I must admit that I am rather ambivalent to the concept of limited editions – be it toothpaste, phones or pens. Especially LEs in thousands of copies feels like an easy way to try to add originality to something by labelling it “original”.
That doesn’t mean that some LEs cannot be nicely designed and attractive, but the extensive use of the concept – how on earth could one think that a LE of dish soap is a good idea? – has made me rather sceptic to the whole LE idea. Real original things don’t have to tag themselves as LEs – one knows that they are special anyway. This is such a pen – a one-of-a- kind-pen that I got from a friend who had put this pen together from Sheaffer Snorkel spare parts.
It is not my first Sheaffer, but it is my first Snork and since it has been rebuilt from spare part it is not mono coloured – it is triple coloured – sky blue, leaf green and cloud grey – the colours of spring, so it is undoubtedly a Spring Snork.
One thing that I like with vintage Sheaffer’s are that they are made to be workhorses. Life time warranted 14 k gold nibs, durable material and constantly searching to improve the function. The filling system of the Snorkel is very sophisticated and I have already come to appreciate it very much – it makes it possible to use the last few drops of ink in a bottle. I didn’t think of emptying the pen before the photo session so I could show it with the snorkel in action, but below you see the hole and the edge of the snorkel tube. For more detailed technical info and photos of the Snork you can look at Pen Hero’s site here.
Just as the Parker Vacumatic the Snork isn’t one model – it is a particular filling system fitted to various models and the Snork came in a broad range of models and with both open nibs (as this) and Triumph nib. Pen Hero has an excellent overview over Snorkel nibs here. As I’ve already mentioned, I like this neat and simple-to-use filling system. It is easy to fill and flush and the only filling system that makes it possible to get the last few drops of ink from a bottle. The drawback – from my control-freak-point-of-view – is that one can’t see the ink level. But, since I seldom leave my home with only one pen it is no big problem.
When I got this as a gift from a (very kind) friend it had been doted with and the nib and feed checked and it is a pure pleasure to write with. Still going strong as a workhorse pen. The nib is rather stiff (but not numb), precise and very smooth – something I like when I’m scribbling and taking notes. The ink flow is excellent – it has drunk and wrote well with all inks – even the more known troublemakers – that I have put in it. The nib is a very fine F or EF, but has no tooth and doesn’t try to tear apart the paper it writes on. It works well on all kinds of paper. Reliable and doesn’t hesitate to write even if it hasn’t been used for a couple of days.
The design is typical for the 1950’s – streamlined – and the blue pastel is a blue that would make my mother talk about the colour in the kitchen when she was a child. I’m very fond of the broad, unornamented, rich gold band on the cap – its generous and also makes the different colour on cap and barrel look like a smart design feature. It is – like many vintage pens – rather slender compared with many standard pens of today. It seems like the average pen has become both fatter and longer. A good thing with it being quite slender is that it fits the loops in my Filofax – both the A5 and the Personal, which makes it very well suited for everyday use and I like it together with my red Filo – the colour combination is cheerful and brightens up a rainy day. Still a workhorse – and in this case a unique and personal workhorse. Priceless.