I was given a Sheaffer Targa not long after they appeared, a brushed steel one with a gold nib. They sold in huge numbers in the 80s and 90s. A well-designed and deceptively simple-appearing pen, they seemed to have been the shape of the time in fountain pens.
Though their design and quality seems to have fallen away in recent times, I’ve always admired Sheaffer pens, especially their 1920s flat-tops and the leverfill cap balances. I particularly admire the Triumph nib and the inlaid nib of the Targa is a clear descendant of that design.
The standard, everyday Targas like my one don’t make a lot of money. Because there are so many of them available, they’re really undervalued, considering their quality and how robust they are. They were in production for 23 years and for most of that time they were a best seller.
After selling the standard-sized Targa for a few years, Sheaffer brought out the Targa Slim, their version of the slender pen that was fashionable in the 80s. They made it in the same patterns as its big brother. This one is in the Tulle pattern and it is part of a set with a ballpoint. They are elegant pens.
The ballpoint is no problem. Refills are widely available online, but Sheaffer stopped producing the slim cartridges that the fountain pen uses, which was a dirty trick! As luck would have it, though, this pen has a converter installed and there’s even a cartridge. I’m told that Waterman mini-carts fit, as do Kaweco converters.
For an 80s or 90s pen and ballpoint set, the condition is excellent. I think I struck lucky and got hold of a set that has been little used. They’re good enough to be collectors’ pieces, though they are eminently practical too. The pattern is very eye-catching. I confess I’m very tempted by them but how many pens can I keep?