Red And Black Hard Rubber

This is my current daily user.  I keep a pen for a few weeks until something even better comes along, but I’m really enjoying this one.  It’s one of those well-made no-name mottled hard rubber pens that turn up fairly frequently, probably dating to the early thirties.  All these years later, it’s impossible to guess who made it, with any degree of certainty.  The machining is good, the parts fit together very well and it’s a very useable pen.  On the other hand, the plating on the metal parts is little more than a gold wash, and the nib it had when  it came to me was an un-tipped steel one which had worn down to a paper-cutter edge.  I replaced it with a Swan No2 from the parts box as a temporary measure until a suitable warranted nib comes along.

As you might guess from my eBay account name, I’m fond of red and black hard rubber, whether in the Waterman Ripple style, or in this very pleasing woodgrain.  Though I suppose they might have been a little brighter when the pen was new, the colours are mellow and the material is warm to the touch and pleasant to handle.  I have seen red and black hard rubber described as fragile and I suppose it may be where the pen parts are delicate, but in general I’ve found it pretty robust – more so than some of the celluloids that Waterman and Eversharp used a few years later.

The pen is quite substantial and thick enough to give a comfortable grip.  The nib is semi-flexible and the line variation is easily invoked.  I keep a full flex pen for those special jobs like invitations and place-settings, but for everyday use a semi-flex suits me better.

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