Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

Parker 61 Review


  • Please log in to reply
25 replies to this topic

#1 usnavydoc

usnavydoc

    Pen Enthusiast

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 176 posts
  • Location:California
  • Flag:

Posted 05 September 2010 - 13:04

When I was a little kid, my grandfather, one of my biggest role models, instilled me with his belief that the best pen maker ever was Parker. No matter where he went, whether working in his restaurant or doing his accounting at home, he always carried a gold colored Parker ballpoint pen(don't know what model it was). This belief was further reinforced when my father also carried a Parker ballpoint pen, albeit his was silver colored. As a kid, I loved seeing the arrow clip outside their shirt pocket, and always wanted one of my own. Alas, this was not to happen until many years later, due to their belief that as a kid I didn't need such a nice pen and would lose it.

Six years ago, while I was home on military leave, my father saw me writing with a fountain pen. He asked me, "Hey you like to use this type of pen? It is an antique and nobody uses them anymore (little did he know he was wrong, as evident by everyone in this forum)." When I told him that I was collecting fountain pens, he walked away and then came back with a gold plated Parker. He told me that he bought it when he was old enough to get a job, and saved to buy it. He also told me that it was the first nice pen he bought in his life, and he wanted to give it to me.

I eagerly accepted. As I examined it, I saw the number 61 and a shield engraved on the cap. My father engraved his name on the barrel. A closer look of the shield with a magnifying glass allowed me to learn that the pen was gold filled. My father proudly boasted, "Unlike your pens, the one I am giving you fills itself up." He said "All you have to do is take out the barrel, and stick the plastic tube attached to the section with the nib facing up into an ink bottle." I decided to try it right away, and put the plastic tube into the bottle. When I took it out of the bottle, I noticed that the ink did not stain or stick to the tube, and went back to the bottle with gravity. I began to draw lines on a piece of paper...but nothing...then suddenly, a line with ink in it. The pen started up and it wrote very smoothly! After all these years being unused, it shows how reliable this filling system is. I typed Parker 61 on Yahoo! search and saw many results. After hours of reading, I learned a lot about this pen. I learned that the pen was a 61 Insignia. Fast forward a few years. In addition to the 61 my father gave me, which was a MkII, I bought a MKI, another MKII, and a MKIII.

From left to right: Parker 61 MKI in vista blue, MKII Insignia, MKII gray, and MKIII teal blue.

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

The Parker 61 is a descendant of the legendary 51, and from which it's looks come from, as evident when placed next to each other(both in teal blue):

Posted Image

One of the main differences of the 61 when compared to the 51 is the arrow placed on the hood of the barrel, which every 61 has, unless it falls off, a common occurrence(If you have a 61, take care in making sure the arrow inlaid near the hood of the nib doesn't fall out and get lost. Replacements are hard to find):

Posted Image

MKI "First Edition" pen and pencil set
Posted Image

Top box belongs to the MKI, while the bottom one belongs to the MKIII. Unfortunately someone discarded the boxes of the MKII, thinking them to be garbage.

Posted Image

The 61 MKI is the first vintage pen and the first Parker pen I have where the words "first edition" are placed on the pen:

Posted Image

A picture of the 61 MKI next to a more recent 2002 Parker 51 Limited Edition, which is also in vista blue. One can see that the name of the color is the same, but the color shade is a bit different:

Posted Image

61 MKII:

Posted Image

All four pens have smooth and responsive nibs, and lay a wet line. The nibs are stiff like a nail, similar to a Parker 51. This comes in handy when writing on carbon paper. The MKI and MKII's feature the capillary self filling system(which can be unclogged by blowing on the plastic tube with your mouth and the nib in water):

Posted Image
Posted Image

The MKIII does not - instead it has an aerometric converter. It is English made. I promptly replaced it with a modern piston converter, which works great. The MKIII also works with cartridges, which makes it very convenient when a bottle of ink isn't around.

Posted Image


I always enjoy writing with a Parker 61. Not only was it's capillary filling system a marvel of technology for fountain pens at the time, but it is reliable, and the pen's looks make it a classic in it's own right. The pen will also always remind me of my father.

Edited by usnavydoc, 05 September 2010 - 16:15.

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

Sponsored Content

#2 777

777

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,021 posts
  • Location:Big Sandy, Tennessee
  • Flag:

Posted 05 September 2010 - 13:15

Wonderful review and thank you! I've been wanting a review of these pens for a while now! I've taken an interest in the 61 for two reason - 1: I like the "51" so I might as well try its cousin. 2: I love the styling with that little arrow down the hood. It just looks good!

