Skip to content


It looks like you are viewing outside of the U.S.

Ordering from your location is currently not available.

Check the Dealer Locator for retailers near you.

We appreciate your interest and hope to serve you in the future

Who We Are

— The Retro 51 story

Here at Retro 51, the secret to success is joy! The joy we're able to provide with one of our writing instruments is a major reason we work as hard as we do.

We're on a quest to bring enjoyment, energy, vibrancy, excitement and value to the world of writing instruments and accessories. Our proudest achievement is having an excellent team who love the brand and work hard every single day. This team comes together to create designs that have made people smile for over 30 years and will continue to do so for many years.

After all, Life is too short to carry an ugly pen!®

How it all started...

How it all started...

Retro 1951 is a Texas based company, founded in 1990, with a focus on unique gifts and an emphasis on fine writing instruments and the accoutrements of life. The pen is not only a pen but instead a vehicle to create a world of possibilities and a way of revealing who you are. The pen is a perfect gift that will last for years and serve as a token of achievement or fond memories.

Retro 51 merges the fashionable colors and designs of today with the vintage, quality ideals of yesteryear. Although Retro specializes in vibrant, unusual and fun pens, we also offer “other cool stuff” with uncommon stylings. All of these items are branded and packaged with electrifying graphics, colors and a feel of classic Americana.

Every Retro piece is designed with an eye towards that nostalgic American Dream, and it could be best said that We make ‘em like they used to!

In 2021, the Founder of Retro 1951 retired and a new team, a group of three collectors - fans really - took stewardship of the brand and its mission. Under their guidance the Retro51 brand has continued to thrive and will for many, many years to come!

In 2022, Retro51 celebrated the 25th Anniversary of our signature, game changing pen — the Tornado™



In 1997, Retro 1951 introduced a pen by the name of Tornado™ in three lacquer colors: red, blue and green. Little did we know the impact this retractable rollerball would have in the world of gifts and writing accessories.

Since that date, we have added numerous styles and designs to the Tornado collection. They come in a multitude of colors, materials, sizes and modes of writing: rollerball, fountain, ballpoint, and mechanical pencil.

The knurled top has become a trademark look for Retro. We like to say that THIS PEN IS OUT OF THIS WORLD!

New Retro51 branded graphic tubes and 3 classic laqcuer pens in a retro-style setting

Classic Tornado™

The classic knurl twist-top Tornado™ rollerball pen has a stainless steel barrel with vibrant lacquer finish that is finished with polished chrome accents. Each Tornado is packaged in Retro branded graphic tube that can be used as a pen stand or carrying case when its not in use. The tube packaging has been used for over twenty years and known through-out the pen world as Retro’s brand packaging.

Check out Tornado Classic Lacquers

Vintage Metalsmith

These vintage styled Tornado designs use antiqued finishes to give it an aged appearance or use old historical themes for their designs. Such as U.S. flags (Bennington), WWII warbirds (P-51 Mustang + more) and Historical figures (Frederick Douglass, Nikola Tesla + more) Each Tornado is loaded with a rollerball refill and packaged in a Retro brand tube or matching custom tube. Also in the collection: Raw Brass, Raw Copper, and Brutus (barber pole).

Check out All Vintage Metalsmiths

Explore the rest of our Retro51 Collection

View All

Global Reach

Since 1990, Retro51 has partnered with over 100 retailers. And we continue to grow the number knowing that these connections have been important to expanding our love of writing to the entire world.

Check out Our Dealers

2010 Retro51 catalog cover

Your time-travelling portal

Looking for something of yesteryear or retro?

Visit the archive room — Where you can find many of our previous catalogs and products that you loved and maybe still do, but are no longer available for purchase.

Explore the Archive Room

Compare products

{"one"=>"Select 2 or 3 items to compare", "other"=>"{{ count }} of 3 items selected"}

Select first item to compare

Select second item to compare

Select third item to compare