Parker Urban Fountain Pen – Metallic Chrome review
The Parker Urban comes in both rollerball and fountain pens. I received my Urban fountain pen in December 2011. It was my first fountain pen, and I still love it.
Appearance (10/10): A Work of Art
Of course this is subjective, but I think the pen looks fantastic. I love the thinner-in-the-middle, thicker-at-the-cap design, and the stainless steel body looks like that of a pen five times the price. It does scream “steal me”, but it's very impressive.
Design/Size/Weight (8/10): Functional and Forgiving
My immediate thought when I picked up the pen was “Whoa, this is lighter than I expected”. It's evenly weighted, but for a full-metal pen, it's almost as light as a cheap metal ballpoint. I like this because it means I can write for longer without tiring out my hand. Unposted, the length is perfect for my medium-sized hands, if a little small, and the thinning-out around the middle makes this a very comfortable pen to use indeed.
I only have two complaints about the design: Firstly, the cap is too large to post without making the pen feel top-heavy. So if you like easy posting, maybe steer away from the Parker Urban. My second complaint is that the grip is smooth plastic and tapered towards the nib, so my fingers frequently slide down and touch the nib itself, resulting an inked-up thumb and index finger. If you're used to gripping your pens like disposable ballpoints, as I am, this may be an issue for you.
The cap sits nicely and firmly on the pen when capped or posted. It's not a screw-type. The clip is quite stiff but is usable.
The metallic chrome body is fingerprint-resistant, but there is the potential for scratching. I've had mine for over a year now, and it's pretty scratched up if you look at it closely. I don't take very good care of my pens, throwing them in my bag with my keys and such, so this won't be a problem if you're a keep-them-at-home kind of person.
Nib (7/10): Good, but Not Perfect
Firstly, it's so small!
I have the medium nib, which is quite smooth and worked out-of-the-box. The smoothness of the nib should not be overstated, though. It's certainly not scratchy, but it's nothing to write home about (no pun intended). Fortunately it has seldom skipped, and ink flow is consistent.
It is quite a “dry” writer, using Parker cartridges. I have yet to try a converter with this pen.
It's very rigid, even for a steel nib – a little too rigid for my tastes. I assume this is because it's so small.
The biggest problem is, though, that you can't remove the nib. Not easily, anyway. I've tried, and failed. I've also heard that it can damage the feed if you try to remove the nib. This shouldn't be too much of a problem, but you may want to take it into consideration.
Filling system and maintenance (9/10): Easy, easy, easy
Filling with cartridges is fine, though perhaps it's a little difficult to unscrew the pen. The standard Parker cartridges hold plenty of ink, and while I haven't used a converter yet (it didn't come with one), I assume it would hold a similar amount.
Maintenance is virtually non-existent. I've only cleaned it once or twice and it still works as well as it did when I got it.
Cost and Value (10/10): Bargain
It's a steal. I got mine for AU$75 plus shipping, which is a great deal for this high-quality pen. I've seen it for higher prices than that, but in my opinion, it's still worth it.
I love this pen. It's almost infallible for the price. The biggest thing stopping the Parker Urban Metallic Chrome from receiving a perfect score is the nib: It's not bad, but it's not perfect. Nonetheless it's well worth the price, and I would recommend it to anyone provided they don't like flex or changing nibs.
Edited by Tojeem, 15 May 2013 - 13:34.