Sheaffer Targa Vintage Fountain Pen, Ballpoint, Slim Review
Sheaffer Targa's imbalanced architecture – the section takes almost half the length, and is usually more voluminous than the body – gives the fountain pens such a unique, distinct character that their destiny of highly sought for vintage and collectible items was ensured from the moment of their creation.
Aficionados will immediately recognize the inspiration source for this design: Targa looks very much like a modified desk fountain pen, shortened and altered to fit into the portable niche; Sheaffer Imperial includes desk models that indeed reveal a similar imbalance – a pen that gets heavier towards the nib.
Either way, the beauty and emphasized elegance of the contours made the Targa one of the most popular writing instruments during the seventies and the eighties of the 20th century. Old stock new items can still be occasionally found on eBay, or specialized stores.
Targa collection offers ball point and fountain pen writing systems, the former, in our opinion, losing a measure of the originality that gives the latter its oomph. The cap is identical in both variations, featuring a slightly tapering cylinder with a metallic crown on top; the clip presents a slit (very similar to Prelude, Sentinel, and Sheaffer 300), and the iconic white dot.
Trims and Nibs
Targa comes painted in wide range of colors, some quite exotic, and trimmed in chrome, silver, or gold – the most luxurious models incorporate more of the precious metal. Patterns include tulle, filigree, and others; texture also plays a part, as several items demonstrate fluted, frosted, barley or other ornament on the alloy plated bodies. The nibs, gold or stainless steel, are all inlaid and made in the classic kite form.
Targa Slim exhibits a thinner design that can be viewed as more refined on the one hand, or as feminine on the other.
The body becomes almost completely cylindric – the pronounced curves in the middle are gone – and, in a way, much more modern, anticipating Sheaffer Agio.