Tag Archives: Retro 51 Tornado

Review: the @Retro1951 Tornado Rollerball.


This is a review I’ve been meaning to do since I started actually doing them more seriously. I have had this pen a very long time – About a year and a bit if the date on the terrible photos of the awesome packaging are to go by. (And you can see that packaging here.) I’m not entirely sure why I haven’t done this sooner. Maybe it’s because I don’t use it as much as I should. And that is because I keep putting it somewhere safe, in its little sleeve – so when I’m looking for it, I’m looking for the bright blue, not the black of the sleeve because I’m an idiot, so then I keep thinking that I’ve lost it. And believe me, that makes me very unhappy. However, every time I do use it, it’s the only pen I’ll use until my fountain pens call out for me again.

(Can you tell that I’m in love with the Staples Arc range?)


When it comes to pens that cost more than a packet of say… Five from a local store, it normally boils down to the refill – some people can deal with an ugly pen body as long as the refill is pretty good. Especially in this day and age of the Kickstarter projects. You can probably find a prettier/nicer body for your favourite refill on there if the original body isn’t to your liking. Actually, I guess that extends both ways, except for the fact that a terrible refill is often much cheaper to replace. The refill in the Retro is just… Gosh. It’s lovely, it really is. As I said in the handwritten bit, it even makes me not mind black so much. I think that’s because it’s a gel refill instead of a ballpoint. Although it’s right up there at the top of the list of black gel refills/pens I’ve used and enjoyed. I’m sure that I can find something just as nice that will fit (I believe Parker have some gel refills, one of those might do.) Sure it won’t be quite the same, but anything to keep using the pen, right?

The knurling and the blue (or whatever colour your pen is, if you’ve got one of the “Classic Lacquers” versions – I can’t speak ifor the others) disc on the top of the twist mechanism are probably my favourite details of this pen. I can’t really say why – probably because I have a thing for texture and continued use of the main body colour in pen design. I even like the way the pen tapers towards the tip – normally that sort of thing gets a bit too skinny for my liking, but the Tornado is… It has a chubby tapering.

What else can I tell you that hasn’t already been covered in the hadnwritten portion, or by others? Not an awful lot really.

The Retro 51 Tornado is a gorgeous pen. It’s… Classic in its design. There are so many colours and finishes (and even limited editions) that there’s one for everyone. Unless you’re like one of those people who likes to collect things then yes, they’ll all be for you. Personally, I’m probably going to stick with the one (unless they bring out one that knocks my socks off) because it has sentimental value. (Which, may I add, has nothing to do with how the pen writes, just so you know.)

If you don’t have one, I really think you should get one.

Other reviews – because if we all agree, then surely it’s a pen worth checking out, no? And let’s not forget it’s one of The Pens That Shall Not Be Named on the Pen Addict podcast! 😀
~ The Pen Addict’s review.
~ The Well Appointed Desk’s review.
~ Gourmet Pens’ review.
~ From The Pen Cup’s review.
~ Clicky Post’s review and why this is a great first pen.


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