Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

How To Tell A Pfm From An Imperial In Photos


OCArt
 Share

Recommended Posts

Like many of you I see pens on auction websites. To me it's very hard to tell the difference between a PFM and an Imperial. Any advice??

 

PFM:

http://0101.nccdn.net/1_5/15e/0a8/179/1260137681290949.JPG

 

 

 

Imperial:

http://0101.nccdn.net/1_5/37d/330/12d/skgi_4021232_5421.JPG

Do remember that the items on your bucket list have an expiration date.
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 26
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • jar

    4

  • JonSzanto

    4

  • Pincel

    6

  • OCArt

    4

Top Posters In This Topic

A few things:

 

- you have to be good at assessing the relative girth of the pen - the PFM is always going to be fatter.

- the flat places on the filling knob (at the end of the pen) are more prominent on the PFM because of the sides; the Imp is slightly more rounded

- No Imps have gold caps like that (or the chrome/gold cap, either); also, on the PFM III, which has a cap similar to the Imp cap on the bottom (plastic and GP), there is much more of an angle or bevel to the cap band, as the cap is wider - the Imp is more straight and flush with the cap

- naturally, you should look for the Snorkel filling system by virtue of the tube coming out the end of the feed on the PFM - ask the seller!

 

Lastly, you need to look at lots and lots of photos on sites that catalog these pens, especially the PFM. If you get to know that look and it doesn't look like a PFM, it is likely an Imp! I'd suggest IMMEDIATELY looking at the PFM page at Jim's PenHero.com, and after you've absorbed that AND COMPARED IT TO YOUR PHOTOS ABOVE, you should look at the pages on the Imperials, etc. And keep going after that.

 

Look, it can be a crapshoot. I got a beautiful Imperial set when I had pretty good suspicion it was a PFM, but it's still a very nice pen (and set) and I haven't considered re-selling it. Not a PFM, but still a fine pen.

 

Best of luck.

"When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

~ Benjamin Franklin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like many of you I see pens on auction websites. To me it's very hard to tell the difference between a PFM and an Imperial. Any advice??

 

PFM:

http://0101.nccdn.net/1_5/15e/0a8/179/1260137681290949.JPG

 

 

 

Imperial:

http://0101.nccdn.net/1_5/37d/330/12d/skgi_4021232_5421.JPG

 

Your picture on top is a PFM V and the look-alike is the Imperial VIII. Take note that your pen has the metal ended tassie usualy seen on the PFM IV/PFM V; no Imperial has this feature. The Imperial VI is another metal capped model which mimics the PFM IV.

fpn_1441354008__black_imp_viii_td2.jpg

 

Your second picture, I'm guessing is an Imperial IV. Gad, it's even harder to tell the Imperials from each other. The Imperial IV (TD or CC) looks like a PFM III. A closer look will show you that the PFM's cap has the "broad shoulder look."

fpn_1441354771__pfmiii.jpg

Edited by Haribon

fpn_1434850097__cocursive.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, with the above guidance am I safe to believe this is a Imperial?

fpn_1441358054__red_pfm.jpg

Do remember that the items on your bucket list have an expiration date.
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh yes. But can you tell what Imperial is it? I think it's a Triumph Imperial Burgundy. It's an Imperial IV, re-issued in the 1990s.

Edited by Haribon

fpn_1434850097__cocursive.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

- No Imps have gold caps like that (or the chrome/gold cap, either)

 

There are Imperial-family pens with all-gold-colored caps as well as ones with bright stainless caps with a gold-colored band.

 

Importantly, of course, PFMs are always Touchdown fillers (and they use the Snorkel system), so any suspect that uses cartridges cannot be a PFM.

 

--Daniel

"The greatest mental derangement is to believe things because we want them to be true, not because we observe that they are in effect." --Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

Daniel Kirchheimer
Specialty Pen Restoration
Authorized Sheaffer/Parker/Waterman Vintage Repair Center
Purveyor of the iCroScope digital loupe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

There are Imperial-family pens with all-gold-colored caps as well as ones with bright stainless caps with a gold-colored band.

 

Importantly, of course, PFMs are always Touchdown fillers (and they use the Snorkel system), so any suspect that uses cartridges cannot be a PFM.

 

--Daniel

 

Ah, live and learn, thanks! At least I got the Snorkel part right!

"When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

~ Benjamin Franklin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Look at as many examples as you can. Google images is a great asset.

 

http://www.fototime.com/009A255CEBB98F4/large.jpg

Pay attention to the overall proportions.

 

My Website

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the replies! JAR, the side-by-side photos were very helpful. I am now better informed. FPN is great!

