Summit S125

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.

7 thoughts on “Summit S125

  1. Deb,

    The Summit S125 was actually made by Summit. The design was patented by Eric Wade and Osmond Blyth Wade, both of Lang Pen Company and Curzon’s Ltd/Summit in . The first pen to be branded or named Summit was actually made by Curzon’s Ltd in 1926 but it was not until 1945 after the war ended that Curzon’s Ltd changed its name to Summit as the brand name of the pen had atken off and was better known than the companies manufacturing name of Curzon’s.

    The pens were of a very high standard for their time and were part of a huge line up of the “S” range of pens. I will email you an overview of Summit pens that you may be able to post for others to read. The S125’s were the flagship of the range and the largest seller by a long shot. The workhorse of the “S” range.

    1. Actually, the first Summit pen was produced by James Dixon Ltd, in Southport, c1922/23 (see my recent article in the WES Journal 112). Langs only acquired the rights to use that name when Dixon’s business went bust at the end of that year, Langs having initially invested £600 to help keep the company afloat for a short time. It took the receiver until June 1926 to complete the sale of assets, which possibly explains why the Curzon’s Summit did not appear until 1926.

      Dixon’s Summits took several forms. As well as the simple but well-made chased vulcanite lever filler, I have examples of a Summit retractable safety and a Summit crescent filler, unusual for that time in the UK.

      1. Hi Andy,

        I am aware of the James Dixon Ltd Siummit but I was refering to the Summit brand made by Curzon’s and Summit as they ended up being called. I was not aware that Dixon’s made a Summit Crescent filler. Can you send me a photo of yours please? I’ve never seen one or heard of one. Very interesting I must say.

    2. Hi Rard,
      Good to hear from you and thank you for the link. I actually heard about the overview yesterday – after I had posted the article – and received a copy of the link. I have been working through it. There’s a tremendous amount of information and I am delighted to have this clarification. I will publish the link in the blog so that others may see it too.

  2. Wasn’t the S175 the flagship of the range, Rard?

    I tend to the view that the earliest Croxley’s, those with ball clips and straight levers, were made by Summit. The earliest date I have for an ‘arrow head’ Croxley is February 1947, so the earlier Croxley’s would probably date to 1946 or even late 1945, predating the purchase of surplus Lang’s machinery. The early ‘arrow head’ pens may also have been made by Lang’s, as they only required different levers and clips to be fitted to the generic S125 base. That would fit in with Steve Hull’s claim that the S125 was introduced in 1946, the pens being virtually identical.

    1. Hi Peter,

      The S175 was the Flagship of Summit at the end of their days. In early 1946 when the annopunced the S125, S160 and the S175 it was the S125 that dominated the market not the S175. The S125 was withdrawn from the market in 1952 because sales had slowed due to competative pricing. The S175 remaioned till the close of Summit in around 1954.

      By the way I agree with your theory on the early Croxley’s.

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