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Parker Duofold Special


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5 replies to this topic

#1 Malcy

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 23:58

I was looking around for a Duofold to compliment my 1928 Sheaffer Flat Top and came across the pen reviewed here. It was an ebay purchase with the usual poor images and the pen shown in bits. I could see enough to tell me that it was worth bidding for and this review is about the pen that I won.

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Appearance & Design (1-10) 10/10

You can see from the image above that this pen in black and gold is still a very classy piece of writing equipment. I think that it looks great and very contemporary despite its 83 years of age. The black permanite is largely unscratched and glossy and the twin rings have kept their plating. There is a bit of plating loss on the clip but I can forgive this.

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Construction & Quality (1-10) 10/10

The pen is in such good condition and has such a solid feel to it that I can give it nothing less than a 10. I am sure that given a different life the pen could show more wear but the basic quality of the materials has helped it to survive to the present in such good condition.

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Weight & Dimensions (1-10) 8/10

This is not a heavy pen being mostly made of plastic. It does not feel lightweight though, This is one of the longer pens around, being the same length as my Sheaffer Flat Top but a bit thinner. The reduction of girth from the oversize Duofold is not an issue as this pen is still fairly broad and comfortable to hold.

Nib & Performance (1-10) 7/10

Early days yet. In restoring this pen I did not dismantle the section/nib/feed as I read that the feed is quite fragile and many have been damaged during disassembly. So there may yet be undissolved ink solids in the feed. Ink flow is reasonable and ranges from light to wet. It also seems to be quite dependent on the paper, copier paper not faring too well.

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Filling System & Maintenance (1-10) 8/10

The typical Parker button filler. The pressure bar was missing as was the ink sac so some restoration was needed. The 84mm pressure bar from Cathedral Pens fits perfectly as does the size 18 ink sac, so operation was quickly resumed. I have written about the dangers of servicing the feed/nib above.

Cost & Value (1-10) 9/10

Cost was £31 which I think was really good value. While I am not intending to sell this pen, I am sure that it would realise a much higher price if sold on.

Conclusion (Final score, xx/6) 54/60

This pen has been a pleasant surprise. Despite being over eighty years old it doesn't feel like an antique. The quality of the materials used ensures that it will remain a viable writing instrument for the foreseeable future.
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#2 watch_art

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 00:00

Wow. Very nice. Show us more pics when you get the nib cleaned up. :thumbup:

fpn_1432247667__cropped-20150427_0641231 sigpic14481_1.gif vanness.jpg?t=1321916122


#3 Malcy

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 00:05

Wow. Very nice. Show us more pics when you get the nib cleaned up. :thumbup:


I ought to say that it was your Duofold review that inspired me to look for one of these great pens. I was in a hurry to photograph it while the light was good, I guess that I could have given the nib a wipe but serious tweaking will have to wait. :)
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#4 watch_art

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 00:06

Wow. Very cool. This review has me wishing I had the funds for another pen, but sadly, I've just had to sell a couple.

Can't wait to see more pics, though.

fpn_1432247667__cropped-20150427_0641231 sigpic14481_1.gif vanness.jpg?t=1321916122


#5 Titanic9990

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 00:55

I love black and gold pens! :thumbup: beautiful!
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#6 ToasterPastry

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 03:34

Parker has historically produced fountain pens that advanced the state of technology. Parker sold a lot of Duofolds. They were good pens, and remain so to this day.
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