With Retro 51 announcing that they’re winding down operations (even the best outcome has the current team moving on), FOMO took hold, and I ordered four Retro 51s to fill out my accumulation. Little did I know that this would only be Part 1. Once the pens arrived, and I saw them, I decided that I wanted some others, and four more are now working their way towards me.
Although there’s one exception in this batch, I find that I really like both the look and feel of the etched metal models. I’m not too fond of the feel of the smooth metal or lacquer models, especially for longer writing sessions. It turns to active hatred in the summer when heat and humidity are likely to make my fingers wet with perspiration.
Lincoln: This is a returning model. I had a Lincoln and sold it as a pair with the fountain pen version. This is a smooth metal pen, but I love the look of the copper and the patina it will develop. So, with a relatively low price, I caved and bought it.
Eiffel Tower: An etched metal pen with an antiqued brass colored finish. I’m a sucker for the color and love the intricate detail. The color can vary with the lighting, sometimes looking like more of a dark green than brass.
Rosie: Another etched pen, but with less intricate detail. Lines of rivets form the design, and the pen has a grayish color. For you young folks and non-Americans, it’s based on Rosie the Riveter, a cultural icon from WWII. Rosie’s image (based on a poster from that time) is on the packaging tube. Rosie is still around today – a Jeep at the office complex I work at has a Rosie spare tire cover.
Smithsonian Dino Fossil: I have the Smithsonian Corona and love it, although its general look is much like the Eiffel and several other Retro 51s that I have. The Dino is entirely different. I almost didn’t get the Dino because I didn’t really like the look based on the photos. The photos don’t do justice to the copper & ivory design. The dinosaur printing is slightly raised above the copper, so it isn’t an entirely smooth pen, although not as raised as the etched pens. I’m not a Paleontologist, but this could become a favorite Retro 51.
I usually swap the stock refill for a .6mm Schmidt (same ink, thinner tip), but I’m running low on spares, so I’ve been leaving the stock refill in some pens. Yes, I could buy more, but it seems wasteful, so I’ve been keeping the stock refill in some pens. This time around, only the Dino got a .6mm refill, I guess that makes it the favorite of the bunch.