Targa Slim Pen & Ballpoint Set

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?


13 thoughts on “Targa Slim Pen & Ballpoint Set

  1. Deb, the answer to your last question is a straightforward mathematical formula: the optimal number of fountain pens to own is equal to n+1, where n stands for the current number of pens in ownership… this formula is derived from the more general principle “you only live once”.

  2. I received a bog standard, brushed steel Targa with oblique nib for my 14th birthday. It’s still going strong, and the nib makes me smile each time I use it, a joy to write with.

    I didn’t really appreciate the style at the time: I wanted a Pelikan like my grandfather had. But it’s grown on me. Solid and perfectly balanced, apparently a Sheaffer chap said they couldn’t afford to make a pen that robust today.

      1. I used to hate the design: it seemed so 70s, so Pierre Cardin. But it doesn’t look that dated today, so I was wrong.

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