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Torelli "51" Fantasy Demonstrator With 1.3Mm Minuskin Stub

torelli fantasy custom stub minuskin parker 51 vac

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17 replies to this topic

#1 zaddick

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 04:20

In the world of fountain pens, there are forgettable pens and famous pens…. and then there are the icons. Those are the pens that have a wide appeal and a cult like following. You may love them or not, but there is no denying their impact and the passion they generate amongst devotees. One of these icons is the Parker “51”. There is an abundance of information about these great pens, and I will make no attempt to repeat all the details. I will simply point out that there are two primary filling systems used in the life of the pen – the vacuumatic plunger filler and the aerometric filler. The vac filler was the first system used and I draw this distinction because the pen I am reviewing uses this method.

 

Sometimes iconic pens inspire tributes or fantasy versions where people create a pen they want to see, but it never came from the factory. When this is done with the intention to add character or widen the scope of a pen, I think it has the potential to be a thing of beauty. (When it is done to deceive or to make a pen that is represented as a rare factory original, I find this despicable and blight on our hobby.) There are many folks who have created so called fantasy “51” pens including Ariel Kullock, Paul Rossi, Ralph Prather, and Brad Torelli. Each has their strengths and their products cover a wide range of prices, depending on materials, hours invested, and parts used. While I admire the work or all four men, the pens that appeal the most to me in general are those by Brad Torelli.

Although he is a master of many pen skills, plastics are the area of expertise he focused on for this pen. He essentially took standard “51” vac parts and crafted a new barrel, hood and blind cap. In addition, he put new jewels on the top and bottom of the pen to make is a “double jewel” or DJ version of the pen. This particular pen is a demonstrator in a lovely transparent brown, almost the color of a refreshing root beer. I find the color pairs well with the gold cap. The transparency also gives one a real appreciation for the mechanics of these pens. Manually creating a vacuum to pull ink through the collector and breather tube in order to fill the ink chamber – simple but effective.

 

One of the best things about Brad’s pens is the warranty. He likes to say he offers a lifetime guarantee on his work and his materials. The part that always amuses me is that he means his lifetime. I have no desire to publicly share his current age, but he has joked that he probably has 20 good years ahead and then maybe another 5 or 10 so so years (so get that warranty work done!). In all seriousness, I have personal experience with him standing behind his work and going above and beyond what any large manufacturer would do in support of their pens.

 

Besides the giant pain in the rear it is to clean a “51” vac, the other issue for me personally is the limited range of nib widths available. To remedy this I turned to a custom retipped nib from Greg Minuskin.  Greg sells a lot of “51” nibs that he retips and stubs in various widths. The one I picked was a fairly broad 1.3MM tip and Brad mounted in into his pen for me. Now I have a demo pen with a tip that is wide enough to suit my preferences.

 

I’ll close by saying that if, like me, you found the Parker “51” a little lacking from the factory the good news is there are artists who can make your desires a reality. I have a soft spot for demo pens, wide stubs, and pens hand made by artisans. This pen met all these criteria in one slim, iconic form factor.

 

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#2 visvamitra

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 07:05

This one I really like and I'm not really a Parker 51 guy.



#3 JonSzanto

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 07:26

Bonus points for the material of the plunger rod!


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#4 mongrelnomad

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 08:01

A gorgeous pen. I had two Torelli 139s, and though the pens were gorgeous, the (handmade) feed was a disaster. I've always wanted a Torelli 51, as it seemed the best of Brad, with none of the liabilities: all the bits that 'work' are tried and tested Parker.


Too many pens; too little writing.

#5 mhphoto

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 08:25

Great review. Brad does an amazing job.


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#6 josepllcs

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 12:10

Really a beauty! It's amazing the work of these two artisans, and you are lucky enough to have their products in one fountain pen. Enjoy it!

#7 rpsyed

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 09:38

Goodness, that's a gorgeous pen! And the nib looks like wonderful writer as well. A Torelli is on my long wishlist of pens to one day add to the collection.

Perfect ink to pair with it as well =]

#8 da vinci

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 11:49

A great looking pen. Congrats Zaddick :) :thumbup:

#9 gregamckinney

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 14:01

Beautiful pen.  Just the right amount of translucency of the material for a "subtle demonstrator."

Congratulations on a fantastic pen.

 

Regards, greg


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#10 Epigastrium

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 08:58

Nice pen! Congrats! May I know how do you order your pen? Do you just email Brad? Many thanks!!

#11 zaddick

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 15:50

Thanks. I just ran through my second fill in the pen. That is one of the benefits of a wide nib - I get to use more inks and move more pens through my rotation.

I got this particular pen from another member here in a trade a while ago. You can find his pens used once in a while on places like ebay or this site, but you can also order what you want by contacting him directly. He makes or can make a fairly wide variety of pens. I have a Sheaffer Triumph in titanium and many MB inspired pens from him with shapes like the 139.

Edited by zaddick, 13 May 2016 - 15:54.

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#12 inkeverywhere

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 21:34

I am a Parker guy and have a number of 51's in my collection, all vintage models. I like you am not so impressed by lesser quality knock offs of the iconic 51.

In saying that, the pen in your review is one hell of a 51, looks absolutely sensational and will go on my ever growing wish list. The colour and finish look wonderful although a nice medium nib would float my boat a little better.

Great review of a great looking pen - thank you.


Greg

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Handwriting - one of life's pure pleasures


#13 GregMinuskin

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 00:50

Thanks for featuring my Parker 51 nib work on such a fine pen! From the looks of things, people are quite happy with both the quality of the Torelli Parker 51 and the nib that is in it!

 

Enjoy!

 

Greg Minuskin

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Greg Minuskin
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#14 Epigastrium

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 00:52

Thanks. I just ran through my second fill in the pen. That is one of the benefits of a wide nib - I get to use more inks and move more pens through my rotation.

I got this particular pen from another member here in a trade a while ago. You can find his pens used once in a while on places like ebay or this site, but you can also order what you want by contacting him directly. He makes or can make a fairly wide variety of pens. I have a Sheaffer Triumph in titanium and many MB inspired pens from him with shapes like the 139.



#15 amk

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 09:09

Very, very nice. The material really fits the slimline aesthetic of the 51.

 

But for some reason that nib reminds me of Bugs Bunny... :-)


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#16 bayport714

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 17:47

The pen looks familiar. I believe this is one of the pens we exchanged in a trade. You certainly enhanced it with the Minuskin nib. I had Brad install a Minuskin stub on a first year Parker 51 that he brought back from the dead.

#17 zaddick

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Posted 13 September 2016 - 16:00

The pen looks familiar. I believe this is one of the pens we exchanged in a trade. You certainly enhanced it with the Minuskin nib. I had Brad install a Minuskin stub on a first year Parker 51 that he brought back from the dead.


You got it. At least you know it did not just wind up in a drawer. Although it is in storage as I type this. :)

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#18 akafridi3

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 07:09

Very nice pen







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: torelli, fantasy, custom, stub, minuskin, parker, 51, vac



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