I'm also very interested in the way it takes ink. That capillary filler thing. Wonder who invented that idea... It seems like it would be particularly hard to clean out though.

Wow, I wish my grandparents would give me expensive vintage pens! Maybe I should ask... Posted Image

It's really cool though, to own a pen that was your fathers. It's like having a usable family heirloom! That gold one is a real beauty too.



Regards,
777

Edited by 777, 05 September 2010 - 13:17.

Need a pen repaired or a nib re-ground? I'd love to help you out.


Posted Image


Colossians 3:17 - And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.


#3 sotto2

sotto2

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,013 posts

Posted 05 September 2010 - 13:28

Awesome! Thanks! I'd love to try one of those pens. I'm always on the lookout for good deals on 51s.

ekfh5f.jpg


#4 usnavydoc

usnavydoc

    Pen Enthusiast

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 176 posts
  • Location:California
  • Flag:

Posted 05 September 2010 - 13:50

Thanks! Actually it isn't too hard to maintain. In the capillary, if the pen is not flowing well/clogged, just put the nib on some water, like on a full sink, and then blow on the protruding plastic tube. The bubbles that come out will have the clogged ink. Just make sure you don't blow too hard or it will damage the mechanism (or so I was told).

Wonderful review and thank you! I've been wanting a review of these pens for a while now! I've taken an interest in the 61 for two reason - 1: I like the "51" so I might as well try its cousin. 2: I love the styling with that little arrow down the hood. It just looks good!

I'm also very interested in the way it takes ink. That capillary filler thing. Wonder who invented that idea... It seems like it would be particularly hard to clean out though.

Wow, I wish my grandparents would give me expensive vintage pens! Maybe I should ask... Posted Image

It's really cool though, to own a pen that was your fathers. It's like having a usable family heirloom! That gold one is a real beauty too.



Regards,
777


Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

#5 akrishna59

akrishna59

    Dr. Verghese Kurien - Father of the White Revolution in India.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 557 posts
  • Location:Kerala, India.
  • Flag:

Posted 06 September 2010 - 04:57

glad to know of the gift from your father, it is touching indeed. i have never liked hooded nibs as i like to see the nib on an f p, but i know that there are a lot of people who dig for it.

Thanks for the additional comments on the filling system.

rgds.

krishna.
ladies and gentlemen write with fountain pens only.

#6 lovemy51

lovemy51

    legal? of course... and with all my papers. FP-friendly, mostly

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,641 posts
  • Location:near my pens and inks

Posted 06 September 2010 - 06:14

BEAUTIFUL!!!

they show hardly any shrinkage of the hood'section, if any...

that first edition it's, it's ... aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh *fainted*




*when came back* :sick: ... with envy!!

#7 diplomat

diplomat

    Platinum Member :)

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,191 posts
  • Location:South EU

Posted 06 September 2010 - 08:23

I concur, very good review and photographs. But I am interested in hearing your opinion re: the usability of the capillary system.
I love this pen and have a few specimens but they hardly enter the rotation because it happens that when I need to write with it, well... the guy isn't always ready as expected.
I use my pens at work to take notes and entries in my agenda, and I have several pens inked at once. So it happens that a given pen sits on my desk a whole day not being used. I am afraid that the capillary 61 somehow requires to be constantly used in order to properly work. What do you think?

Thank you and ciao,

#8 Fuddlestack

Fuddlestack

    I enjoy defeating inanimate objects

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,108 posts
  • Location:Alsace, France
  • Flag:

Posted 06 September 2010 - 08:31

The man's got arrows on his. :bonk:

When you're good at it, it's really miserable.


#9 usnavydoc

usnavydoc

    Pen Enthusiast

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 176 posts
  • Location:California
  • Flag:

Posted 06 September 2010 - 08:32

From my experience, the 61 is just like any fountain pen - store it nib up, and it always started when needed. I only use quink or waterman ink, since they have proven to be the ones this pen likes. If I don't plan to use it anytime soon, I flush out the ink and store it. The capillary differs in the way you flush it. If it is too much trouble, you should look into a MKIII, which uses a converter/cartridge - a more modern and practical approach.

I concur, very good review and photographs. But I am interested in hearing your opinion re: the usability of the capillary system.
I love this pen and have a few specimens but they hardly enter the rotation because it happens that when I need to write with it, well... the guy isn't always ready as expected.
I use my pens at work to take notes and entries in my agenda, and I have several pens inked at once. So it happens that a given pen sits on my desk a whole day not being used. I am afraid that the capillary 61 somehow requires to be constantly used in order to properly work. What do you think?

