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A Cheap Italian Pen From The Late 80's; The Wilson Super Smooth


basterma
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This is a test for posting images from behind the Great Firewall in China.

 

So here is a pen from the bottom of the Italian Barrel. It was purchased in Egypt in 1989, and is one of the smoothest writers in my collection.

 

It has no tipping. The nib is rolled, so the tines are folded over to touch the bottom of the nib, instead of the crimped nibs seen on other cheap pens.

 

http://i64.tinypic.com/2nl74f8.jpg

 

 

http://i65.tinypic.com/bex5hi.jpg

 

http://i66.tinypic.com/a3zerr.jpg

 

The rolled nib and finish give it the smoothness that is incredible. However, the rolled nature of the nib does not tolerate rotation well, so you have to write carefully to keep the pen in its sweet spot.

 

The plastic finish is textured and prone to cracking.

 

http://i66.tinypic.com/fpa34o.jpg

 

A full view of the pen along with a sample of my poor print.

 

http://i64.tinypic.com/2drfofa.jpg

 

The pen cost about 3 USD and is the first of three Wilson pens I have. The others show a development in the design, with a metal clip, then transparent "demonstrator" cap and section.

 

I have not seen any of their pens in a few years, but one still finds packets of fresh International Cartridges today in Egypt, suggesting that the company still exists.

 

Can anyone in Italy verify this?

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The company is present in the phone-book of Settimo Torinese, the "kingdom" of the Italian cheap fountain pen.

It comes out just putting the name on Google.

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Thanks.

 

I tried looking for their website a year ago and was unable to find one. I wanted to know the history of the company. I find it interesting to compare these cheap pens to the high end Visconti, Aurora, and others.

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  • 2 years later...

I just noticed this topic, so you may never see the reply. But I have a bunch of these pens, from across the last 20 years or so. I pick them up in the Czech Republic when I am there. In the last couple of years I have found pens from the identical mold as the one you reviewed above, sold in 3 packs for around a USD or two (about 25 Czech crowns for three pens, so less then 75 cents a pen) in hypermarket type stores (Tesco, etc.). I've also picked up ones with the same "Wilson Super Smooth" nib but in translucent colors over the years. So they are definitely still being made (or at least there is tons of NOS). Interestingly, at least the way they are marketed in Central Europe, they often have other branding packaging

 

As you say, they are all incredibly smooth writers. Really smooth. (I have lots of other super cheap pens with folded steel nibs, including a bunch of Stypens from the 1980s and 90s, some Reynolds/Paper Mate ones, Universal, and various unbranded ones). I find these nibs can be excellent springy writers for average around 1USD a pen, though the overall quality of the pens varies tremendously from brand to brand.

 

The issue with the Wilson pens, as you say, is that, while the nibs are smooth and very reliable, the barrels and caps on all the Wilson colors and types I have are prone to cracking at the ends.

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  • 1 year later...

Same, I could see all the pictures except the first link had no picture.

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