April 23, 2014 Leave a comment
Langs knew how to make a good, solid, traditional no-nonsense pen. This Summit S100 Cadet makes no pretence at modernity; no hoods or covered nibs here. Though it was probably made around 1950 it remains the archetypal English pen, just as it would have been in the nineteen-thirties. That’s no bad thing. If we have a design that works as well as it can – and this one does – why change it? There’s no merit in change for change’s sake. It’s only appreciated if it’s an improvement and many of the desperately modernist styles that were appearing in Britain in those years were no improvement. Many were a little weird and showed a lack of confidence in home-grown design. The contrast with that is one of the things that makes the Summit so attractive.
Another is the rose-marble patterned celluloid, which was used by several manufacturers in the post-war years. Though the “Cadet” name implies a school pen, there is no diminishing of quality from the more expensive models. This is a well and solidly made pen. Perhaps there is a little saving in the use of chrome rather than gold for the plating of the trim but it goes well with the pattern and is very attractive. The 14 ct gold nib is small but not as small as, say, some Wyvern nibs were at this time.
In use it’s a good size of pen that fits the hand well. The nib is a little more than springy, in fact it gives quite a noticeable level of line variation. It’s a real pleasure to use.
Langs and their Summits would not be around much longer. This isn’t quite their last hurrah but it’s coming close. This beautiful pen reminds us of how much we have lost with the passing of one of the great British pen manufacturers.