First, I have had several new subscibers recently. Welcome to them and I hope they will find what they are looking for here.
I enjoy colourful pens and complicated filling systems but sometimes simplicity is enough. This Summit S125 is a case in point. It’s a straightforward lever filler in black chased celluloid, not without elegance and dignity but a pen of no pretensions.
It probably dates to the late thirties and it does show some signs of extended use. The clip is absolutely devoid of its original gold plating and it is patchy on the slender cap ring. The chasing has held up well. It’s still sharp and it catches the light as the pen is moved. The straight lever has kept most of its gold. The gold nib is stamped “Summit.” It delivers ink faultlessly and, unusually for a Summit, is semiflexible.
Summits are great pens, made by Langs to the highest quality. The S125 is in the middle of the range, a sound but inexpensive pen that would be the choice of many who needed long-lasting reliability.
There is a general resemblance between Summits, Mentmore Auto-flows, Stephens pens and Croxleys, to name a few. Two of these were made by Langs, of course, and a third had a relationship with that company. These pens were made in a very similar way with a washer clip held by a large clip screw and a barrel that tapers slightly to a flat end. Such a pen is instantly recognisable as a British fountain pen and it could not be confused with pens from Germany, France or the USA. It’s the standard British pen.
With the exception of a few perceptive collectors of my acquaintance Summits do not seem to be greatly sought after. That surprises me. They come in colourful patterns, have enough variety to make an interesting collection and are great writers. Perhaps they are the sleepers in the vintage pen market.