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Italix 'parsons' Essential' Fountain Pen.


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406 replies to this topic

#1 Lorna Reed

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 13:44

This pen never seems to get any attention on FPN - maybe because its not a well known brand. I have written this review simply because no-one else seems to have done so, and I think this pen is definitely worthy of a little attention.

First Impressions
the pen comes in a plain black box. Nothing fancy, but strong and adequate. this suits me. I prefer my money to go into the pen rather than in big, flashy boxes.
the pen looks quietly elegant on its black velvet base.

Appearance and Design.
this is a very classic looking pen with a polished black lacquer barrel and cap.(Made in the Far East but finished in England). It has a very attractive greek key design round the gold coloured cap band and a sturdy clip with an attractive flat oval end.
The words 'The Italix Parsons' Essential' is engraved, barely visibly, on the barrel side.I give it 9 for appearance.

Construction and Design
the pen has a brass liner for weight. It feels solid and sturdy in the hand.
You would not have to treat this pen with kid gloves - this is a daily workhorse pen.the pocket clip seems very sturdy and tight.9
Nib.
The nib is a two-tone German nib and is available in Medium and Medium Italic. When I first put pen to paper I could not believe how smooth was the nib - even smoother than my waterman Phileas. 10
the pen comes with a converter and takes standard euro cartriges.

Size.
5 1/2" capped, 6 1/4" posted.
Cost and Value
the pen is £39.00 incl.VAT and is only available from Mr. Pen.I had my initials engraved on the cap for an extra £3.
this represents very good value IMO as it is a very sturdy well made pen and should last a very long time. 10
Conclusion.
If the pen I received is typical of them all, then I would not hesitate to recommend this pen.
My transaction with Mr. Pen was very smooth and positive. Ordered on a Monday afternoon and received Wednesday morning, well packaged.
2011_050440thHelens0051.JPG
Forgot to say that the cap is a screw on cap and is very smooth in operation.

Edited by Lorna Reed, 11 June 2011 - 13:48.

Whatever is true,whatever is noble,whatever is right,whatever is pure,whatever is lovely,whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.
Philippians 4.8

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#2 Pickwick

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 14:27

Excellent review, along with clear photos of a classic looking pen.

They came as a boon, and a blessing to men,
The Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley pen

Sincerely yours,

Pickwick


#3 Inkwisitor

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 21:49

Thanks for the review - I've seen this pen on the Mr Pen website and wondered how it performed.
"The cultured man is the man whose interior consciousness is forever obstinately writing down, in the immaterial diary of his psyche's sense of life, every chance aspect of every new day that he is lucky enough to live to behold!" - John Cowper Powys

#4 Tumbleweedtoo

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 16:19

On the basis of this review, I bought this pen with the M Stub. Having written with it a few days, I am glad that I made the purchase. It wrote perfectly right out of the box. I am very satisfied. I also chose to have my initials engraved on the pen. Very fast shipping too. Thanks for the review!

All the best,
T

Edited to add writing sample

Edited by Tumbleweedtoo, 06 July 2011 - 16:44.


#5 Houston

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 18:57

Thanks for the review.

This pen is, hands down, one of my favourite daily writers. It looks, feels and writes like a pen several times its price. It might well be the very best value pen I own. The build quality is just excellent. But it's the nib and feed that impress me most. The flow never quibbles and the M stub nib is silky.

PJ Ford at Mr Pen is deeply knowledgeable and a delight to deal with.

This is one of those rare gems that, once discovered, steadily continues to impress. For a FP fetishist, it is a beautiful performer. For the novice, it is impressive and un-finicky in its steadfast service.

I would put the Parson's up against any other pen at the same price point, and many pens well beyond.

#6 somnath1077

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 20:00

I ordered one today. Will report on how it performs.

#7 MikeF

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 13:31

I never bought one of these, though I've noticed them on MrPen's website, as I quite like italic nibs. But I have bought quite a few ( :embarrassed_smile: ) pens from this website ( a Cross Verve, a Pelikan M1000, a Waterman Edson, and this Christmas a silver Sheaffer Legacy, which has just arrived and is a beauty), and I can indeed recomend MrPen.

Another interesting point is the chat window on the webside which allows you to talk to Mr. Ford online and discuss any doubts you have before ordering.

#8 Silent Speaker

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 17:17

Ha! This pen!



I'm tempted to get one just because I found the previous video rather hilarious.

To hear that it is, in fact, a good pen makes it more tempting.

