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Relaunches Of Iconic Vintage Models



como
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A recent thread got me thinking of examples of successful modern relaunches of vintage iconic fountain pen models. The related thread is:

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/355785-a-new-139-its-a-no-brainer-or-is-it/

Thank you, zaddick, for provoking my thoughts.

 

I am talking about the near replicas and unmistakeable throwbacks to their original vintage models with same name and style. Here are the ones that quickly came to my mind:

 

1. Parker Duofold Big Red;

2. Aurora Internazionale;

3. Pelikan 100N;

4. Omas Gentleman;

5. Conway Stewart No.58 and No.100;

6. Onoto Magna.

 

What are others that you can think of? I hope you enjoy this topic. My apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere on FPN.

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Parker is launching a pen called the 51 early next year (it was supposed to be launched this September, but had to ‘take a pandemic check’).

It’s a screw-capped c/c filler, so it does have some differences to the original “51”, but its shape is mostly correct and its nib is mostly hooded.

Before any “51” purists react with affronted shock, we must remember that the post-1987 Newhaven Duofolds are also c/c, unlike the 1920s originals & the ‘aerometric’-fill Duofold models of the 1950s.

And that Parker is not alone in this habit of ‘updating’ the ‘features’ of ‘re-launched’ models; the new ‘Conway Stewart’ pens are also c/c, unlike the originals which (iirc) were all lever-fillers.

Foul in clear conditions, but handsome in the fog.

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Please don't take this the wrong way. I am not being picky or or anything, just letting you know.

Btw there were conway stewart cartridge pens "academy" model, and fixed in inplace converter like fillers in models such as "Scholar" model. I no longer have a cartridge pen to show :(. there are also eyedroppers, button and safety fillers as well.

These late conway stewarts from 70s are terrible pens :( and probably not worth collecting (cartridge pens). They are like biro swans, Just a lot worst than biro swans actually. Unless one hunts for them specifically its likely that one wouldn't even come across these.

 

As for eyedroppers and safeties, i only have pats of the barrel for each type :( would love to see what the inside of the safety looks like for these if any one can include a photo :)

 

fpn_1601245782__img_20200928_111938.jpg

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Btw there were conway stewart cartridge pens "academy" model, and fixed in inplace converter like fillers in models such as "Scholar" model. I no longer have a cartridge pen to show :(. there are also eyedroppers, button and safety fillers as well.

 

These late conway stewarts from 70s are terrible pens :( and probably not worth collecting (cartridge pens). They are like biro swans, Just a lot worst than biro swans actually. Unless one hunts for them specifically its likely that one wouldn't even come across these.

That pen, and your description of its poor quality, reminds me of the ‘inexpensive’ Platignum pens that were handed to us on our first day at Middle School. They leaked, and were unreliable. Especially when being handled by nine-year-old kids who were raised on 1970s British food and 1970s British TV :D

 

Your pen - like the Platignum that I remember - dates from the era when fountain pens had become very unpopular; most adults had stopped buying fountain pens that needed to be refilled all the time. Most people were already using the far-more-convenient ballpoints. ‘Second-tier’ pen companies started cutting their production costs to try to survive the changing market.

Conway Stewart and Platignum both went bust in that era.

 

Both names have been sold to (or ‘resurrected by’) new companies.

Foul in clear conditions, but handsome in the fog.

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Pelikan originals of their time

Pelikan iconic 120

Parker 51 special edition

Wahl Eversharp skyline

Wahl Eversharp Decoband

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Thank you all for your contributions. I always learn something that is beyond my normal range of interests.

 

I didn't know about Dunn pens. Interesting.

I believe there was an attempt at reviving Dunn pens. I dont think its identical, but fairly close.

 

http://www.gatecitypen.com/pens.htm#dunn

 

I've seen the ads for this one. It doesn't look exactly like the original 51, but definitely close. I am curious how well it's received. P51 is probably the most sold pen model ever.

Parker is launching a pen called the 51 ...

 

This looks interesting, quite modern. Would you consider buying one?

Sheaffer Legacy's were scheduled to be relaunched this year, with inlaid nibs by Sailor.

 

I must say that this one is less iconic. In fact I prefer the box over the pen. Sad times for CS.

Please don't take this the wrong way. I am not being picky or or anything, just letting you know...

 

I like the relaunch of Wahl Eversharp Decoband very much. The size is too big for me personally, but they look faithful to the original design.

Pelikan originals of their time
Pelikan iconic 120
Parker 51 special edition
Wahl Eversharp skyline
Wahl Eversharp Decoband

 

Thank you for mentioning. Another resurrected brand that I am less familiar with. Does the quality stand up to the glory of the old days?

 

There seems to be a good following on modern Esterbrooks. I must say that the modern Mabie Todd pens are horrible (yes, it's a horrible word, but for me it's really true). I couldn't get beyond the looks to even try.

To or not to count conklin black + gold version of the crescent filler? hmmm.

 

https://conklinpens.com/collections/crescent-filler/

 

I guess it would be wrong to count esterbrooks or mabie todd swans

Edited by como
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I am talking about the near replicas and unmistakeable throwbacks to their original vintage models with same name and style.

Could you clarify the criteria please? Same name is easy enough, but what is encompassed in "style"? Also, does the relaunched pen need to be a current pen or might it have been re-launched before?

