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Parker Vintage 51, 75, Other Fountain Pens Review

Updated on September 3, 2011

Parker 51

Parker 51 stands out as one of, if not the brand's most popular, bestselling, and recognizable fountain pen collections. During the decades of its production, Parker issued several editions, from casual to luxury, all featuring the revolutionary (today considered an unrivaled classic) hooded nib.

The section, instead of stopping abruptly and serving as a base from which the nib stems, continues and extends over the writing piece, protecting it from above, and exposing only the ball. This unique design solved the ever-present problem: the metallic nib, which was often in disaccord with the barrel and the cap, was finally embroiled into the entire whole, peeping out only slightly where most needed. This simple yet dramatic solution gave Parker the recognition they strived to achieved, and deserved.

Parker 75 employs the traditional fan-out nib, yet changes radically the architecture of the pen – aficionados will immediately recognize a structural similarity to Sheaffer Targa and Imperial – both of which, interestingly, carry inlaid nibs (another ingenious solution to that design problem).

Parker Urban Fountain Pen
Parker Urban Fountain Pen

Let's take a closer look:

51 Editions

First, and, by today's standards almost exclusively casual 51s, were made out of plastic. Plastic allows to easily add color, and do red, orange, turquoise, blue, and other palettes quickly overwhelmed the selection.

Luxury editions plate the fountain pens with precious metals – sterling silver, gold – and decorate the metallic bodies and caps with trademark chiselled pattern: a textural wallpaper that appears in modern Sonnet and Premier collections, as well as in separate Montblanc Meisterstuck models.

75 Editions

Parker 75 design accords well with metal, many of the pens featuring stainless steel or precious metal bodies. The unusually voluminous and long nib, though repeating the casual industrialized Vector, becomes a decorative element of its own, carrying an impressive visual weight.

The three linear cap top again references contemporary Sonnet. A less familiar model than the iconic 51, it nevertheless brings hundreds of daily listings on eBay.

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