Retro 51 Vintage Metalsmith Tornado Rollerball Pen Cursive
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- Retro 1951 Vintage Metalsmith series
- Twist top rollerball pen
- Comes with Black ink
- 5 inch length and .45 inch diameter
- Handwriting print with antique silver trim
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|Sold By||The Gift Closet||Cellar_Door_Books||Hyatt's All Things Creative||Cellar_Door_Books||Cellar_Door_Books||Speranza Design Gallery|
|Color||Cursive||Black Titanium||Hamsa Bamboo||Joker||Ice Blue 2||Dr Gray|
|Item Dimensions||2 x 6 x 2 in||1.69 x 6.18 x 1.69 in||2 x 6 x 2 in||1 x 5 x 1 in||1.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 in||2 x 6 x 2 in|
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Retro 51's Tornado Vintage Metalsmith Cursive pen features a handwriting print with antique silver trim. Reminiscent of the instructional practice worksheets from your school days. This twist-top rollerball pen measures 5 inches long and .45 inches in diameter. Comes with a smooth black ink cartridge that makes it hard to stop writing once you start. Both Blue and Black refills are available in rollerball and ballpoint.
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Original review: Decided to go for the Stealth Tornado after reading many pen blogs online and the general praise the Tornado line receives is well placed. The pen arrived securely wrapped in Retro's trademark tube with foam lining. Upon taking it out of the tube, the weight distribution is pretty much spot-on, pretty much in line with the tip of the pocket clip. I'm a sports journalist, so I'm basically writing or taking notes eight hours a day.
Upon barrel disassembly, its construction appears to be brass with a nice black lacquer finish on the barrel's surface (almost feels like anodized aluminum to the touch); the tip cone has a nice, high-gloss finish, same as the pocket clip and Retro's knurled twist mechanism. Not a heavy pen, but it does have a nice heft to it.
Twist mechanism offers the right amount of resistance, but can still be operated with one hand. Pen tip deployment is smooth and consistent and, more importantly, there is zero wiggle when writting. Upon inspecting the pen tip deployment, there's basically no dead space between the pen tip and the cone tip hole, which means you won't hear any rattling or knocking when writing.
The pen came with a Retro 1951-branded Schmidt P8126 capless black rollerball refill. It's my first experience with a Schmidt refill (I've always been fond of the Pilot G-2 rollerballs), but I have to admit it offers a great writing experience. People always say the G-2 refills feel "scratchy" when writing, and after using the Schmidt refill, now I understand whey they say that. There's very little friction, ink transfers to paper flawlessly and it throws down a pretty thick line (even though it has the same tip size, 0.7, as the G-2 refill - at least according to the specs available on Schmidt's website) that I'm still getting used to (G-2 writes thinner). This also means that, at least in my case, I'll need to change my notepads to compensate for the amount of ink it releases (it shows through a regular OfficeMax steno notebook).
As stated earlier, pen has good balance and excellent weight distribution, so I feel no hand fatigue during extended writing sessions. A notebook change will be required to keep the ink from (almost) bleeding to the side of the paper that's already been written to.
The cost for the pen and the nice refill it comes with is more than reasonable. Time will tell if the pen's construction holds up, but based on my time with it, with proper care, it should last many years. If you prefer ballpoints, the Tornado will also take Schmidt's EasyFlow 9000 refill. The Stealth is not pretentious (they offer many other models if that's what you are looking for) and has classic looks, but it is a very nice pen for the money.
I also changed out the included rollerball refill for the Retro 51 ballpoint refill (a rebranded Schmidt EasyFlow). I added a 3mm plastic spacer on the refill nose end to increase tension on the retract spring, which made the point rock solid when extended. It is now, for me, perfect. It's beautiful, distinctive, and solidly made.
I would suggest to the Retro 51 folks that they sell this pen without the fake antique finish. It just detracts from what, for me, is the perfect pen. Without the varnish, the copper naturally tarnishes with use, making a beautiful patina.
This pen also offers tremendous flexibility with refills. The included capless rollerball seems to work perfectly well; I just don't favor rollerballs. The pen will accept Parker-style refills (there are many brands), Fisher Space Pen refills (with the adapter Fisher provides), and, I believe, both capless rollerball and gel/ballpoint refills made to fit Mont Blancs. Even though these are different lengths, the retractor mechanism apparently has a stepped opening that accommodates the different length/diameter configurations.
I plan to buy more of these just for backup, in case they are discontinued.
I guess I'll be buying one more (and hopefully I'll keep this one).
One of the great things about this brand is the fact that you can use the standard Parker refills and they work perfectly. The ONLY potential drawback is that you MUST remember not to put it into your shirt pocket without retracting the pen back into the housing, or you may end up destroying your shirt.
Still, they are my favorite pens. I bet I've purchased 25 or so over the years. They make fantastic gifts too.