The Parker Premier Black Edition Pen…….who would have thought a plain old black pen would be such a hot seller! Well, the reality of it is, the Parker Premier Black Edition Pen is far from ordinary! The incredibly futuristic appearance of this amazing pen is the result of the combination of the latest technological advances in pen development and the famous Parker craftsmanship that has kept it a front-runner in the world of pens since its’ inception in the late 1800’s when George S. Parker founded the company.
By combining two precious metals from the platinum family, Parker Pens has not only developed an aesthetically pleasing looking pen, they have produced a pen of immense strength; the body of the pen will not chip, fade or corrode. The most amazing feature of this pen is its’ unique black nib. Through a new, cutting edge ruthenium plating process, Parker has broken through the barriers of the latest pen technology and produced a nib that is different in appearance than any nib manufactured before it , with superior writing capabilities and longevity as well!
As always, with the Premier Black Edition, Parker continues to use the highest standards of assembly and the best quality control in the market place; each pen goes through thirty processes and is hand polished and checked and re-checked before leaving the Parker facility.
It’s tax season all around the United States. For those who overpaid it’s a time of joy, an occasion to expectantly check the mail or log into our bank accounts. For everyone else…it’s just tax season.
As Americans, we started paying a federal income tax in 1861 and 1862 to pay for the Civil War. During this storied time of civil unrest, young men on both sides were using smooth-bore, long-barreled muskets and keen-edged sabers to solve the nation’s differences on the field of battle. But, off the battle field they were using quills and dip pens to write letters of their experience and re-connect with their friends and family back home. Quills had a short life span and were easily breakable, especially in the pockets of young soldiers tramping around the countryside from skirmish to skirmish. Metal tipped dip pens were more durable, but also more expensive and rare. But, even though the typical soldier of the Civil War era relied heavily on quills, dip pens and even pencils, it doesn’t mean the fountain pen didn’t exist in America.
Peregrin Williamson, a Baltimore shoemaker, received the first American patent for a fountain pen in 1809. Later, in 1831, John Jacob Parker patented the first self-filling fountain pen. However, these early fountain pen models were fraught with mechanical problems that led to ink spills and other inadequacies that left them impractical for the average user and thus hard to sell. All that would change, however, after the Civil War. As the war ended and the healing process began, the nation once again turned it’s eyes on innovation and technology. During this period the fountain pen in America would begin to take shape as we know it today with the addition of what many consider the first practical fountain pen produced by Lewis Waterman. Countless others followed.
Modern fountain pens have changed drastically from their civil war era counterparts, as has the tax code that initially sprung up to help fund the war. But, what hasn’t changed is our connection to our written language and the instruments we use to lay our thoughts out on paper. As collectors we still yearn for that perfect writing instrument to pen the great American novel, draft that world-renowned play or simply write a letter back home. At the very least we’ll need something to sign our taxes with this season.
Which reminds me, if you need any help figuring out what to do with your return this year, might I suggest something along these lines?
Yes, as through this world I’ve wandered
I’ve seen lots of funny men;
Some will rob you with a six-gun,
And some with a fountain pen.
–Pretty Boy Floyd by Woody Guthrie
When I tell people that I write for a pen blog, often the response that I receive is a stalled and glum, “I’m sorry.” I’m always amazed at that response. I’m amazed at the lack of interest people have in items they deem mundane and at their lack of interest to learn or ask questions. I do understand that most of these folks view pens and writing instruments as, well, utilitarian tools. To these false apologists, the pen is a necessity, not an extravagance. It’s an item made for the glove box and the cracks between the seats in the car, not the executive desk or the mantle. To them, talking about pens and the various qualities they possess is like squeezing toilet paper in the grocery store before you buy it – regardless of how soft any certain brand is, you’re going to use it all for the same thing.
The truth is pens are all used for the same thing – to write. But writing starts with an inspiration and the proper tools. And, in the world of fine writing instruments, the perfect tool can be the inspiration. When you hold a perfectly weighted fountain pen tipped with a well-calibrated nib, flexing with just the right touch, words will spring to life. Thick, inky lines of text will spin tales of faraway places, soaring music, daring deeds, and well-timed speeches. One of the finest inspirational brands is Parker pen products. This is a company that understands quality with a very broad range of pen styles.
