I am a cheap
modern Sheaffer fan, as long-suffering snailmailers who've gotten
my letters know. I recently had to replace a catastrophically
broken Platignum Silverline (old style) with another calligraphy
pen, so I bought a Sheaffer Viewpoint Calligraphy, fine nib,
in the new "Style for Life" blister-packaging that
seems to be a mark of production under the Bic aegis.
plus $4.00 for a squeeze type converter, it's a good buy,
and it writes well, but I'm not happy with it. The problem
is the pen doesn't match with my many other Sheaffer calligraphy
and writing pens in the "No Nonesense" or "Viewpoint"
at the top, with the cap. It's a snap cap instead of a screw
cap. This could be a good thing. Anyone who has ever lost
a pen by the old story of "Hey, I'm borrowing your pen
YANK YANK SNAP it was kind of tough to open" can see
how a snap cap may be a necessity, especially as up-and-coming
gnerations of writers are less and less familar with screwcaps.
The cap itself is one-piece: There's no inner cap. This is
also a good thing, because through the clear plastic cap one
can see if there's been a recent unsightly ink event.
the section that really raises my ire! It's roughly wice a
long as the sections of older pens. This increased length
accomodated a dimpled rubber sleeve for a gripping area. It's
not in the "Sensa" class, let me tell you! In fact,
I'm not sure it makes a significnt difference in writing comfort
at all -- this after a couple of multiple-hour snailing sessions.
However, rubber sections may be a marketing requirement on
a pen that costs more than four bucks! After all, refillable
gel pens that write great and have a rubberized grip can cost
less than half that. What I DO know about the rubber sleeve
is it's a great place for ink to lodge when the nib is dipped
(in Waterman green, in case you were wondering).
problem with the section, from a quality and durability point
of view, is the ink tube that cuts into the cartridges, if
you're a cartridge user (and I often am). It's solid plastic,
instead of the metal tube surrounding a plastic channelized
feed that had been a staple of the inexpensive Sheaffer line
there is the barrel, which is a little shorter than old production
barrels.. As far as I can tell, it does its job as wel as
anyone could expect, except for one little thing. Old production
Sheaffer sections don't screw in all the way! I admit I have
tried only one bare old section, and one old section with
a piston converter (don't know what type of piston filler).
The bare section didn't screw in all the way. The piston converter
equipped section didn't screw in at all -- the piston converter
made contact with the rear of the barrel before the threads
engaged! The new production section, bearing a squeeze converter,
does screw into old barrels, but the cap doesn't fit on it.
And that stupid free-rotating dimpled rubber grip doesn't
aid in the screwing and unscrewing of sections.
spot the pen type: Old production has a deep round straight-sided
depression in the top of the cap, while the new production
pens have a flush cap with inset slits (almost like a breathable
cap, but it isn't, at least on the fountain pen). Old production
has a decorative steel band about four millimeters wide on
the bottom of the cap, while new production has a decorative
steel band about two millimeters wide at the bottom of the
cap. Old production has a screw cap and a smooth section,
while new production has a snap cap and a dimpled rubber gripping
section (that can slide off the section if you want a narrower
Viewpoint Calligraphy is still a great starter pen for budding
calligraphers and fountain pen enthusiasts, but it's a bit
harder to use it with as wide a range of fountain pen activities.