Thank you and ciao,


Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

#10 richardandtracy

richardandtracy

    Ancient Artifact

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,687 posts
  • Location:Kent, UK
  • Flag:

Posted 06 September 2010 - 09:27

I may have a mild dispute with you on your definition of a Mk 3.

It looks to me, from the photo, as if your 'Mk III' has a plastic jewel, if that's so, the usual nomenclature for this pen is a 'Mk2, c/c' as opposed to the 'Mk2, capilliary'. The Mk III is very similar but has the following differences from the Mk II c/c:
  • The barrel jewel is metal.
  • The cap jewel is metal
  • The cap jewel has no jewel holder
  • The cap clip is separate from the cap jewel and is located in a notch in the cap body
Otherwise, can I just say I think you have a beautiful selection of P61's.
You obviously have a preference for the Vista Blue and have a really nice collection of them. My late mother gave my brother a Broad, Vista Blue, early Mk3 in 1978 (at the same time she gave me a Medium in Burgundy - both had the pre-decimal price of £6 6s on the box, making manufacture of these ones pre-1971), unfortunately he has no idea where it is any more :angry: .

Regards,

Richard.

Edited by richardandtracy, 06 September 2010 - 09:27.


#11 usnavydoc

usnavydoc

    Pen Enthusiast

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 176 posts
  • Location:California
  • Flag:

Posted 06 September 2010 - 09:53

One of my sources, http://www.parkercol...m/parker61.html, states:

In 1969 the legendary capillary filling system was discontinued in favour of mk III, a cartridge/converter fillied pen in the manner of the Parker "45". The capillary "61" was one of the last Parker models that didn't take converter.

In that same paragraph,

1969 also saw the introduction of new barrel colours. The Caribbean green and Rage Red was discontinued and the colour line-up was:

Turqoise Blue
Black
Maroon
Grey

They also address your dispute about the cap change:

In 1975 the Classic, with a satin Lustraloy cap was discontinued and also on all the models, save the Presidential, the grey plastic jewels of the previous years were replaced by a dome-shaped metal version. Another small design change was that the clip now sported a thinner washer. Also a line of attractive finishes referred to as the cloud collection was introduced:
Cirrus
Stratus
Cumulus

My pen is turquoise blue, which according to the site, was introduced in 1969, the year the MKIII was introduced and the year the capillary was discontinued in favor of the converter. Also, according to the site, the caps of the MKIII were not replaced with the new style until 1975, meaning that from 1969-1974 the 61 had the plastic jewel caps.

I am no expert, but relied on this site for some of my info. If I am wrong then please point me to a reliable source so I can stand corrected.

I may have a mild dispute with you on your definition of a Mk 3.

It looks to me, from the photo, as if your 'Mk III' has a plastic jewel, if that's so, the usual nomenclature for this pen is a 'Mk2, c/c' as opposed to the 'Mk2, capilliary'. The Mk III is very similar but has the following differences from the Mk II c/c:

  • The barrel jewel is metal.
  • The cap jewel is metal
  • The cap jewel has no jewel holder
  • The cap clip is separate from the cap jewel and is located in a notch in the cap body
Otherwise, can I just say I think you have a beautiful selection of P61's.
You obviously have a preference for the Vista Blue and have a really nice collection of them. My late mother gave my brother a Broad, Vista Blue, early Mk3 in 1978 (at the same time she gave me a Medium in Burgundy - both had the pre-decimal price of £6 6s on the box, making manufacture of these ones pre-1971), unfortunately he has no idea where it is any more :angry: .

Regards,

Richard.


Edited by usnavydoc, 06 September 2010 - 09:59.

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

#12 diplomat

diplomat

    Platinum Member :)

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,191 posts
  • Location:South EU

Posted 06 September 2010 - 11:40

From my experience, the 61 is just like any fountain pen - store it nib up, and it always started when needed. I only use quink or waterman ink, since they have proven to be the ones this pen likes.


Oh, well, maybe I was just unlucky. I'll try the quink though, since I never used in the 61. Possibly the ink is the answer.

If I don't plan to use it anytime soon, I flush out the ink and store it. The capillary differs in the way you flush it. If it is too much trouble, you should look into a MKIII, which uses a converter/cartridge - a more modern and practical approach.


