Tag: parker 75

Old and New

Writing is both mask and unveiling. – E. B. White

What a beautiful, cloudy day. 🙂 It didn’t rain in our area but the overcast skies made the day quite a pleasant break from the sweltering heat we’ve been enduring these past months. I’ve got so many reports to finish today, but it’s always great to find a bit of time to write.

My companions for today are my two Parker 75s (inked with Diamine Safari and Pilot Iroshizuku Yama Guri) and my Pilot Capless (inked with Sailor Jentle Miruai). All these pens are gifts from a dear friend. Two are from the 1960’s and one is a modern pen. I love all three not just for sentimental reasons, but because all are spectacular writers. 🙂

Break time is over! Back to work I go. 🙂

Parker 75’s Nifty Feature

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I’ve only been using my Parker 75s for a few days and it’s already one of my favorite pens. Fountain pens have made long writing sessions not just comfortable but a joyful experience for me. Parker 75 has a nifty feature that makes it even more enjoyable to use.

I tend to rotate my grip, which sometimes misaligns the tines of my pens ever so slightly. Parker 75 has a triangle grip section which lets me hold my pen in one place. Then I rotate the nib to the best angle that suits my grip.

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As you can see in the photo above, the “0” on the ring at the end of the section is the center marker, and the slit of the nib tines is not aligned with it. I adjusted it to how I hold my pen. This way, even if my grip is rotated, the triangle section helps me keep the pen in place, and the nib is rotated to make sure the tines are still aligned properly with the paper. I really wish more pens have a triangular grip and a rotating nib and feed (Lamy’s triangular grip is a little annoying for me).

It makes a big difference, and I’ve been enjoying these pens a lot because of it. The downside, though, is that it gives me an excuse not to correct myself when I rotate my grip. Eh. YOLO.

Review: A Pair of Parker 75s (Fine and Extra Fine)

Yesterday I wrote about a couple of Parker 75s that my friend gave me. The first time I saw them, I was curious about whether I could fix them or whether I can still have my nibmeister friend fix it for me. They were really rough-looking, but no amount of grime and oxidation can hide the classic beauty that is a Parker 75. Read about my restoration efforts here.

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Parker introduced this pen back in 1963. Some design clues point to the production years of 1965-1967 for these specific pens. The sterling silver cisele finish was introduced first in 1965, and so was the all-plastic section. I believe pre-1965 sections had metal threads. The end of the section also still had the “0” inscribed on it as the center marker for the rotating nib, which was discontinued in 1968. The body of the pen looks really classy. I’ve had this pen in my wishlist since I saw it posted on the FPN-P forum. I think the cisele finish is very beautiful and it ages well. As long as it’s not neglected, the patina will look spectacular.

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I’ve seen this same finish in Sonnets too, though the cisele Sonnets felt lighter in my hand. The 75 has some heft to it. It’s very pleasant to hold, not too light and not too heavy either. It is a thin pen, so if you favor fatter pens, you might find this a bit difficult to hold. The size is just perfect for me, though. It sits comfortably in my hand, and I love its balance. The cap posts at the end of the pen, and although it feels good even when unposted, posting it makes the pen feel more solid. The finish does not feel delicate at all, so I don’t mind posting the cap. This is one of the very few pens I prefer to use while posted.

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A quick research of the pen’s history shows the little design changes that the 75 went through over the years. Since this has been in my wishlist for quite some time, I really was hoping to find one in a cisele finish because it looked very classic. I am so grateful for this pleasant surprise. 🙂

My only gripe about a sterling silver pen is that if your hand is sweaty, it tends to make it smell like you’ve been clutching coins. Anyway, I don’t really have sweaty hands so that’s not much of a problem for me.

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I found it fascinating that even in its oxidized and grimy state, the clip still shone, almost untarnished. I must say that this pen cleans up pretty well. There’s still some tarnished spots on it at the moment, but I’m sure they will polish off over time.

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The section of this pen is quite a nifty innovation by Parker. I’m wondering why they discontinued it, it seems very useful. The section has a triangle-shaped grip and the nib can be rotated to a different angle. This is good if you have a very specific way of gripping the pen which makes it hard for you to use a fountain pen. This rotating nib made it easier to write at different angles. I’ve adjusted mine to make it easier to hold even if my grip rotates.

