What’s in a name?
The Sheaffer Taranis is named after the Celtic Storm God of Thunder, also associated with the famed “wheel in the sky.” The wheel was seen as a physical representation of the movement of celestial bodies, such as the sun and moon which fall under his domain. The sun is associated with life while the wheel mimics the motion of the sun as it crosses the sky each day.
First mentioned by the Roman poet Lucan in the 1st century AD. In 2020, Taranis was a tool onboard a French Space Agency (CNES) satellite destined to measure radiation from lighting except the launch failed.
On a different note, God of Thunder is a song written and performed by Kiss, I will spare you the details.
This is not a vintage pen. Before I started my review, I read the review of others. This pen apparently elicits some strong feelings polarizing the fountain pen community. Some complain that Sheaffer based their design on the Lamy 2000. While others said the design is boring, the pen was too heavy, the section and nib are ugly, or they hated the nontraditional nib design. For all the hostile reviews and complaints I found reviews praising the same. One reviewer compared the lines of the section/grip and nib to the styles of a 50s automobile.
The pen was designed by renowned architect Charles Debbas. The Taranis was marketed from 2012-2016. The stainless steel nib is an interesting departure from the usual Sheaffer nib design – it combines both style and functionality. The ink reservoir is a Sheaffer proprietary ink converter, made specifically for this pen. Removing the barrel to access the reservoir/converter requires 9 full turns.
The barrel and cap are made of metal, it appears to be brass, painted, and protected by a lacquer finish. Some may find it slippery, but it suits me fine. The pen is well-balanced in hand when the cap is posted. I normally don’t post the cap but enjoy the feel both with and without the cap posted. I normally don’t post caps out of fear of scratching the barrel. The ring on the section/grip is a clutch with 3 outward notches, The cap attaches using friction created by the clutch resulting in a loud click and a firmly seated cap.
Steel nib housed in a unique patent-pending grip design that “integrates resin with the strength of metal.” Hmmm, I don’t normally press so hard that I need a grip strong enough to withstand a grip of steel. I do like the grip both in appearance and function. The way I hold pens, my fingers sit most comfortably on the grip and at the cap ring/clutch.
Let’s ink it up and see how she does. I inked up with Herbin ink. I noticed that a large droplet of ink formed at the base of the nib. I emptied the ink reservoir repeating the filling process. This time I tapped the nib on the bottle, eliminating the ink droplet.
I opened the moleskin journal and set the nib to paper. One day I’ll learn only to use the Pilot G2 with the moleskin. The Taranis has a wet nib. Instead, I whipped out a pad of paper where the Taranis performed impressively. No feathering, no blots, the nib gracefully glided across the paper.
But there is some troubling news. After one day of use, the ink fails to flow even with a nearly full converter. I’m not experiencing leakage or inky fingers, I assume the issue is a dirty nib restricting capillary action. I’m going to review the litany of possibilities and get back to you.
- Capped length; 140mm
- Uncapped length; 120.5mm
- Barrel diameter; 12.5mm
- Cap diameter; 12.5mm
- Weight; 34g
- Gourmet Pens: Taranis Review
- FPN: Taranis Stormy Night Review