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Parker - Made In China, Taboo Subject?


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67 replies to this topic

#1 streeton

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 03:08

Two recent parker acquisitions have got me thinking about Parker's strategy with its Made in China products. The items I purchased were a Parker Facet FP and a Jotter Premium Stainless Steel Chiseled ballpoint. The Parker Facet is a well finished pen and I like it. What I don't like is there is no "made in .." stampings anywhere on the pen. The Premium Jotter and I stress Premium Jotter is also a nice pen (for a ballpoint) but the finish where the cap meets the barrel is rough with numerous "nicks" around the rim. This pen also lacks a "made in ..." stamping. Gone also is the Parker Logo from the top of the button - some may think that is a good thing. Now I'm guessing that both these pens are MADE IN CHINA - so PARKER why not disclose this on the pens - do you have something to hide? Are you not proud and stand by your product quality? On the basis of the Premium Jotter at least, I suspect that Parker has some way to go before claiming that their China made products are equal to the standard of their established facilities elsewhere - why else would they neglect to put the country of origin on the pens?. Perhaps I'm totally wrong and they are not made in China - thats not my fault either - a lot has to be assumed when trying to analyse the strategies of big corporations.

The pot has been stirred.

Edited by streeton, 18 June 2010 - 03:15.


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#2 watch_art

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 03:52

i can't wait to see what comes out of the stirred pot.

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#3 estie1948

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 06:12

I am relatively new to using fountain pens, but I have used Parker Jotter ball point pens for many years. I recently replaced an old one that I have used for many years because the threads on the barrel broke away from the barrel. When I purchased my replacement, I noticed some differences. None of the differences may be of any importance, but I mentioned it to the sales lady at the pen store. She informed me that Parker Pen products are now made in China and that I should not be concerned because the Chinese had been making these pens as long as Parker. She even showed me a line of pens, I believe they are called Hero, that closely resemble Parker 51s and 21s. It was her opinion that Parker quality will probably improve now that they are now a Chinese pen.

I don't know if she knew what she was talking about, but I don't like my new Chinese Parker Jotter. I gave it to my niece along with a Shaeffer Balance fountain pen who is going to middle school next year and must have a pen. She has never owned a pen that was her own personal property so she was thrilled.

I'm new here. Is it true that Parker Pens should now be better because they are Chinese pens? Are Chinese pens good quality pens?

Edited by estie1948, 18 June 2010 - 06:13.

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#4 bluemoon

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 06:54

I'm new here. Is it true that Parker Pens should now be better because they are Chinese pens? Are Chinese pens good quality pens?


:W2FPN:

I too am eager to know what will happen to Parker quality. But shouldn't be concerned that much :hmm1: .Among my 50 odd Parkers I have only one made after 1990.And that one is my least favourite :headsmack: .

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or bend my knees before insolent might.
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And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will with love. "


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#5 streeton

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 07:16

What concerns me even more is the plethora of Parker Insignias that have sprung up on ebay all of a sudden. These supposedly new Insignias being sold on ebay have been out of production for at least 12 years (the swirl models and Custom models). You're not going to tell me this is all "New old Stock". Insignias are being produced in China (just google Parker China and you will see what I mean and I doubt they are from Parker owned factories in China). All of a sudden the value of my own Insignia collection has just plummeted - if nothing else then the simple laws of supply and demand have decreed just that.

Edited by streeton, 18 June 2010 - 07:58.


#6 Glenn-SC

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 10:37

Is it true that Parker Pens should now be better because they are Chinese pens? Are Chinese pens good quality pens?

What evidence leads yo to assume that the quality would improve if the Parker made their pens in China?

I'd be interested to see it.

#7 mroghmans

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 17:40

Is it true that Parker Pens should now be better because they are Chinese pens? Are Chinese pens good quality pens?

What evidence leads yo to assume that the quality would improve if the Parker made their pens in China?

I'd be interested to see it.


Estie is asking the question--Is it true that Chinese pens are better quality? He's clearly not assuming anything.

#8 Silvermink

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 17:56

Even if they are of equal quality, people in the West often have a negative perception of products made in China, so I wouldn't be surprised if they were trying not to draw attention to it.
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#9 nxn96

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 14:45

I have a current series IM Rollerball that likewise has no origin markings. It is indistinguishable from any other black matte and chrome rollerball that comes out of China. It's also heavy; certainly heavier than the Sonnet Rollerballs that I have. I wonder if the folks at Parker have succumbed to the weight = quality approach. I haven't had it/used it long enough to say how it will hold up over time.

I also have a 3 in 1 that is marked "Taiwan", which can only be described as a lousy pen that doesn't function well at all.