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The “0” at the end of the section indicates the center, if you want the nib positioned like how it normally would be in non-rotating nib/feed units. That’s quite a nice touch, and it’s a shame it’s not available in modern Parker pens anymore.

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The cap has the usual Parker brand and logo on it and an inscription that says it’s Sterling Silver. The details on the arrow clip reminds me of Parker 51 clips except that the quiver of the 75 is shorter.

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I just love vintage Parker clips. Especially the clips of the 51, Vacumatics and 75s. They’re simple but very distinctive. The details are gorgeous. I can’t say the same for modern Parker clips, I’m afraid.

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The filling system is through an aerometric squeeze converter. It’s a good thing the 75’s converter is easily removable and can be replaced with modern converters. One of the pens’ converters already have an ossified sac which fell apart as soon as I opened the pen. The one above is intact, though. The rubber is pliant and has no leaks or holes.

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I was surprised to find that the nibs required very little work, relatively speaking. One of them was virtually unused so all I had to do was to clean up the pen and load it up with ink and it’s good to go. That’s a #65 nib, which is Parker’s nib code for 14k Fine. It writes really well, though there’s feedback I’m not used to because I always use European fine and medium nibs. The other nib is a #63 (14k Extra Fine) and it was previously used and stored while inked so this took a lot of soaking to get rid of the dried ink in the nib and feed. However, once I cleaned it out, it writes perfectly. Not like how an extra fine would write but more like a European fine.

Below is a video of the writing sample of both pens:

Both write really well. Especially the #63. That it still writes perfectly after ink dried up in it for several decades is a testament of just how well-made these vintage Parker pens are.

Overall, I find these pens to be reliable writers. They don’t hard start, they don’t skip and is virtually no-frills. They’re not finicky or high maintenance. They look good and the weight is pleasantly substantial. I even love the tripod grip and the rotating nib unit. I love everything about this pen. That it came from somebody super special to me makes this pen invaluable, irreplaceable.

Used in this review:
Parker 75s (fine and extra fine)
Sailor Jentle Miruai
Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo
Elias Notebook

Diamonds in the Rough

Today my friend gave me a couple of pens that she found while cleaning her office. At first glance, the pens are super-rough and hardly held out any hope that they’re still working. A cursory inspection showed them to be Parker 75s (gasp). I opened up one of them to check out the squeeze converter; one of them was intact and still soft. The other crumbled as soon as we opened the pen. Here’s a photo of how rough they both looked. (The ballpoint pen is my friend’s, she asked if I could clean it out and see if it still works. It does.)

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I can understand why my friend thought she should just throw these out, but I said that I could see if I can still do something with them. She graciously just gave them as a gift. Perhaps a little bit weirded out that I was so excited about such dirty-looking pens.

Fast forward to a few hours later…

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Tadaaaa! A lot of rubbing with a damp jeweler’s cloth revealed the beautiful pens hiding underneath all that grime and oxidation. From the design clues of the pen, the fountain pens were manufactured sometime between 1965-1967.

The sterling silver cisele pattern and the all-plastic section was introduced in 1965. The end of the section’s nib angle indicator still has the number “0” inscribed on it to show the pen’s center mark. This “0” was removed on 1968.

One of the nibs worked well and did not need to be cleaned. The other one was in a rougher state. It was obviously inked and then kept without cleaning because the ink dried up. The nib was fused in place and there seemed to be the beginnings of brassing around the collar.

I soaked the nib and section for an hour, gave it several ultrasonic baths to take out the (stubborn and highly saturated) blue ink that dried up in it until I could turn the nib in the section again. I pulled out the nib and feed and gave it a few more rounds in the ultrasonic cleaner. I reassembled the pen, popped in a modern Parker converter and loaded it with ink.

I now have two perfectly-working Parker 75s! I am a happy camper. ^_^ It’s a great feeling to see these pens restored and used again. I’ll write a review about them soon. They’re both superb writers. The nibs are fine and extra fine, but they’re wet writers so I don’t really mind. 🙂 What a wonderful gift from a wonderful friend.

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Now my vintage Parker pen wishlist has been reduced to:
1. Big Red
2. Green Vacumatic
3. Burgundy or Blue Parker 51