Wahl Eversharp Fifth Avenue review.
The Wahl Fifth Avenue pen is generally regarded to be an attempt to emulate the Parker 51, presumably because it has a hooded nib. This may well be the case but as the Parker 51 and the Wahl Fifth Avenue pens were released in the same year it is possible that it was a result of convergent thinking. Or perhaps it was spying!
The Fifth Avenue pen, like the Doric and Equipoise appears to hark back a little to the art deco movement in its design, it has very clean lines and bold use of materials.
The pen reviewed here is a Wahl Eversharp Fifth Avenue Demi fountain pen, made between 1943 and 1946. The short manufacturing run, and the fact that it was not a huge success at the time make the Fifth avenue quite a rare pen.
The Demi model is 11.5cm. capped and 13 cm. posted, not a large pen but perfectly comfortable and well balanced when in use. This pen is finished in a tan colour designated 'Army Brown' by Wahl.
The cap is a striking feature of the pen. It is made from Sterling Silver with a 1/10th 14Ct. Gold fill, apparently brass was in restricted supply during the war so Silver was used for the construction of the cap. The cap is radially engraved with closely spaced lines and carries a very 'art deco' clip with two engraved 'ticks', signifying the Wahl lifetime guarantee.
The top of the cap is engraved: 'EVERSHARP. 1/10 14K Y.G.F.PAT, MADE IN U.S.A.'
At the end of the barrel is a deep Gold filled cap to complement the cap itself, presumably this is also Sterling Silver.
The cap is a very snug push fit, it snaps into place with a satisfying 'click' and a firm tug is needed to remove it.
The nib is covered with a sculpted hood, the positioning of the slanting faces are too close to the nib to provide a grip for most people but the shape does give a clear indication of the orientation of the nib.
The 14 Ct. Gold nib is an excellent writer, it produces a smooth and consistent medium line with a nice amount of feedback and a 'soft' feel.
The Wahl Fifth Avenue is an attractive, chunky, and slightly 'quirky' 1940s lever filler. Certainly a 'high end' offering from one of the oldest established manufacturers, it has a fair amount of rarity and is becoming very collectable.