Despite the fast-paced digital age, there’s no denying that great penmanship often relates to timeless elegance and sophistication. As such, many people still look to owning a prestigious pen to call their own – be it a fountain pen, a rollerball, or a ballpoint pen.
If you’re in the market looking to own a fountain pen, you’ve likely either heard or been introduced to Parker pens. Often linked to being a premium pen in a class of its own, Parker pens have been manufacturing top-class writing instruments since 1888. Since then, many brands have followed suit, but not many are comparable to a Parker pen.
So, why are Parker pens considered a premium, and are they as good as everyone claims for it to be? In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the world of Parker pens to help you see why everyone needs a Parker pen to call their own at least once in their lifetime.
Without further ado, let’s begin.
What Sets Parker Pens Apart From Other Pens?
This is a common question that many people may have, considering Parker pens don’t always come at an affordable price. They are, however, available in most departmental stores or reputable online retailers. But what is it that sets Parker pens apart from other pens?
For starters, the quality of Parker pens is nearly unmatched by any other pen brands in the market today. Many Parker pen users are happiest with the fact that their fountain pens write smoothly and don’t feel scratchy as the nibs touch the surface of the paper. This is especially important for calligraphy enthusiasts, as the scratchy texture can affect the overall look of their calligraphy.
In comparison, Parker pens are known to have a smooth flow of ink without the need for ink blotting. Much of this is thanks to Parker’s Quink product, a specialized quick-drying ink used in most Parker fountain pen models.
The reliability of Parker pens has also earned them long-time fans, as the pen nibs from Parker are known to be more durable and can last longer than those of any other brands.
Thanks to its steel construct, ink barrels for Parker pens are also known to hold more ink than plastic barrels, hence eliminating the need for constant refills – a feature that has gained Parker pens a wide array of following over their years of pen manufacturing.
Although Parker pens are often linked to luxury products that only the rich can afford, this cannot be more untrue as they also manufacture mid-range priced pens. Despite the price difference, the quality of Parker products remains true, as you can still expect the same smooth writing and sturdy pen nibs in every Parker pen.
These are the simple reasons why Parker pens are often set apart from other pens, and why they’re deemed great pens even across many generations.
What Are The Types Of Parker Pens Available?
While the simple mention of Parker pens often reminds everyone of premium fountain pens, you might be surprised to know that Parker pens are much more than just that. Here are some of the best types of pens that Parker manufactures to suit various users:
The Parker Duofold
The Parker Duofold fountain pen was originally released in 1921 and is – to date, one of the most expensive Parker pens. Also known as the Parker Duofold Centennial Fountain Pen, each of these pens now retails between $300 to $367 depending on the model you have on hand.
Why people love the Parker Duofold has a lot to do with the pen’s solid construct. It’s a seamless writing tool that promises smooth ink glides, and the significant weight the pen carries makes it a comfortable pen to use even for prolonged periods.
You’ll also find some limited edition Duofold models that were made for commemorative reasons like the 125th Anniversary Duofold edition, a Giant Limited Edition piece, and a Historic collection featuring the colors red, blue, or white.
The Parker Sonnet
The Parker Sonnet is one of the most popular ranges from Parker pens, and you can find them in multiple variants. From fountain pens to ballpoint and rollerball pens, you can never go wrong with a piece of Parker Sonnet in hand.
Retailing between $95 to $300, you can find a Parker Sonnet for almost every use. The fountain pen variants often come in black with gold trims, making it a favorite for anyone looking to add a touch of sophistication to their writing instruments.
Subsequently, you’ll find the Parker Sonner ballpoint and rollerball pens in either brushed silver or silver and gold touches. Made to be one of the most durable pens in the market, the Parker Sonnet is a great starter pen for anyone looking to explore the range of products that Parker pens have to offer without breaking the bank.
The Parker Vector
Although Parker pens have always been linked to being a luxury writing instrument, many people may not be aware that you can also find various affordable Parker pens for use. One such product is the Parker Vector ballpoint or rollerball pens. Introduced in 2004, the Parker Vector features the classic Parker pen clip and is offered in 7 colors for a vibrant touch.
Available from just $8 to $20, the Parker Vector is the ideal Parker pen for students or young professionals who wish to own a personal Parker pen at an affordable price. Although it is significantly cheaper than most Parker pens that we know, the manufacturer has not skimped on the quality of the Parker Vector.
On paper, the Parker Vector works just as fluidly as the higher-range models of Parker pens, albeit with a few hits and misses along the way. This, however, shouldn’t put you off from the Parker Vector as it’s still a solid writing instrument that will last you for as long as you need it until you upgrade to a better Parker pen.
