Retro 51 makes some of the best - and most popular - rollerball and ballpoint pens on the market. In fact, they have made their own market by creating pens that are of a high quality, and are as fun as they are functional.
They make fountain pens too, but those take a backseat to their other offerings. I reviewed the previous version of the Retro 51 Tornado Fountain Pen in 2014, and while it was fine, it wasn’t compelling enough to recommend in it’s price bracket.
At the time, its clear flaw was the grip section. It was slick, and had a straight taper. It was just asking your fingers to slide right off. It wrote well enough, but the balance was a bit off, even unposted. In short, Retro 51 had some work to do to make their fountain pen a product worth standing next to the rest of their product lineup.
They did it with newly updated Retro 51 Tornado Fountain Pen.
Retro 51 took the universal feedback they received on the old version of the pen and fixed all of it. First off, the grip section is enjoyable! It is concave, and has a different finish that eliminates the majority of the slippage the previous version had. Secondly, the balance of the pen unposted is right on the money. When writing, you don’t necessarily want to feel the pen in your hand when doing so. You just want it to exist, and be enjoyable. This one is.
When posted, it is still going to be top-heavy, but that is because this is a metal barrel pen, and any posted metal barrel pen will have the same issue.
With those two main issues out of the way, Retro 51 went ahead and upgraded the nib. They went from a good one in Schmidt, to a great one in Jowo. And it is stamped with their logo too, which is something I personally enjoy.
If you couldn’t tell by my handwriting on the page, this EF steel nib was perfect right out of the box. I inked it up with Rohrer & Klingner Aubergine, broke out my Yoseka notebook, and enjoyed the writing experience.
That’s what I want every time I pick up a product. To enjoy the experience. In the past, the Retro 51 Tornado Fountain Pen didn’t give me that. It does now.
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