 

If I pull out a current Onoto Magna and a late 1930s Onoto Magna, I see that they have similar girth, length, flat-ended design and, really, not much else in common. Materials and patterns are different. Clips are quite similar but with different logos, cap bands different, clip positioning in relation to finial different, and of course one is a C/C pen and the other vacuum fill. It is possible to get a vacuum fill modern Onoto, I have one, but that is an insert. The modern nibs are Bock (now Jowo) and quite different in flexibility from the magnificent De La Rue originals.

 

The modern Aurora Internazionale is quite different in construction and filling compared with the original, nib presumably different too.

 

On the other hand, should we include the 1980s-1990s Waterman Man 100 Patrician, throwbacks to the 1930s Patrician, even though after some physical resemblance and name linkage it is quite a different pen in material respects of filling, nib and construction?

 

Is it just the name and a bit of a resemblance that matters, like Ferrari riffing off famous 1960s designs when they brought out front-engined models in the 1990s and since?

 

I am not asking cynically. If the throwback name and style meant nothing at all then it might be fair to say that I would not have bought a modern Onoto Magna rather than another S T Dupont. I am interested in how people distinguish between a re-launch, a re-envisioning, a re-hash, or just a bit of marketing fluff.

Edited by praxim

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praxim: You raised a valid point. I would say the following criteria:

1. Same brand (continuation of same company, like Parker, or re-registration of trade mark available again like Onoto); AND

2. Same model name (Duofold, Internazionale, or just slight change in model name to reflect new vs old, in case of Pelikan); AND

3. Obvious resemblance in design elements to the extent that most people can acknowledge characteristic similarities.

 

In other words, a legitimate company making a deliberate effort of relaunching of its previous model, preferably a model of historical significance.

 

Hope the above are reasonable assumptions as base of this discussion and sensible to most people.

Edited by como
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I believe there was an attempt at reviving Dunn pens. I dont think its identical, but fairly close.

 

http://www.gatecitypen.com/pens.htm#dunn

 

 

I quite like the look of these but the website says that they are sold exclusively by Indy Pen Dance, but when I go there, I can't see them anywhere?

http://www.aysedasi.co.uk

 

http://www.aysedasi.co.uk/images/2008newlogo300.jpg

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Kaweco's rebirth in the mid-90s seems to be a reissue in and of itself. The Sport and Dia2 models, for example, are definitely relaunches of original models (while I wish the Dia2 was a piston-filler, I still love it).

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Perhaps not iconic, but kind of interesting.

 

Bexley rolled out a piston filler called the Prometheus with a #8 gold nib. Maybe about 15 years later Bexley rolled out a model called the Prometheus that is a C/C pen and used a #6 steel nib. The two pens look a lot alike, especially capped. i would have thought it would have been called the Prometheus 2 to avoid confusion, but no.

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Aurora did a re-launch of its DuoCart model a couple of years ago.

The resulting pen is not so bad, although it has been criticized for not having a gold nib (while the orginal Duocart did) and especially for not having two cartridges! The DuoCart name is therefore slightly misleading.

That said however an Aurora converter fits perfectly in the pen, so that's not so bad.

Some users have reported ink leaking from the tip. I have had two of these pens, one still in use, and both of them work well, no leaks (the second pen now belongs to my brother in law...).

Some care needs to be taken when uncapping, the cap is push on (like the original) and ensures a tight capping (which actually prevents the pen from drying out) but if pulled off too fast can suck ink out of the nib (this might actually have been mistaken by some as leaking).

If you twist the cap when uncapping this does not happen.

The pen has also been considered too expensive for what it offers. Bought new perhaps that is slightly true (about euro140) but the pen is made using quality materials and the feed is ebonite. The Steel nib writes a F to M line is very smooth and has a touch of bounce.

I got both of mine second hand but unused mint, at a less than one third of the official price.

fpn_1601323979__p1150424-3_aurora_new_du

 

For comparison this is the original DuoCart

fpn_1601324134__p1150490_3_aurora_duocar

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inkstainedruth

Relaunches ???

 

No thanks, I will keep to the originals :P

The modern reissue of Esterbrooks are expensive and mostly not all that attractive looking. Whereas, vintage J-series Esterbooks are readily available in the wild -- and even if they need restoration, that will still be way less costly than a "modern" Esterbrook -- which is "Esterbrook" in name only.

As for the "reissue" Parker 51s? I'm with you there: I'll stick to the originals. Especially since I'm betting that the price tag will be higher than I've paid for nearly all of my vintage ones (both Aerometric and Vac models -- even with the repairs on some of the 51Vacs, I'm betting that I've paid less per pen than I'm betting the "reissue" will be priced at.

Ruth Morrisson aka instainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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Perhaps not iconic, but kind of interesting.

 

Bexley rolled out a piston filler called the Prometheus with a #8 gold nib. Maybe about 15 years later Bexley rolled out a model called the Prometheus that is a C/C pen and used a #6 steel nib. The two pens look a lot alike, especially capped. i would have thought it would have been called the Prometheus 2 to avoid confusion, but no.

​So, you’re saying that Bexley have humbled their original Prometheus, and pecked out its liver...? ;)

Foul in clear conditions, but handsome in the fog.

mini-postcard-exc.png

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