The Duofold Lucky 8 is a limited edition pen released by Parker in 2008 to celebrate their 120th Anniversary (1888-2008). As noted in the booklet that came with the pen, Parker Pen was founded in 1888, and the number 8 is considered a lucky number in the Chinese culture, which also coincided with the name Lucky curve feed.
There are 3 layers of cardboard packaging to go through before you get to the main box itself, which is wrapped in cloth.
And finally, the main box. The box is solid and nicely made - it is coated in a glossy piano black finish, and shaped like a semi-octagon, with 8 sides in theme of the number "8." It if fitted with what appears to be brass hinges and accents.
Once you open the box, you see royal seals of HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH the Prince of Wales on the inside of the lid. There is also the Parker logo and "Duofold Lucky 8 limited edition" inscribed.
Once you remove the final layer, you finally get to see and touch the pen. The pen comes with a bottle of black Quink ink, which has it's own Lucky 8 label. Oddly enough, it does not fit in the ink slot designated for it in the box.
The pen is finished in a charcoal gray acrylic material. It has a gold plated arrow clip and a unique single gold plated band, unlike the 2 bands normally found in today's Duofold. The pen is a large, not as wide as a MB149, but much longer. The top of the cap has a gold plated button inscribed with Parker Duofold Lucky 8, and the numbers 1888-2008. The end cap has the pen's serial number engraved.
Picture of the pen
Top of cap
The nib is a single tone 18kt yellow gold "Arrow" nib. The nib definitely celebrates the heritage of Parker, as many of it's most popular vintage pens were fit with such a nib. Picture a larger Vacumatic nib and you will get the idea.
Here is a comparison of the nib next to other pens (from left to right - Duofold Big Red Senior, Vacumatic, Lucky 8, and MB 149):
I filled the pen with blue black Quink. Yes, I know it is a limited edition, but it is a pen and it will fulfill it's function - otherwise it is just an expensive stick made of plastic and gold. The pen uses a cc (cartridge/converter) system like other Duofolds. The only thing that is different with the Lucky 8 is that the metal accents of the converter is plated with a gold color, rather than silver. The nib was very smooth, and reminded me of the vintage Duofolds I have. It gave wet line, and was stiff like current Duofolds. Still, putting pressure on the nib gives a little bit of line variation.
The pen is well balanced, whether the cap is posted or not. The one thing that made the writing experience different was that had an octagon shaped barrel, rather than just a cylinder. It reminded me of holding a Omas Paragon, or more recently, a Montegrappa Nero Uno.
Next to a similar multifaceted barrel pen, a Montegrappa Nero Uno
Unlike the Nero Uno, the Lucky 8's barrel isn't multifaceted from the top of the cap to the end of barrel, rather, it tapers to a cylindrical shape as it nears end of the cap and the end of the barrel
I appreciate the multifaceted barrel design, as it is harder for the pen to roll off of my desk. It is also different from any other pen Parker made, which should enhance it's collector value. The pen is fairly light, about the same weight as a 149, but because it's barrel isn't as fat, it's easier to hold. As expected with any high end Parker pen, it is a great performer and looks great. In all, I am very pleased with the pen.
On a side note, if it was up to me, I would have made the Lucky 8's barrel the same shape, but colored it in red/orange a la big red. I have a feeling Parker picked the color they did because their first pens were available in any color as long as it was black. Maybe an idea for their 130th Anniversary pen. They could make it 7 sided and call it a Lucky 7.
My favorite Duofold, and it looks pretty good with the Lucky 8 box
So if I had to give a score:
Appearance of pen: 10/10
Writing experience/performance: 10/10
Value: 10/10 (I got a great deal on eBay for it, otherwise if I paid retail it would be (7/10)
Hope you enjoyed my first review in this forum.
Edited by usnavydoc, 03 September 2010 - 11:27.