It would take a page or two to list all the ways that the latex sac has been used to fill pens and I don’t plan to do that – not here, at least. The ones that most interest me are the two most common and one that is limited to Mabie Todd alone. There’s a hierarchy in those sac-fillers; for me the lever filler is at the bottom, next is the button filler and finally the Leverless.
The Leverless is sometimes referred to as a twist filler but I would reserve that term for filling systems in which the sac is twisted, like the AA Waterman 291M. In the Leverless one turns the button at the end of the barrel but the sac is not twisted. Instead it is compressed by the paddle.
The Leverless went into production in 1933 and this L330/60 is a slightly later example, produced in 1936. It is a handsome pen indeed with its two barrel bands and a band at the top of the cap, all of the “stacked coins” style. It has a Swan No. 3 keyhole nib, a variation applied to this particular model.
It isn’t especially long at 12.9cm capped but it has good girth. The celluloid of barrel and cap shines like new. The clip screw and turn-button are made from black hard rubber and their colour has changed over the years. I prefer to leave them as they are. The nib is a soft semi-flex medium. It glides smoothly over the page.
Such pens don’t turn up all that often. I appreciate its design and though I will have to part with it before long I will enjoy this pen while I have it.
11 thoughts on “Swan Leverless L330/60”
Did you get this one at action on Ebay recently? I think I may have been bidding against you.
Yes, I did. Better luck next time. I was outbid on one of these a couple of weeks before so I was determined to get this one.
You mention that you’re planning to part with this one. Does that mean it will be up for sale before too long?
Yes. It still needs some work but it will be for sale soon.
I really like the Swan Leverless and have a few of them. Unfortunately, import of pens from the UK to the EU has become so expensive that I have stopped buying from the UK all together, so it will be hard to add to the flock.
You mention that the leverless is not a twist filler. I’ve always understood that the earlier versions were twist fillers, while later versions are a kind af button-filler, as you describe them. David Nishimura describes the types here: https://vintagepens.com/Swan_leverless.shtml
What is the charge on a pen imported from the UK?
If you call every pen that has a turn-button a twist filler, how do you discriminate between those like either version of the Leverless which compress the sac, or those that twist the sac?
On import, VAT of 25 % has to be paid in Denmark, where I live. If one is unlucky, Ebay (or another site) already collects the VAT, but the seller does not report this correctly, whereby one ends up paying VAT twice. On top of that, there are handling charges by the carrier of minimum £20. So a pen costing £40, will in the end cost me between £70 and £80 plus postage.
I wouldn’t call every Leverless a twist filler, as only the early versions are. But I guess not everybody is aware of the two types.
Wow! That’s much worse even than the costs I pay importing from the US! It may be that there are ways around such things…
I can understand why you see a difference between the two types of Leverless, Jan, but you didn’t answer my question: how do you discriminate between these sac depressors and the true twist fillers which twist the sac? Personally, I wouldn’t call either Leverless a twist filler.
I guess I misunderstand the question: As far as I understand, the early type Leverless twists the sac and therefore are a true twist filler. The other type would be a fancy button filler (as is the Montblanc push-knob). But I’m not a Swan expert, so I stand to be corrected…
It doesn’t twist the sac. The paddle compresses the sac against the wall of the barrel.