The Parker Pen Company was founded in 1891 by George Safford Parker and from the early 1920’s to the 1960s the company held steady at number 1 or number 2 in sales worldwide. Parker ballpoint pens are still one of the most widely used pens on the market due to their reliability and durability. But, Parker’s line of pens is larger than just ballpoints. Parker boasts an innovative line of pen types including Parker Fountain Pens, Parker Jotter Pens, and Pen Sets. Three of my favorites are the Parker Premier Fountain Pen in Black Lacquer, the Parker Jotter Ballpoint Pen Black Chiseled Stainless Steel and the Parker Latitude Ballpoint Pen in Icy Silver. All three of these pens embody the rich character and design that Parker has become known for and each offers their own unique inspiration to the world of pens.
So take the time to dive into Parker and their products. But better yet, take the time to learn a little bit more about the writing instruments that have for far too long been taken for granted. I think you will be surprised at what you find.
Memorial Day is a great holiday. Not only is it a day of remembrance for those who have died in the service of the United States of America, but it’s also a three day weekend, reserved for family and friends. In my part of the country, Memorial Day Weekend means outdoor grilling, story-telling, lawn-darts and intermittent showers interrupted by bursts of sunshine. It’s warm, but not too warm. Wet, but not too wet and the three days always seem to end too soon.
I know a lot of friends who take the three day weekend and turn it into a time to get things done around the house. They do some portion of yard work or take a few days to clean out the attic or the garage. Basic things to get ready for the summer. That’s all fine and good, but I think Memorial Day Weekend is best doing the things you want to do, not the things you need to do.
A few weeks ago I started to look into the Parker brand of pens and ever since then, I’ve wanted to sit down and take a more in-depth look at some of the collections and the individual pens they have to offer. So, on a Memorial Monday, I strolled through the Executive Essentials catalog and took a look around at what they have to offer. It’s been a great holiday and browsing through these amazing writing instruments has been a great capstone.
The Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Collection contains a whimsical and stylish cadre of pens. The Sonnets have a consistently slim barrel that makes them almost lady-like. Attach that to the gold and black cross hatching on many of the individual pens or the gold and silver trim and flourishes and you have yourself a very feminine pen. Even the jet black and silver versions have a business-women essence that permeates the character of these pens. My standout favorite of the bunch is the Sterling Silver Sonnet Ballpoint which features a sterling silver finish with a chiseled design while the nickel palladium trim gives the pen a modern and sophisticated look. A real keeper.
Jotter Ballpoint Stainless Steel
It may be that the annual Sci-Fi and Fantasy Convention just happened this weekend in my town, but the first thing I thought of when I saw the Stainless Steel Jotter Ballpoint by Parker was silver bullets and werewolves. Lot’s of companies make a stainless ballpoint pen, but none do so with the design and determination that Parkers Jotter has. This pen is streamlined and bullet-like. It has a just enough breadth of the barrel to make it gender unspecific yet it somehow remains elegant and dangerous all at the same time. The minimal amount of chiseling on the chest of this pen gives a bit of variation and flair.
As much as the Sonnet and the Jotter draw from standard pen designs, Parker’s Urban Metallic draws from more modern influences. The Urban has a unique body and shape that demands to be held. The ergonomic curves from tip to cap give the Urban a great feel when writing and a remarkable look that stands out from the pack. Whereas many pens rely on the starkness of black on metallic for a cool, clean feel, the white stood out to me as a more understated design that works well in conjunction with the round curves of this pen. The classic Parker pen clip binds the entire design together. This is a smart pen with much to talk about.
Here’s hoping you had a great Memorial Day Weekend and that you had the time to see those you wanted to see and do those things you wanted to do.
Janesville, Wisconsin is located in the southern part of a state known mostly for beer, cheese, and football – not necessarily in that order. It’s situated along the east bank of the Rock River, a tributary of the Mississippi River, which right around this time of year is great for fishing. The small town has over 60,000 people bumping around a city center that can lay claim to over 20 percent of the historically registered buildings in the entire state. Did I mention the beer, cheese, and football?
Let it be known, however, that Janesville is more than just a small town in the dairy state. It was also the site of the first Wisconsin State Fair in 1851, it’s the location of the world’s largest peace pole measured to be 52 feet tall and it’s also the town where George Safford Parker started the Parker Pen Company.
Mr. Parker taught the use of telegraphy equipment in the small Wisconsin town, but as a side job he sold and repaired fountain pens. His tinkering with the writing instruments compelled him to find fixes for the problems he saw most commonly, which mainly included leaks. After of a few years of experimentation, he had devised a completely new fountain pen and started the Parker Pen Company. The Parker Pen Company laid claim to having the largest pen factory in the world – right there in little old Janesville, Wisconsin.
If you haven’t paid much attention to Parker pen products, take a look at some of the great offerings we have at Executive Essentials. Here’s just a sampling of a few.
