Wahl Eversharp Skyline

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The Wahl-Eversharp Skyline is a very popular and highly-regarded pen but personally I’m not that fond of it. The early polystyrene can become very brittle with age and it also tends to shrink, making it difficult to work on. Some of them post reasonably well, others have the cap wobbling about insecurely.

Then there’s the aesthetics. There is the oft-told tale that Henry Dreyfus had his locomotives made for the New York Central Railroad in mind when he designed the pen. That’s as may be but this is a pen which travels slowly across the page and doesn’t charge across the prairies at 100 miles an hour. The extremely tapered barrel form causes the frequent posting problems and the design of the cap is unnecessarily complicated. It’s just not a good pen design.
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On the plus side, the filling system, with its breather tube, is very efficient. It always gives a good fill. The Skyline nib is one of the best in the business. Many are flexible to one degree or another and even when they are not they are still splendid writers.
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This particular example was sold as a Presentation but I think it’s a Standard. Either way, it’s in chocolate brown with a gold-filled cap. It writes well with wet ink-flow and some flexibility.

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About goodwriterspens
I restore fountain pens, and used to trade as redripple52 in eBay. I also have my own fountain pen sales website, www.goodwriterssales.com

4 Responses to Wahl Eversharp Skyline

  1. Stuart says:

    Hi Deb,

    Hopefully I may be able to shed some light on this. The “Skyline” is the largest component of my pen collection and I have restored a substantial number of them. Re: model vs size – there are 3 models of differing size dimensions…”Demi” @ 4 3/4″ – “Standard” @ 5 1/8″-5 3/8″ – Executive @ 5 1/2″-5 3/4″. These sizes are with the pen capped. There is, I have discovered, one other way to distinguish the demi from the standard model. Lay the pen down on the table f at with the cap screwed on tightly. Look closely at the flow of the “line” from cap to barrel and downward. If it seems somewhat chunky or “stubby”, then it is the “Demi”. The curve of the Demi barrel is more gradual from thick to thin right after the cap becomes the barrel. But, the standard barrel is noticeably more “angular” at this point. There is a very distinct “step-down” in diameter in the barrel here. It is “flatter” looking after the cap becomes the barrel. It is easier to see this effect than for me to describe it in words. If the pen measures exactly 5.0″, which model is it? These seem to be somewhat more commonly found in the wild than you might expect. I have found quite a few like this. Typically, they are Demis, but their caps have not screwed down as far as usual for some reason – dirty threads??? This gives the impression that they are longer. In these instances, simply utilize the “appearance” test described above. The curve of the barrel will disclose the truth. If you have one of each, just remove the caps and lay the barrels down flat next to each other and look closely at the flow line of the outer diameter of both barrels. One -the standard- will have a slight sudden decrease in diameter below the spot where the cap lip would be placed when posted. There is a further distinction between the descriptors “Presentation” vs “Executive”. Presentation models are not necessarily Executive models, although a pen could be both at the same time, depending on its length and components. Most presentation pens I have seen come up on ebay have been standard pens (regarding their length) but they have been made with unusually lovely components, like all 14 kt solid gold, or all 18 kt filled or plated gold and matching gold helmeits and wide cap (jeweler’s) bands. I have seen one with radius turned lines in both cap and barrel…that sort of thing. They are typically of standard length, however. Recently, I saw one that also was of Executive length…quite dramatic! These pens usually sell for spectacular prices – far above my embarrassingly low max price limit.

    Hope this helps…

    Stuart (the olde forest gnome across the pond)

  2. Doug Price says:

    Hiya Deb,

    But did you try writing with it UNposted!

    Trying out an inked Skyline at a recent local pen club gathering, I was struck be two revelations:

    First, I experienced just how fantastic the writing of “older” (not vintage!) nibs can be. It was as if the Skyline’s nib played a jazz chord – laden with harmonics, polyphonics, tonics, maybe a few “onics” unknown, and all those superscript numerals the meaning of which will always be hopelessly opaque to me. Modern nibs by comparison seem a simple C major. And all this from a firm medium!

    Secondly, I was amazed how comfortable the pen was unposted. An ergonomic masterpiece – absolutely one of the most pleasant pens I have ever held. That loooong back taper along with the generous, gently tapered section evoked, vestigially at least, the feel of a dip pen holder. And that’s nothing but good! It may not have raced across the page at 100 MPH, but it fairly galloped across it like an Arabian stung by a bee. Previously I had been one of the “I have large hands” crowd, convinced I needed posted length for such things as “balance” and “control.” Along with the insistence on a heavy pen, I now think these notions are accepted on blind faith and intuition with precious little actual Newtonian mechanics backing them up. The Skyline, along with the adoption of a “tripod” grip, changed all of that for me. No pedantry intended here; I’m not trying to tell experienced pen people (such as yourself!) what kind of pen they should write with, I’m just sharing a bit of my own fountain pen path.

    As a universal design precept, rightly and properly, I suppose all pens SHOULD post well (and of course there’s the issue of what to do with the cap while you’re writing – I just worry it around with my opposite hand manually fixatedly). I’ll always have enduring respect for the (original) Pelikan 400 in no small part for it’s brilliant posting. With the Skyline, however, I almost wish they wouldn’t have tried.

    Cheers! -Doug Price

    PS: Tracking indicates my Swan 142/50 has entered the interminable purgatory of USP’s “ISC.” The dark side of the moon – complete tracking blackout for 6-8 days. ARRRGGHHH!!!! I’m so excited for it!

    • Well, Doug, you are clearly a convert! I have to say, for myself, that a pen is no good to me if it doesn’t post. Habit of a lifetime. Can’t do it the other way.

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