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Parker 45 Red Special GT
Posted 13 November 2006 - 20:20
£6.50 or €9.70 or $12.50 including shipment at eBay.
This pen was first launched by Parker in 1960 and has remained in production since then in various incarnations. Parker 45 is no longer marketed in the United States, though, but mine was made in UK as late as the 1st quarter of this year 2006 and these pens can still be easily obtained here in Europe. Prices are not bad either, even for a cheap school pen. The pen is made of red/blue/black plastic with a stainless steel cap. The cap has a black "jewel" on top. The cap closing system is similar to those on Parker "51" and Hero 100 et al.
The Nib (6/10 if you like your fine nib broad)
The nib is semi-hooded, not fully hooded like Parker "51" and Hero 100 but not open either. Parker nibs tend to run broader than others and this is no exception. The nib is marked Fine but it is more like Broad, much broader than my Phileas F and even broader than my Frontier M. I think this nib qualifies as the broadest nib that I have ever owned! The nib definitely has a narrow "sweet spot", but when it is found, it writes perfect broad line. Unfortunately I find it way too broad for normal note taking. I seldom have any reasonable use for broad nibs.
Filling System (7/10)
The pen comes with what Parker calls "refillable ink cartridge". This type of converter uses slide mechanism to suck ink that can be operated with only one hand. Free hand can be used to tilt the near-empty bottle to get the last drops. This thing, however, has rather low ink capacity. It is also handy when cleaning pen of ink. The converter has a metal ball floating inside the tank to make the ink flow better. As a result of this, the pen makes rattling noise when shaken.
Weight & Balance & Materials (3.5/10)
The plastic barrel is light in weight, perfectly fits smaller hand but has nice balance when posted. Parker 45 looks very nice from distance but when examined closer it reveals its humble origins. The modern P45 is not the same as "vintage" P45! Materials have become cheaper during the past couple of years. Posting the cap will eventually scratch the barrel and the cap closing mechanism is not as sturdy as it is on Hero 100 or Parker "51" for example.
This pen does not pretend to be more than it actually is, a cheap school pen. It has no serious design flaws for the price except that the current production steel nibs are all broad no matter what the marking says. If you can find a replacement 14 karat gold nib or a decent fine steel nib, then I am sure that this pen will give you many years of good service.
Posted 13 November 2006 - 22:19
Posted 13 November 2006 - 22:59
Posted 14 November 2006 - 14:52
Posted 14 November 2006 - 16:17
Thanks for the review, LapsangS; I appreciate your honesty in reviewing the pen.
There is a review on "Stylophiles Online" here from Jan. 2003, if anyone is interested (I wasn't sure what a "slide convertor" was until I saw the picture there) I had a vintage Parker 45 but traded it away---nice, solid pen.
Edited by Maja, 14 November 2006 - 16:18.
Posted 15 November 2006 - 04:09
I find it hard to use -- it writes very well when I've got the nib at the correct angle, but I cannot see it (presbiopia is part of that!) and I keep getting dry starts.
Otherwise a very nice pen, should last me forever.
Posted 09 May 2008 - 08:20
i do see a problem with the "broad line" it delivers, even if mine is suposed to be "fine" point.
Edited: OOPS! i take it back it skipped a couple of times with cheaper paper!! before i was using HP 24lb, then i switched to 16lb three holes lined school paper and it did it... it skipped.
anyways, my theory about "riding the bike" thing was wrong
Edited by lovemy51, 09 May 2008 - 08:55.