New Pen Acquisition: Parker 45 Harlequin and Cross Century Classic Gold


I was organizing some of my stuff inside my mom’s library. She had several pencil cases that I didn’t want to open yet since she died. I figured I will open them little by little, like surprises that I spread out over a few years. So today I opened up one of her pencil cases and lo and behold, lovely pens! There were a lot of  Parker Jotters with her name on it, I’m gonna have all of those restored and refilled. There were a couple of things that I super loved, though.

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This is a Parker 45 Harlequin. This kind of pen was first manufactured in the 60’s, and this distinctive pattern on the barrel is not easily found anymore these days. The Harlequin pattern (first introduced in 1970) was made in circlets and (like the one pictured above) shields. It’s a pretty rare pattern because Parker discontinued it after several years due to the fact that its complexity made it difficult to mass produce. The matte and glossy finish on the barrel is produced by sandblasting.

The body is metallic and the cap actuation mechanism works perfectly. If I remember correctly, this was one of my father’s pens. I don’t currently carry any ball point pen on me, I only carry fountain pens. I think I’ll start carrying this around. It’s so understated and simple. At first glance you would actually think it’s a jotter, if not for the cap-actuated mechanism and the unique Harlequin finish.

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Behind this PARKER logo is engraved “Made in England LIE”. According to the date code (LIE), this particular pen was manufactured in England in 1983. I think it’s a great pen. Solid in construction like typical Parker pens and made to last. 

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These lovelies are Cross Century Classic pens. I think they were token pens given by (the now defunct) Ayala Life to their managers. It’s a his and hers pen, with 10kt rolled gold filled cap and 23k gold-plated appointments on the barrel. These pens have twist mechanisms. Now these, these are just beautiful.

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The one without the clip has this really pretty Greco-Roman pattern along the middle of the barrel where you twist the pen. Both pens show a lot of oxidation and scratches on them. My mom wasn’t really big on taking care of pens (or buying expensive pens), so I guess they were used until the ink ran out and she never refilled them.

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My friend showed me how to polish gold (a long and tedious but rewarding process) and just a few minutes of polishing showed the promise of shiny, classically beautiful pens.

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It feels good to hold these pens. They are really lightweight and you can tell you can write with them for hours. I’ve grown used to mid-to-oversized fountain pens, but this reminds me of my Waterman Hemisphere, only a lot more svelte. Cross Century Classic pens were manufactured in the 1940’s, although my mom probably got these some time in the mid to late 1990’s.

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My project for this month is to make a good pen display case so that I can keep these pens safe for the next generation of pen lovers in our family.

It’s great to find these wonderful pens, and more than the pen themselves, what it means to our family history is priceless for me. Restoring and using these again is like cherishing our parents’ memories. ❤

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