Oh, so Retro… 51, that is: Retro 51 Tornado Review

Retro51 Kiwi

The Retro 51 Tornado Review

After lots of teasing and cajoling, I have finally given in and purchased a Retro 51 Tornado ($21 through our favorite online retailer, JetPens). I wanted to buy one of the Vintage Surf models but decided spending $55+ on a limited edition model pen that I wasn’t sure if I would actually like might not be the best course of action. So, I decided to purchase a classic lacquer first to make sure the Retro 51 Tornado was a pen I would like. Of course, I purchased the kiwi green color which I loved how it looked. The sales clerk at the Pen Place let me choose my refill but was not terribly helpful about what the advantages or disadvantages of each were. I asked for a fine rollerball and he offered the Parker-Style ceramic gel refill made by Monetverde that they were available in an array of colors so I chose a blue-black .

Retro51 clip and knurled twist mechanism

I like the metallic sheen of the body of the pen and the knurled twist mechanism. The clip is elegant and simple.

Retro51 disassembled

I loved the color and consistency of the Monteverde blue-black gel ink but when I started writing with it and there was a peculiar looseness in the tip. It wasn’t a perfect fit in the body so it wiggled a little and I immediately disliked it. I went onto Twitter and ADN and started asking if my experience was typical. “Nope, It shouldn’t wiggle” was the consensus. The refill I got was not a good fit.

Kindly, Lilardie on Twitter offered to send me a Retro51 branded refill and VOILA! it was such an improvement. For the record, I (the awkward lefty) had no issues with the performance of the Retro 51 rollerball refill. It writes like buttah for me and I have to say, with rollerballs, that’s not always the case so I was pleasantly surprised. With the spring and the better fitting refill, the tip is solid and completely stationary. It does not wiggle at all making the writing experience vastly improved. The refill is listed as 0.7mm but doesn’t seem too wide for me. I’d compare it to a 0.5mm Pilot Hi-Tec C or thereabouts.

Retro51 writing sample

The pen is not very long at 5″ with the tip extended and the clip is positioned low enough (2.25″ down from the top) on the pen that if the pen twists in your hand and the clip can bite into your hand. I just had to be aware when I picked it up that the clip needed to face up for maximum comfort. The knurled end does make the pen a little top heavy on the end but it gives it a nice heft. The Retro51 refill is so yummy that once I start writing, I forget about the lovely pen and the fact that my only ink color options are blue and black and just write. That’s a pretty good thing.

The Giveaway

You too can be the proud owner of a Kiwi Green (or any of the dozen classic lacquer colors) Retro51 Tornado thanks to JetPens. Leave a comment below and tell me which of the colors you like best to be entered to win.

The Fine Print

Giveaway ends at 10pm on Monday, June 10, 2013 (US Central Time). All comment must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Tuesday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form (you don’t have to put in in your comment) so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. Shipping via USPS first class is covered. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. We are generous but we’re not made of money.

Older comments

0 comment on Oh, so Retro… 51, that is: Retro 51 Tornado Review

  1. NQB
    June 9, 2013 at 6:15 pm (2 years ago)

    The Vintage ones are beautiful. The Jefferson and Lincoln are just fantastic, but all of them are special in their own way.

    Reply
  2. Lance Enholm
    June 9, 2013 at 8:07 pm (2 years ago)

    I would love a black Retro 51!

    Reply
  3. waywardscience
    June 9, 2013 at 8:10 pm (2 years ago)

    Kiwi green for me, too.

    Reply
  4. Mark Whitcher
    June 9, 2013 at 8:33 pm (2 years ago)

    I would have to choose the black. All the way. Lovely looking pen. Thanks for offering such a great giveaway!

    Reply
  5. Ingrid Whitcher
    June 9, 2013 at 8:36 pm (2 years ago)

    My husband needs to get me this pen to offset his fountain pen obsession, just a little. The kiwi green is the color I would choose. Thanks!

    Reply
  6. Chad Johnson
    June 9, 2013 at 9:53 pm (2 years ago)

    I prefer the ice blue color, but black looks appealing also

    Reply
  7. Azizah A. (@GourmetPens)
    June 9, 2013 at 10:13 pm (2 years ago)

    Am I allowed to enter? Ok, you can kick me out if you see fit ;) I’d pick kiwi green. It’s been on my JetPens wishlist for almost two years.

    Reply
  8. Katrina H
    June 9, 2013 at 10:35 pm (2 years ago)

    I would pick orange! My favorite!

    Reply
  9. Sydney D
    June 9, 2013 at 10:55 pm (2 years ago)

    I like the Pink body.

    Reply
  10. Peter M.
    June 10, 2013 at 12:00 am (2 years ago)

    Kiwi . . . no questions asked!

    Reply
  11. Antonio Rosales
    June 10, 2013 at 12:15 am (2 years ago)

    Oh, and as far as a color, my mother always said that beggars can’t be choosers so any would be pleasing to me.
    Thanks

    Reply
  12. Brian
    June 10, 2013 at 1:32 am (2 years ago)

    Black please!

    Reply
  13. Bruce Winther
    June 10, 2013 at 3:24 am (2 years ago)

    Always wanted a Retro
    Bruce in Australia

    Reply
  14. Graebel
    June 10, 2013 at 7:24 am (2 years ago)

    I had a very bright green Retro almost five years ago. It was a great pen that walked off with someone at work. But the orange is beautiful.

    Reply
  15. Marie B
    June 10, 2013 at 8:37 am (2 years ago)

    Without a doubt, the Kiwi Green! An absolutely beautiful colour…

    Reply
  16. Brad O.
    June 10, 2013 at 10:51 am (2 years ago)

    Thanks for the opportunity! I think the Ice Blue’s a great look! I guess it would be one which would require a wait to be stocked, though.

    Reply
  17. Wendy TC
    June 10, 2013 at 11:12 am (2 years ago)

    Peacock blue please! Thanks for the giveaway.

    Reply
  18. else313
    June 10, 2013 at 11:18 am (2 years ago)

    Peacock blue, for sure! But I really like the kiwi, too. Thanks for hosting this awesome giveaway! :)

    Reply
  19. mandy s.
    June 10, 2013 at 11:52 am (2 years ago)

    The ice blue is ridiculously gorgeous.

    Reply
  20. Steve
    June 10, 2013 at 11:53 am (2 years ago)

    Kiwi Green or the Gold would be grand.

    Reply
  21. Kay J
    June 10, 2013 at 11:59 am (2 years ago)

    The peacock blue looks lovely!

    Reply
  22. Cherie
    June 10, 2013 at 12:39 pm (2 years ago)

    I am pretty old so the most retro to me is my fav: brown body with luxurious
    gold trim. How can you go wrong?
    Terrific giveaway.

    Reply
  23. Kevin Smith
    June 10, 2013 at 3:44 pm (2 years ago)

    Ice Blue is my pick.

    Reply
  24. Al
    June 10, 2013 at 4:02 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow. The Gold body looks nice. Gold, please.

    Thanks,
    Al

    Reply
  25. Zee
    June 10, 2013 at 8:52 pm (2 years ago)

    I would love a purple one!

    Reply
  26. vikram4819
    June 11, 2013 at 9:52 am (2 years ago)

    I really like the Gold one.

    Reply
  27. Johno
    July 5, 2013 at 5:58 am (1 year ago)

    There’s some great colours, but ice blue would be my pick.

    Reply

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