Do remember that the items on your bucket list have an expiration date.
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PFM inlaid nibs have a tiny arrowhead profile at the very end. I believe that's unique to the PFMs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just another curious question. Does a Sheaffer Legacy fall into the PFM camp?

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NjQxWDY5MQ==/z/MQ4AAOSwPcVVxkU9/$_12.JPG

Do remember that the items on your bucket list have an expiration date.
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just another curious question. Does a Sheaffer Legacy fall into the PFM camp?

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NjQxWDY5MQ==/z/MQ4AAOSwPcVVxkU9/$_12.JPG

 

Not quite but it is the next iteration of the design. The Legacy family are much heavier and of course do not use the snorkel filling system.

 

http://www.fototime.com/0C659079ECE3EDF/large.jpg

The Legacy pens are the same size and general shape though but do not offer the plastic caps found on the earlier versions.

 

My Website

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have one, cartridge fill, has the diamond/arrowhead inlay tip, black body. The cap is a silver material, with gold clip and white dot. I got it new back in the mid 1960's in a pen/pencil set Which model is it? It appears slimmer than the PFM.

Regards

 

Jeff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have one, cartridge fill, has the diamond/arrowhead inlay tip, black body. The cap is a silver material, with gold clip and white dot. I got it new back in the mid 1960's in a pen/pencil set Which model is it? It appears slimmer than the PFM.

 

I'm guessing it's an Imperial VI cartridge. If the clip is marked "Lifetime", a Lifetime 1500. Better if you could provide a picture of your pen to identify it correctly.

Edited by Haribon

fpn_1434850097__cocursive.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The way to tell whether the pen is either a PFM or Legacy is their ridiculous high price compared to the Imperials.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The way to tell whether the pen is either a PFM or Legacy is their ridiculous high price compared to the Imperials.

 

Then I would have completely missed out on the pristine PFM III set I purchased last year for $30.00.

"When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

~ Benjamin Franklin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The way to tell whether the pen is either a PFM or Legacy is their ridiculous high price compared to the Imperials.

 

The price of a PFM is ridiculously high only, if you agree to pay for it. Jon's $30 pristine PFM III set is sure hard to beat. I bought my PFM I for $136, which isn't a bad price at all.

fpn_1434850097__cocursive.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Then I would have completely missed out on the pristine PFM III set I purchased last year for $30.00.

 

I found a $50 bill on the street once, too.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found a $50 bill on the street once, too.

 

Not even close. Try again.

 

Yes, in general, PFMs and Legacies tend to fetch higher prices, but it would be foolish to make that a true search indicator. I recently saw two PFM sets, in what appeared to be virtually identical excellent condition, sell within 2 weeks of each other with a $200 price difference. I have seen Imperial sets sell for more than PFM sets.

 

You need to know the pen, and you need to know the market, and you need to know not to confuse the two.

"When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

~ Benjamin Franklin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

The price of a PFM is ridiculously high only, if you agree to pay for it. Jon's $30 pristine PFM III set is sure hard to beat. I bought my PFM I for $136, which isn't a bad price at all.

 

I bought my PFM V for $10 at a flea market. It still had the original chalk mark on the barrel B)

 

I'd never thought I'd find one in the wild and was going to buy at a pen show, but I'm certainly glad I didn't have too.

 

PFMs do command a premium over Imperials, but that is generally true of most oversized, vintage pens. I think the size, Snorkel mechanism and the fact that much fewer were made compared to the Imperial does justify some of the price difference. Also, as Haribon and JonSzanto stated, if you are knowledgeable of what you are looking for, bargains are still to be had.

Parker: Sonnet Flighter, Rialto Red Metallic Laque, IM Chiseled Gunmetal, Latitude Stainless, 45 Black, Duovac Blue Pearl Striped, 51 Standard Black, Vac Jr. Black, 51 Aero Black, 51 Vac Blue Cedar, Duofold Jr. Lapis, 51 Aero Demi Black, 51 Aero Demi Teal, 51 Aero Navy Gray, Duofold Pastel Moire Violet, Vac Major Golden Brown, Vac Deb. Emerald, 51 Vac Dove Gray, Vac Major Azure, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, 51 Vac Black GF Cap, 51 Forest Green GF cap, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, Duovac Senior Green & Gold, Duovac Deb. Black, Challenger Black, 51 Aero Midnight, Vac. Emerald Jr., Challenger Gray Pearl, 51 Vac Black, Duofold Int. Black, Duofold Jr. Red.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share








×
×
  • Create New...