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Hi Wim -- and all --

 

A few days ago you posted pictures and writing samples of an Onoto "Royal Crown" pen. Do you like the pen? What are it's writing qualities? How does it feel in your hand? Do you have other Onotos you could tell us about? I'd be interested in anything and everything you could tell us about the pen and the company.

 

Many thanks! --Arnav

- Arnav

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Hi Arnav,

 

Personally, I think Onoto is a very much underrated pen. Of course, they were only available as vintage pens until very recently, but the brand has now been brought to life again by some enthousiasts.

 

There is a new silver pen available now, LE, based on the Magna, which used to be the flagship of the company for many years. Unfortuntely, rather than using Onoto´s plunger filler system, they have opted for the modern day convenience of indepence of ink wells, IOW, it is a c/c pen, international size. The makers are planning on bringing out more pens in the near future.

 

Considering the vintage pens, the build quality of the pens generally is top notch, but the only model that fetches prizes accordingly, is the Magna. As mentioned, Onoto used their own filling system, but they also used lever fillers. I happen to own two, the mottled brown "Royal Crown", brought out to celebrate the birth of the current Queen Elizabeth in 1924, and a small blue marbled lever filler.

 

One of the reasons why I think these pens are underrated, is the fact that many of the nibs have flex that equals that of Watermans. So, for a nice pen with nice flex at a reasonable price, and easy to fix if required, buy an Onoto lever filler :D. If you want something really special, try an Onoto plunger filler.

 

I have some more information on Onotos, including websites, at home. Íf I have some time tonight, I´ll upload that info too. For now, here is one: Onoto Website

 

Kind regards,

Wim

the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever

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Hi Arnav,

 

A few more sites:

 

Classic51

1001Pens

Fountain Pen Emporium

Heritage Collectibles - Fountain Pens

Hans' Pens

Writetime UK

 

Most of these are just sites where Onotos are sold, but some have info on Onotos as well. It is rather hard to find a lot of info on Onotos, though.

 

HTH,

Kind regards,

Wim

the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever

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I've heard very good things about the way vintage Onotos write, but I thought that the plunger-fillers were quite a challenging repair... :unsure:

 

Wow, the Onoto head office is in Norwich, England! :o My husband (he was my boyfriend at the time) and I lived there for a year....The city is famous for its Colman's mustard factory...and now they have fountain pens, too! :lol:

Vancouver (B.C) Pen Club (our website)
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I've had an Onoto apart and it wasn't hard to work with. Unfortunately the cap was virtually trashed so the best I could do was get into usable if not pretty state.

Ther are 10 types of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who don't

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Hi Maja,

 

The plunger fillers are apparently a little bit more difficult to work on than the lever fillers, and I think there are some special tools available to make working on them easier. I have never worked on an Onoto plunger filler, so I couldn´t really say. They look very nice, though. And Nathan Tardiff used to restore and sell them, I don´t know whether he still does. You could ask and see if he still has any available.

 

HTH,

Kind regards, Wim

the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever

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Thanks, Wim....I should stick to my collecting focus, though :lol:

My pen mentor took a pen repair course a few years ago and his mentor taught him how to repair Onoto plunger-fillers as a "follow-up" last year....

Vancouver (B.C) Pen Club (our website)
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Keith with a capital K

I haven't worked on an Onoto plunger filler but they are, as far as I know, a little simpler than the Sheaffer plunger fillers to restore as they have simpler sdesign and a lesser variety of parts. (The Sheaffer came in 7 different sizes).

Please visit http://members.shaw.ca/feynn/

Please direct repair inquiries to capitalpen@shaw.ca

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  • 15 years later...

I have few Onoto de la rue Plunger fillers and they need to repair the seals and cork. very old and I love them how they write. better than some watermans. I use them as dip pens.

I have a few Onoto lever fillers and a recently servised De La rue plunger HR pen with a under and over feed. beautiful writer.

I have plans to add few more pens to my collection .

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Currently I appear to have 32 vintage Onotos (I have also sold a few) of which three are lever fill, four piston (the late K series) and the other 25 "plunge" or vacuum fillers. The K series nibs are tolerable and most of the others (about ten varieties) are superb. I have been putting in the occasional advocacy for Onoto pretty much from the time I joined FPN and bought my first.

 

A couple of those pens are waiting rehabilitation. A 2502 is causing some angst because its cup washer is not one of the two standard sizes. An N model with over-under feed from some time 1905-1919 should be straightforward allowing that I need to replace everything remotely perishable, plus the plunger rod itself.

X

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Wow - resurrecting a fifteen year-old thread has to be some kind of record?!

 

 

Must be one of the earliest threads on FPN.

