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Sheaffer Lifetime Imperial


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13 replies to this topic

#1 dandelion

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 08:49

A short review of my workhorse – the Sheaffer Imperial "Lifetime" with a 14 k XF gold nib, c/c filled.

I was a bit surprised to see that this pen wasn't reviewed here. This has during this autumn become to be my primary workhorse pen. It is so extremely reliable and a pleasure to write with. I got it for a bargain (about §25 including shipping and handling) earlier this year.

Looks 5/7

This has a classical black/gold finish. I like its nonblingy elegance. No ornaments; just a great shape. I also think that the diamond shaped inlaid nib is utterly handsome. If I should grade the nib separately it would get 7/7. This inlaid shape is brilliant in its clever simplicity.

Performance 6/7

It always starts. No ink flowing problems at all. Lies comfortably in the hand. Easy to post. A joy to write long letters/taking notes with. It is a lightweight, well balanced pen.

Nib 6/7

I've already stated its beauty, but it is also a very good nib. It is wet – but not too wet – with a bit of flex with gives variations in lines and character to the writing. Considering it being an XF it really brings out the colour in the ink. It is also very responsive, non-feathering and smooth. I really love this nib. It might deserve 7/7, but since I haven't written with so many FP, so I'll save the 7/7 grade.

Overall Quality 6/7

This is a very well made pen. It is made sometimes during the 60s and is still in a great condition. It is well built and the black plastic/resin barrel has few, if any, ageing signs. I think it is hard to find this quality in most contemporary pens. As I understand it this model is a bit underestimated, which is good if you want to buy one since it is easy to get a bargain.

Value for the money 7/7

Here there wasn't any doubt about the grade. It is hilarious that it is possible to get this pen quality for $25 incl s/h from US to Sweden.

I really LOVE this pen. It's a vintage Jaguar for the price of a bicycle. wub.gif Not bragging, working excellent in secret. cool.gif Try it! Buy it!

Petra

PS

Measures

Capped 13 cm/5,25 inches

Posted 14,5 cm/5,75 inches

Pen only 11,5 cm/4,5 inches

Weight 16 g/0,5644 oz

Attached Images

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Edited by dandelion, 19 November 2008 - 16:29.

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#2 hari317

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 09:25

Thanks for this excellent review. I have a few Sheaffer Imperials and they are all stellar performers. Your pen is really handsome and you got it for a great price too.

Best,
Hari


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#3 shrujaya

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 10:05

Yes....this is a wonderful pen...I totally agree with you...and you have written a super review...I got my Sheaffer Imperial through the kind efforts of Hari...though not new, it gives me good writing and have never been disappointed...I was dying for a Sheaffer with an inlaid nib and this was my first international gold nib pen...I will cherish this pen for a long long time...

Enjoy your writing with Sheaffer Lifetime Imperial...and thanks for the review...

Jai (Shrujaya)
Writing and posting about fountain pens exclusively on www.jaisiri.blogspot.in ... recent posts on Hema Pens (Hyderabad), Haul at Majestic (Bangalore), and Asoka Pens (Tenali)...

#4 ethernautrix

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 17:35

I agree with your review, Petra. I have a Lifetime Imperial as one of my daily writers, inked with Visconti Bordeaux. It is a superb writer!

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#5 dandelion

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 08:42

Thanks for your kind comments of my review. smile.gif I'm glad to hear that there are others who appreciate this pen! I'm writing with it right now (almost - my concentration on my essay research and writing is...not so good at the moment) and are thinking of giving one as a Christmas present to a friend.

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#6 fungm

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 04:42

Thanks for your kind comments of my review. <img src="http://www.fountainp...IR#>/smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> I'm glad to hear that there are others who appreciate this pen! I'm writing with it right now (almost - my concentration on my essay research and writing is...not so good at the moment) and are thinking of giving one as a Christmas present to a friend.

I've just bought one. Can't wait for it to arrive.

#7 OTDoc

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 04:59

Great Review! Thanks!
Long live the Empire!

#8 ThirdeYe

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 05:05

Is it true that this pen can only use cartridges?
Derek's Pens and Pencils
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#9 watch_art

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 23:37

unless you put a converter in it. my imperial is a touchdown and has a sac, though. so if you look you can find all sorts of options.

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#10 J English Smith

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 17:20

Just bought a NOS Sheaffer 330 XF from Peyton Street Pens on eBay. Nice seller, great pen, and they even stuck in a free matching color 330 ballpoint for no extra charge. Super fast shipping too - can't beat that.

The 330 seems to be the "little brother" of the Imperials. Made in the 70s, I gather? Lightweight, with a steel inlaid nib. Comfortable to write with and it fired right up after a quick water flushing. I bought this for $38 shipped because I wanted to try the Sheaffer nib as an XF - I have an Imperial VII with a medium nib and it is so buttery-smooth, I thought it would be interesting to see what an XF was like. I love my 51s but the few I have that are XFs really require a smooth ink as some inks just make them too dry and scratchy.

The 330 and the Imperials are "poor man's" PFMs - you get the same nice hand feel and nib feel for about 1/8 the cost.

I'm a Parker man deep down (as some FPNers know by now) but these inexpensive Sheaffers are a lot of pen for very little money.

One of the things I like most about this pen is the secure cap mechanism. With the little section grippers that stick out to mate with the cap, it makes for a nice secure cap action. There's no click but you can feel a solid engagement. For those of us who wear pens in shirt and jacket pockets, this is a huge plus. And I have always liked the Sheaffer atriculated clip action. Good design all around on this one!

I will reach for this one when I want a nice smooth XF and no "fuss and bother."
<i>"Most people go through life using up half their energy trying to protect a dignity they never had."</i><br>-Marlowe, in <i>The Long Goodbye</i>

#11 jniforat

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 21:34

unless you put a converter in it. my imperial is a touchdown and has a sac, though. so if you look you can find all sorts of options.


ah, yes. i want to get one of those soon B)

#12 hecya

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 17:39

I have a 330 with an identical nib and at first I didn´t like it too much because it is very light and I prefer heavy pens but now this is my daily writer. I have found that for writing long periods this pen is superb. Now I am looking into getting a Sheaffer Statesman that has a very attractive and unique nib.

#13 liapuyat

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 05:23

I love my dark blue Imperial, which is a touchdown filler. It has a very smooth wet F nib, is well balanced and feels good for long periods of writing. Great review, dandelion!
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#14 bob_hayden

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 21:44

I have a pen that looks just like this but it drinks ink from a cartridge or converter.  It has a fine or extra-fine nib.   I bought it in recent times and have not used it much so I cannot say much about how well it works except that I tested it when I got it and I kept it;-)

 

The love of my life penwise is a similar pen with a burgundy body and a chrome cap with a gold band.  It too is cartridge or converter.  I bought it for $25 when I started college in 1962.  At that time it had a signature stub nib that I sorely miss.  I carried this pen with me every day for years, including five years when I worked in a laboratory environment where the pen really took a beating.  Sheaffer took their lifetime warrantee very seriously and repaired it many times after an assortment of mishaps, most of which were not the pen's fault.  For one of the pen's visits to Iowa I complained of poor ink flow.  They replaced the entire nib and section, but what I got back was a broad nib, the signature stub having long since been discontinued.  I miss it! 

 

I don't really know if any part of the pen I have today is the same as the pen I bought in 1962 but in all its incarnations this has been a wonderful pen.  I agree with everything in the review except the reference to vintage Jaguars which have many virtues, but reliability is not one of them.  There is a whole genre of Jaguar jokes. 

 

"We drove it across the country last summer and it only caught on fire twice!"








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