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Parker Ingenuity


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54 replies to this topic

#21 nardo800

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 18:49

Even as someone without a firm bias in favor of fountain pens, my impression is that this is the writing world's equivalent of a clip-on necktie. It may be a fine evolution of the plastic/fibre tip, but the cartridge is nonstandard for purely cosmetic reasons so there's zero chance of the design being adopted outside of the Parker/Waterman/Sharpie group.

Also, to be pedantic, I'd argue that gel ink was/is the true "5th generation" of writing tech; it had a profound impact on the types of pigments that could be used in everyday writing and is widely adopted.

Edited by nardo800, 20 October 2011 - 22:24.


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#22 Pen Nut

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 20:36

Good review. And thats it for me. I cannot see what 'gap' in the market this could fill or what sort of pen person would have one. OK if you are in a 'cannot use fountain pen' situation there are many other solutions out here other than that. Others may disagree.

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#23 AlanE

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 21:45

Cant imagine the market Parker are aiming at. Its just so expensive for what it is. Maybe a cheaper version would help it catch on. Problem for Parker is convincing the market that there is longevity in the product. If it dont sell, then the refills will not be produced so you will end up with a high cost empty tube. They should have released a cheaper version first to enable the concept to be accepted and then introduce the more blingy versions later. I wouldnt buy one, simply because I prefer fp's and have done for almost 50 years.

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#24 RobbyM

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 18:41

I decided to buy one today (the $160 black/gold thinner model. I am a user of fountain pens, rollerballs, and ballpoints (I have a lot of each), and each has their place in my writing repertoire. I'm having fun with the Ingenuity so far - it's a nice break from the other modes. If you take it as a fun experience (albeit, an expensive one)then you don't have to get caught up in the issue of fountain pen deceit. I actually love the look of the "nib", I love the weight of the pen, and I'm glad I bought it. Enjoy it!

#25 J English Smith

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 15:50

All I can say is ugh, ugh, ugh. I am so sad about the current state of Parker. Oh well, they will have to pry my last 51 out of my hand at the end...

The styling of every Parker since the Sonnet just leaves me cold.

I like fiber-tip pens but the fake nib on this just annoys me.

High price point and high refill cost...

Well, to each his own.

I don't really find the approach deceitful. Marketing is marketing. Let the buyer read the fine print and try the product out, and make up their own mind.
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#26 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 17:20

I've just had a note from Colorado Pens, and I thought I should pass part of it along; the nibbish object is apparently meant to perform a role in supporting the writing core, as well as provide visual appeal. I was slightly alarmed to read that this object is referred to in Parker communications as "the hood"; a cause of some dismay amongst Parker anatomists, but I'm sure if Sheaffer can call that little plug in the Snorkel's sac protector "the section" we can manage to live with it.

One more thing-- I'm not a moderator, but I think I will beg for some moderation in the hurling of insults at Parker. We here can't help but think of FPs when looking at something that shape, but I don't think it was meant as any more than a nod to an existing, known pen form; we might also accuse desk pens of trying to fool use into thinking they're feathers, with their long tapered shafts. The positive aspect to the appearance of fountain pennitude is that, if it becomes a regular item in the world, people will stop treating us like we've got Martians in our shirt pockets.

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#27 nardo800

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 17:53

I've just had a note from Colorado Pens, and I thought I should pass part of it along; the nibbish object is apparently meant to perform a role in supporting the writing core, as well as provide visual appeal. I was slightly alarmed to read that this object is referred to in Parker communications as "the hood"; a cause of some dismay amongst Parker anatomists, but I'm sure if Sheaffer can call that little plug in the Snorkel's sac protector "the section" we can manage to live with it.

One more thing-- I'm not a moderator, but I think I will beg for some moderation in the hurling of insults at Parker. We here can't help but think of FPs when looking at something that shape, but I don't think it was meant as any more than a nod to an existing, known pen form; we might also accuse desk pens of trying to fool use into thinking they're feathers, with their long tapered shafts. The positive aspect to the appearance of fountain pennitude is that, if it becomes a regular item in the world, people will stop treating us like we've got Martians in our shirt pockets.


