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Wahl-Eversharp Skyliner 50

Have you ever wanted to have a toy-version of a 1950s Corvette and a fountain pen? Did you want them to be the same color? Well, have I got a deal for you!

I saw Syd at the DC Pen Show last year, and he was so convincing that I came home with this Menthol Green Skyliner 50. I really liked the look, and I really liked the feel of this pen. I've had it for the better part of a year now. So, let's see what it's got.

The packaging for this pen is pretty great. I generally just throw the packaging for my pens into a cabinet and forget about them. Not so with this one. The box is heavy-duty. It's a bit bigger than your average cigar box, and the lid is fastened down with magnets. I think the graphics are a bit too busy, but they're certainly not boring. The pen comes in a really nice plastic case. I've used this same case to protect other pens, and I really think that Syd ought to just sell these things. I'd get a dozen, I think. It's a really safe way to transport or send a pen. Only one safer way, but I'll get to that later.

 The cap on the Skyliner 50 is palladium coated. It looks super-shiny. My only problem is that it attracts fingerprints like nothing else in my collection. The finish is mirror-bright and totally smooth except where it says "Skyliner 50." I love the look, but I do wish it wouldn't attract so many fingerprints.

The body color continues up to the top of the cap, and is bisected by a strip of metal that curves over the top and then becomes the clip. It's very springy, but a little stiff.
 The pen is finished off with another ring of palladium-coated hardware right before the extreme taper down to the end of the barrel.
The end of the barrell unscrews smoothly to expose the end of the converter. It's (of course) a cartridge/converter pen. You'll need to use the long Waterman cartridge-type if you want to use a cartridge because there's no other break in the barrel. It's all once piece from where the nib-unit screws in. This gives it a smooth look and feel , but it also means that you never know how much ink you've got left unless you take out the converter.

The converter is a really nice one with a smooth action and mostly metal parts. It's threaded at the end, but the Skyliner 50 doesn't use those threads. It's just a push-on/pull-off arrangement. The higher-priced versions do screw-in, I think.

Some people aren't impressed with this sort of filling system, but I don't have any problem with it. I like pistons and vacs, but they're kind of a pain if you can't see how much ink you've got left, and lever-fillers are a pain to clean. C/C is definitely the most convenient for people who change inks a lot (like me).  This one works just fine.
In the writing sample, you'll see that I call this a ceramic coated nib. It's not, actually. I was just looking at the stats on the Wahl-Eversharp page, and it's just a Rhodium plated stainless steel nib. The fancier pens come with a stainless steel nib that's both gold-plated and ceramic-coated. (That's a lot of hyphens!) Mine is the lower-end model, but it still has the semi-flex that the other nibs have. I hear that they're smoother, but I guess I can't speak to that.

It's a really nice looking nib. This pic is after I've filled it with the Wahl-Eversharp Wahlberry ink, and you can really see the pattern in the nib with that ink limning the nib.

Here's a picture of all the parts, deconstructed. It's a light pen, but it posts really well, and i like the extra weight when it's posted. The cap is where most of the weight is, but it posts so deeply on the barrel that that weight is close to the web of your hand, and that's about perfect for me.

In the picture below you'll see this assemblage of parts from the opposite angle. The barrell is all one piece, and the step is barely noticeable. Additionally, the grip section is long enough that I don't touch the threads when I write. I know some people grip higher than I do, but the threads are quite small, and not sharp at all, so you're unlikely to be bothered at all by them.

Here's the writing sample with this pen. I'm not at all experienced with flex writing, so it's not fancy. I'm sure you can find some other reviews (like this one) where they really know how to use the nib. It's not super-flex, but if you push it a little you'll get some nice variation. I haven't really pushed it, since I know I don't really know what I'm doing.

Now, while we're talking about the nib, I've got to say that I had a mixed experience with this one. For the first month or so I had a nib that was hard to start. It skipped and ran dry and it was kind of a pain in the ass. I sort of thought that this might be normal with a pen like this, since I'd never had a semi-flex before. I mentioned this in a thread on FP Geeks, and Syd showed up and said that wasn't normal at all, and that he'd get it fixed up for me. He sent out another nib, and it was a little better. It still wasn't great. I took a video and sent another email to Syd, and he sent out a whole new nib-unit package. It was sent in a bubble-mailer wrapped in bubble wrap inside a section of PVC pipe. Now, that's the most secure I've seen something sent.

Long story short, I seem to have initially gotten a bum-pen. I don't know what was wrong with it, really, but the new unit that Syd sent out was lightspeed-better than the original. I really admire good customer service after the sale. Syd is great, and it really saved this pen for me.

Now, the big con with this pen is the price. You'll see that they range from $150-$365. Even the low-end plastic model that I have is pretty expensive for a pen with a steel nib and a plastic body. (I didn't pay full price for this pen, but the discount I got was given to everyone at the pen show, I think.) It's unique, and I really like the work that Syd has put into the reboot of the Wahl-Eversharp brand. I can't wait to see what else Syd has in store for us.

Speaking of reboots, btw, I've heard that the nibs on Skyline pens will work in the vintage pens, and the vintage nibs work in the new pens. I've heard the vintage nibs were great, so I'll be looking for one in the next pen shows.

Check these pens out at Wahl-Eversharp's page or at the only other retailer I know of: Anderson Pens.

Update: I just did a short writing sample video for a fellow on Reddit, so I'm posting it here. 

Post Comment
Unknown said...

Interesting pen, quite attractive, but the price is prohibitive. Good review.

Papish said...

I've got a vintage Eversharp Skyline and it's absolutely amazing...

I don't think I would buy a modern one of this price having the possibility of a vintage one...

However, nice design, brilliant colour :)

Mike Matteson said...

I haven't done much shopping for a vintage Eversharp, but it seems like the new and vintage ones are around the same price-point. I wonder if they appeal to the same audiences, though?