Sheaffer Balance


About This Model

Sheaffer Balances appeared in 1929 and were Sheaffer’s top production lines from the early 1930’s until after WWII. They were available in numerous lengths, girths, colors and patterns, filled by lever or plunger, and were well enough made that now, with a cleaning and filling system restoration, they make excellent and durable pens. There were two distinct levels, Lifetime and non-Lifetime, and numerous models at different times. The Lifetime designation was carried over from before the Balance's appearance, and was kept to designate higher level pens. They carried Lifetime nibs and a white dot to signify the pen as a Lifetime; in addition, they came with the Lifetime guarantee, which continued for many years until the courts struck it down. After WWII the White Dot was used to denote higher level pens, and then became Sheaffer's brand identifier. Non-Lifetime pens had lower trim levels but were made of the same components; their nibs were very good and were often much softer and easier to write with than Lifetimes. Balances were also designated with numerous sub-model names after the mid-1930s, and the use of Balance was ended altogether after WWII, with the obsolescence of lever-filled pens.

About This Pen

A 1930 Balance in Marine Green, this is one of the earliest Balances. This is a full girth, shorter pen, 4½” long capped but just shy of ½” wide, so it looks even shorter. However, because of its full girth it can be held comfortably without posting. My view is that this pen is not in the catalog, that it’s thicker than the H74MC Petite Balance; to me, this is more of a man’s pen to fit his vest pocket. That said, it’s a nice pen, showing its age, with a couple of scrapes from aggressive cap posting, but with no significant flaws. The gold-filled fittings are in good shape; the imprint is complete. The Lifetime nib is full-sized, and writes like most Lifetime nibs: very firm fine with a bit of auditory feedback. This is a good pen for marginalia or small notes, and it will fit your vest pocket.

Price: $54 Sold

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