I have been using the Retro 51 Tornado Vintage Metalsmith Roller Ball Pen Franklin edition. It is a very well made pen with intricate foral patterns all along the barrel. The nib of the refill is retracted back into the barrel by twisting the knob at the top of the pen.
My initial thoughts were the pen was too heavy for my liking and the barrel was a little too tapered down for me to get a good grip. I didn't particularly liked the ink that it came with because I found it lay a line that was too thick and heavy. I was also worried that the clip of the pen would get in the way.
3 weeks later, I realised that I like that the Retro 51 is heavy. I like the heft it has when I hold it in my hand. It makes the pen feels expensive, similar to that of the iPhone 4 and 4s as opposed to the iPhone 5's lighter weight. Though I wonder if the regular edition Retro 51 would have any difference in weight.
I also like the diamond patterns cut around the knob, it helps me get a firmer grip on the knob to twist it. The clip turned out to have never been in the way at all.
I still felt that the refill that the Retro 51 came with was too heavy and thick to my taste. That was easily remedied because I have purchased the Parker Quink gel ink refill when I ordered the Retro 51. The Parker Quink gel ink still lays a thick dark ink but it is not as thick or heavy as the Retro 51's original refill. Though I have to say the Parker refill feels a little loose inside the barrel. There is a rattling sound when I shake the pen from side to side. (This problem is fixed when I reinsert the refill into the pen again.)
Overall, I fully recommend the Retro 51 to anyone. I purchased my Retro 51 from Jetpens at USD$31 shipping not included. Retro 51 classic pens are available in Singapore at Aesthetic Bay, located at Orchard Ion.
"Life is too short to carry an ugly pen" - Retro 1951.