The pen was bought as slightly used but it looked close to mint. The pen measures 15.2 cm or 6 inches capped. The finish is very good. If I want to be really picky, I would say the part where the clip extension flushes into the cap could be further improved. There are a few locations where slight gaps are present between the clip extension and the cap surface. In other words, the top part of the cap could be further improved on the detailing. This cosmetic issue is only observable upon close inspection. The cap takes about 1 1/8 turns to be removed. The cap sits snugly when closed.
Design, Size, and Weight 4.50/5.00
I like the design of the pen. I thought it looks like a tall man in smart business attire. I like the black on this pen. I have seen Dumdummoi's review of the same pen in a different color (burgundy), and that is an impressive color. I wish the Valor can come in deep dark purple, not so much because purple is my favorite color, but more because I really think the color suits the Valor.
The cap to barrel ratio is 1:1, and I thought a more visually attractive ratio would be 2:3. But this is just me, and maybe this explains why I am not attracted very much to the aesthetics of the Pelikan M1000 (because the cap to barrel ratio is about 1:1). Maybe because I like Legacies so much, I was not initially used to the look of the slight change in girth or diameter from the barrel to the section. The length (one of the longest amongst my pens) is a plus factor for me, as I like long pens. I am perfectly comfortable with the girth or thickness of the Valor, but I would prefer a thicker pen for a pen of this length. The pen feels a bit lightweight for me when used unposted (I don't post my pens). Although I prefer heavy pens like the Legacies, I am perfectly at ease with using a lighter pen.
Nib Design and Performance 4.50/5.00
The nib is 14k. The nib is not marked but I am pretty sure this is a medium nib. I suspect this is one of the earlier versions that came out, as the first version came out as black with silver trim in medium nib only. I don't have to say how aesthetically beautiful the Sheaffer inlaid nibs are, as probably everyone has known about it. Although the nib is medium, the nib writes a smooth, wet line in between a medium and a fine, which suits me well. The nib writes with a pencil-like feel (like how a person would feel using a pencil on paper), unlike the 'real' smoothness of a Omas nib. Don't get me wrong. The Valor nib is smooth, but has a certain feedback. Some of my Legacies have this feel. I am perfectly alright with using smooth nibs with a bit of feedback.
Filling System 5.00/5.00
The pen uses an ink converter. If you have read my earlier reviews, I am a big fan of such a filler system for the ease of use and the lack of need to replace the parts (like sacs) in the long run. And you can always open the barrel to see how much ink is left.
I bought the pen without the original box and papers for $155 shipped. I thought it was a good deal.
I have a certain loyalty for Sheaffer pens because my first pen (a gift) was a Sheaffer Prelude which got me started. If there is only one brand that I can buy, I would choose Sheaffers, although I have come across pens with smooth nibs like Omas Paragon and Signum Nova. I have always wanted to get a Valor when I started out my collection with the Preludes. At that time, any pens more than $150 would be deemed too extravagant. I missed the $174 (or $179?) price from isellpens before the prices was adjusted as I was hoping if I can get a cheaper used Valor on the FPN marketplace for a lower price. In the end, I got my Valor from eBay.
I would consider getting a second Valor with a different color scheme in the near future.
Edited by purpledog, 24 June 2008 - 06:04.