I completely agree that there's no reason to call them deceitful; for all I know, the overall design might be the perfect product for their target market of people who want a nice pen that looks interesting. I'd be ecstatic if it got more people interested in fine pens.

But, it's also fair to be skeptical of marketing claims that the seemingly decorative "hood" and "feed" make it a revolutionary new way of writing, especially when there is so much genuine variety in form and function from pen makers who lack Parker's marketing budget.

Edited by nardo800, 27 October 2011 - 17:58.


#28 LuckyDog10

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 18:22

Thanks, Ernst, for the review! I just spotted the pen in my Levenger catalog last night. Piqued my curiosity too - until the phrase "$8 refill" came up. Think I'll pass.

The part of the marketing the bugged me (and maybe it was just a Levenger thing) was this phrase:

Parker introduces a fifth writing mode that gives you the writing flexibility of a fountain pen without all the muss and fuss. No dripping, no leaking...



Perpetuating the old stereotype again? :bonk: It was particularly hard to take when this newly advertised writing wonder was on a page full of fountain pens.
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#29 flighter51

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 18:23

I tried this pen at our last Arkansas Pen Club meeting at Vanness. Mike Vanness premiered it at the store and then we all went next door to a restaurant to eat and passed it around.

It is interesting. I will probably buy one for no other reason than I don't think it will endure as a model which eventually means rare. It did write well and it was handsome looking, lack of refilling is an issue. Plus it fills that niche in my collection reserved for odd entries.

Mike usually brings new arrivals to the Pen meetings. Can't wait to see what he brings in November!

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#30 tonydent84

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 06:32

Ernst, thank you very much for that review. And thanks to Colorado Pen for providing you guys with the pens so you can do the reviews.


I have to say that I was initially attracted to this pen for the very reason that it resembled a fountain pen. When I saw this pen, I initially thought it was a pencil and that the point of it was lead. I saw the YouTube video posted on Colorado Pen's website and wanted to know more about it. First place I looked was here because I love the reviews everyone gives on this forum. I agree that it seems to be masquerading as a fountain pen when it's nowhere near a fountain pen, but it's too easy to tell that it's not because of the point sticking out from the nib.

I think perhaps the company was looking to attract that part of the market that always wanted to write with a fountain pen but who can't come to terms with the maintenance that comes with owning a fountain pen along with the problems that can come with one (e.g., leaking, smearing, pressing too hard on the nib, etc.). I actually know a number of people who always wanted to get a nice fountain pen but think it's a waste of money because of how impractical they see them to be. If this pen, the Ingenuity, was selling for a much cheaper price, maybe $50, then I bet most of these people would purchase it just for the reason that it looks/writes similar to a fountain pen. I'm personally not that crazy about Parker. I hate their Jotter pens (though I own like 10 lol), I had nothing but bad experiences with their Latitude fountain pen, and my Parker Sonnet (the nib of which I've just sent in for repairs) was built poorly - the ring at the bottom of the cap falling off one day while posting my pen. I use a Vector every so often, which I feel is great quality for the price, but it looks like an awkward knife lol. But I might just think about getting this Ingenuity...I just can't come to terms with getting a pen with proprietary refills.


By the way, Ernst, did you find that the ink echoed onto the other side of the page? I tend to write notes on pretty weak loose leaf paper that doesn't go great with my roller ball or fountain pens. I can only use ballpoints and gel ink pens on these sorts of paper - I was wondering if the Ingenuity could write on weaker types of paper.
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#31 funkypeanut

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 13:43

Thanks for the review. I saw a pic of one of these somewhere and was wondering what it was. I can't stand the feel of fiber-tip pens, and IMHO this one is singularly unattractive. The "nib"/tip cover looks like a plastic movie prop. Someone upthread said that it probably wouldn't last long, and I concur. It's rather a niche item, and I don't see it selling well -- especially with expensive proprietary refills. Does it come in other colors? It's rather a, well, bland look (when capped) for a pen that they're touting as the wave of the future.

#32 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 15:12

By the way, Ernst, did you find that the ink echoed onto the other side of the page? I tend to write notes on pretty weak loose leaf paper that doesn't go great with my roller ball or fountain pens. I can only use ballpoints and gel ink pens on these sorts of paper - I was wondering if the Ingenuity could write on weaker types of paper.


