Sheaffer Imperial Lifetime Set


About This Model

Imperials were Sheaffer’s main line pens in the 1960s, following the 1950s Snorkels. They covered a range of quality, but usually were Touchdown fillers and carried diamond inlaid nibs or Triumph conical nibs. The IV and VI are very closely related to the PFM III and IV, differentiated only by the PFM's greater size. At the lowest level, I's were all plastic, with hooded tabbed nibs and plastic sac protectors. The IV's, on the other hand, had beautiful diamond-shaped 14K nibs and very nice Forticel bodies. The IV's and their 1964 Lifetime, made to commemorate Sheaffer's 50th birthday, are wonderful writers. On a lower level, also in the early 1960s Sheaffer produced a line of almost-Imperials, called Dolphins.The Dolphins appear to have inlaid nibs, but close inspection shows them to be tabbed, hooded nibs that match the two ends of an inverted "V" trim that looks like a diamond. They were cartridge pens, write well, but are distinctly lower level pens than the Imperials. Almost last in this run were the 1970s-1980s Imperial successor pens, although their names were, by now, Stylist, 330 and 440, and others. These were usually cartridge-filled, but some had converters. They are Imperials because of their diamond-inlaid nibs -- sometimes short, sometimes the V-shape. Like the earlier Imperials, these are working pens, will last forever. Last, in the 1990s, Sheaffer returned to its habit of reprising great pens, and issued the Triumph Imperial, a pen that looked very much like the Imperial IVs, with the diamond inlaid nibs, but in a concession to the times, had C/C fillers.

About This Pen

The Imperial Lifetime was a one-year pen Sheaffer produced in 1963 to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary.  In addition, at a time when Sheaffer needed the boost, the Lifetime imprint recalled their best models and best years.  The word “Lifetime” appears on the clip, the cap ring, and the nib. This Sheaffer Lifetime is a little different from the usual black model; it is gold-plated with a matching pencil. The plating does not have any marking, so one has to assume it is not real gold. It is an insignia model, although it has not been engraved. However, the pen does carry the wonderful Imperial diamond-shaped inlaid nib, in 14K and marked Lifetime. The nib writes a wet fine, with a touch of softness. The matching pencil works well and is filled with .9mm lead.

Price: $75 Sold

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