Retro 1951

Retro 1951

Life is Too Short 

… to carry an Ugly Pen! This Retro 1951 slogan perfectly expresses the philosophy of this successful company. Kitschy finishes, both hip and historic, on hardworking and durable writing instruments are the basis of Retro’s offerings. There are capless rollerballs, fountain pens and pencils in an array of designs. 

  • Retro 1951 Smithsonian Collection

    Three Superb Collections from the Smithsonian

    The first design in the Smithsonian collection was the Corona twist-top rollerball pen. The deeply etched barrel is reminiscent of the ornamental bronze-colored metal lattice that covers the outside of the National Museum of African American History and Culture building in Washington D.C. Lead designer David Adjaye pays homage to the intricate ironwork crafted by enslaved African Americans in Louisiana, South Carolina, and elsewhere using this design. 

    This success follows with two more worthy additions; Dino which brings a smile to the face of every dinosaur lover both young and old. And the striking colors on the Amelia Earhart commemorative Lockheed 5B Vega aircraft she piloted in her historic around the world adventures.

    Each rollerball pen is uniquely numbered on the top ring. It ships in a commemorative Smithsonian display tube. 

    A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these pens will support and further the Museum’s educational mission. A worthy national cause in our opinion.

  • Retro 1951 KISS Collection


    As America’s #1 Gold Record Award winning group of all time, KISS can easily be named one of rock’s most influential bands. These Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Famers have released 44 albums and sold more than 100 million albums worldwide. 

    These rollerball designs are sure to inspire your daily life with the spirit of KISS! Whether you’re writing in a board meeting or penning lyrics, these capless rollerballs will energize every task. Choose from three designs, each packaged in a KISS graphic tube that stores your pen when it’s not in use. Pick one up because “you wanted the best, you got the best!”

  • Retro 1951 Speakeasy

    Always Remember to Write Responsibly!

    Get into the creative spirit with the Tornado Speakeasy collection from Retro 51. Each rollerball pen is designed after popular drink bottles and their accompanying labels. Choose from refreshing pilsner Beer, a smooth Red Wine, or the potent Absinthe "la fée verte" (the green fairy). 

    The Beer Tornado has a sculpted twist bottle cap top and full bodied yellow lacquer finish complete with printed cheers label. Red Wine has a robust red barrel with printed label that’s been topped with an actual cork. Finally, Absinthe, the spirit of choice for artists and writers in the early 20th century, has a bright green demon printed on the barrel that is completed with antique silver accents. So much fun for so little money.

  • Retro 1951 Cioppino

    A Best Seller Returns

    Fifteen years ago, the Retro 51 team took a trip to an old Italian fishing village where they learned of a wonderful dish called Cioppino which inspired a new collection that quickly became a fan favorite.  Then, sadly, the Cioppino went away; out of production. Fortunately for all of us, Retro managed to unearth the original seashell barrels and have cooked up a fresh new batch!  

    The Cioppino Rose Gold Edition features heavily plated rose gold accents that bring a new level of sophistication to the Tornado collection.  The barrels, made from genuine seashells, are painstakingly crafted to transform the rough shell into a perfectly fitted piece that radiates color and iridescence. This timeless capless rollerball features Retro 51’s signature knurled twist top and can easily convert to a ball pen with a refill change to any Standard Parker Style refill. Color and point sizes choices abound. Catch this striking new version of the Cioppino today. Who knows how long this season will last?

    Out of stock until 1/1/2019

  • Retro 1951 Big Shot

    Perfect for Your Bigshot 

    The Retro 1951 Big Shot is a slightly larger diameter Tornado. The realistically reproduced ‘Cigar’ is quite unique. The Titanium and Black Titanium are serious stunners. Fit, finish and fashion; another winner from Retro 1951.

  • Retro 1951 Tornado Deluxe

    Four New Designs Benefitting Three Great Charities!

    Retro 51 has introduced four new designs to the Tornado Rescue Collection! These special pens benefit the nonprofit groups: Operation Kindness ( and Elephants, Rhino and People ( and, the NW Honeybee Habitat Restoration. Each pen comes in a matching tube. 

    Elephants and Rhinos too!

    Retro 51 has created this special Tornado benefiting the nonprofit group Elephants, Rhino and People ( with a mission to protect the wild populations of Southern Africa.


    Acid-etched honeycomb texture with printed bees and antique copper accents. A donation is made to NW Honeybee Habitat Restoration.

    Mathematicians use pens too   

    This popular design was originally available only as 1.15mm pencil. Due to its popularity, Retro has added a rollerball in this lacquer finish. Now you can get your favorite mathematician a pencil and add this pen for a set! The capless rollerball point deploys with a twist of the knurled top. Tornado pens also fit any Parker-style refill. Create formulas with finesse in up to ten ink colors shown below.

    Details, details, details

    The fine, glow in the dark details on the new Retro 1951 Deluxe Dr. Gray Tornado are amazing. Doctors, nurses, medical technicians, the list is endless, will all get a kick out of this capless rollerball pen. Be reminded of Gray's Anatomy, written and hand illustrated in 1863 by Henry Gray. Your Dr. Gray is trimmed in gunmetal and arrives in companion tube. A great gift and a fun work tool.

  • Retro 1951 Desk Accessories

    New and Novel

    Customers clamor for pen accessories and Retro 1951 always responds with creative and affordable options. Spark comments and smiles when you rest your pen in this "Hand"some accessory. It's so funny, we can't stop laughing. More seriously though, if you are a Retro 1951 collector, and there are a lot of you out there, you cannot pass up the new Bamboo 16-pen Display Tray. We love the easy-to-open magnetic top that allows you to view all your pens and store them safely in one place. When on the road, carry a useful Retro 1951 Traveler for quick notes and ready access to needed cards.

