Sheaffer Prelude Review
Is the Sheaffer Prelude fountain pen worth your investment? Will this simple looking fountain pen meet your high standards? I will answer these questions for you as you read on…
Design – Sheaffer Prelude Fountain Pen
The Sheaffer Prelude fountain pen is comfortable and balanced. It has a cigar-shaped profile and simple, traditional styling. I like the classic design of the laquer barrel, it’s 11mm at it’s widest point. If you look at the photo above, it’s widest point is the cap band which is punched out a bit from the barrel.
The finish shown above is Black Onyx Laquer Barrel, Chased Palladium Cap with Nickel Plate Trim. It’s a beautiful pen, in photos and in person. The cap is chased with fine lines down the length that help with some traction for your fingers getting the cap off and help offset the appearance of fingerprints, although they still show up some.
The pen clip has a hollowed out center section or slit, and the cap also has an inlaid faux pearl, or white stone, in the cap derby as a cap ornament. Like all Sheaffers, this one also has the famous White Dot on the clip to announce it’s a Sheaffer.
At the grip point, where you fingers grip to write, it’s 8mm wide. There’s a metal ring that the cap slides over that acts as a stop for the cap and allows it to seat properly without crushing the nib. The nib is stainless steel, I included a close up of the fine nib I tested for you below…
Performance – Sheaffer Prelude Fountain Pen
The Sheaffer Prelude writes very well! I tested the fine nib and was pleasantly surprised that the stainless steel nib performed almost as well as the Parker Sonnet 18K gold nib I tested. The Sonnet’s 18K nib was buttery smooth, where the Prelude was smooth, but not quite on that level!
The fine nib delivered a pretty fine line, more on the fine side than toward medium and it’s not too wet, not too dry.
There’s a perfect feel I tend to measure all nibs against that I’ve had with a couple of nibs, (Sheaffer Legacyand Parker Sonnet to name a couple,) and it’s really hard to find. The buttery-smooth texture… feeling like you’re writing on glass with a wet marker almost. When you find that pen, the nib just glides across the paper without pressure, just barely touching and delivers consistent ink without being too wet. The prelude is smooth but not quite on that level, but does a fantastic job for it’s cost; it’s considerably cheaper than some of those melted butter nibs!
The Sheaffer Prelude wrote well on graph paper, notebook paper and even journal paper. I didn’t experience any bleedthrough using the standard Sheaffer Blue ink cartridges it comes with.
I carried around this fountain pen for a week trying it out in all different situations. I didn’t experience any problems with the pen, even as it rolled around my bag and I left it uncapped while gathering my thoughts at a meeting etc. It wrote well in all situations and has no scratchiness in the nib.
Specs – Sheaffer Prelude Fountain Pen
The Sheaffer Prelude measures in at:
- 11mm wide at its widest point
- 8mm wide at the grip point
- 139mm length posted
- 131mm length capped
- 120 length capless
This fountain pen weighs in at a lightweight 1 ounce on the nose. This makes it portable and easy to carry in a shirt pocket or purse without a lot of hassle, mid weight for a lacquer fountain pen.
The cap on the Prelude stays put with a satisfying snap and satisfies my toughest test: staying posted securely during extended writing sessions. I HATE it when fountain pen caps wriggle off as I write, and this one stayed put and kept the pen feeling well balanced. I loved the feel of this pen.
I didn’t experience any hand fatigue with the Prelude, it was easy as pie to write with all day long and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
The converter and cartridges are interchangable with most other Shaffers, at least with all four in the photo below. I literally took one of the cartridges out of the Valor and plugged it into the Prelude and it fit fine. The converters for all four pens are identical as well if you prefer to use bottled ink.
The Prelude weighs in at 1 ounce
The Prelude cap weighs in at .4 ounces
The Sheaffer Prelude collection is available in eight different finishes:
- Black Onyx Laque Barrel, Chased Palladium Cap with 22K Gold plate trim
- Brushed Chrome Plate with Nickel Plate Trim
- Brushed Chrome Plate with 22K Gold Plate Trim
- Black Matte with 22K Gold Plate Trim
- Black Laque Featuring 22K Gold Plate Trim
- Fluted 22K Gold Plate with 22K Gold Plate Trim
- Black Laquer with Nickel Plate Trim
- Black Onyx Laquer Barrel, Chased Palladium Cap with Nickel Plate Trim (pictured)
Who Is The Sheaffer Prelude Best For? Is It a Good Overall Value?
This pen is a great writer. It is an excellent value for the money and will give you solid performance on all types of paper. This is a great fountain pen for people that like traditional looking nibs (as opposed to integrated or hooded nibs,) and want a simple, yet beautifully designed fountain pen.
It’s hard to not draw parrells in design and performance to the Parker Sonnet, but this pen will cost you less. You will sacrifice some of the dreamy qualities of the Sonnet’s 18K nib, but in exchange for the extra money you’re keeping in your wallet, this is a brilliant pen for a very low price.
You will love the Prelude if you like a traditional look, solid performance and ease of use. I’d highly recommend it to someone looking for a traditional pen at a wonderful price.
Price: Get a price on the Sheaffer Prelude at Amazon.
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