The name of this pen is quite a mouthful, but boy is it worth it.
The Jefferson edition of the Retro 51 Tornado is a pen that was on my wish list for a very long time, but for some reason I never picked up. It was higher on my list than the Lincoln metalsmith edition, but I managed to pick one of those up first. Weird.
It was recently my birthday and when asked what people can get me (sounds so selfish, right?) I usually have about half a dozen pens that are in the "reasonably priced" range so no one has to break the bank to feed my addiction. Most family members that end up getting me a pen have never spent more than $5 on a pen for themselves, so dropping $25 is a big step, you know what I'm saying? The Jefferson was a gift from my in-laws which was really cool.
What is even more odd is that I didn't pick this pen up sooner due to the lower price point. I've looked at this pen so many times, but never pulled the trigger on it. Well, I'm glad I waited so it gave someone an opportunity for an easy gift idea!
This particular Retro 51 was bought from my friend Jay up at the Scottsdale Pen Store even though they can be found cheaper through Amazon, eBay, etc. I don't always buy from Jay, but I really try to when he has in-stock what I want. It's all about supporting the small business, and if you're local to the Phoenix area (or are in town), give Jay a visit and pick something up. He is a really friendly guy, has a good selection, and is fun to chat pens with. He even convinced Dan Bishop from Karas Kustoms to buy a Vintage Surf edition... he's good.
Along those lines (and I hope not to sound to soap box-ish), look up in your local area if there is a pen shop nearby. If there is, try to visit them to see if they'd be a good fit for you and your pen/paper habits. Buying from them helps support their family and livelihood.
Enough chatting, let's talk pens. Honestly, the Jefferson edition is awesome and I think Retro 51 and their designers did a fantastic job. Other than the fact that it has a "vintage" pattern, I'm not really sure what it has to do with Jefferson... Nevertheless, they did great. Can anyone explain the logic around the reference?
The barrel of the pen is finished in a really nice brushed nickel style and in between the various design lines there is a darkened, antique like finish. This pen is pretty stunning. Actually, three (yes three) different people at work wanted to buy a pen for their dad for Father's Day and asked my opinion. Even though I didn't actually own this pen, this is the one that I referred them to and they couldn't be more happy with them. All three of them want to buy one for themselves now because of how much their dads like them!
The rollerball Tornados all take the phenomenal Schmidt cap-less roller that I talk about all the time. Great lines, good ink flow (might be a little heavy for some), and never seems to have skipping issues. If you are interested in a finer line with the refill, they make a 0.6mm instead of the 0.7mm (reviewed recently by Mr. Dowdy) which doesn't seem like much, but seems to make a big difference to users.
I really can't get over the design of the pen. It is really unique in the current pen market and is not over-the-top crazy to try and stand out. It is subtle enough to draw your attention and bring you in for a closer look. Once you're there you think, "I should buy one of these...". At least that's what happened to me.
Good work Retro 51. Good work indeed.