I’m back on the subject of German piston-filler school pens again. I’m sure I must have mentioned my enthusiasm for them before, but that’s okay. You must expect a certain amount of redundancy in a blog that’s been going as long as this one has.
These low end German pens are remarkably cheap for what they are, though there is some variation in quality. The Geha that I wrote about before is perhaps at the upper end of those pens targeted at schoolchildren and the one I plan to write about today is further down the scale. It is an Orienta, a cork-sealed piston filler. I’m not at all sure about the date of its manufacture. Going by appearance I would say that it might be as early as the nineteen-thirties but on the other hand, a successful design might have remained unchanged into the nineteen-fifties.
I bought it from a seller in Fountain Pen Geeks, a regular there who specializes in low-cost pens and goes under the moniker of LEXAF. He seems to have a talent for seeking out New Old Stock European pens and I have admired his stuff for some time before I decided on this purchase. He said that the original nibs were no good and he replaced them with Paledua gold-plated steel nibs.
The pen is quite chunky and old-fashioned-looking and measures 12.4cm capped. The barrel looks a little uneven as if there has been some shrinkage going on there but the piston slides up and down smoothly and there is no leakage. The fading gold imprint on the cap reads ‘Orienta’, a strange enough name for a pen but many pens have strange names. The pen holds a good charge of ink and the nib is a firm medium. It’s not quite my cup of tea; I prefer a fine but that’s nothing against the pen, just my preference. The ink delivery is generous but not over-generous. In all, it’s an excellent writer.
While it’s no Pelikan or Montblanc, this is an excellent, soundly-made German piston filler at a bargain basement price. As I said, it’s probably around the bottom end of these pens. That would make it the equivalent in price of the British Platignum or Queensway. It comes out of that comparison rather well, in the sense that it writes well, doesn’t leak and is robust enough to write for another generation or two. It whets my anticipation for more of the host of low-cost German pens out there.