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Sheaffer Balance 2 Photo Gallery



donnweinberg

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donnweinberg

I haven't seen a full-fledged photo gallery here of the modern Sheaffer Balance 2 (or Balance II), so I thought I'd provide one now. If I'm wrong, I apologize in advance, but no harm done. :D I'll provide photos in a few separate posts here.

 

Let's start with the Balance 2 "Classic Colors," which were made from an injection-molded solid-color resin. They came in three colors -- Hunter Green, Navy Blue, and Black -- and were available in FP, RB, and BP. The FP came with a 14K solid gold nib, available in a few widths, including a stub. The nib was quite firm.

 

Here are my photos. You'll notice that the Hunter Green FP shown here has a stub nib. Many years ago, I sold my Navy Blue and Black Balance II FPs, so I only have a BP in each of those colors in my collection.

 

fpn_1590336789__balance_2_-_classic_-_hu

 

fpn_1590336821__balance_2_-_classic_-_hu

 

fpn_1590336857__balance_2_-_bp_1_-_navy_

 

fpn_1590336882__balance_2_-_bp_1_-_navy_

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donnweinberg

The Balance 2 also originally came in four Marbled Acrylic colors -- Amber Glow, Cobalt Glow, Crimson Glow, and Jade Green.

 

fpn_1590337399__balance_2_-_amber_glow_1

 

fpn_1590337420__balance_2_-_amber_glow_2

 

fpn_1590337449__balance_2_-_cobalt_glow_

 

In the photo just below, one sees the Cobalt Glow RB (top) and FP (bottom). You'll notice that the RB lower cap is missing its acrylic just below the lower of the two cap bands. That portion of the acrylic broke off and was lost at some point. The cap still functions as normal, but the acrylic has been found by many collectors to have a strong tendency to crack. This is my only Balance 2 that has cracked, so I'm lucky so far.

 

fpn_1590337473__balance_2_-_cobalt_glow_

 

fpn_1590337498__balance_2_-_crimson_glow

 

fpn_1590337520__balance_2_-_crimson_glow

 

fpn_1590337541__balance_2_-_jade_green_1

 

fpn_1590337564__balance_2_-_jade_green_2

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donnweinberg

Sheaffer introduced Special Editions ("SE") and in the last two cases illustrated here, introduced SEs sold through Levenger's.

 

First, here is the Balance 2 Aspen SE in FP, RB, and BP. The FP has a 2-tone platinum-masked 18K gold nib. Notice that the cap has two cap bands that are GP and other GP trim.

 

fpn_1590338000__balance_2_-_aspen_se_1.j

 

One of the Levenger Balance 2s was the Aspen CT SE, with chrome-plated trim. Notice the single, thicker cap band on this model. Otherwise, the two Aspens are the same.

 

fpn_1590338038__balance_2_-_aspen_ct_se_

 

Just below is a photo comparing the two Aspens. The top one is the original Aspen SE with GP trim and two cap bands. The bottom one is the Aspen CT SE with chrome-plated trim and a single, thicker cap band.

 

fpn_1590338061__balance_2_-_aspen_se__ct

 

Sheaffer introduced the Balance 2 Millenium Edition sometime in 1999. My photos don't do justice to the exquisite blue colors of this pen. These have the same nibs as in the regular-issue marbled acrylics and also have GP trim.

 

fpn_1590338088__balance_2_-_millenium_1.

 

fpn_1590338114__balance_2_-_millenium_2.

 

Here's a closeup of the cap band, showing "Millenium" in all-caps.

 

fpn_1590338137__balance_2_-_millenium_3_

 

The second of the Levenger-related Balance 2 SEs was the Tiger's Eye, which sported GP trim and the same 18K nib. This style is my least favorite of the various marbled acrylics. Otherwise, it's exactly the same pen.

 

fpn_1590338161__balance_2_-_tigers_eye_1

 

fpn_1590338181__balance_2_-_tigers_eye_2

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donnweinberg

There also were some other special SEs that originally were either very hard to get (i.e., the Demonstrator -- only one or two for high-volume retailers) or very expensive (i.e., the lever-fill SE with an entirely different marbled color).

 

These pens are beautiful in form and color. My personal verdict on these pens as writers, however, is not enthusiastic. For my own tastes, I find the nibs at times difficult with which to write.

 

The 14K nibs on the Classic Colors are very firm, and the stub nib feels more like a calligraphy nib on a Sheaffer calligraphy FP, which I suppose is fine for doing calligraphy, but not so great for general stub-nib writing, such as for a good-looking signature. The 18K nibs on the other, more expensive Balance 2s are springier. I have not found the Balance 2s to provide a particularly enjoyable writing experience, at least for my own tastes.

 

The primary criticism I have read on FPN and from some other sources is that of the marbled acrylic's fragility and consequent readiness to crack (the cap in particular). Fragility is not an issue with the Classic Color-versions, the bodies of which are created with injection-molded resin. The marbled acrylic models are not made from injection-molded resin, but from a acrylic compression, which leaves weak spots.

 

What are your experiences and impressions about the Balance 2 line?

 

Can someone (perhaps PenHero) provide better photos, as well as photos of the Balance 2 Demonstrator and the Balance 2 lever-fill SE?

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...

 

These pens are beautiful in form and color. My personal verdict on these pens as writers, however, is not enthusiastic. For my own tastes, I find the nibs at times difficult with which to write...

 

The marbled acrylic models are not made from injection-molded resin, but from a acrylic compression, which leaves weak spots.

 

What are your experiences and impressions about the Balance 2 line?....

 

My writing experience with the Balance II pens has been quite enthusiastic, especially the factory stubs. My impression is that during the last three decades of the 20th century, Sheaffer was producing great-performing nibs. I had several of the pretty acrylic Balance IIs, but fearing the inevitable, I passed them on to more eager collectors while I kept my invulnerable black Balance II fitted with my favorite nib from the lot. I only wish the converter held more ink for that thirsty stub.

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I am currently writing with a Black Balance II with a Medium nib. It writes wonderfully. I have a Crimson Glow that I use occasionally but only as a desk pen and dont use the clip.

 

I had an emerald glow BP crumble below the trim rings. No reason at all for that material to break there but it did. So I have, but dont use any of the non-solid colors.

 

I do have all of the colors, and the LE, but also only use the solid blue, green, or black. There was an older thread maybe 10 years ago where all the colors were shown, including a prototype light blue-gray marble.

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The nibs are nice. The acrylic of the marbled colors while pretty were awful. Sheaffer ran out of spare parts long before the company was sold to Cross in 2015. The marbled pens were made out of a compressed acrylic that would crack spontaneously. You have to cool the plastic to machine it, or it just gums up. Not only that, but the buyer for Sheaffer ordered way too much of the rod stock, and sold off the extra. For years after they stopped production you found the material showing up in pens made by other folks.

 

Solid colors fared better because they were made out of essentially the same plastic as the NN and Connaisseur lines.

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Any issues with trim ring corrosion on the Balance II/ Connaisseur pens?

Edited by AL01
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Any issues with trim ring corrosion on the Balance II/ Connaisseur pens?

None of mine.

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If only other pens could do their trim rings right...

Sorta like a resin Montblanc 144? (That's being facetious.)

Edited by FredRydr
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