I have been a fan and follower of Retro 51 ever since I discovered their Tornado a couple of years ago. They asked me recently if I wanted to try out their latest release - the Tornado Touch - and of course I said yes. Thank you Retro 51 for sending me this pen!
I first heard about this pen through my Twitter feed with several readers pointing me to its release. I was excited! And then I clicked the link. I became confused quickly. What is this, a mustache? Is that a derby hat? Did I eat something that is causing me to hallucinate? I'm not going to lie, my initial reaction was not positive.
That's where getting the pen in hand and seeing it in person really helped. This is a really great pen. To address the mustache and derby right away - you don't even notice them when the pen is in your hand. They blend in seamlessly, and when one or both catch the corner of your eye you can't help but grin. At least I do. The Tornado Touch will put a smile on your face.
But lets get to the real shocker of it all: The refill. The Tornado Touch uses the Schmidt-Mine 635 which turns out to be an ultra-smooth, clean writing ballpoint refill. The line it laid down impressed both me and Myke but I discovered something even cooler after the podcast.
When you pull off the end cap to replace the refill you are met with phillips head threading, meaning you need a screwdriver to remove the refill. Ok, that sucks, but I got over it quickly once I saw Retro 51's video on how to change the refill. I didn't notice it until then, but the threaded part of the refill is just a sleeve that fits any standard D1 refill. That's right, your favorite D1 refill - Zebra Sharbo X, Uni-ball Jetstream, etc. - are all usable in the Tornado Touch. That is what I call winning.
This is an excellent job by Retro 51 in building a completely new product off an existing model that many of us know and love. It's portable, looks great, works flawlessly, and you can use a wide array of refills in it. I'm glad I got to use the Tornado Touch before making a judgement on looks alone.
Thanks again to Retro 51 for sending this pen my way!