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Retro 51 Pens


“Life is too short to carry an ugly pen.”

That’s the Retro 51 slogan and we’re in total agreement! Retro 51 was founded in 1990 by George Kartsotis and is headquartered in Richardson, Texas.

Kartsotis developed an affinity for fine writing instruments after his grandmother gave him a nice pen when he received a promotion at work. At one point he was between jobs and took some pen samples into an art store and walked out with a $1000 order. That was the start of Retro 51.

Kartsotis, a car lover, followed automotive trends drawing on the latest hot colors for his pens. He’d also keep an eye on handbags and fashion to draw inspiration for colors and design. Retro 51 bounced around trying a number of things for a few years until the 1997 introduction of the Tornado. That changed the entire course of the company.

Still the company mainstay, the Tornado is just about bulletproof and is available in a wide variety of colors and textures. Retro 51 also has a line of leather goods, desk accessories, clocks, and games.

Retro 51 pens are inexpensive but look great and are built to last a long time. The wide variety of colors and textures almost makes the pens a fashion accessory more than a writing instrument. Many people own a number of Retro 51 pens to match whatever outfit they’re wearing on a given day!