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Sheaffer Agio Fountain Pen, Roller Ball, Ballpoint Review: Chrome, Gold, Nickel
Sheaffer Agio collection tries to do a surprising thing: make a fountain pen not look like one. A close look reveals that brand designers wanted to render the entire instrument as seamless as possible, almost completely reducing the section as a separate segment and opting for minimalistic trims (similar to Prelude).
Indeed, the built-in stylus (suitable for a range of contemporary electronic gadgets) of the ballpoint system proves the universal quality of Agio. When Sheaffer say “you never wielded a pen like this before,” they deliver – it looks, in an unexpected, underwhelming turn, almost like a common stick! Nibs arrive in stainless steel or in 22K gold, always single tone; additional modes include roller ball and ballpoint pen.
The flat cap and the linear nib engraving resemble Waterman Perspective – and, we think, not accidentally so. Perspective was inspired by modern architectural ideas that put forward space, linear clarity, and the removal, sometimes dramatic, of decorative elements deemed unnecessary to the overall function. Agio follows the same precepts, presenting fountain pens that defy traditional design. Sheaffer prefer, however, to leave the breather hole and the slit.
One of the visuals pleasures of this collection lies in the similarity of the writing systems. When capped, the entire range looks almost identical – and when posted, little changes, either the nib fanning out, or the ball taking aim. Ladies variations paint the pens with softly glowing lilac, pink, and blue.
Agio compact provides a high-end luxury variant of the original collection. It's smaller and fuller, harking back to the vintage tuckaway (and competing with brand's own Prelude Mini), and features 22K yellow gold plating in various degrees – from cap and ring to the entire body (except the grip section). A gold, engraved nib concludes the design.