Levenger True Writer

31 08 2009

Once again, it’s been a while since I did an update here. Hopefully I can get back in the habit and change that. One big reason for my lack of posts has been the economy. It blows, by the way, in case you might be wondering. Blows I said…

Back in February I was laid off from a position I had with a local developer as a project manager. Here’s how bad this economy blows. Last December, we won an RFP (Request for Proposal) to do a redevelopment project for the local university. This would have been a $200 to $225 MILLION dollar (…that was MILLION with an M) project. Good news right? Job security for the next 5 to 7 years, minimum. Oh, and a BIG raise to come (lots of pens to buy…). This was December of ’08. By February 2009, you couldn’t find financing for a project like this anywhere. And so, the lay-offs began.

I relay this story not to solicit sympathy. No. Lots of folks have had it worse, and gone through much worse than me. I’m now entering into a new career (Insurance agent with Colonial Life) and finally feel like I can begin to allow at least a little time for some of my previous hobbies again.

Tonight I decided to break out an old favorite of mine, a cobalt blue, Levenger True Writer, circa about 1995.

I have two of these pens, this one, and a stunning (I think…) white pearl version, both with fine points. First, the physical description. This pen as mentioned is kind of a pearlized cobalt blue color with chrome hardware. By Levenger’s own account, these pens were modeled after one of my favorite pen lines, the wonderful Esterbrook J series pens. That heritage is easy to see. The cap is topped off with a simple black tassie mounted over a chromed clip. A chrome band sits just above the cap lip, and has the company name LEVENGER elegantly engraved on it. Like the Esterbrook, the Levenger sports a screw-in stainless nib. The nib is quite elegant, I think. It sports only a slit for the tines, no breather hole, like traditional nibs. Unlike the Esterbrook, this pen has a section that is the same material and color as the rest of the pen’s body. The Esterbrook sported a black section. The end of the pen features a chrome ring and another black tassie matching the one on the cap, simply smaller. Compared to the Esties, this is a substantially larger pen, measuring 5 3/8 inches long capped and 6 ½ inches long posted. From a strictly aesthetic point of view, I’ve always thought this was just a stunning pen.

Although I do love this pen, both it and its white sister-pen have had some quality problems. The chrome band on this one has come loose several times. I’ve repaired it with some crazy glue and for now, it seems to be holding; though it also sits a bit lower on the cap than it originally did. The white one I have had a problem with the section, where the nib screws in. It basically disintegrated around the nib. A call to Levenger got me a new nib and section for $25. (Does anyone still sell a reasonably priced pen with a lifetime warranty anymore?)

My True Writers are both outfitted with converter, but will also accept universal style cartridges. These pens are the definition of a “buttery smooth writer”. Like butta. Like butta, I tell you. Both of my pens are fine points, but definitely write closer to a medium point as compared to most of my other pens. I know that my pens are some of the early ones produced by Levenger, though I don’t know if they’d be considered 1st generation or not. I mention this, primarily because I’ve read that many of the early pens suffered from quality problems such as those I mentioned earlier. It’s my understanding from several online sources (Fountain Pen Network among others) that the current line of True Writers from Levenger are largely problem free.

This is not a pen that you see a lot of information about. Anybody reading this that knows more about them (I certainly don’t claim to…) please add a post to tell us more about these great pens!

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