The Fashion was Sheaffer’s last kick at the can of painfully thin fountain pens. It is in essence a slightly reworked TRZ, a pen Sheaffer developed initially as a ball-point and which appeared as a fountain pen only after Sheaffer had worked out a much narrower cartridge than it had previously relied upon.
As the name suggests, the Fashion was available in a bewilderment of different finishes, going so far as to include a plaid arranged on the bias. It also appears in at least three different versions. The initial appearance of the Fashion was very little more than a renaming of the TRZ. The clip was different, switching from an odd S-profile to something a little more conventional, and the derby went from black to plated, but almost everything else stayed the same; a situation which lends itself to confusion. Later versions of the Fashion had the maker’s name printed on the point and a section with something of an inverted cone at the top of the section, looking something like golden veterinary anti-licking collar, rather than a trim-ring towards the bottom. There may have been a patch during which the imprinted point appeared in the earlier-style sections, but that is uncertain. Depending on one’s inclinations, one may also count a clipless variant sold with a complimentary tapestry pouch; these had the white dot applied directly to the barrel.
There is a definite third form, the Fashion 2, which is easily told from the others in that it is a wider expression of the same form, a reversal of the process leading to Slim Targa from Targa. This allowed those who liked the Fashion’s finishes but not its petite diameter something a little bulkier, using the older pattern cartridge which would shortly thereafter be Sheaffer’s only cartridge once again. The peak period of the very very slender pen had passed, and it seems Sheaffer had become disenchanted with making a cartridge to pander to the style.
It is likely that the Agio was meant as a replacement for the Fashion 2, as it also appears in a wide diversity of finishes, while one might say that the discontinuation of the Fashion 1 (as it became when the big sibling was brought in) marks the end of Sheaffer’s participation in super-slim pen-making.
[notice]To add a little to the model-identification confusion that frequently swirls around Sheaffers, the sections of Slim Targas, TRZs and Fashions (excepting the Fashion 2) will all fit in the barrels of the other models, and the caps will also fit before the Fashion switched to the newer version of its section. There’s no functional problem attached to this swapping, but the serious collector will want to be careful of the provenance of pens they buy.[/notice]
Production Run: 1990 – 2002
Cost When New: Inquiries are ongoing.
Size: 13.5 cm long capped, 14.6 cm posted, 11.9 cm uncapped for the original size; I’ve not had a Fashion 2 to measure
Point: Steel, frequently gold-plated.
Body: Metal, in various finishes.
Filler: Cartridge , capacity approx. 1.2 ml (regardless of which sort, interestingly).
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