Stylomine 303C

About This Model

Stylomine, unlike many other fountain pen companies, started as a manufacturer of small metal parts for personal and office items at the end of WWI, moved into nib stamping, and began producing fountain pens in Paris around 1925. The first Stylomine pens were safeties, in black hard rubber, with rolled gold overlays.

Stylomine’s first significant pen model was the 303, which appeared in 1930 and introduced an innovative bulb filler with a breathing tube.
In 1933, a retractable nib was created and used in the 303B; this was further enhanced with the celluloid 303C, and then in a large pen called the Mastodonte.
Even with these innovations, Stylomine was best known for the accordion filler, which first appeared in 1938, with a glass vial at its end. After WWII, the glass vial was replaced by plastic, which are found in most of the Stylomines seen today.
Stylomine's success peaked in the late 1930s, although their innovations continued with the 1938 introduction of what was probably the first true hooded nib, although Parker always marketed its 51 as the pioneer. After WWII, Stylomine swung into ballpoints, produced the Pulsapen in collaboration with Météore, Paillard nd Unic, and also worked with Bayard and Unic in producing a cartridge. But, with French fountain pen manufacture slipping rapidly, Stylomine could not survive the 1960s.

About This Pen

The Stylomines are among my favorite French pens. This pen is an example of the post-WWII 303Cs, which came in a range of sizes and, I have heard, colors, although black is all I’ve seen. I believe it is made of resin, which, if true, is likely why it has held up so well. Although this is one of the smaller 303C’s, 11.5cm long capped and about .9cm thick just below the cap, it fits very well in a smaller hand. The pen is unusually clean and unmarked. It is an accordion filler; you remove the blind cap and pump the filler until ink appears in the clear vial. The accordion sac may be original, because this pen had the appearance of old store stock. The imprint is elegant and complete, down to the 303 on the clip. The nib, marked Stylomine 303, is most likely original, and writes a wet fine line with a touch of flex. A nice fast writer that can be used every day; please treat it to a case?

This pen is not for sale.