Tickled pink

by Amanda Fleet

Nero recently sent me a rollerball to play with. Most of you who know me, will know I'm more of a fountain-pen kind of woman, but I'm known to have pencils knocking about on my desk and even (GASP!) some ballpoints. How would I get on with a rollerball?

The pen in question is a Tornado, by Retro 51. It's a handsome beast! The barrel is made of stainless steel and dipped in a gloss lacquer, magenta pink, in this case. Pink isn't especially my colour, but the pens come in 13 different colours, so there's bound to be one you like.

It's fairly solid in my hand, weighing in at 28g (or an ounce, in old measures) and extremely well made. The nib is retractable, manipulated by a knurled knob. The overall length of the pen is 12.5cm.

A lot of work has gone into the balance of the pen in your hand, so that the weight is distributed to make writing easy and without the need to grip the pen hard. Being able to use a gentle grip when writing means that your hand doesn't cramp or get tired - always handy for someone who writes as much as I do.

The writing experience is very smooth, and dry-time on the ink is quick. You certainly wouldn't need to worry about ink transfer when turning a page. I never find my writing is as nice with a rollerball as with a fountain pen, but I can't blame the pen for that!

When the ink runs out, you can refill with a Schmidt P8127 rollerball refill.

I tend to use fountain-pens because I have arthritis in my thumb (sometimes it gets so bad that I need to write with the other hand). Needing to grip a pen in order to write (as with many ballpoints) leads to a flare-up and a lot of pain. Fountain-pens, by their nature, don't need pressure against the paper in order to make them write, which is a lot easier on my hands. The Tornado was very similar to a fountain-pen in this respect - I didn't need to grip it tightly and press hard - making writing with it a less painful experience.

Although it's heavier than some of my pens, the weight distribution has been really well thought out, and the exterior is beautiful. The pen comes in a tube that can double as a pen-holder, but it's so well made that it could also knock about in a bag without damage (but do remember to retract the nib, otherwise the ink will leak!).

It would make a lovely gift, if you were able to give it away! I don't know if Nero is getting more stock, but some of the colours are already running low, so don't hang about.