owned by the Tatas who don't make particularly great vehicles themselves.
But what stunned me was that this Sheaffer 300 was made in Slovakia. I shall allow a moment for that to sink in.
Comfortable? Good. Because the cartridges that came with the pen, and there were two of them, are made in Slovenia.
Now, I would not mind where the pen is made, or where its inks came from, if I got a product I wanted. Except that I didn't. Some of you may have seen my post wondering if 'M' was the new 'F'. Based on the response to that, and some extensive forum searching, and culling reviews, it appeared that at least for Sheaffers, 'Medium' is merely a misnomer. That for any number of Sheaffer medium nibs, across periods, the line widths would be different. This I will accept as a matter of fact, and not argue on it.
What is strange however is how scratchy the nib was. So scratchy in fact that a patient upward stroke put hardly any ink on paper!
I can recall that the Parker Frontier came with a badly ground medium nib that I had to grind further to balance the point. Not to mention a loose cap.
But I had expected a Sheaffer to be better. It has taken me a few sessions of soft grinding – on a key and an INR 1.00 coin – to bring a semblance of smoothness to the nib.
In a way, both of us are getting used to living with each other. I am getting used to the fact that the Sheaffer will not put a broader, wetter line, and the pen realising that I want exactly that. It has of course been only a few days, and we have much to adjust to.
And with each passing day, I'm becoming just that little bit fonder of the pen than I was at the first instance. I'm beginning to love the weight of the pen against my fingers, the flawless construction, the mature snap of the cap, and the click of the clip, the beautiful finish of gold and black resin. And the limited line variations.
I have a feeling, that this will a rather interesting relationship. Much like Mr. Darcy and Miss. Elizabeth in Pride & Prejudice.
Edited by Turnpike, 27 March 2013 - 18:50.