Rare. It's a word in vintage fountain pens that I think should almost always be avoided. Vintage pen collectors and vintage pen sellers want you to believe their pen is truly a rarity. I try to curb my own use of the R word. I don't suppose I am as successful in my restraint as I would like.
This pen is not rare per my definition of acceptable usage of the word with respect to vintage fountain pens. However, it is a rare combination of near mint condition and a truly rare nib.
Broad vintage nibs are rare. Sheaffer Balance broad nibs are truly rare. I don't believe they were considered as useful for the all day, every day writing that was the norm for the era. This nib is fat and smooth and writes a juicy line with a touch of stubby line variation. It's amazing. Absolutely amazing.
The condition of the pen is truly remarkable. It is not quite mint since there is a hint of thinning to the plating at the clip ball and the edges of the cap band. Otherwise, the pen is in perfect condition. The color and clarity of the barrel is perfect. There is no staining, no darkening and no cloudiness. The surface of the celluloid is likewise as perfect as could be wished. The lack of price code beneath the manufacturer's imprint indicates this is probably a pen from 1937, the first year striped Marine Green was available.
The filling system has been restored with modern materials that should last for decades. Use of inks that are unfriendly toward vintage pens (e.g. Noodler's, Sailor, Pilot) will almost surely stain the gorgeous celluloid and perhaps even melt the rubber in the filler. They will also void the >1 year guarantee on the filler restoration. Best to stick with reliable, yet excellent inks like Montblanc and Waterman.
The pen has a thin diameter yet is full length. I have large hands and find no difficulty using the pen without posting the cap. However, the cap will post securely for extra length as long as you are gentle.
Length Capped - 138 mm (5.4”) Uncapped - 117 mm (4.6”) Posted - 154 mm (6.1”). Diameter Cap - 12.1 mm (0.48”) Barrel - 10.5 mm (0.41”)