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300 (Warning: Contains No Gerard Butler)

Posted by Dirck on 17 October, 2012

I find my Regular Job work station still somewhat reminiscent of Horsell Common after the departure of the Martians, so I’m writing from home.  At home, I’ve got… a new pen!

This is, I suspect, not as shocking a piece of news as the exclamation point urges.  However, it is an oddity in that it is in face a new pen, in the common meaning of the word.  I ordered it based on three foundations: someone’s praise in a pen forum confirming a lingering inclination, a clearance discount associated with discontinuation, and the impending (now accomplished) discontinuation of another discount at Goulet pens.  There was also the scent of victory over a grasping credit card company in the air, so I felt some mis-placed lightness of heart.

The pen, which I’m even now building a page for on my site, is a Sheaffer 300, one of several multiples of a hundred which Sheaffer introduced at the end of the last decade.  It is, sort of, a replacement for their Javelin, although in a somewhat grander tone and moving slightly up the ladder of cost.  It is also quite a handsome brute:

Not that pictures ever do a shiny pen justice. Especially when I’m the one taking them.

It is, frankly, about as nice in the looks department as the much more expensive Legacies, at least when the cap is on.  It’s not terrible with the cap off, as I’ll reveal momentarily, but the inlaid point is hard to compete with.  It is also a rather better pen than the preceding Javelin, in terms of fit, finish and detail.  The way the cap interacts with the pen is high in the points of improvement; while it is just a deformable plastic mechanism that holds the cap down, it’s smoother in operation than the Javelin, and the flush fit of the cap at the joint means less peril to the finish (a point over which I specifically cast aspersions on the Javelin).  Also, note the little raised ring on the tail of the pen.  When one does this…

In all honesty, the section, functional as it is, is a little bit of a let-down, looks-wise.

…it locks into the same mechanism.  The cap is not reliant on friction to stay in place, which is a point that threatens the finish of both Javelin and Legacy (and, moving onto another recent acquisition, just doesn’t work with the Agio).  It seems that Sheaffer has finally, after trouble dating back to the Balance, worked out how to post a cap well.  If only posting that heavy cap didn’t through the… well, the balance off so badly, it would be a nearly perfect pen.

At this point, I would like you to form a picture of noted scholar, writer, and occasional comedian Terry Jones dressed as an early medieval woman; “Oh, there you go, bringing weight into it again!”  Yes, I know, I’m a bit of a broken record on the subject, but it is the one fly in this otherwise delightful ointment.  When capped, it’s merely a somewhat heavy, yet quite elegant, accessory.  Posted, it’s a rather cumbrous and top-heavy pen, as the cap is a large part of the pens weight and most of its weight is at the top.  It’s fine to write with unposted, but when such a good effort has been put into making it possible to stow the cap on the end of the pen, it’s a shame that doing so makes writing less fun.

Still, it’s a pen I like a lot, and I’m sorry to see it being withdrawn.  The silver lining there, for those who don’t yet have one, is they’re going for cheap on the clearance sales.  For those of us who have one, and take an interest in the fates of Sheaffer, there is some extra hope that the interesting successor pens to this one will also be good pens.

Before I wrap up, I want to heap yet more web-based laurels on Goulet Pens.  After the rather dodgy packing practices of various second-hand pen-sellers, it’s nice to finally get something from a source that takes as much interest in getting the pen somewhere safely as I do myself.  The way they send out the orders renders it as liable to transit damage as if it were a block of granite with an address label glued to it.

Today’s pen: Baoer 388
Today’s ink: Diamine China Blue


2 Responses to “300 (Warning: Contains No Gerard Butler)”

  1. awc26 said

    On the topic of new pens, I received a new pen today as well. A nice Burgundy Wing-Sung 233. Promtly loaded up with Eclat de Saphir (my current go-to ink as I am trying to use it all up before I can justify the purchase of a more expensive ink). I wrote very little with it today, as listening in class seems to be more productive.

    Thank you Dirck!

    • Glad to hear it’s arrived safely… although back in my day {mumble mumble, munch of toothless gums} listening in class involved writing. How are you supposed to damage your ability to store things in long term memory if you’re not writing everything down?

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