One of my favorite pens is my trusty ole navy grey Parker 51 Demi. I don’t generally like fine nibs but on Parker 51’s, I love them. The nibs are smooth and they’re wet and reliable writers. I bought a mint Parker 51 special (also in navy gray, pictured above) and it has a fine nib too. The only difference it has with my Parker 51 Demi is that the pen above has a black jewel and an octanium nib. My demi has a gold nib. Also the cap on my demi is lustraloy. Everything else looks the same. According to the date code on this pen, it’s made in 1959. Like my demi, it also has a gold nib and a grayish jewel on the cap.
My friend Lexie has a full-sized, black Parker 51 which seems to have a medium nib. It looks like a medium to broad to me, even. She loves it too, but she really prefers a fine nib, and I really prefer the fire hydrant wet medium. So we swapped, plus a bit of cash to offset the price difference. My demi’s on its way to her by tomorrow. 🙂
I have to admit that I’m loving the full-sized P51. It’s large and a bit more noticeable than the demi. Just a bit more girth and it would already be a bit painful for me to use for long writing. As it is, it sits comfortably enough in my hand. The demi is a better fit for the size of my hand (it’s my pen of choice for long writing), but this large pen is not uncomfortable at all and it’s gonna go well with my current collection of full-sized pens. Besides, if I should ever miss the demi, I still have the Parker 51 special in my daily carry.
I love the way Parker 51s look. They’re no-nonsense and very simple-looking, in a classic kind of way. I’m not surprised it still holds the record for the most number of fountain pens sold in history. The official tally is over 20 million, but since they stopped counting after that, the number could be closer to 50 million.