The Parker Urban Metallic Black Ballpoint Pen has metallic highlights and a glossy finish that set this pen apart from all the rest. This is one of the most popular, less expensive Parker ballpoints produced in recent times. The bulbous chiseled pattern helps give the Urban Metallic a comfortable grip and a stylish look.
The Parker Sonnet Dark Grey Fountain Pen is a lacquered metallic grey, with a black lacquer finish. An intricate chiseled design gives the pen a unique architectural look. The trim is nickel palladium and the nib is made of solid gold for high quality. Right now this pen is 20 percent off at Executive Essentials!
Parker Jotter Pens
If you’ve ever heard the expression, “I’m just going to ‘jot’ that down”, you should know that Parker helped bring that into common vernacular. That’s because Parker’s first, popular, retractable pen was called the Jotter. These functional, simple pens have what it takes to stand up to the rigors of everyday life. At EE we have two Jotters available either in black or stainless steel. Both come in at the very reasonable price of $16 (after the 20 percent discount). So check out the Parker Jotter Black Stainless Steel Ballpoint Pen.
Executive Essentials has great prices on ink refills for all the Parker Pens you own including; ballpoint, rollerball, fountain, gel and multi-point. Check out our prices and compare.
Parker Engraved Pens
Not a subset of pen types really, but I thought it would be good to mention that there are several Parker pens out there that can be engraved. Engraving is a great way to personalize a gift and is very effective on pens. Under the Parker brand, the Parker Doufold is a classic writing instrument recognized worldwide that becomes that much more special with a few words of wisdom or encouragement.
I hope you have a good time checking out the wonderful world of Parker Pens. They are truly one of the greats in the pen world and have worthy products that consumers and collectors should take the time to learn more about.
The ovens are far from heating up for this 2011 Thanksgiving dinner, but that doesn’t mean that Christmas is content to wait on the sidelines until we are all done digesting. In fact, ho-ho-ho tinged commercials have already infiltrated the airwaves and local shops are already trimming their newly frosted windows in red and green. It is clearly time to start thinking about the gifts we choose to say ‘thank you’ to those around us in our daily lives. And there is no better way for a business to say thank you to its employees and customers than with a high-quality pen that is stylish and affordable.
Executive Essentials makes gift giving easy by offering a wide selection of personalized pens from top name brand companies like Cross, Waterman, Waterford, Parker, and Dunhill. The pens in the EE catalog come in a wide variety of styles and prices to fit the needs of just about any company’s budget. At Executive Essentials, we have the ability to offer substantial discounts for high volume orders and with a little extra time, we can let you see a finished sample of your logo pen prior to your order. We know that you want the very best when you give gifts and we have the pens you need and the service to make it come true. And, unlike cheap custom pens, our pens come from name brand, well-respected companies that offer quality, style and satisfaction guaranteed.
Take a look at a few of the amazing pens in the Executive Essentials catalog that come with the option of being engraved.
This streamlined pen from Parker has a stainless steel body that is brushed to give it a textured effect before it is buffed to smooth gloss finish. Although the shape is simple, the pen itself is designed for a comfort and feel that is appreciated by both men and women. The gold accents give it a flair that is striking without being gaudy or garish. Listed at $65 with another $14 for engraving, the Parker Sonnet is a gift worth giving and worth receiving.
One look at the elliptical shape of the Waterman Carene Ballpoint brings to mind an object of speed and grace. The almost bullet like design has a simplicity that is understated and mired in a long standing tradition of craftsmanship. It all makes sense though when you find out that the Carene is modeled after the world’s finest Yachts. The barrel is a high-gloss lacquer and is trimmed in gold for a dynamic look with a weight that feels good in all hands. This executive pen carries a $150 price tag and costs $16 to personalize, but it’s not a gift soon forgotten.
At the lower end of the price spectrum is the Claria in chrome from Waterford Pens. But, don’t be fooled by the $31.99 price tag. This inexpensive pen is far from cheap. The chrome barrel of the pen gives it a substantial feel and the shape lend it a fit for any hand. The rhodium plated finish give it a look that shines bright with sophistication and prestige. This is a great pen for everyday use. One that can be put to work and offer style all at the same time. Engraving this pen costs $14, with two choices of font and 22 characters of engraving text. The right price. The right pen. The right gift.
This post is third in a series about the technical aspects of fountain pens. — by Tracy McCusker
I have spoken at length about the anatomy of fountain pens in this series: how to identify interior parts, how the feed system works, how ink interacts with nibs. My main theme has been function over style because it’s all too easy to get sucked into a pretty carbon-fiber or tortoise shell barrel without thinking about the most important bits.
