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UHU fountain pen



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Introduction

Most non-Europeans don't know that the German adhesive products company named UHU actually manufactured pens for a period of time. I haven't been able to find out very much information at all on that period of the company or the range of pens produced. I do know that they made fountain pens, mechanical pencils, and early rollerball pens. However, the UHU website omits any mention of pens in their history. Maybe it was too short a period or the fact that they stopped producing pens is an embarrassment?

 

During my quest for a Rotring Rollkuli pen (an early rollerball pen that fills like a fountain pen), I stumbled upon a vintage UHU rollerball (kugeltinter) pen and bought it. I was taken by the logo embossed on the cap band, the textured clip, and the fishnet pattern over the ink window. I found that it writes OK, but not something I would use for writing--it's more of owning an interesting piece of history. The early rollerball pens tend to skip and the line is a bit sloppy when compared to a stylograph.

http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t154/MYU701/pens/UHU/UHU_Rollerball.jpg

http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t154/MYU701/pens/UHU/UHU_Rollerball_tip.jpg

 

Anyway, I decided to keep my eye out for UHU pens out of curiosity, to see what other kinds of models may appear. Sure enough, the day came when a fountain pen appeared along with a beautiful snakeskin textured green leather case that accommodates two writing instruments. I bought it and now have both pens stored inside it. This review is about the fountain pen only.

http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t154/MYU701/pens/UHU/UHU_capped-pair.jpg

 

First Impressions

This is a small pen, measuring just 5" when capped (very shirt pocket friendly). But when posted, the pen is of a very comfortable size. It's lightweight without feeling cheap and comes with a variety of nice features and accents that make it a luxurious pen that looks more expensive than it is.

 

Appearance and Finish

The barrel and cap are made from a rich black plastic, the kind that the Germans are known for in many other pens (like Montblanc). It features a beautifully long flexible nib, and a huge ink window adorned with a fishnet pattern. Accompanied with the big UHU stamped gold plated "pontoon" style clip and raised gold cap band, the overall look of the pen is one of German luxury. Even the name "UHU" has a nice symmetry to it. The cap posts easily without much force, so barrel markings can be avoided. It secures smoothly with only 1.75 turns.

http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t154/MYU701/pens/UHU/UHU_clip.jpg

 

The pen came with a really nice green leather case with snakeskin texture. It's very well made with a gold-like plated metal frame hinge and spring loaded button clasp. A green tassled cord fits in the space between the case edge and the frame. The interior is covered with a beige colored leather textured vinyl material that features an interesting silver UHU logo. It looks like a man with a golf club over his shoulder. "UHU" means "eagle owl" in German... some kind of bird, and yet no sign of a bird logo.

http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t154/MYU701/pens/UHU/UHU_pencase_1a.jpg

 

Design and Size

This pen shines when it is posted, not when capped. With the cap on, it measures 5", with only 2.25" of the pen body exposed. So, it does look a little odd with the cap dwarfing the barrel. But that's what makes it a great pocket pen. When posted, the pen is just 1/8" shy of 6". The most notable design feature is the big gold 1 5/8" pontoon style cap clip with an UHU engraving. The thick raised gold cap band compliments the clip nicely. The ink window is 5/8" long, so you're sure to see how much ink you have left whenever you wish. One unusual accent is that all UHU caps have a kind of 'tiger eye' translucent disk on the cap tops.

http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t154/MYU701/pens/UHU/UHU_caps.jpg

http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t154/MYU701/pens/UHU/UHU_Kugeltinter.jpg

 

Nib Design and Performance

The 14k flexible fine nib is adorned with some decorative edging that is often seen on other respectable fountain pens. Of course, UHU is prominently stamped in block lettering, with 14k-585 positioned below. The nib hardly requires any pressure to lay down ink. It's generally a wet writer that gets super wet when flexed. When I got it the quality of the writing was a little scratchy, but that was correctable.

http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t154/MYU701/pens/UHU/UHU_nib.jpg

 

Filling System

It features your standard German piston filling mechanism. But this one works incredibly well, pulling in almost a full compliment of ink with only a small air bubble remaining. It appears the piston tip has 3 tiers--a thick one followed by two smaller ones; I wonder if this design helps make a more complete seal. The blind cap is mounted to the screw, so it does not need to screw off to operate. However, the mechanism does require a lot of rotations to get going. You need to unscrew the cap until it retracts into a position that then drives the piston motion. The only real drawback of this design is that the ink chamber is a little on the small side. What you see in the ink window is pretty much all the ink you get.

http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t154/MYU701/pens/UHU/UHU_inkwindow.jpg

 

Cost/Value

I purchased this pen as a vintage item, and I have no idea of the going rate except for a previous sale that went for nearly $100, with the difference being the presence of a mechanical pencil.

 

Final Thoughts

I really enjoy the look of this pen. I will probably put it to use from time to time, but only at home.

[MYU's Pen Review Corner] | "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small

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  • MYU

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Thanks for the great review, MYU (and the nice closeups---bravo!) I had heard of the adhesive (glue stick) made by UHU, but didn't know that they made pens, too. I like the fishnet design over the inkview window; I have a Matador (German brand) piston-filler with a similar design and it's quite eye-catching, IMO.

 

Now, how does the UHU rollerball work? (or are you going to do a separate review of it? wink.gif ) The writing end looks intriguing!

