Sheaffer Balance Defender
About This Model
Sheaffer's Balances, both Lifetime and non-Lifetime, 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
Sheaffer’s wartime Balance is easily identifiable by its clip, which wraps over the top of the pen to meet military regulations that required everything in the shirt pocket to be covered by the flap. These balances appeared in 1941, and were only made through 1942 as lever-fillers to save the cost of rubber. From then until the war’s end only vac-fill pens were produced. Thus, this is a 1941-42 Balance Defender, the most common variety I’ve ever seen, in Golden Brown. It’s a nice user pen, with minimal evidence of wear. The trim is untarnished, and the plate is complete. There are no significant nicks. The imprint is completely legible. The nib is an appropriate Feathertouch, the level below Lifetime, and it writes a decent full fine/medium line. I’ve always been partial to the wartime pens, and this is a good example. Use it, enjoy it, don’t worry about it.
Price: $60 Sold