I wasn't using a particularly feeble paper for the test, so all I can say is that it doesn't seem to be any worse than an average FP ink in that regard. Certainly not as much as one expects from a common felt pen.

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#33 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 15:15

... I will beg for some moderation in the hurling of insults at Parker....


I do not believe that moderating criticism of Parker is a good idea, infact it seems really a bad one if you ask me. There is precious little free speech allowed on these boards as it is - let people argue if they wish, it adds to the spirit of debate.


Self-moderation-- "somewhat in error" rather than "filthy liar", that sort of thing. Criticism is good, invective leads to discord.

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#34 ajcoleman

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 16:35

Nice review! Like most pen enthusiasts, I was very curious, but was not likely to buy one just to try it out.
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#35 Felyne

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 06:25

I have both a Mont Blanc Starwalker Fineliner and Fountain Pen, both of which I use constantly every day. When I first saw this advert I was quite excited, thinking that somehow Parker had cleverly (dare I say innovatively) managed to combine the two.

After seeing several adverts and still not being able to figure out exactly what this was, I let Google to the research for me - and if I read correctly, this pen is no different to my fineliner - except, it *looks* like a fountain pen. Am I wrong? Tell me I'm wrong. I don't think I'm wrong.

I was at least hoping for some form of FP component - ink friendly porous tip with piston refilling system perhaps - at least some connection to an FP rather than simply how they've shaped one section of it.

So.. what is the innovative new system exactly and how is it any different to any of the other porous tips out there (Cross and MB for starters, Papermate Flair if you want to be crass about it). For all intents and purposes it appears they've put a porous tip refill in a pen shaped like a fountain pen. Hardly ground breaking.

As a daily user of both porous tips and fountain pens, I definitely feel cheated.
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#36 mark e

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 08:40

It would be really, really nice if the people who run Waterman and Parker these days just gave up their positions to people who actually enjoy pens.


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#37 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 16:02

Thank you for the review.

I actually find the design of the pen to be quite attractive. The design reminds me a lot of the modern Parker Premier fountain pens. I probably won't buy one because of the price but I would certainly consider it in the under $50 price range. Although, I detest rollerballs because the rollerball refills are so expensive and don't last long but $8 is actually not out of line for a refill. Parker already charges $5 for rollerball and ballpoint refills. If it lasts longer than a ballpoint refill and writes smoother than it might be worth it.



Having red your review, I find it offensive that Newell-Rubbermaid is trying to pass off a thing that is in no way a fountain pen as being fountain pen-like or an improvement over fountain pens. I don't mind new technology or better things to write with. I am no Luddite. But I want things honestly labeled what they are. I once knew a fellow who brought carob dried fruit "brownies" to a party. He didn't label them as what they were. They looked for all the world like chocolate brownies. All evening people would bite into the "brownies' (expecting a delicious chocolate brownie) make an ugly face, and spit the bite out. They might have found them interesting and even good if they had known what they were really getting. This product makes me less likely to buy new Parker products. If they are deceitful in this I wonder what else they are being deceitful about?


Parker in no way has ever stated that this is a fountain pen or has tried to pass it off as being such. I find it offensive that you charge them as being deceitful.



Easily offended?

When I looked at it, I thought it was a fountain pen.

It's got a fountain pen price.

You have to be paying close attention to realize it's NOT a fountain pen.

I thought it was cool-looking, especially the rose gold. I wouldn't mind trying it.

But I can't pay that price for a real fountain pen these days. Definitely not for a felt-tip or rollerball.

#38 writebyhand

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 22:21

Thanks for a great review Ernst! Like many, I couldn't help but be curious about this pen.

#39 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 14:28

I thought I might add a link to another review of this pen by one of our number, who got it by the same means as I did. This review is based on a longer period of use than mine, which gives some of the conclusions rather greater weight.

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#40 Malcy

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 15:26

Thanks for the review Ernst.

I am left wondering just who will pay £135 for a fibre tip pen. However we sometimes forget that we live in a niche world of fountain pens. This clouds the fact that the majority of pens purchased, both cheap and expensive are not fountain pens.

I won't be buying an Ingenuity but it will be interesting to see how it fares.
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