I have been Jonesing for a pen like this – mottled hard rubber, eyedropper filler and retractable. Bonus time, the pen is vintage French and the seller is in NOVA (Northern VA). The offer clearly stated the pen is missing it’s cap, figured I could live with that and hope I may stumble upon a vintage cap. The barrel has an 11mm diameter and measures 103mm in length without a cap and the nib is retracted.
The pen arrived, and I am super excited. The nib extends and retracts, the barrel colors are BEAutiful so I went about examining the nib. I pull out the nib, and immediately notice the feed and nib are held together by some crappy homemade “section.” Hmmmm!
Look at this crap, now I am super annoyed! Breathe, take a deep breath…
Once my blood pressure came down I decided to take the feed and nib out of the faux section. After more grumbling I set about smoothing the section and making it look good. As I have no idea if it will even prevent ink leakage, I thought it might as well look good. Yes I realize the availability of Gold Starry 1920-something pen parts is well non-existent but really this is horrible.
Now that I talked myself off the ledge, again, I went about taking the pen apart – I really wanted to see the inner workings. I began by separating the backend of the pen from the barrel, it unscrews. With a slight pull, out came the retracting mechanism.
The nib is retracted or extended depending on which direction the end-cap is turned. The shaft holding the section has pins which bisect the corkscrew in the channels and extend into groves cut into the inside of the barrel. The turning motion will cause the corkscrew fixture to spin thus the channels will run the pins down the length of the mechanism or return them to the beginning this extracting or retracting the nib.
At this point, I realized that the end-cap which is turned to extend or retract the nib is broken. I was able to pull the entire mechanism out of the pen. The end was clearly broken off. A quick review of the end-cap and one can see the shaft bisecting the end-cap. Thus when the nib is extended, the end-cap is twisted tightly to ensure a snug fit – we don’t want ink leaking out.
I consulted with some Fountain Pen Geeks and they recommend leaving it as is or see if the shaft is long enough to go through the cap again. All agree that glueing the shaft to the cap is a very bad idea.
How is it filled with ink? Well, the nib is retracted into the barrel, then ink is squirted in over the nib filling the barrel. Once the barrel is full the nib is extended. The section “receiver” forms an ink-tight fit around the tapered end of the barrel from when extended. Ink flows into the “receiver” through 2 holes then to the feed and the nib.
The nib is by Georg Peter Rupp, a nib manufacturer from 1920’s to 1970 in Heidelberg, Germany. It is safe to assume this nib is not the original. Can’t guess if it is pre or post war. But the gold color is odd, the nib material should be silver and if you look closely between the “P” and “O” it looks like silver or is that a reflection?
Well look at that, a nice pretty stainless steel nib, not the fake gold platted nib. Funny what a rub down with a Sunshine Cloth will show you.
I was annoyed earlier, now I am mad.