I wouldn’t call myself vintage pens heavy user. I mostly spend my disposable income on modern ones. There are however exceptions. Pens with inlaid nibs are calling my name. As it happens Sheaffer produced quite a lot of them. Let’s look at one of them.
Sheaffer Targa was named after the italian endurance sports car race – Targa Florio – and introduced in 1976. It became one of Sheaffer’s best-selling pens. In the beginning Sheaffer wanted to name it Genesis but just before pen launch, the name was changed. Some of people started to wonder whether the sales in the middle east wouldn’t be compromised because of the name Genesis.
Anyway throughout the years Targa appeared in approximately eighty (!) finishes. And that makes from this pen great theme forpen was offered in two versions: Classic and Slimline (sometimes called “Lady Targa” or “Slim Targa”).
I have two Targas. Garnet red ronce laque finish (1082) was offered between 1989 and 1996. It displays 23 carat gold electroplated trim and is fitted with a 14 carat solid gold nib. The finish is elegant and has some depth that’s said to be a result of being individually hand lacquered fourteen times and polished, also by hand. While I usually dislike GT pens, I must admit that this combination of golden accents and nice garnet color works fine for me. I enjoy the way this pen looks and I love the way it writes.
When we look at it from distance and the pen is capped, the design can be described as understated – flat top and bottom, slight taper in the barrel. Nothing new. The materials are nice and offer good quality. When the pen is uncapped magic happens – it just looks right. Inlaid nib gives this pen a lot of character and makes it unique. Also the pen feels very nice in hand and it doesn’t feel top heavy when posted. Personally I never post pens but I know some people do it, so if for whatever strange reason you post your pen be assured this one is well balanced.
I love inlad and inset nibs. I can’r help it. Most of them look stunning to my eyes. Sheaffer Targa 14ct inlaid nib not only looks great, it performs great as well. It glides across the paper and while it isn’t very wet, the line is saturated and satisfying even for me (B and BB nibs are my go-to choices). Simply put – it’s fantastic nib, one of the best I’ve tried so far. Not the best but still it’s one of the nibs I enjoy a lot.
Sheaffer Targa was equipped with an aero-metric sack (interchangeable with Sheaffer cartridges). I’ve lost my sack but I use international cartridge in this pen and everything works fine.
Targa is made from a brass tube but it doesn’t feel particularly heavy – it has, nice and solid feel to it.
Weight of the pen – 25 g
Length (capped) – 145 mm
Length (uncapped) – 135 mm
Diameter – 11 mm
Well, there must be a reason why this model was offered for so long and it bacame so popular. It was produced for twelve years and during this time Sheaffer created a lot of variants of this pen that can create stunning collection. Personally I consider this pen as a great every day pen. It’s elegant, well made and performs nicely. Of course as it’s no longer produced it’s not always easy or cheap to get the finish you like most. On the other hand there’s still quite a lot of Targas on the market, some of them NOS. I believe that this model should have its place in fountain pen Pantheon.