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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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