Along with the 300 and the 500 (which never offered a fountain pen version), this pen was part of a small renovation of Sheaffer’s full line-up in 2009. All three may be thought, to some extent, as the successors to the Javelin; pens aimed at the section of the market that really can’t bring itself to trot out $100 or more for a pen. The 100 is the gracile ancestor, counterpart to the robustus 300, and with a slight echo of an earlier family of price-code-designated pens it is also the least expensive.
This pen costing less than its stable mates is not a function of materials, for which I honour Sheaffer greatly; lower-grade material is a route some makers have pursued to dabble in this region of pricing. Part of it is simply that there’s less material involved in a smaller pen like this, while there is also a simplification of construction which no doubt keeps the costs down. Unlike the relatively complex sprung clip of the 300, the 100 has a simple tabbed-in clip which is essentially identical to that in the even cheaper VFM. The writing parts, meanwhile, are the same as those in myriad Sheaffer models from Viewpoint through Agio and up to Prelude. That’s the sort of parts standardization that makes for a low-cost production line.
It also makes for a rather good writing experience; it is, after all, much like finding the same engine used in a VW Beetle as is installed in a Porsche Boxster. If there is a functional issue to be found with the 100, it lies in the choice of finish on the section. It is chromed, and whether one considers it splendidly flashy or cheaply gaudy, a chrome section is generally a slippery object. Depending on the state of your fingerprints and skin oils, this may not be the pen you’d like to do a lot of writing with. The grippier amongst us will have no problems with it.
Production Run: c. 2009 – present.
Cost When New: MSRP $39.99, although one sees them sell for rather less. One also sees the 2012 Ferarri tie-in (which is rather more attractive than the same sort of 300) going for about $50.00 at most sources.
Size: 13.8 cm long capped, 14.6 cm posted, 11.9 cm uncapped.
Body: Brass, various finishes.
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