The Parker Jotter
Arguably one of Parker pens’ best-selling ballpoint pen, the Parker Jotter features a retractable nib instead of Parker pens’ iconic cap. It was introduced in 1954 and is a refillable ballpoint pen that is ideal for professionals or students alike. You can find it retailing from as low as $10 to $20, with the more expensive range of Parker Jotters being limited release models.
A distinctive touch to the Parker Jotter is how it has evolved over the years, with more fun colors being released to match modern desires. Despite this, the quality of the Parker Jotter remains unmatched and the smooth writing it promises continues to make this ballpoint pen one of Parker pen’s finest production yet.
The Parker Urban
Unlike most of Parker pens’ classic pen styles, the Parker Urban is a model that breaks the mold to Parker pens. It features a curved design that isn’t available in any of the other Parker models, making it easier for left-handed users to enjoy smooth and unhinged writing.
The Parker Urban typically retails between $50 to $70 in the market today and can be found in either the rollerball, fountain pen nib, or ballpoint variants. It features a stainless-steel construct for a timelessly elegant look and is a lightweight pen for comfortable writing on-the-go.
The Parker IM
Available in rollerball, ballpoint, or fountain pen nibs, the Parker IM is a modern Parker model made to suit young professionals. The one-click mechanism on the ballpoint Parker IM allows for one-hand operations, so you can get smooth writing ongoing whenever you need it.
The Parker IM features a unique design across the pen and offers 6 color variants like matte black and gunmetal. You can find the Parker IM retailing from just $20, making it an affordable investment for anyone who wants to explore the world of fine Parker pens.
Why Should You Get Parker Pens Instead Of Other Pen Brands?
Unless you’ve been trying out a variety of pens to date, it could be hard to imagine why you would need a Parker pen instead of other brands in the market. As such, this comparison can hopefully help you decide why Parker pens have been hailed as a good pen to own, even if you’re just starting:
Parker Fountain Pens Versus Other Fountain Pens
Parker pens have been known to be making fountain pens since 1888, with pen construct and nib reliability being their top-selling point. The Quink or quick-drying ink technology that Parker pens have introduced to the market also helps put them on the edge against other fountain pens in the market.
Despite being noted as a luxury brand, not all Parker pens would carry a steep price tag. Models like the Parker Jotter and Parker Vectors are also available in fountain pen nibs, allowing students and young professionals to venture into the use of a classic and elegant writing instrument.
This is different from other fountain pen brands, as they may often be too expensive or may not offer the same type of quality that Parker fountain pens can offer.
Parker Pen Builds Versus Other Brands
On top of its affordability, Parker pens often pride themselves in manufacturing high-quality writing instruments, be it in their fountain pens, rollerball models, or ballpoint pens. This helps build the trust in their users for Parker pens, a key reason why the brand has been going on strong for generations to come.
The reliability of Parker pens has ensured that every user can count on their pens whenever they need smooth and comfortable writing, hence allowing them to return to Parker pens should they need a new writing instrument.
Market Perception Of Parker Pens Versus Other Brands
Finally, it is the perception of the public eye to Parker pens. As Parker pens are often linked to luxury and sophistication, users of Parker pens are often seen as someone who seeks a good taste in the quality of life.
When it boils down to market perception, it doesn’t matter if you’re using a Parker Jotter or Parker Sonnet. Instead, many users may simply recognize the iconic Parker or “P” engraving etched on the pens.
How To Care For Your Parker Pens
Despite its great reputation for hundreds of years, the best way to ensure that you’ll always have a functioning Parker pen is to care for the pen correctly. So, how do you care for your Parker pens?
In fountain pens, it’s advisable to keep the nib point up when it is not in use. This ensures that the ink will not clog the pen nib or damage the nib while the pen is left idle. By keeping the nib point up, you will be allowing the ink to flow back into the cartridge so it doesn’t dry.
You should also look into cleaning your nib periodically with clean, room temperature water. Be sure to dry the pen nib with a soft cloth or tissue before storing it. If the pen nib is clogged, you can leave it soaking in a bowl of water for up to 24 hours and flush out the dried ink accordingly. Pat the pen nib dry and store the pen away from moisture.
For ballpoint pens, it’s advisable to store your pens with the refill retracted into the ink barrel. This will deter the ink from drying out or a sudden gush of ink from flowing the next time it touches paper.
Finally, rollerball pens should always be kept with the cap on to help avoid the ink from drying out. Storing your pen with the writing point up can also help ensure the ink doesn’t run the risk of clogging the writing tip. To clean out leaked ink, you can wipe the writing tip clean with a soft cloth or tissue.
As you can see, much of the fame behind Parker pen has a lot to do with the pen quality and the variety of pens they offer. From luxurious writing instruments to affordable pens that attract students and professionals alike, it’s easy to now understand why Parker pens are hailed as a good writing instrument that should be owned by everyone.