I might even forgo my "no more c/c pens ever" just to get it :D

(the only italic nibbed pen I still have, a Lamy Joy is showing it's age and wear)

#9 somnath1077

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 18:08

I probably will do a full review of this pen sometime, but at the moment let me share my first impressions. This was an impulse buy: I read Lorna's review and just had to get the pen. Having said this, I like black pens with a traditional look with a built-in filling system. I had given up on CC pens but this pen proved quite a surprise. I really got to like it. The pen, as you can see from the pictures in this thread, has a classic design. It is quite heavy and is probably a lacquer-on-brass construction and is very well-constructed. The cap screws on to the barrel, a feature I like very much. Although the pen has a fair amount of weight, I find it very comfortable to hold. I ordered a medium nib and this turned out t be a little finer than expected but it's very smooth. Okay, the only thing I'd like changed would be a built-in sac filling system instead of a converter. That would make this pen perfect. But even otherwise, it is still a very good bargain. Highly recommended!

#10 ronlakin

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 09:50

For years I have used a Mont Bland Le Grande or Pelikan 800 on pretty much a daily basis. These are both fine pens but they, particularly the Mont Blanc, have one downside and that is they would be expensive to replace. I was therefore looking for a pen which I could use at the office and which wouldn’t break the bank if I lost it and had to buy a new one. I purchased a Parsons Essential purely on the strength Lorna’s review. I would like to add a few observations:-
1. The medium point nib is much closer to a fine point nib. It is certainly finer than both my Pelikan which has a medium nib and my Mont Blanc which has a fine nib. I would say its on a par with my Parker 75 which has a fine nib.
2. The nib it not paper agnostic. The pen has good ink flow on good paper but does not write so well on lesser quality paper and is quite poor on the recycled paper available at the office. That said the same is true of my Pelikan albeit to a lesser extent. In fact the only pen I have which is paper agnostic is the Mont Blanc but we have to remember that cost nearly ten times the Parsons Essential.
3. The clip is very tight. When the video on youtube says it grips like a vice it’s not kidding. This can make it difficult to clip the pen to a shirt or jacket pocket.

I like a pen that writes quite wet and would prefer it if the Parsons Essential had a heavier ink flow. However, I have to say that overall I’m more than happy with the pen, and currently use it on a regular (close to daily) basis. It is well balanced, generally writes very well, is stylish and good value for money. I am pleased with my purchase and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a well made workshorse of a pen.

Edited to add:
PS. The ink I use is Waterman Florida Blue. Maybe someone knows of an ink with better flow characteristics.

Edited by ronlakin, 13 March 2012 - 09:59.


#11 pjford

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 11:18

Try Sheaffer Ink. This pen should flow freely, if it does not, return the nib unit and we will exchange it. MrPen at www.mrpen.co.uk

flowlittle.png                    www.mrpen.co.uk


#12 Lorna Reed

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 13:53

I haven't used Waterman ink in mine. I use either Diamine or Iroshizuku and get very good flow with those.
Whatever is true,whatever is noble,whatever is right,whatever is pure,whatever is lovely,whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.
Philippians 4.8

#13 robofkent

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 11:42

I have just ordered one with my name engraved on it....handy having a short name!

#14 robofkent

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 23:44

I have just ordered one with my name engraved on it....handy having a short name!


Well I've been using it for 2 days now and I am very happy with it. I chose the standard medium nib although I would say it is a little finer than most mediums, it is very smooth and is juicy writer - which suits me. I was using it at work today and one of my colleagues said what a nice pen it was. I've used Waterman Experts, Lamy 2000, Sheaffer Valor, Pilot Capless, TWSBI, Parker Sonnet at work and no one has said that about any of them. Excellent value for money. I like it so much that I've ordered another as spare.

#15 ysgrifbin

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 19:14

Thanks for the review - I've seen this pen on the Mr Pen website and wondered how it performed.


+1
Thanks!
Ysgrifbin

#16 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 22:12

looks like a very good deal breaker :thumbup: thanks for the review
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#17 Pennie

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 20:26

I'm no FP user, this is the first time after decades. I once tried as an adolescent a petite Mont Blanc, which i still have (parental gift), but without succes, i was not up to it then. Until recently, i was quite able to write with standard and even sub-standard ballpoints, but it is more and more becoming a challenge rather than a joy.

Recently i purchased quite impulsively a waterman hemisphere rollerball, which I found luckily to be fabulous. Virtually smooth and light as an FP, no skipping, my handwriting and tired feelings in hand and wrist already have improved (!!) and then i longed for more, hoping an FP would mean the consummate in writing.

