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Vintage Onoto Pen Models



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  • praxim

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Maybe. How long do you want me to take? :)

 

Steve Hull's book lists over 350 specific models at a quick count.

 

You can get by pretty well by considering a few classes. There are the early O and N models which became the 2000 and 3000 series. The 4000, 5000 and 6000 series are pretty consistent internally, then there are the Magnas. I have ignored everything which is XX, XXX or < 2000 or otherwise has a name. Many were sold under brands other than Onoto.

Edited by praxim

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Churchill's letter does not say.The O and N were the same price at the time. He may have preferred the larger.

 

I have a restored 3000 (indicated age 1922-1925). It is a very nice pen to use.

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Thanks for the info. I don’t know anything about the N andO models, but have a little knowledge re the “thousands” series. I have a restored 6235 pen that is close to mint, and have had no problems re the feed, ink flow, etc. From what little I have learned about the 6000 pens, it looks like the only differences is external trims.

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Around 1921-22 the O was renamed the 2000 and the N the 3000, then variations came along. 62xx pens are quite a bit later, 1940s I think. They have modest finning of the feed so behave better than earlier models. That said, I was using a 3050 (early 1930s) in a meeting (of a sort) for a few hours today. It performed impeccably. Turned it on a quarter-twist at the beginning, took occasional notes, sometimes capping it, then closed it off at the end. No blobs, no starvation. I have a 6234 (or two) which perform likewise.

 

I also have a 6411 which was produced in the early 1920s and resembles the 62xx only in that it is a fountain pen with a plunge filler, not any other way. Onoto's numbering is a thing of beauty and a joy forever a bit of a dog's breakfast.

 

edit: recollection error on model number

Edited by praxim

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richardandtracy

I think Onoto probably had a 'Model Register' book, divided up into sections for variants of the same general pen, and as a new one was created, they simply took out the next number in the register. It is exactly the same system as we have for drawings in the engineering firm I work for. No system, simply a record. Unfortunately it appears that Onoto's register was probably destroyed in the fire after the factory was bombed in the 1940's.

 

Regards,

 

Richard

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That sounds a very plausible answer to the mystery of their secondary numbering.

 

Given I had been using the 3050 mentioned above, I was writing up some notes in comparison with the other two I have. The two black barrel pens are the same size, the red and black slightly fatter. The three caps each differ in small details of size and proportion between their parts. Finials are different and one black pen is slightly longer when capped. I do not think these are frankenpens but small style variations with colour and year. The secondary numbers are 06, 42, 45. If anyone has a 3050 with a same secondary number then I would like to compare exact measurements.

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Thanks for the info. I don’t know anything about the N andO models, but have a little knowledge re the “thousands” series. I have a restored 6235 pen that is close to mint, and have had no problems re the feed, ink flow, etc. From what little I have learned about the 6000 pens, it looks like the only differences is external trims.

 

Coming back to this. There were the 6000 series and the 62xx series. They are quite different. I have a 6000 and a 6411 which were both Streamline models from the early 1920s, based on the N / 3000 and with slip caps. These are quite different from the 62xx which were introduced in the mid to late 1930s at least, usually (always?) with celluloid barrels, having screw caps, and are predominantly found as post WW2 models.

 

You are right (as it appears to me) that the 623x models differed officially in the number of gold bands on the cap :). I have a couple of mundane 6233s with one ring (one repaired today, another pending), two 6234s with two rings and have somehow thought it not compelling to splash out on a 6235 to get a cap with three rings. ;)

 

edit: I removed a comma !!

Edited by praxim

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  • 3 weeks later...
Methersgate

Coming back to this. There were the 6000 series and the 62xx series. They are quite different. I have a 6000 and a 6411 which were both Streamline models from the early 1920s, based on the N / 3000 and with slip caps. These are quite different from the 62xx which were introduced in the mid to late 1930s at least, usually (always?) with celluloid barrels, having screw caps, and are predominantly found as post WW2 models.

 

You are right (as it appears to me) that the 623x models differed officially in the number of gold bands on the cap :). I have a couple of mundane 6233s with one ring (one repaired today, another pending), two 6234s with two rings and have somehow thought it not compelling to splash out on a 6235 to get a cap with three rings. ;)

 

edit: I removed a comma !!

Does the 6235 exist in any colour other than black?

 

Having one, I have not felt it necessary to acquire a -33 or a -34... (!) It seems to me to be the “last word” in plunger fill Onotos apart from the insanely expensive Magnas. It can be trusted on aeroplanes, etc,

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I have not seen a 6235 other than in black myself, but Steve Hull's book shows a few late 1930s models in the same ink-visible celluloid as Magnas of the time. I think post-war was quite black.

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Methersgate

Thanks. I must get the book. It has come out since I was last playing with pens!

 

Its a very agreeable pen to use, and I tend to haul it out for contract signings, and so on, because it shows up the mere Mont Blanc 149s and suchlike for the vulgarities that they are, but one cannot wrote either quickly, or badly, with it!

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I have not seen a 6235 other than in black myself, but Steve Hull's book shows a few late 1930s models in the same ink-visible celluloid as Magnas of the time. I think post-war was quite black.

 

I hope you don't mind me butting in, but I have a blue, mottled pattern 6235 from, I believe around 1948. I can't figure out how to get a picture of it in here - maybe I need to post a few more times?

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Welcome :). Yes, you need a few posts up, or to be here a week or something, so please hang about to show us your Onoto! Do you have more?

 

Despite something I said above, I have now bought a 6235, black, which (assuming it writes well) will replace one or more of the 6234 and 6233 pens.

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Methersgate

In happy that you have gone in for that third ring on the cap! I love my 6235. It is long, slim, elegant and very light; quite unlike any modern pen of that quality, and it has that wonderful two tone No.5 nib. My favourite pen.

Edited by Methersgate
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Welcome :). Yes, you need a few posts up, or to be here a week or something, so please hang about to show us your Onoto! Do you have more?

 

Despite something I said above, I have now bought a 6235, black, which (assuming it writes well) will replace one or more of the 6234 and 6233 pens.

 

 

I have a little collection:

 

6235 - marble blue

6234 = marbled pink - absolutely beautiful

No 16 - marbled green, lever filler

Unidentified lever fill, no clip, in marble blue

 

When I can, I'll post pictures.

 

Current favourite is the 6235 - writes like an absolute dream and feels so good in the hand

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I have a marbled green/black 6235 in very good condition. Some oxidation of the hard rubber cap top and filling knob. Writes very well with a good No. 5 bi-metal nib.

It was found in New Zealand.

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You are right (as it appears to me) that the 623x models differed officially in the number of gold bands on the cap :). I have a couple of mundane 6233s with one ring (one repaired today, another pending), two 6234s with two rings and have somehow thought it not compelling to splash out on a 6235 to get a cap with three rings. ;)

 

edit: I removed a comma !!

I have just bought a 6234 in machine worked bhr with a two tone No5 nib but mine has a single wide (4.5 mm) wide 9 carat (.375) gold band. The band is by Johnson & Matthey but I am unable to decipher the marks which are an M in a circle and what looks like a lion or leopard head, also in a circle.

 

Looking in Steve Hull's Conway book he has a picture on page 76 of an identical mark, which he says dates to 1936, except mine has an M instead of A. Any further information on the dating would be most welcome.

 

The other mark on the 'blind cap' is C8

Edited by peterg
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  • 2 months later...
Colourfingers

Winston Churchill used an Ontoto Delarue in WW1. He dropped it one day so he wrote to I believe his Mother and asked for a replacement to be sent. I have one but it's not that one.

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