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I have few Onoto de la rue Plunger fillers and they need to repair the seals and cork. very old and I love them how they write. better than some watermans. I use them as dip pens.

I have a few Onoto lever fillers and a recently servised De La rue plunger HR pen with a under and over feed. beautiful writer.

I have plans to add few more pens to my collection .

Why not get your current Onoto's serviced before adding more to the collection?

 

It is now much easier to get the necessary spares than perhaps it was 15 years ago, and there are a number of people on here very capable to undertaking the work at very reasonable rates. I do not have the time myself, but would readily point you in the direction of either Cob or Eckiethump.

 

NB please do not think I am suggesting these are two old gits who are currently locked away for their own well being ;-)

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Why not get your current Onoto's serviced before adding more to the collection?

 

It is now much easier to get the necessary spares than perhaps it was 15 years ago, and there are a number of people on here very capable to undertaking the work at very reasonable rates. I do not have the time myself, but would readily point you in the direction of either Cob or Eckiethump.

 

NB please do not think I am suggesting these are two old gits who are currently locked away for their own well being ;-)

 

 

Also Classic Pen Engineering

 

 

http://www.classicpenengineering.co.uk/fountain-pen-pencil-repairs.html

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Custom Pen Parts

Currently I appear to have 32 vintage Onotos (I have also sold a few) of which three are lever fill, four piston (the late K series) and the other 25 "plunge" or vacuum fillers. The K series nibs are tolerable and most of the others (about ten varieties) are superb. I have been putting in the occasional advocacy for Onoto pretty much from the time I joined FPN and bought my first.

 

A couple of those pens are waiting rehabilitation. A 2502 is causing some angst because its cup washer is not one of the two standard sizes. An N model with over-under feed from some time 1905-1919 should be straightforward allowing that I need to replace everything remotely perishable, plus the plunger rod itself.

 

Hi there

 

I an interested in your pens which are awaiting repair, especially the 2502 which needs new seals.

as a manufacturer of the seals you need, could you please inform me as to the diameter you require as I have made special sizes for a few customers in the past

I also contacted an author of pen books, but no help was available on this subject, it seems there is very little technical detail available on any Onoto pen and the only way I have become a maker of spare parts is to dismantle many vintage pens and take measurements myself

Cheers

Roger

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Hi Roger

 

I use your 7.65 mm and 7.78 mm cup washers of course so I would be delighted if you were able to make one for the narrower 2502. Tomorrow I will take five measurements and send you or post here the data. My tools for the purpose are Starrett small hole gauges, and calipers or a micrometer.

 

I will also measure the space for cork seals for the packing unit at the back end of the barrel although I am confident I can deal with that anyway, one way or another.

 

The other two Onotos are an N and a 5601 so no problems with them, once I have made new rods.

 

regards

P.

X

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Each of the following is the median of five measurements.

 

Barrel interior 7.23 mm near the entrance to the release chamber. Four measurements were between 7.21 mm and 7.24 mm with the first 7.17 mm.

 

Barrel interior well up the barrel was 7.09 mm.

 

Although the barrel was cleaned and visibly pretty smooth, and I used a plastic scraper, the gauge still exposed slight roughness or out-of-round in the barrel interior, probably owing to build-up of dried ink. I chose maximum rather than minimum diameter points for the measurements. Although noticeable to the instrument, the differences were small and I thought the maxima more useful.

 

Release chamber 8.30 mm. Again, the first measurement was low, 8.18 mm, and the next four pretty consistent at 8.28 - 8.31 mm.

 

Cork seal chamber 5.18 mm. All measurements were 5.17 or 5.18. Length of this chamber is about 9 mm. I did not do multiple measurements for that because it is not an issue.

 

Chamber and seal area measurements are less reliable because I had to open the bore gauge to fit, mark that point, then close it somewhat to get it out past the threads before re-opening it to the mark to check its dimension. They are mainly for interest in any case.

 

Let me know if there is anything else you need or want me to check.

 

Tools: I used each of M&W micrometer, ordinary electronic calipers and Mitutoyo manual calipers for each measurement of the Starrett bore gauge result, taking the median of those, which was usually one of the first two, most often the micrometer. The Mitutoyo tended to read up to 0.010 - 0.015 mm smaller than the others (sometimes they agreed). The M&W were previously calibrated by me, the electronic calipers merely zeroed regularly (they tend to drift a tiny bit).

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Custom Pen Parts

Hi again

Interesting in as much that the sizes you gave me I have never seen before.

Other questions:-

What is the plunger/rod condition

Are both serviceable

Does the plunger have a conical end to act as an ink shut off

If the cone end comes off what diameter does the rubber seal fit on

 

It might be of assistance to take some photos then things should be easier to talk about

Regards

Roger

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