First Impressions: 2/5. I purchased this set off the Dreaded, and was expecting them to be old and inoperable; in that way I wasn't severely disappointed. It did come with an original box, so it gets one point for that. The pencil mechanism works and has a lead in it, but I don't use it. The pen of course was in need of a new sac and general refurb.
Appearance and design: 4/5. After rework and cleanup, the pen and pencil are quite nice. The nitrocellulose-based celluloid is in good shape with depth and an irridescent quality, no evidence of discoloration is in evidence. The 14k nib is appropriately sized for this pen. The lever mechanism is still functional with no evidence of corrosion or damage.
Weight and Dimension: 4/5. It's a standard size pen, rather thin, and lightweight. I post the cap for balance when writing more than a quick note. When writing postcards I find that the thinness of the section sometimes gives me wrist strain.
Nib and Performance: 3/5. The nib is a Warranted 14k #2 with a hint of flex, not very much. The hard rubber feed looks pretty standard for a 1930's era pen, with 4-5 fins. As with all of these old-style pens, they are "tweaky" - depending on how you put the nib & feed in you'll get either a wonderful writing experience or a total bust, so a little patience and elbow grease is in order. And if a particular ink doesn't work so great, play with the nib until the ink flows the way you want, or switch inks. After awhile I've figured out that these old pens really are adjustable by using the standard tricks.
Filling System: 4/5. The lever fill mechanism works as it should. The pen doesn't hold a lot of ink, merely enough to do the job.
Cost and Value: 5/5. Considering that the set cost approximately $10, the major resources expended were in the refurbishment, which was a labor of love. And for that small investment I have a nice looking, functional, vintage pen/pencil set.
Conclusion: This pen/pencil set was not a high-profile consumer item when new; FP collectors looking for the ultimate writing implement should keep moving. But it works well, the nib has character, the writing experience is solid and dependable, and the pen is rather pretty; non-FP people have commented on how they like the looks of this.
Edited by Robert Hughes, 23 February 2009 - 19:46.