Oh no, there's no fun like to flush clean a "new" ebay capillary 61!

Cheers,

#13 lovemy51

lovemy51

    legal? of course... and with all my papers. FP-friendly, mostly

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,641 posts
  • Location:near my pens and inks

Posted 06 September 2010 - 21:09

i never have any problems with my capillary filled 61. ready at all times... only when it's running low on ink, of course and begins skipping, than i know to dip it in ink for a few seconds.

#14 Aysedasi

Aysedasi

    24 Heures du Mans and Oblique Addict

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,188 posts
  • Location:New Forest, England
  • Flag:

Posted 06 September 2010 - 21:17

i never have any problems with my capillary filled 61. ready at all times... only when it's running low on ink, of course and begins skipping, than i know to dip it in ink for a few seconds.



Likewise for me. I adore my grey 61, which has a cursive italic nib courtesy of Oxonian.

#15 jniforat

jniforat

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,776 posts
  • Location:Library

Posted 07 September 2010 - 23:46

great pens, and what a fabulous review. i really enjoyed reading this one. thank you

#16 classenigma

classenigma

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 194 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 07 March 2011 - 05:17

A picture of the 61 MKI next to a more recent 2002 Parker 51 Limited Edition, which is also in vista blue. One can see that the name of the color is the same, but the color shade is a bit different:

Posted Image

Thanks for a great review. I noted with interest the difference in the color, Vista Blue, over the years. Does anyone know if Parker actually changed the appearance of Vista Blue? I remember a Vista Blue jotter from around 1966\67 that looked very close to your Mk1. Yet also different from the Parker 51 special edition. Parker has had a variety of light blues and turquoises over the years and I wonder if they alter the formula slightly for the same named color.

Edited by classenigma, 07 March 2011 - 05:20.


#17 breaker

breaker

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 580 posts

Posted 12 March 2011 - 18:18

excellent review and pics!
Cogito ergo sum

#18 Apie

Apie

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 19 posts

Posted 16 March 2011 - 21:22

I just rec'd a 61 from my father 2 days ago, who got it as a gift for his Bar Mitzvah in 1961, along with the matching BP and pencil! I cleaned it out like I read here, but it had trouble starting...after it starts its writes like a dream. I am cleaning it out again as we speak, and Im going to try again with Aurora Black. If that doesn't fix the problem, i'll try Quink. It is truly and amazing feel. I didn't like hooded pens either, but after writing with this one and teh sentimental value, I will be looking for a few more! Oh, mine is missing the gold arrow, but has both jewels in the cap and end.

#19 BKH

BKH

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 45 posts

Posted 25 May 2011 - 07:27

Hi Usnavydoc,

Thanks for sharing your review. It seems like the Parker 61 is a some what rare bird compared to other Parker pens. Sure there is plenty of info but not a whole lot more say compared to the Parker 75 or 51.

I just bought a Parker 61 pen maroon color with a rainbow cap on ebay the one with capillary ink action. I wouldn`t have it any other way for this model. I hope the ink flows ok and there is capillary action to it otherwise I`ll give your blow it out tip to service. Fingers cross ..I hate buying on ebay one mans mint is another mans garbage........but I have no choice sometimes.

My first experience with a Parker 61 was when I was in high school and I used my uncle`s grey Parker 61. He wasn`t around to explain to me how it worked. Back then there was no internet and I wasn`t interested enough to go to the libary or wherever to do some research on this pen. I was baffled because I didn`t know how to fill it up? It didn`t look like any other FP with the convertor or aerometric way of filling up the ink. So instinctively I just put the Parker 61 end into the ink bottle after a minute or two. Still not sure what will happen it wrote! I was so happy and used this pen until I dropped it and it cracked. This pen has always been the back of my mind when I used other Parker pens. So I hope this pen that I bought will be fine and perhaps it will be a start to a nice collection of other Parker 61 pens like yours.

#20 seymour

seymour

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 289 posts
  • Location:Israel
  • Flag:

Posted 25 May 2011 - 08:14

Hi all

I am also a "61" addict and have 7. I also have 4 Platignum 100 which are also capillary fillers. I have 61s which write beautifully all the time, but there are also 2 or 3 more difficult pens. The more difficult pens work beautifully when relatively full, however if you try to empty them completely, towards the end they are difficult to start. They are still a pleasure to use, but that is the whole point of vintage pens they have character

Chaim
Chaim Seymour
David Elazar 8
Givat Shemuel
Israel
54032






Sponsored Content




|