I'm not sure how consistent Parker quality has been since the waning days of Arrow Park. I've got UK Jotters that work great, and French made Sonnets that show wear on the gold trim after a year or so. On the other hand, I've got sixty year old 51's that get daily use and work & look great. I also question Sanford's commitment to the Parker line beyond the high end Duofolds, Cisele Sonnets and the new Premier line; all of which are clearly priced and directed to the gift market. I don't think Sanford cares much about Parker beyond this market, and is willing to put out lesser quality products that trade on the Parker name and reputation in the lower price points. Therefore, I would imagine that there has to be a lot of pressure to move production on all but the higher end products from the UK to China, where the economies of scale work in Sanford's favor.

#10 jniforat

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 15:08

What concerns me even more is the plethora of Parker Insignias that have sprung up on ebay all of a sudden. These supposedly new Insignias being sold on ebay have been out of production for at least 12 years (the swirl models and Custom models). You're not going to tell me this is all "New old Stock". Insignias are being produced in China (just google Parker China and you will see what I mean and I doubt they are from Parker owned factories in China). All of a sudden the value of my own Insignia collection has just plummeted - if nothing else then the simple laws of supply and demand have decreed just that.


Thanks for the heads up!

I almost bought one on the 'bay!!

best,
j

#11 BrianL

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 20:49

I bought more than 30 sets awhile ago. The packages were marked "Made in England" Each has the Parker symbol on the push button. I have given some sets away to clients but, if I think I'll hold onto the balance until I see where this all goes. Today, I was at the stationary store and noticed all the Parker ink products now are made in France.

#12 RLTodd

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 21:12

Regarding mainland China manufacturing.

You get what you want, are willing to pay for, and willing to enforce on the O.E.M. as a level of Quality Control.

My nit to pik with Cross's Chinese manufacturing is;

1) They do not enforce the level of Q.C. they had with American Manufacturing,

2) They simplified, in an undesireable way, some design elements to lower production costs.

It is all up to Newell - Rubbermaid, do they want to make the same the Parker pens they made in England, or do they want to cut costs and corners.

Badly made pens isn't an act of God, it is a Free Will thing.
YMMV

#13 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 23:41

I can remember when every thing made in Japan was cheap junk.


I don't think Newell - Rubbermaid cares. It is after all only the bottom line, and it's hard to think...Parker can not compete with Hero...but Hero is after an expanding market share. Parker is after...some one's bonus.
Expect Hero to buy up Parker.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

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#14 Moynihan

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 18:59

Expect Hero to buy up Parker.


Would not be all that bad maybe. Given their 51ish pens, they could then do an exact copy of the Parker 51, name and all :thumbup: :bunny01: :puddle:
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#15 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 19:30

GM was not stupid enough to sell Buick to the Chinese who love Buick's. They know Buick was a real good car; the last Emperor of China had two of them.

Parker tried to move to Germany 1929, their pen was too expensive and Pelikan came out with the piston filler and Parker's Duofold held too little ink.

Parker is too expensive for China, and it is now only another Chinese Pen company.
Like Levies is just a very, very expensive Chinese pants company....workers work 12 hour, 7 day, 366 day shifts. One bed, two shifts, company town. Perhaps Parker can do the same, and continue to charge the world for pens made by slave labor, like Levies.

Parker has given up it's American, British and French markets, (there is no urge to buy local by the status leaders) and can not compete in Asia.

The important thing was how much money was saved; that was paid out in bonuses.
And when sold there will be more Bonuses, more than likely paid out to other folks, in the folks that got the first bonus will have moved on. Parker meant no more to them, than SAAB did to GM.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

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#16 langere

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 20:20

To get back to the original question, generally speaking the European and U.S. pen companies have better quality control than Chinese pen companies. But QC can vary widely - it really depends on how much control the pen company has (and the QC it's willing to enforce) if they now manufacture in China.

So - the answer is, as is often the case, "it depends."

Erick

Edited by langere, 05 July 2010 - 20:22.

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#17 very

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 23:43

I know a few models are made in China.
I would not buy Parker pens if the business moves to china.

#18 Ford Madox Prefect

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 04:38

The new post Newhaven Jotter is French. I just bought one and it is actually better than my last few UK Jotters. ( I collected a few to have just in case of the Jotter becoming the latest pen to become a cheaply made imitation of itself). I don't know about the special editions but this one is marked France 110 and is actually a bit better with stronger threads that seem to be made of either a darker plastic or back to metal. Still, it feels solid and well made. I live in N America which usually is the first place to get "new and improved" Chinese junk so I believe Jotters are now only coming from France.

Edited by Ford Madox Prefect, 06 November 2010 - 04:39.


#19 archie001

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 08:51

Is it true that Parker Pens should now be better because they are Chinese pens? Are Chinese pens good quality pens?

What evidence leads yo to assume that the quality would improve if the Parker made their pens in China?

I'd be interested to see it.


that would definitely allow them make fake parker pens better! LOL!
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#20 mr T.

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 14:20

What I don't like is there is no "made in .." stampings anywhere on the pen.


Then ask yourself the question if Parker would stamp a "made in..." mark if their products were made in for example Japan or Germany. The "made in China" label is tainted because of the huge number of low quality and dangerous products that come from China.






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