The Eversharp Skyline is a very distinctive-looking pen, even among other distinctive-looking vintage fountain pens. Once you’re familiar with its profile and features, you’ll recognize it anywhere, including within typical ebay photos.
What makes the pen so recognizable? The pen has a large rounded cap with a very stylish clip that resembles a medieval warrior’s helmet. From the top of the cap down, the pen just continuously tapers off until the bottom of the barrel, which resembles the end of a desk fountain pen, which means, very narrow.
Enter this clone which was made in Japan. A company named Ohmi Yoko Co. created this pen that is called simply The Navy Pen. See the passing resemblance in the photo?
Isn’t that amazing?
NOTE: An Eversharp that has a chrome cap or sterling silver cap is a rarity, I’ve read about their existence but never seen one in real life. So this clone which has a chrome cap is also quite unique in this regard.
From Germany to Texas
I got this clone from a fountain pen outlet in Germany called Yesteryear’s Fountain Pens. I’d like to take the time to mention that everything from shipping and tracking and packaging, this company went above and beyond. They even bundled a vintage ephemera from 1946 (a page from a magazine with a pen-related ad), … and two (not one) Lindl Chocolate ball candies, …. and a “Dollar” piston demonstrator, … and a nifty card with a nib attached to it. Talk about unexpected bonuses.
German postal service also is quite detailed in their postal service tracking.
Ohmi Yoko Co.
Probably one of many fountain pen makers that once dotted the Japanese industrial landscape, Ohmi Yoko Co. must have been a big fan of American pens, so much so that they decided to clone the famous Henry Dreyfuss Eversharp “Skyline” 1940’s locomotive-inspired pen design.
Because sadly there is not a shred of info online regarding this manufacturer, we’ll just see if anyone else in the FP community can give us more info about this company. I’d love to know for instance:
- Which other famous pens did they clone?
- Why is this pen named “The Navy Pen” not something like “Super Pointed Starline”?
- Did they make their own nib?
- Did they send Mr. Dreyfuss a pen as a keepsake?
- Are they based in Tokyo? Osaka? Yokohama? Konoha?
- What is the name of the ramen place the factory workers frequently visit?
The Navy Nib
The nib is Medium size, gold colored, and rigid (though there is a bit of springiness but not significant enough to produce nice line variations).
I would guess this is a gold-plated nib, not gold because the lack of engraving that says 14K. The nib is engraved ‘TIPPED “NAVY” HARDEST IRIDIUM’. Quite an interesting phrase. So at least this nib is tipped which tells me that this pen was not marketed at the lowest price level.
The feed looks quite interesting, not as interesting as a Skyline feed with the art-deco style ink channel, but it’s far from boring.
The “OY” Barrel
The barrel is deep burgundy, made out of plastic which of course records a bunch of micro-scratches.
The barrel is exactly modeled after a demi- Skyline barrel. On the barrel, there is an engraving that bears the “OY” trademark:
How Does it Write?
They copied the Skyline so faithfully even the filling system is the same.
Why is this special? Because to accommodate the tapered end of the barrel, Skyline lever fillers cannot use a generic J-bar, instead, they created a pressure bar that is made for the barrel shape.
So Ohmi Yoko must have also copied the design of the pressure bar for the lever filler to function at all.
Let’s see how the pen writes:
The pen writes nicely if unremarkable. The ink flow is consistent enough without tuning the nib (quite smooth), but while writing with a real Eversharp Skyline feels solid and sure, this pen has somewhat a hollow feeling to it when handled.
Having said that, the value of this pen in my collection is not so much how it writes, but mostly because how uniquely positioned it was (as a clone). I wonder if Eversharp even knew this pen existed, I would imagine they would issue a cease-and-desist letter to Ohmi Yoko Co. given that most likely this pen is produced after (or right after) WWII.
My “Collector’s” Pen
Why do I even bother to write an article for this pen?
To me, this pen is a special pen from the my perspective as a pen collector. It’s unlikely that I will encounter another given my sphere of connection. I don’t doubt if one day I would be blessed to visit Japan with the sole intention to boost my collection, I probably would find out more about this pen or its manufacturer. But for now, this write up will be my sole means of broadcasting the existence of an Eversharp clone that is made in Japan, that now resides in Texas, USA.
And no way I am going to sell this one (famous last words).