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. 

  • Apollo Limited Edition

    Limited Edition Space Race Fountain Pen!

    Retro 51 proudly presents the Apollo Fountain Pen in celebration of the brave men and women who made such an achievement possible. This capped fountain pen is printed with graphics of the Saturn V rocket that launched the historic Apollo 11 flight. It’s finished with rose gold accents, a limited-edition number is engraved on the top ring, and of course, a graphic moon footprint on the top disc. The edition is limited to a total of 1,151 fountain pens. It’s packaged in a commemorative tube. Order yours and acquire a piece of pen history!

    The fountain pen is available in extra fine, fine, medium and broad nibs. The silver colored steel nib can be filled with the included converter or standard international cartridges.

    (A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Astronaut Scholarship Fund (ASF). ASF  is a 501(c)3 non-profit that was created in 1984 by NASA astronauts to encourage university students to pursue scientific excellence and ensure the United States would remain the global leader in science and technology for decades to come.)

  • Retro 1951 Limited Edition Old School

    It's Back to School Time!

    What's more important than a fine writing pen? This new Tornado Limited Edition, Old School, is dedicated to growing and continuing to educate yourself whether you're in school or not. When you pick up this twist-top rollerball you control your fate. You are the bus driver for your future. This fun design has been printed with school bus graphics and finished with matte black trim. Each pen's top ring has been engraved with its L.E. serial number and topped with a Stop Sign finial. Old School is a limited-edition of 1234 pieces.

     Don't miss this bus because it won't be back tomorrow! (And don't forget your cootie shot.)

  • 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?

  • 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

    Novel Accessories from Our Friends at Retro 51

    Customers clamor for pen accessories and Retro 1951 always responds with creative and affordable options. 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

    Detailed Craftsmanship at ‘Drugstore’ Prices

    Retro has continued to evolve their Metalsmith collection. Each design has become an overwhelming best seller for good reason. Fine details on these pens from etchings to lacquers is beyond what any collector would expect at these amazing prices.

    Each design is a treasure. Choose from the exciting WWII P51, Roosevelt, Solid Copper and the latest, the Eiffel.

    Retro rollerball pens, by design, will also accept our most common ballpoint refill, the Parker-Style. This refill is available in 11 colors and various point sizes. 


  • Retro 1951 Tornado Fountain Pen

    Retro 51 has been the leader for decades in high-quality low-priced twist-top rollerball pens. Occasionally, they have dabbled in the fountain pen arena. Now, they’ve jumped in with both feet. They have upgraded nibs and brought out a sensational array of choices. From the ‘look at me’ frosted metallics to the stealthy all black. In between are drop dead gorgeous designs on the P51 and Lincoln. These are etched onto the surface and filled with bright colors. No detail is too small.

    Retro fountain pens come with two cartridges installed in the barrel. The steel nib choices are fine and medium. Add an ink converter for using with your bottle ink. And, add some ink too!

  • 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 Please!

    Retro 1951 has vastly expanded their fine 1.15mm pencil offering. Pencil lovers know that these 1.15mm writers are enjoyable due in part to the strength of this thickness of graphite. Not too thick and never as breakable as typical graphite sizes.

    Just as smooth as their rollerball cousins, these 1.15mm pencils operate with a simple twist of the top, plus, there is a huge eraser under the top for those who might make an occasional mistake.

    The newest addition is the Dmitri. It joins best sellers like Crossword, Albert, Dr. Gray and Ice Blue. Add some extra erasers and refills and it makes a great gift for the crossword devotee.

  • 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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