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How Far We Can Define A Pen As Vintage!



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Hello

After I got a couple of Sheaffer Balance a few days ago I had a hot conversation with a friend talking about - when can we name a pen as (vintage)!?

and which aspect is more important!? time (how long), availability, quality ......etc


Thank you for sharing us your opinions

H1N

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Edited by H1N
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Wow! - Actually: Two times wow!

 

I think that an exact definition of the concept is impossible.

One might say: Out of production and in a style that belons to former times, but that is not very accurate and there might be plenty exceptions. A too broad definition would be "pens that are not new or that don't look too new", and a too narrow one would be "pens older than a hundred years". Some people sell new pens marked "vintage" simply because they are fountain pens as if that were old fashioned...

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I went to the dictionary to help me respond to this question and, of course, the primary definitions are about wine. The first non-wine entries are these:

9.
representing the high quality of a past time:
vintage cars; vintage movies.
10.
old-fashioned or obsolete:
vintage jokes.
I was about to say that vintage has nothing to do with availability, quality, or any aspect other than the year of manufacture, but the dictionary says otherwise. Still, the practice of calling a retro-styled new pen "vintage" has great potential for confusion and invites accusations of fraud. According to the dictionary, a third-tier pen from the 1950s would not merit the label; more room for confusion, since "high quality" is subjective, particularly in borderline cases. I would stick with year of production and use the term flexibly to clarify that the pen was not recently issued. I'd say before 1990, although could easily be persuaded that the cutoff for the term vintage should be 1980 (or even earlier).
A pen more than 100 years old would be more properly called an antique.
Edited by Manalto

James

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I think that it would be meaningfull to distinguish between pens that are vintage and pens that look vintage.

 

The question that Manalto raises about quality is also an interesting one. Perhaps we should not use the term about low quality pens or highly worn pens (I sometimes call the latter wabi-sabi).

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If we go by the Ebay definition - anything over 3 minutes old is "vintage" as well as being "rare", "mint" and "classic".

 

To me the word vintage merely means that the item belongs to a specific time period, that time period could be a year, a decade, a century or what ever fits the bill. Using that I could say that a new pen is "Vintage 2015" or an older pen is "60's Vintage".

 

To me the time period is important as I'm a collector not a user, but as a collector quality is equally important as is rarity (lack of availability!). To someone looking for a pen to use the availability might the most important factor.

Horses for courses I guess ...

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Those are Balance 2 Sheaffers, not Balance Sheaffers. That model, Cobalt Glow was only introduced in 1998 and so younger than lots of my socks. Regardless of which version of "Vintage" we pick it would be very hard to call that pair vintage.

 

Edited to fix color, cobalt glow not cobalt blue

Edited by jar

 

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Although I'd call your socks vintage. How do you manage it? I go through socks like houseplants.

 

My recently-acquired (it's not new or NOS) Sheaffer 'Connaisseur' is a good example of the lure of the word. I'd call it simply "used" but the eBay seller put the more-seductive label "vintage" on it. I think we have the car dealers to thank for introducing euphemisms for used into the lexicon. "Used" is a term now reserved for jaded, aging hookers.

Edited by Manalto

James

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Those are Balance 2 Sheaffers, not Balance Sheaffers. That model, Cobalt Glow was only introduced in 1998 and so younger than lots of my socks. Regardless of which version of "Vintage" we pick it would be very hard to call that pair vintage.

 

Edited to fix color, cobalt glow not cobalt blue

Yes Jar, you are right, this pen is known (by users) as Sheaffer Balance II 90s according to the 2 rings on its cap rather than the 1 ring you have on your oldest one, but if you look carefully at this balance catalog you'll not find any of no (2) or (II) inside, anyway ,on here, we are not discussing any of pen CV, our subject is about the word (vintage).

Edited by H1N
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Yes Jar, you are right, this pen is known (by users) as Sheaffer Balance II 90s according to the 2 rings on its cup rather than the 1 ring you have on your oldest one, but if you look carefully to this balance catalog you'll not find any of no (2) or (II) inside, anyway ,on here, we are not discussing any of pen CV, our subject is about the word (vintage) not anything else.

I settled that issue long ago and even include it right above my avatar to educate and inform.

 

"A Vintage Pen has to be older than me."

 

So to be vintage, a pen must have been made before the start of the Casablanca Conference.

 

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"A Vintage Pen has to be older than me."

 

.

But doesn't that mean that the only vintage pens are those that are cut from a goose feather?

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I've got to stop crediting people from south of the Mason-Dixon with facetiousness.

Well, when you only wear shoes for Sunday Go To Meetings and only wear socks when we went to the big Tent Revival lessen foot washing was scheduled they tend to last a mite longer.

 

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The feather was from the GREAT Fire bird, not a goose.

Man, I'd love to see a review of that pen. I have huge hands, so maybe it would fit me, but it would be nice to see how it would work out for smaller hands. Or did that make a ladies version from the Lesser Firebird? (I believe the Lesser Firebird had pink feathers)

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Here is my take on this topic ...

 

There are three elements that I consider whether or not a pen is vintage:

 

Nib; Is the nib made of materials or techniques used on modern pen? Do I use it the same way? Does it have properties no longer found in common pens (ex. Flex)

 

Filling System; Is the filling system still the one used in contemporary pens? This means that everything but piston fillers, cartridges, and converters is vintage (the exception being some Vacuum fillers).

 

Cap & Body; Are the cap and bodies of an extinct design? Are they made from materials no longer being used (ex. hard rubber).

 

If the pen meets the criteria for all three, then it's a vintage pen. Otherwise, it's a pen with a vintage element.

 

In that sense, the NOS Sheaffer Imperial II Deluxe that i purchased two weeks ago has a vintage filling system (Touchdown) but is not a vintage pen.

 

My 2 cents!

 

Pat

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Those are Balance 2 Sheaffers, not Balance Sheaffers. That model, Cobalt Glow was only introduced in 1998 and so younger than lots of my socks. Regardless of which version of "Vintage" we pick it would be very hard to call that pair vintage.

 

I supposed from the beginning that this was the entire point using a picture of those pens - opening for a discussion of whether or not these pens could be called vintage. (Buy the way, I love the colour of those pens.)

 

I think that Sheaffer wanted to make something like new vintage pens when they reintroduced the Balance. Again this is the difference between being vintage and looking vintage.

Edited by Ursus
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"A Vintage Pen has to be older than me."

 

This may make sense as a feeling one has, but on the other hand words should communicate something; and especially on the web where no one can see how old people are, such a subjective definition would make it very difficult to guess what a person means when he uses the word.

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This may make sense as a feeling one has, but on the other hand words should communicate something; and especially on the web where no one can see how old people are, such a subjective definition would make it very difficult to guess what a person means when he uses the word.

A don't see the opening for any confusion.

 

I have one age.

 

Others could say "That pen is older than jar" and the meaning is clear.

 

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From my education at FPN, a fountain is "vintage", when it is older than Pakman. :P

He wouldn't lie about this ! :rolleyes:

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn.
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen:
Verweile doch, du bist so schön !

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