Vancouver (B.C) Pen Club (our website)
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Excellent review about a rather interesting item! My fingers are itching to test the flex of that lovely nib. smile.gif

 

Isn't it fascinating what turns up in pendom? smile.gif

Laura / Phthalo

Fountain Pens: My Collection

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georges zaslavsky

Nice vintage pen wink.gif thanks for the review

Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

 

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Thanks for the nice feedback, everyone. smile.gif

 

Regarding the rollerball Maja, it works like a ballpoint (there's a tiny ball in the tip that rotates freely) but rather than thick sticky ink it uses fountain pen ink. I remember seeing a brand from Italy selling a modern pen like this. But I have to wonder how reliable it is. I've got a couple of Rotring Rollkuli pens (same idea) where one works well and the other skips. This one skips as well--I'm not sure if it's the design or if it just needs a really good cleaning. The line is rather large, like a broad.

 

Laura, I too am amazed by what has been made in the world of pens--who knows how many other rare and unusual designs are out there!

 

John, you make a good point. I figured it couldn't be a shovel. It is a little odd for a golf club, given the flat edge. I guess it could be a signal flag or... a travel sack on the end of a stick, like in the old days? wink.gif

[MYU's Pen Review Corner] | "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small

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QUOTE (MYU @ Feb 18 2007, 10:32 AM)
Regarding the rollerball Maja, it works like a ballpoint (there's a tiny ball in the tip that rotates freely) but rather than thick sticky ink it uses fountain pen ink.  I remember seeing a brand from Italy selling a modern pen like this.  But I have to wonder how reliable it is.  I've got a couple of Rotring Rollkuli pens (same idea) where one works well and the other skips.  This one skips as well--I'm not sure if it's the design or if it just needs a really good cleaning.  The line is rather large, like a broad.

Sounds intriguing! I am guessing a lot of those Rotring Rollkuli pens lay down a finer line than a Broad (or perhaps not?) so having something similar with a broader line sounds like a real "find" to me--- congrats again!

Edited by Maja
Vancouver (B.C) Pen Club (our website)
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QUOTE (Maja @ Feb 20 2007, 02:32 AM)
Sounds intriguing! I am guessing a lot of those Rotring Rollkuli pens lay down a finer line than a Broad (or perhaps not?) so having something similar with a broader line sounds like a real "find" to me--- congrats again!

Actually, I'd say that the Rollkuli style pens write like broad nibbed pens only with not as crisp a line. They're rather crude implements in comparison. I much prefer stylographs to these. If you're not familiar with stylographs, the tip consists of a small metal tube with a thin piece of wire inside it for ink flow and is used by artists, architects and draftspeople before the age of the computer. Those have super fine and consistent lines and are made in a wide range of sizes (I think about 12). I have a small collection of vintage Rotring stylographs in an assortment of interesting celluloid patterns and colors that I plan to post pictures of in the coming weeks. smile.gif

 

 

EDIT: sorry, misunderstood the question--I've rephrased my reply.

Edited by MYU

[MYU's Pen Review Corner] | "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small

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  • 1 year later...
Thanks for the nice feedback, everyone. :)

 

Regarding the rollerball Maja, it works like a ballpoint (there's a tiny ball in the tip that rotates freely) but rather than thick sticky ink it uses fountain pen ink. I remember seeing a brand from Italy selling a modern pen like this. But I have to wonder how reliable it is. I've got a couple of Rotring Rollkuli pens (same idea) where one works well and the other skips. This one skips as well--I'm not sure if it's the design or if it just needs a really good cleaning. The line is rather large, like a broad.

 

Laura, I too am amazed by what has been made in the world of pens--who knows how many other rare and unusual designs are out there!

 

John, you make a good point. I figured it couldn't be a shovel. It is a little odd for a golf club, given the flat edge. I guess it could be a signal flag or... a travel sack on the end of a stick, like in the old days? ;)

 

Superb pens, the UHU. Great photos and review as well.

 

Look forward to receiving a new addtion to my own collection shortly.... ;-]

 

The UHU logo is indeed of a man holding a napsack attached to the end of a pole.

Edited by mr goldfink
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  • 1 year later...

A very fine review indeed! I got two UHU pens myself, one very slim fountain pen, looks identical to yours. I don't know the type, it has no imprint except an F for fine. The nib - a wonderful nib it is! - is same as yours. Length should match, my pen is 12.5 cm long. Sorry, I'm german! :blush:

The front of the section has a diameter of 10.6 mm.

 

The other pen is a Kugeltinter, but the section is not that bent kind, it's straight. I got no photos yet, but if you're curious, search ebay for Kugeltinter with option completed bids or whatever ebay shows you in your country. On 13.September one of those Kugeltinters was sold and can still be seen.

 

I connected UHU for more infos about their pens, and they kindly sent me some scans which I'm allowed to post here. Just prices, no drawings or photos unfortunately, they see themselves as a glue producer, pens are neglected in their company history. What a pity! Btw the original documents are from 1949. As Mr.Schmeitz from UHU said, pens were no longer found in documents past 1953. He speculated that it was only this short period of four years that UHU produced writing instruments. I sent them the link to this thread, it should make go wow seeing these beauties. So here are the pics:

 

 

http://img831.imageshack.us/img831/3856/uhufllerinfos1.jpg

 

 

 

http://img697.imageshack.us/img697/295/uhufllerinfos3.jpg

 

 

 

http://img826.imageshack.us/img826/7510/uhufllerinfos2.jpg

 

 

That's it! :rolleyes:

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Just a quick addition to my post. I just got a reply from Mr.Schmeitz with big thanks for the link and its content. And for everybody german spoken here - maybe he'll post more material if he finds any! Kind guy! Let's see what happens. Thus he wrote:

 

Danke für den Link und den schönen Beitrag. Jetzt haben Sie uns natürlich herausgefordert. Mal sehen, was wir noch finden und beisteuern können.

 

:thumbup:

Edited by newlife
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Very cool review of this little reviewed pen and company. Have seen many advertisements for them in old German magazines and have wondered what they must have been like. Thanks for a glimpse into the past.

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