But there are points of style that can’t be ignored when thinking about functional pens. Style is the first consideration that I make when I reach for a writing instrument. When I write my daily journal pages, I want a cheerful, well-flowing pen to keep my mood light. If I am drafting the first scene of a novel, a no-frills pen that’s a hard-worker is my go-to selection. For editing, a pen that won’t dry out while its uncapped is my choice.
These considerations aren’t so much about how a pen looks, as they are about how the pen nib is styled. There are three main styles of nibs: an open nib, an inlaid nib, and a hooded nib.
The open nib is the standard nib that you see on 95% of modern fountain pens. It is called an open nib because you can see every part of the nib (it’s narrow base, the flare of its shoulders, the breathing hole, and its tines). The nib protrudes from the pen body to draw attention to itself. Open nibs can be plain or ornamented with filigree because their design is meant to impress. Open nibs can suffer from ink drying out if it isn’t in use. Their open design often allows nibs to be easily replaced or tweaked if the feed system goes awry. It’s no wonder that the open nib is so popular; the brazenness of a bare nib sets fountain pens apart from ballpoints.
While the open nib is the most popular of all nib styles, I prefer variety in my nibs. As a fan of both ballpoints and fountain pens, I don’t feel the need to flaunt open nibs if they don’t suit the pen design (and I honestly feel like most pen design isn’t served by sticking to standardized open nibs). I keep an eye out for open nibs that aren’t of the standard shape or size. The Lamy Studio has an open nib in a non-standard style; its short rectangular nib integrates into modern angles of its body.
Hooded nibs are the exact opposite of open nibs. They are also incredibly rare on modern Western pens. The nib’s body and shoulders are covered by a piece of plastic or metal. A hooded nib often doesn’t look like a nib at first glance. The hood has two advantages and a feature that’s seen as a drawback. It keeps ink from drying out quickly on an uncapped pen and it allows a writer to grip the pen close to the tip. For people with small handwriting or just a desire for precise motion, the hooded nib is appealing. The drawback feature is that the hood creates a rigid nib. Rigid nibs are uniform in writing—almost like a ballpoint. For people who buy fountain pens for flex, or for the gentle swooping change of thick-to-thin lines, hooded nibs don’t provide those lines at all.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that I am a great fan of hooded nibs. I write at length and for a variety of business purposes. I prefer a pen that will take to being uncapped, and will write with relative uniformity. The small, thin lines that can come from a hooded nib are fantastic for making small notations (for this reason, hooded nibs are sometimes sold as “accountant nibs” online).
Finding a good hooded nib is difficult because of their relative rarity. The most popular hooded nibs are found on vintage Parker 51 and Parker 61 pens. Chinese pen maker Hero makes an array of Parker 51 clones that hold up well to everyday use. For a new twist on the hooded nib, Namiki-Pilot’s Vanishing Point pen has a retracted hooded nib.
The last nib style is the halfway point between a hooded and an open nib. Like the open nib, the inlaid nib is visible from the top. Like the hooded nib, its feed system is hidden by a piece of plastic or resin and not easy to repair. The inlaid nib gains some of the dependable uniformity of the hooded design because it is usually mounted on a pen body. It, however, remains a style fixture in modern fountain pen manufacture because it celebrates the presence nib as a design feature. Inlaid nibs are often integrated into the pen body in astonishingly sleek designs. An inlaid nib is unforgettable. Unfortunately for pen aficionados, inlaid nibs are even rarer than hooded nibs, as there are not as many vintage inlaid nibs pens as popular as the Parker 51, nor are there a flood in inlaid nib clones on the market.
My earliest experiences with fine fountain pens were with an inlaid nib. It should be no surprise that the Waterman Carene that I’ve spoken highly of on this blog have inlaid nibs. The Carene is one of the few non-vintage inlaid nibs on the market. Other inlaid nibs are pseudo-inlays, like the Montegrappa Nerouno Linea (the nib juts beyond the pen body, so it is not a proper inlaid nib), or have been discontinued, like the Cross Verve. A collector can usually find vintage or discontinued inlaid nibs at a price. If an inlaid nib is the object of your attention, finding a list of pens with inlaid nibs can usually be found on fountain pen collector message boards.
Nib style can be an important stylistic decision to make, though one that’s usually made for the pen already given that the majority of pens have default open nibs. Despite my own quest for variety, there is nothing wrong with an open nib. Most fountain pen buyers start out with open nibs. Only after buying a few pens do debates over the suitability of open and hooded nibs arise among collectors. What it boils down to is this: open nibs are the gold standard, but hooded nibs are worth a try for their workman-like dependability. Inlaid nibs carry a hefty price tag but are incomparably gorgeous.