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Archive for March 30th, 2011

Halfway There!

Posted by Dirck on 30 March, 2011

And for those of you who are fans of the Roman alphabet, you may be calling out “Halfwit, there!” in a moment, as I return to…

Ten Pens You Can (probably) Afford And Might Not Hate

5. Parker 45.  How does the Parker land after Pelikan?  Through simple human fallibility!  The barely-legible bit of scrap-paper I composed the list of initial contenders upon had rather more Parkers involved, and once the vetting process was complete this sole survivor was obscured.  I didn’t notice until typing time was done yesterday.  Anyway, this pen is one of the great Everyman pens of the last half of the 20th century, coming in a variety of trims and points.  It was meant from the beginning as a popular pen, and the combination of price (at the lower end of its diverse guises) and sturdiness makes it a darn good pen to look for.  Produced from 1960 through 2007, there’s a good chance that if you do get one it will qualify, guardedly, as a vintage pen.  I’ve seen unused late examples on eBay for under $35, and if you don’t mind a used pen you can definitely get them for less.

Why you’ll like it:  Sturdy, as attractive as any 1960s consumer-good could ever claim to be, interchangible points, accepts most of the converters Parker has ever made, and Parker’s cartridges have hardly changed in any way since it was introduced.

Why you won’t like it: You might fall in love with one of the exotic variations and go mad trying to get an example for your own, the points are generally less tolerant of roll than most other pens (a small “sweet spot“), and the later points are not particularly good as quality control started to slip in the final years of production.  Will only take Parker cartridges, if you’re not putting it on a bottle.

6. Pilot 78G.  I don’t have a great deal to say about this pen.  It’s a profoundly entry-level pen, with extremely conservative styling, but as functional object it’s all you can reasonably ask for in a pen.  The largest of the three points is about a 1mm italic point, which lends a little interest to your writing.  They cost about $20 shipped, although if you’re willing to look at Hong Kong vendors on eBay (which I did, without incident), you may get them for under $10.

Why you’ll like it:  It really looks like a fountain pen, doesn’t it?  Colours to please most, without being gaudy, extremely reliable Japanese manufacture, comes with a simple but reliable press-bar filler.  Screw-on cap!

Why you won’t like it:  Rather dry feed, which doesn’t necessarily agree with some inks.  Uses Pilot cartridges, which as scarce as yeti eggs in many parts of North America.  Screw-on cap!

Tomorrow– One manufacturer, two rather different pens.

Today’s pen:  Waterman Taperite Enigma of Mystery
Today’s ink: Noodler’s Walnut

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