Thursday, January 11, 2018

Review: @Retro1951 Tornado Black Cherry Fountain Pen @GoldspotPens @PenChalet @PenBoutique @JetPens @AndersonPens

Thanks to Retro51 for sending this Tornado fountain pen for review! I am a fan of Retro51 Tornado rollerballs but I have not used many of their fountain pens. I was able to pick the color and nib I was interested in so I can tell you I already like that much of it! In that regard, I'm a bit biased... but I'll do my best to tell you what I don't like.
Review @Retro1951 Tornado Black Cherry Fountain Pen 3_RWM
Review @Retro1951 Tornado Black Cherry Fountain Pen 4_RWM
Review @Retro1951 Tornado Black Cherry Fountain Pen 22_RWM

Body material: Metal, lacquer
Trim: Chrome
Cap: Screw on
Posts: Yes, friction
Nib material: #6 steel Schmidt
Filling system: Standard international cartridge/converter
Length (capped): 138.34"/5.44"
Length (uncapped): 126.32 mm/4.97"
Length (posted): 154.0 mm/6.07"
Length (section): 46.71 mm/1.83"
Diameter (barrel): 9.14 - 12.14 mm/0.35" - 0.47"
Diameter (section): 9.07 - 10.27 mm/0.35" - 0.40"
Weight (all): 33 g
Weight (cap): 19 g
Weight (body): 14 g
Price & Where to buy: Anderson Pens $44.00 USD | Goldspot Pens $44.00USD | Pen Chalet $45.00USD | Pen Boutique $44.00USD | JetPens $44.50USD


Retro51 offers some of my favorite pen presentation. The Black Cherry Tornado came in a bingo-themed cardboard tube, safely tucked in a foam insert. It is accompanied by a Retro51 pamphlet, a converter, and two ink cartridges. For about $44, that's pretty decent. I cannot complain about the presentation.
Review @Retro1951 Tornado Black Cherry Fountain Pen 2_RWM


The Retro51 Tornado Black Cherry resembles the ballpoint/rollerball Tornado and I like the consistency between the pens - they make a great set. The Tornado has a round metal body, blunt, flat ends, and chrome trim. The finial is a knurled chrome top like that on the rollerball pens. I love it! There is a glossy black cherry-colored jewel set in the finial. There was a bit of glue stuck around mine, which I quickly and easily scraped off - not the cleanest detail there but not a huge deal either. The top of the cap is engraved with Tornado by Retro 1951.
Review @Retro1951 Tornado Black Cherry Fountain Pen 8_RWM
Review @Retro1951 Tornado Black Cherry Fountain Pen 12_RWM
The clip is chrome with a long split in the middle. It angles upward at the end and is unmarked. There is a thin chrome center band at the end of the cap and a small chrome end plug at the back of the barrel. The section is fairly short, smooth, round, and tapers slightly towards the nib. There are chrome threads at the back of the section. The threads look a bit rough but have held up to use.
Review @Retro1951 Tornado Black Cherry Fountain Pen 17_RWM
Review @Retro1951 Tornado Black Cherry Fountain Pen 18_RWM
The pen is a deep black cherry color. It is translucent so it looks extra glossy and polished. Highlighted by the cool chrome trim, I think it is a very pretty pen. A color-matched section would have been perfect but for the price, I imagine the cost is prohibitive. The build and quality looks pretty solid, and I find it has held up well to months of use and being toted. Overall, I like the design and appearance - it is simple and attractive. There are a few other colors and finishes to choose from, but not too many so if you can't find one you like, these pens are out of the running for you!


The nib is a #6 steel Schmidt nib. It has a single slit, a round breather hole, and the Schmidt-branding (engraved with Schmidt Iridium Point, nib size B, and some flourishes). I love the #6-sized nib on this pen. It looks good on the pen and appears proportional.
Review @Retro1951 Tornado Black Cherry Fountain Pen 13_RWM
Review @Retro1951 Tornado Black Cherry Fountain Pen 14_RWM
Review @Retro1951 Tornado Black Cherry Fountain Pen 19_RWM
The nib is well-tuned and adjusted out of the box. It is a smooth, wet writer. It's a firm nib, no skips or hard starts, great with fast writing and even reverse writing. Just a pleasant, reliable writing experience. It's a great option for daily use. It isn't a soft nib but if you really must, you can squeeze out a little bit of line variation. It's not a unique nib in terms of writing experience, but it performs well.

The converter fits snugly in place and does not fall out or rattle around. Works for me!


The clip is quite tight and cannot be lifted. It is designed to slide on and off pockets, pouches, and papers, which it does easily.

The section is quite smooth and borders on slippery because it is such featureless plastic. I think some feature - either an indent or ribs - could make it more comfortable to use. Short notes are ok but longer writing sessions can feel tiresome.
Review @Retro1951 Tornado Black Cherry Fountain Pen 9_RWM
Review @Retro1951 Tornado Black Cherry Fountain Pen 10_RWM
Review @Retro1951 Tornado Black Cherry Fountain Pen 11_RWM
The pen is full size and quite comfy unposted. It doesn't feel too long or heavy, so I think it would work well for most users. The cap posts snugly by friction but it becomes very top heavy and difficult to control. I like the feeling of the smooth lacquer in hand.
Review @Retro1951 Tornado Black Cherry Fountain Pen 16_RWM
Review @Retro1951 Tornado Black Cherry Fountain Pen 15_RWM


Review @Retro1951 Tornado Black Cherry Fountain Pen 21_RWM


The Retro 51 Tornado has a lot of things I like - attractive shape, beautiful color and gloss, fun packaging, comes with a converter and two ink cartridges, easy to use and maintain, and it performs well. The price is fair. My complaints are the section is slippery and smooth and the Schmidt-branded nibs are kind of boring. There's nothing wrong with a Schmidt nib (or its branding) but it feels more dedicated when a company rebrands nibs, like it's not just about the pen body itself but also about the nib.

I received this item 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.


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