Pen Review: Retro 1951 Tornado Lincoln EXT

Retro 1951 is a pen company not well-known for their fountain pens.  In fact, according to their website, they only have three fountain pens available in their current catalog.  A black acrylic/resin, a white nickel pen, and the Lincoln Ext, a copper colored pen.

The Lincoln is a rather affordable pen (I paid around $60 for it) with a warm, brushed copper finish.  It utilizes a Schmidt steel nib, and standard international cartridges and converters.  The pen has a warm, inviting look to it, along with a couple of unique finishing touches like the knurled band around the top of the cap and the flat top “Duracell Battery” finish on the top.  (That’s my term, not theirs. It really does look like the negative end of a Duracell AA.)  The pen is extremely well balanced when posted, and ends up being one of the few pens that I would actually feel comfortable using posted.

What surprised me most about this pen, though, is the way it writes.  The Schmidt nib is smooth, while still giving a little bit of feedback.  The ink flow is moderate but extremely consistent.  It’s a pen that would work well on cheaper paper, as it provides enough ink to write properly, but not so much that it would overwhelm inexpensive copier paper.  It’s comfortable in the hand, and just the perfect combination of feeling substantial without being overly heavy and causing fatigue.

The only minor complaints are around the clip, which feels pretty flimsy, and could be bent out of place without a whole lot of effort, and the machining of the threads between the section and the barrel.  The threads do not mesh well, and my pen has a powdery residue in the threads which further gunks up the works.  It’s not a deal-breaker at all, but for those who are particular, it may be a minor nuisance.

Overall, though, this is a pretty darn good pen and a surprisingly good price.  And to the best of my knowledge, it’s the only pen out there in this warm, copper finish. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more fountain pens from Retro 1951 in the future.  They could be an exciting new entry into the fountain pen market.

  • Carol1313

    Really enjoyed this review! When I saw this pen announced, I ran right out to my local pen purveyor, eager to hand over the credit card clutched in my inky hands. But. After seeing the wonderful copper cap & barrel, I just couldn’t handle the silver-colored nib. I know, it’s really shallow of me. But I knew it would bother me every time. I realize now I could have swapped in a black nib. So maybe I’ll go back and get one– I’m happy to hear all the good points about it. I like Retro 51: the Metalsmith Presidents Monroe and Franklin (RB’s) are really lovely designs as well. Thank you!

    • Thanks, Carol. It’s funny…I know a lot of people who are bothered by a discrepancy between the nib and the color of the body. Strangely, that’s been something that has never bothered me that much. It does appear to be a standard #6 nib, so you could probably get a Monteverde replacement nib (from GPC, for instance) and swap it out for black if you wanted. Thanks for watching.

  • Ray Newbery

    Liked the review. I got this pen as soon as I could find a place with it in stock. I have all but one of the Metalsmith rollerballs but the Lincoln RB was my first and still favorite. I love the way the patina developed over time and use. I expect the same from the fountain pen. I’m a thin nib guy and considered getting the nib ground down but the stock nibs is smooth and fun to use so now I’m hesitating. Also nice to see the nibs seem to be consistently good.

    The nib color never bothered me. But now that Carol131 has mentioned it, it probably will.

    Thanks for the review and video.

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  • Eugene

    Got this pen couple weeks ago, LOVE IT. Great job on the review too.

  • Yip Bop

    Great review! Are you able to replace the nib?

  • david bogie

    I purchased the Retro 51 Lincoln fountain pen from a local dealer a few days after hearing that a copper-colored pen existed. The clerk at the shop thought it was actually made of copper. I enjoy it tremendously. A bit awkward when posted and I find the nib is a long way away from my fingers. I am more comfortable with my older Sheaffers that have short nib sections. I have the medium nib that is dleightfully wet and produces lovely shading with certain inks such as Sheaffer turquoise and Herbin Hematite. Thanks for the review

  • Pascal Leers

    Buying because of the bottles. That I can understand. I have the same with the Akkerman ink bottles.

  • slgates

    I just picked one of these up today! I’m going to fill it with J.Herbin Emerald of Chivor to contrast with the body and kind of have the color of oxidized copper, even though I have Diamine ancient copper, but it seems too hum drum to use it in this pen.