  • Retro 1951 HEX-O-MATIC

    Only Good Wishes

    Bestow only positive vibes when you give this HEX-0-MATIC ballpoint and mechanical pencil from Retro 1951. There was quite a customer clamor when the original HEX-0-MATIC disappeared. Now these popular six-sided tools are back in both the silver and matte black finishes. 

  • Retro 1951 Tornado Metalsmith

    Patriot Alert!

    The Retro 1951 Metalsmith collection keeps evolving, just like the good old USA. Sure to be a new best seller is the P51 Mustang. This was previously sold in a limited edition and sold out immediately. Enjoy this new evolved version.

    Current best sellers, Liberty, Cursive, Betsy Flag, Roosevelt Herringbone and Lincoln copper finishes. Order an ample supply of your favorites because designs in this collection come and go quite quickly. Conversely, the refills will always be available, either the original capless rollerball or opt for your favorite Parker-style refill. Tornados can handle them both.

  • Retro 1951 Tornado Fountain Pen

    Dive In

    Retro 1951 fountain pens are a great way to dive into the pleasures of fountain pen writing. The Black Cherry finish is elegant, with a deep burgundy color and bright chrome trim. The Peacock and Orange are stunning. The Lincoln copper is classic.

    This varied collection is an unmatched value. All are equipped with a German stainless steel, medium nib with Retro flourishes. Refill with converter or cartridges. Dive in yourself or order one for a budding writer. Or both.

  • Retro 1951 Tornado Lacquer

    The Vintage Rollerball That Never Was

    Straight from the Fifties, these nifty Retro 1951 Lacquer Tornados may be our most popular pen under $30. Just twist the chrome knurled cap and your point extends. Any of the eleven brilliant lacquered finishes make an excellent choice for corporate logos or personalized engraving. We'll engrave from one to a thousand or more; just ask. Refill your Lacquer Tornado with the original capless rollerball refill or order any Parker-style refill in three ink types, multiple point sizes and colors.

  • Retro 1951 Tornado Pencils

    More Pencils!

    Retro 1951 has added two new mechanical pencils, the Dmitri, celebrating the Periodic Table and the classic Ice Blue lacquer to its popular 1.15mm collection. 

    Current best sellers, Legal Pad makes this pencil a perfect companion to any legal pad. Einstein would enjoy the Albert pencil, along with any Master of Mathematics that you know. The crossword pencil also makes excellent gift for any puzzler. Once again, endless options from our friends at Retro 1951.

  • Retro 1951 Limited Edition Space Race Series

    Retro has divided this Limited Edition into two delivery dates.

    This is the second and final delivery.

    The first delivery of this Limited Edition sold out in four hours.

    In 1957, the Soviet Union grabbed the attention of the world with the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik. The ‘space race’ was on. By repurposing Cold War missiles into space launch vehicles, each side sought to prove its superiority in technology, scientific advancement and global influence. 

    In response to early successes by the Soviets, the United States established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958, which soon began to progress rapidly with the Mercury, Gemini and the Apollo human spaceflight programs. With the contributions of more than 400,000 Americans, the U.S. was able take the lead and declare victory in the space race with the landing of the first humans on the moon on July 20, 1969.

    2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission, and Retro 51 is proud to partner with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) to honor and support the brave men and women who made such an achievement possible; and who continue to reach for the stars.

    The Space Race Series puts in the writer’s hand realistic tributes to the three iconic rockets that helped put the first humans on the moon.  Each pen is made from solid stainless steel and silk screened with graphics that evoke the original Mercury-Redstone, Gemini-Titan II and Apollo-Saturn V rockets.  Filled with a smooth flowing capless rollerball refill, this quality writing instrument will glide over the paper with rocket like speed.  Limited to a total 1958 of each pen worldwide, each pen is individually numbered and packaged in a commemorative gift tube.

  • Retro 1951 Ballpoints

    All Retro 1951 ballpoint pens are a click-top for point deployment. A Retro 1951 ballpoint pen will accept an extremely broad selection of ballpoint refill technologies: standard ballpoint ink, GEL ballpoint ink, Liquid ballpoint ink as well as the Easy Flow technology from Schmidt. Some ballpoint ink choices come in as many as eight colors. Click-top magic.

  • Retro 1951 Fountain Pens

    The distinctive Cioppino finish on the Retro 1951 fountain pen makes it a wonderful part of an elegant gift set. Match it with the Retro 1951 Cioppino rollerball and you'll give a stunning gift set that will be used every single d
  • Retro 1951 Rollerballs

    A distinctive gift, yet one of the most treasured rollerballs ever sold, the Retro 1951 Tornado. Retro 1951 revolutionized rollerball technology with a twist top capless rollerball which accepts a versatile ink selection. Available in many unique finishes, many of which engrave beautifully. 

    All Retro 1951 rollerball pens will accept an extremely broad selection of ballpoint refill technologies too: standard ballpoint ink, GEL ballpoint ink, Liquid ballpoint ink as well as the Easy Flow technology from Schmidt. Some ballpoint ink choices come in as many as eight colors. 

  • Retro 1951 Multi-Pens and Pencils

    Just as smooth as its rollerball all cousins, these 1.15 and .7mm pencils lay down a smooth line and never waste lead. The 1.15 mm models advance lead with a simple twist of the top. The .7mm Hex’s are click-top advance. Known by artists, designers and engineers for their quality, Retro pencils rock.

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