This is one of the pens that I picked up in my first flea market dive. I did find a few other pens but wasn’t confident that I could fix them if I bought them. This one seemed intact except for some brassing on the cap. No clanking sound when I shook it, no brassing around the aerometric filler, and the nib looked beautiful.
The Parker 21 was produced between 1948 to 1965. The pen was redesigned in 1952 because the initial production of these pens (Mark 1) leaked a lot in the cap and the ink dried up after a few days of not being used. This pen’s color is called charcoal grey, which is different from the navy grey of my Parker 51.
The nib is quite similar to Parker 51’s hooded nib. I believe the nib material is octanium and the iridium point is very bulbous. The nib of this pen looks to be fine, though there aren’t any markings on it. It also looks almost new. In fact it’s the only thing that looked clean about the pen when I first found this. Absolutely no ink stains or signs of brassing and wear.. It didn’t seem like the previous owner used it a lot.
At first glance, it’s easy to mistake it for a Parker 51. The size is close to a full-sized 51, though it’s noticeably shorter. The immense difference is when you hold the pen. Parker 51 definitely feels more weighty, and the Parker 21 feels like a low-budget version of the 51.
The jewel is also metal instead of black, grey or pearl plastic. The cap is very thin and light, though it slips on comfortably and securely.
The cap has “Parker 21” etched on it and it looks similar to a Parker 51 cap at first glance if not for the thickness, weight, clip and jewel.
The clip has a modern-looking quiver with seven lines on it. It looks exactly the same as a Parker 45’s clip. I like the 51’s arrow clip better.
This pen is an aerometric filler, and I’m pleasantly surprised that the sac is still intact. It looked pretty rough when I got it, and I was ready to send it off to Pentangeli Pen Spa and Nibworks for resaccing, but when I tried to fill it with water, there were no leaks. The sac was still soft and the unsightly white stains on the surface washed away easily. That says a lot about the quality of vintage Parker pens. Continue reading “Review: Parker 21, Fine”