Sheaffer Balance

late 1930s

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

This Balance is an interesting variant: Canadian manufacture, “reverse trim”, with a clip style that is rarely seen. It’s a full length, full girth pen, Lifetime, laminated grey. The celluloid is in unusually nice condition, in that there are no scratches or nicks than one normally sees; there is one east-west scratch just east of the lever top, and a tiny area of delamination just at the bottom of the lever opening. Its trim is gold, which is the reverse of the normally seen nickel trim on a grey laminated pen, hence the term “reverse trim”. It is all virtually unmarked and shiny, although some of the plate is missing from the raised surfaces. The gold clip, again usually nickel when this clip is seen at all, is most often seen on a WASP pen, a lower level Sheaffer that is itself not often seen, but also sometimes found on Canadian pens like this. There is a little pitting on the clip, but not a disfiguring amount. The nib is a standard Lifetime, and it writes a smooth fast fine, firm as almost all of these were, but not roofing nail firm. Interesting pen, great writer you don’t have to worry about, and a good pen with which to test your friends’ Sheaffer knowledge.

Price: $78 Sold

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