Retro 51 are well known for making wonderful full-sized rollerball pens. This pen, the Retro 51 Tornado Touch, is a relatively new product and it continues the same excellent quality, albeit with a ballpoint refill.
The design of the pen is stylish, even to the point of just about getting away with the little moustache at the top of the pen, near to the bowler hat shaped stylus. This stylus works, although it’s necessary to hold the pen near vertical for it to work reliably. Many styluses leave an exposed metal edge around the tip, which scares me when I think of how close to the glass you are going to be moving that pen. I don’t use a stylus myself and tend to avoid pens that have them but this pen includes it as part of the design itself and as such it doesn’t feel totally superfluous.
I cannot praise the build quality of this pen too highly. The twist to deploy mechanism is wonderful – smooth and assured. The lacquered metal barrel feels substantial and is beautifully finished. The clip is firm and strong.
I’m not a huge fan of ballpoints but this comes with a Schmidt S 635 medium refill which is one of the better ones. What’s more, it’s a standard D1 size so can be replaced with any one of a wide range of ballpoint or gel refills.
It’s a little larger than one of my long-standing favourite pocket pens, the Monteverde Poquito, shown at the top of this photo. As such, while of course it does take up a little more pocket space, it is much more comfortable in the hand. (The standard Retro 51 Tornado is at the bottom of this picture.)
This is a wonderful little pen and one I want to own. Sadly for me but luckily for you, I will not get to own this one. This pen was very kindly sent to me by the Pen Shed for me to review and then give away to one lucky reader. The Pen Shed are, as far as I know, the UK’s only Retro 51 retailer. They’re certainly the only one that I’ve found. (The UK Retro 51 site is owned by the Pen Shed.)
To have a chance of winning this pen, leave a comment telling me what your favourite pen-that-isn’t-a-fountain-pen is. Good luck!
The giveaway will close at 9am GMT on Saturday 24 May and is open worldwide. The winner will be chosen randomly using a random number generator and will have one week from me contracting them to let me know their postal address. You may enter only once. I will not be held responsible for any loss or charges due to shipping.
Many thanks to the Pen Shed for their generosity in providing this pen. This did not influence my views in any way. This is a wonderful pen!