In my brief stint living in California, I quickly fell in love with the California state flag. I'd seen it before, but when you're in the state of California, you definitely see it a lot more often. I have my fair share of mugs, shirts, stickers, and other trinkets that sport this iconic symbol. When JetPens unveiled a limited edition Retro 51 Tornado that used the same design, I knew I had to have one.
The California Republic Edition Tornado from JetPens is a perfect example of why some people are such loyal fans of the Retro 51 brand. It's the same pen, but the unique designs that borrow meaningful symbology keep people coming back for more and also suck in new people who don't already spend a lot of time in stationery circles.
At $40, this Tornado is priced on par with other limited editions. It's a limited edition in the sense that only JetPens sell it, but according to the description, "quantities produced will be determined according to demand," which implies that this isn't a limited production. That being said, if you want one of these pens, snag one while you can!
Before we get in to look at the pen, there's also another special feature of this limited edition pen. For every pen sold, JetPens will donate $5 to the California Fire Foundation. This is a worthy cause to support, and one that I'm glad JetPens have decided to set up. Fires are tragic disasters that are impossible to control, and the damage they cause can go far beyond what any monetary support can provide. Still, monetary support always helps when battling these natural disasters, and I appreciate JetPens setting this up.
Now, if you're familiar with the Retro 51 Tornado, then you already know this pen. It features the deliciously smooth P8126 refill from Schmidt, which glides over paper like butter in a hot pan. It's a delightful writing experience, and I believe everyone should own at least one. The pen is on the short side overall, but it manages to keep a comfortable weight and shape for long writing sessions. From the top of the pen down to the tip, there's a pleasant taper that provides visual design and a great writing grip.
The pen is extended and retracted by twisting the top finial. The twist motion is smooth and quick, but you'll never have to worry about the tip extending by accident. The front section of the pen also unscrews so that you can replace the Schmidt refill.
The best part about this pen is the barrel design and finial. The California Republic flag wraps around the barrel, providing a fantastic view of the walking bear. The color scheme of the barrel is borrowed directly from the flag, but the metal accents match the color scheme perfectly. The aged bronze bits add a lot of visual interest and warmth to the pen.
The top finial has a lovely red star on a white background to compliment the star on the flag. It's one of my favorite elements on this pen. Also, the section that holds the knurled twist mechanism contains some light Tornado branding along with a unique serial number.
Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the Retro 51 Tornado California Republic Edition. I knew exactly what I was getting when I first saw the pictures online, and it delivered in person 100%. At $40, the price is a bit higher than the regular Tornado line, but this is a special edition and this price range is normal for special Tornado editions. If you like the design, the flag, or just the general look fo this pen, you won't be sorry you picked one up!
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.
Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!