After some internet search I chose this Parson's Essential because of mrs. Reeds positive review and bargain prize. I can acknowledge her review mostly. FAST delivery (within 2 days in The Netherlands). Adequate support from the owner, but, i want say, no more than that, with some short remarks in the mail correspondence ("It is impossible with mail order to advise a customer on a pen for their specific writing style"). That may be very much so, but why then advertising with so-called personal support ? I'm not likely to phone with an abroad company about FP support, as i do not trust myself enough in english. Honesty however obliges me to say that mr. Ford responded by mail extremely fast, even during night-times in the weekend, when i wrote him for support. Chance, or regular working hours for mr. Ford ? He also advised me on the nib. But his support remains to me ... well, short. But OK, there it is, and i chose to purchase his Parson's Essential, rather than quarreling about support, that's not very polite and, after all, what are 50 euro's ?

And i must say, a fine choice indeed and i agree with all of mrs. Reeds findings. I have a few additional remarks though:

1. Being comfortably weighty as a whole pen, the weight is surprisingly found mostly in the cap ! I find this rather odd, because i expected the pen itself to be weighty, but it weighs, filled with ink, less than the cap itself. Therefore, writing with the cap tightened on the back, i find this pen oddly off-balance. Its gravitational point is much too high, located above my, not too large, even small hands (for an average male). I think i am forced to write without cap, that felt much better, but maybe it is a matter of trying before the right feel is reached. Can anyone tell me, whether this is normal ? Do i have to get used to that, or could there be something lacking in the pen's concept ?

2. Mrs. Reed and others noticed already, but the smoothness of the medium standard nib is above expectations ! Simply a joy to write with, without any skipping whatsoever, not too juicy, and even my tiny lettering remains quite readible !

3. Writing with it upside down (but slightly rotated to the right - i'm an average right-underhand writer) also produces nice lettering, also without skipping and scratching. Wholly upside produces even finer lettering, still without skipping ! albeit with a little scratching. It seems like owning a triple pen-in-one ! Compliments to the (german ?) makers and to Mr.Pen for choosing this nib.

4. I think this pen has only one serious drawback: the small inkcapacity. After trying and filling a DIN A4 one-sided, the cartridge already was 20-25% empty ! That means, there's no more writing than about 4-6 DIN A4 with an ink-cartridge. Is that normal, or is it simply meagre ?

5. The clip is absurdly stiff. That should change. The clip of my new waterman rollerball is far more flexible and still very adequate in gripping. Nice clip though, but far too stiff.

6. I had to adjust the tines manually a bit, they were not well aligned enough. That was however surprisingly easy, if done with care. So, no problem, i think.

My overall conclusion, not being an expert at all: a VERY FINE pen, which writes... well, damn well. With great looks and feel, with probably three-nibs-in-one (still amazing !), VERY prompt delivery, but perhaps also with some balance problems (that is, I think), small ink capacity and too stiff a clip.

In the end a pen which does what it was made for remarkably well, with probably few drawbacks, but hey, when i wanted a Pelikan M1000, i had to pay ten times more. I hope to enjoy this quality-bargain for years ! And when you have large hands, than my balanceproblem is probably no problem at all for you ! As mrs. Reed stated: RECOMMENDED !

Wim Kok, Haarlem, The Netherlands

PS. I dont care for packings or boxes, but it came in a nice, simple but adequate black box as mrs. Reed described. Well done.

#18 robofkent

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 20:31

The only complaint I have is that the so called engraving has worn off very quickly! But the pen itself remains an absolute joy to use.

Edited by robofkent, 28 March 2012 - 20:33.


#19 fair isle

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 17:10

I am thinking about adding the italix to my collection, I am wondering if anyone can comment on long writing sessions with this pen. I am a little concerned it may be too heavy for me. However if most of the weight is in the cap maybe writing w/o posting would be a solution as I can go either way. Has anyone experienced hand fatigue using this pen for 3+ hours at a time?

#20 robofkent

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 20:52

I am thinking about adding the italix to my collection, I am wondering if anyone can comment on long writing sessions with this pen. I am a little concerned it may be too heavy for me. However if most of the weight is in the cap maybe writing w/o posting would be a solution as I can go either way. Has anyone experienced hand fatigue using this pen for 3+ hours at a time?


I have been using mine quite a lot over the past couple of weeks and have definitely not had any fatigue. I would not say the cap is that heavy and posted the pen feels perfectly balanced.






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