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Review - Parker Duofold AF


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7 replies to this topic

#1 london

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 09:20

This English Dufold represented my first 'intended' purchase of a vintage fountain pen, before I knew anything about collecting. I'd tried to find my old school pen, and ended up buying something else. This Duofold is that 'something else' and was my first daily user. It was chosen by trying lots from the bargain basement of a particular seller. I choose this one, because I simply loved the nib. I now own a number of other Duofolds from around the same period to which I can compare this one, and hopefully, given the time I'm going to compare them side by side and post the results here.

1940s Parker Duofold Aluminimum Filler ('AF')
This Duofold was manufactured in England sometime between the late-1940s and the very early 50s. It sits firmly between the earlier 'New Style' (NS) Duofold and the Aerometric version. All three having a similar design and size.

Appearance
I quite like the design of the AF, though it is not as pretty as its predecessor - the NS - as it does not have double jewels, but still, it does have the quirky blind cap. It is more of a functional, understated, everyday pen. But some may see it as elegant in its simplicity.

Filling
The AF is fairly straightforward to use, being a button filler. Unscrew the blind cap, and press the button a few times, leaving about 12 seconds after the last press to fill the pen. I do find the mechanism a little stiff though (being a longer 'push' than other button fillers) and thus really needs two hands for it to feel comfortable. The ink capacityisn't great compared to the Aerometric versions, but I think the quirkiness of a blind cap makes up for that.

Feel
I find this a great user pen, and very comfortable to write with for extended periods. The section, being slightly flared, is just right and the pen is well balanced when capped. It has a nice weight - not heavy, not light - and a good solid feel. The cap is a screw fit, and pretty secure without having to overtighten. The material has a nice sensuous, almost waxy feel. It posts well, but you do have to be careful with these Duofolds as caps are prone to cracking at the rim. Though this particular one doesn't feel like it would.

Nib
This has a great sized, open nib. Its a fine to medium with just a little give, and for me, the perfect flow of ink. It seems to work well with Parker and Waterman inks, which are the mainstay of my everyday writing. It is probable this is a later replacement (Yep it is, thanks to Martin from the Writing Desk for pointing this out)

Summary
I think these are great everyday 'writing' pens. They're reasonably common in the UK, so good examples can be bought at reasonable prices. This also alleviates the worry of it going missing and being able to replace it. In summary, they're nothing glamorous (only available in a few plain colours), but great performers and reliable - well mine have proved to be so anyway!

- Mark

Attached Images

  • duoafall.jpg

Edited by london, 16 August 2006 - 08:00.


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#2 RichardS

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 12:39

Thanks for an excellent review Mark, and very informative pics. I for one don't know nearly enough about later Duofolds and your review helps to fill in a large gap for me.

It also encourages me to buy one!

#3 twdpens

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 13:25

Excellent review! I like AF's a lot. They're very simple and reliable and have a feel as if they are constructed like a masonery out-house.

BTW, I think the AF was introduced in 1948 and superceded in 1952/3 by the Aerometric Duofold. Also, yours has a nib from a later Aerometric Duofold Senior, hence the "35" designation. NS and AF Duofold nibs were labelled "Parker Duofold N", the "N" standing for Newhaven.

HTH,

Martin
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#4 london

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 13:33

Thanks Martin, I was thinking that was the case where the nib is concerned.

- Mark

#5 twdpens

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 15:41

It's not a problem anyway as it's the right size nib of equal quality from the same manufacturer. If you are really concerned about authenticity, Duofold "N" nibs are easily available but personally I wouldn't bother unless you wanted a different point size. Just use it and enjoy it! :D

Martin
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#6 Nikolaos

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Posted 17 August 2006 - 10:52

Thank you for the great review and cool pics Mark!

I have also 2 of these old English Duofolds and really love them. I have a Duofold Senior and a Duofold Maxima, and they are both fantastic writers and look really cool, simple and elegant. I have them with the Aeromatic filling system and they do hold a good amount of ink. The perfermance of them is just amazing, never skip, always start right away, and the nibs have a fair amount of flex. Very well ballance and great everyday pens!

Nikolaos

#7 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 19:02

I like it a lot, I am going to look for one.
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#8 Brian

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 21:35

Good review of what is one of the classic English Parkers. I agree with your assessment that it is a fine everyday pen and interestingly in the US, notwithstanding the aluminum filler, that at least the aerometric fillers are still available at many pen shows. You look to have a pretty good example with little wear and tear showing even some fifty plus years later.

Congratulations and thanks






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