Kharkiv 1051

Fountain pens manufactured in Soviet Russia are somewhat of a hit and miss thing: you may get an excellent tool for your daily writing, or you may end up with a totally unusable one. As said before, the QC of basically anything produced in those huge industrial facilities was lax, at its best.

This pen here arrived a couple of days ago, part of a larger lot of non-Russian items. Not particularly keen on collecting Russian pens, I nonetheless retained it and had a closer look at its internals, which was intended as a very steep learning curve on these Russian writing tools. Regarding these pens, I still lack quite a lot of information. Not very complicated mechanisms, mind, but one needs to know at least where, when, materials, etc. Was I in for a surprise…

So, it is my understanding that this pen was manufactured in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv (Kharkov), at some point during the early 80’s. Plastic, of good quality; not much to be said about the cap, which is a strange shade of reddish-golden. Jewel located at the end of the body, with a flat finial retaining the clip. The cap is inscribed (stamped) with “1051” numerals, which is the model serial, while the top of the clip shows two letters, AP, standing for “Avto Ruchka”, Russian for “automatic fountain pen”. Basically, what we would call a “self filling”, or similar.

Loading the pen is done via a fixed piston, very much resembling of the one seen on Flaro pens; even the rotating knob and retaining nut are almost the same in shape and function. Internal nib section is clear soft plastic, basically a larger collar where the nib and the feed are retained by friction.

From the starters, one can easily identify the design of the nib hood as Montblanc’s no 72 one; it certainly does make a similar visual impression. The nib resembles in quite a certain fashion the well-known nib of the Montblanc Noblesse model, albeit the MB Noblesse nib is a tad elongated, more slender. But the basics are there, as you can easily see. This particular nib has a lot of iridium tip left, although its has been worn a tad on the right side, looks like the owner had a rightie habit.

This pen came damaged: the piston shaft was found to be sheared right off the piston gasket, inside the ink well, the remainder of the helical shaft was blocked inside the rotating knob of the piston. Also, the nib section was cracked by some 4mm on its length. Both issues were sorted out, the pen is fully functional and it writes very nice for a , well, Russian fountain pen.

Not the best pen out there, but an interesting and cool pen nonetheless; a good addition to the Russkies collection 🙂 .

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