Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: @Retro1951 Tornado Lincoln EXT Fountain Pen - Medium @JetPens

I'm a fan of Retro 51 pens. I've reviewed several of them here - the classic lacquer Tornado in kiwi, the green crocodile Tornado, the Tornado in stainless steel, and the Tornado in natural bamboo (yes, the panda face one). No surprise I ended up with the fountain pen as well, right? Here is the very cool, antique-looking Tornado Lincoln EXT fountain pen from JetPens.
Review: @Retro1951 Tornado Lincoln EXT Fountain Pen - Medium @JetPens

Body Material: Metal (antiqued copper)
Trim: Antiqued copper (thanks Keith!)
Length (capped): 0.54"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 0.48"
Length (posted): 0.63"
Barrel Diameter: 0.47"
Section Diameter: 0.39" - 0.47"
Nib material: Steel
Weight: 32 g
Fill type: Cartridge/Converter
Price: $50.00USD
Where to buy: JetPens

Review: @Retro1951 Tornado Lincoln EXT Fountain Pen - Medium @JetPens
The Lincoln EXT arrived in the classic Retro 1951 packaging; a very cool 1950s diner-looking cardboard tube. Pop the top off and the pen was inside, held in place with foam. I like the packaging - it's fun, unique, and minimal. Plus, if you really don't want it, you can just recycle it. But it's quite cute, so chances are you're going to want to keep it.
Review: @Retro1951 Tornado Lincoln EXT Fountain Pen - Medium @JetPens
Review: @Retro1951 Tornado Lincoln EXT Fountain Pen - Medium @JetPens
The Lincoln EXT is an antique looking fountain pen but feels solid and tough. It's a metal body pen with blunt ends. It's not very thick and the whole body has a brushed antique copper finish. The body is smooth and the clip matches the finish of the body. The finial is very simple, flush with the flat end, and looks like brushed nickel.
Review: @Retro1951 Tornado Lincoln EXT Fountain Pen - Medium @JetPens
The top of the cap has the classic Retro 1951 knurling that I love. Uncapped, the grip section is fairly short and is black plastic. I don't care much for plastic grip look but at least it's a small portion.
Review: @Retro1951 Tornado Lincoln EXT Fountain Pen - Medium @JetPens
Overall, I am a fan of the appearance and despite having read a few negative reviews on this pen (based on nib performance), I went ahead on picked this from JetPens because I love Retro 1951 pens and I loved the appearance.
Review: @Retro1951 Tornado Lincoln EXT Fountain Pen - Medium @JetPens
Review: @Retro1951 Tornado Lincoln EXT Fountain Pen - Medium @JetPens
The nib is large and fits the pen perfectly. Anything smaller would have looked silly. It's a Schmidt steel nib in medium. It says iridium pointon it and has some simple flourishes on it. I inked it with the obvious: Diamine Ancient Copper! I didn't flush it or tweak the nib at all. I wanted to see how the nib would perform straight out of the box. Er. Tube. To my very pleasant surprise, it was great! It was smooth, reliable, consistent, and fairly wet. It doesn't skip and it's not scratchy. It's hard to complain about that. I would love if there was a broad nib available, but the medium is pretty solid. The nib is not flexible and although you could squeeze a little bit of line variation out of it, it's not really designed for that.
Review: @Retro1951 Tornado Lincoln EXT Fountain Pen - Medium @JetPens
The pen I received dispelled my concerns of previous reviews I had read. Either I lucked out or the other bloggers received duds. This Lincoln EXT is pretty great.


This isn't a particularly huge pen, nor is it all that heavy, so unposted, I find it very comfortable to write with. It has good weight and balance. Even posted, I am able to write comfortably with it. After awhile, it becomes top heavy, but in general, I don't write with my pens posted anyway.
Review: @Retro1951 Tornado Lincoln EXT Fountain Pen - Medium @JetPens
Review: @Retro1951 Tornado Lincoln EXT Fountain Pen - Medium @JetPens
I like the metal warming up in my hand, and I enjoy the smoothness of the body in my hand. The threads of the section are very smooth and not at all uncomfortable while writing. I find the plastic grip to be a little slippery in my grip
Review: @Retro1951 Tornado Lincoln EXT Fountain Pen - Medium @JetPens
Review: @Retro1951 Tornado Lincoln EXT Fountain Pen - Medium @JetPens
Review: @Retro1951 Tornado Lincoln EXT Fountain Pen - Medium @JetPens

I've had a very positive experience with this pen, so I do feel comfortable recommending this to others. I've never had anything but a positive experience with Retro 1951 pens and this one is no different - although this is my first fountain pen from the company. At $50.00USD, you could pick it up, and should it need some work, follow some online tutorials to tweak the nib (because at most, I think you would just need to make the nib wetter, or smooth it a little, and you could follow a guide on fine tuning and adjusting a nib).

I received this pen free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. There are no affiliate links in this review.


ipinkgirl said...

I too love the Retro 51 fountain pens. I have a red lacquer and recently got the Prism EXT for a birthday present. Unlike the Lincoln the Prism has posting issues because of the coating, but it's still one of my daily go to pens. I keep that one inked with Noodler's Rachmaninoff and it flows like a dream. I'm hoping I can speak to the reps at the DC pen show and get some tips on posting that pen more securely instead of the shove on job I have to do. Thanks for this review. It's nice to see more Retro 51 fountain pens getting reviewed.

Keith McCleary said...

Azizah, I think with a name like Lincoln, that Retro51 would call the finish copper, not bronze. ;)

I have collected Retro 51 rollerballs for more years than I can remember. This was my first fountain pen purchase from them.

The only problem I have with mine is that the nib runs TOO wet for me to use a lot. Unfortunately I cannot seem to find a way to decrease the flow by tweaking/tuning. I am pretty restricted to using my driest inks.

Thanks for the review. I agree as well, well made, and fun.

Azizah Asgarali said...

Oh the Prism looks really nice! I hope they capitalize on all their fun colours and designs and bring them to their fountain pen range. I hope the reps will be able to help you out with your pen... I have a few pens like that but I avoid posting them so I would be curious to see what they say.

lililu said...

Thank you so much a deserving review for this pen. I completely agree with your comments. I liked my pen so much that I got the nickel finish pen as well (and handsome it is). Both of my pens work perfectly just as you describe.

ipinkgirl said...

I knew as soon as I saw it that it had to be my birthday present. My mother just shook her head (she does not understand my obsession with fountain pens) and bought it. There is one other Retro that I've been eyeballing and it's the Cioppino from a few years back. I need to find out if it takes a converter, because it doesn't say EXT on the listing I've found for it and that's a dealbreaker since I already have one Retro 51 that only takes cartridge ink (and it's the ONLY FP I own that does). I've got my fingers crossed that they can help with the posting issue. I post ALL of my pens, the weight doesn't bother me (I have very big hands, so posting my pens gives me the balance I'm looking for), but having a pen with a cap that just rolls around on my desk is a non-starter. This is also the first FP that I have that doesn't post smoothly. I'll update if they're able to help

rdcalhoon said...

I am glad to read this review and the other positive comments. This pen hit my wish list based on appearance alone, but a couple of unhappy reviews cooled my enthusiasm. Not that I need yet another pen on my wish list, but I'm happy to put this one back.

Charles Hadden said... carries these in broad and fine.

Peninkcillin said...

That packaging is so cool! I'd buy it, throw away the pen and keep the package :)

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