I've been an avid user of the Retro 51 Tornado since my college years but had never tried the Big Shot model until recently. The designs of the other Big Shot models did not attract me, but I couldn't resist the titanium model. I knew I had to add it to my collection! As with the original Tornado, I am extremely pleased and have actually grown to prefer the Big Shot’s wider barrel.
The Big Shot Titanium comes packaged in a Retro 51 tube. In the packaging is the Big Shot Titanium and the instruction manual. Its a pretty simple and convenient unboxing.
The Big Shot Titanium looks similar to the original Tornado except it's a tad wider. The build quality of this pen is superb and gives you the impression that this pen could cost twice as much. Its recreational grade titanium barrel provides a better grip than the classic lacquered finish. The Big Shot Titanium is a bit heavier than the original; however, it is well balanced, so it's not noticeable when writing. The clip is made of stainless steel, very sturdy, and fits snug in a pocket. The knurled deployment mechanism is outstanding! You’ll be able to deploy and retract the refill easily with a gentle twist.
The Big Shot Titanium provides a superb writing experience. It comes loaded with a Schmidt P8127 rollerball refill, which glides across the paper with minimal effort and lays down a rich dark line. The refill typically cost between $10 and $12 for a pack of three. For me, the refills typically last a couple months depending on usage. You can also replace the rollerball refill with a Parker style ballpoint or gel refill if you prefer.
Penman’s Final Remark
With the Big Shot’s superb craftsmanship, smooth writing, and low cost ($40), the Retro 51 Big Shot Titanium is a must for your collection. As they say at Retro 51, “Life’s too short to carry an ugly pen!”