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 Frontier


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 phrenzy

phrenzy

    Graf Von Faber-Castell county citizen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 194 posts
  • Location:Flying in a Cartesian plane
  • Flag:

Posted 04 January 2012 - 10:18

Hi everyone!

I was actually hoping to post my first review a week or so ago on my GvF-C guilloche but after procrastinating on taking some pics for it and recommending the Frontier in a couple of threads recently I thought I should write a short roundup of this in the meantime.

Like I said, I've had cause to recommend the Frontier in a couple threads asking for ideas on cheaper and/or starter pens. Since nobody else has mentioned them at all I thought instead of writing a new mini review in each thread I could write a proper one and link to it and in the meantime it might be useful for someone looking specifically for Frontier info.

The review proper:

I've only been using fountain pens for a few months now and I first took the jump by buying a near complete range of cheaper Parker FPs: F chrome Jotter flighter; M Jotter, M Profile IM, M Reflex and the M Frontier now being reviewed. The reason I'm reviewing the Frontier though is that it really is the pick of the bunch and I have yet to hear anyone else recommend it to anyone.

To be fair, of all the Parkers I mentioned it's almost the most expensive at £12 sterling plus postage to Australia, after only the chromed Jotter flighter which cost $35AUD (roughly £20sterling or $35USD).

The Frontier I chose was in dawn gold trim which looked quite good online, and although in person the barrel looks a bit more plasticy than it did online, I think it still looks quite nice for a cheap pen. The cap however is real metal, feels and looks quite nice, the only drawback being that without it the rest of the pen is quite light. This means that when writing with the cap posted as I tend to do (big gorilla hands) it throws the balance of the pen off a bit.

Now for the real reason for all this: how it writes...very well. The feel of the nib on paper is buttery smooth, just slightly on the wet side of average ink flow, which I like. The pen will write with very little pressure and although there isn't a lot of line variation the nib is springy and doesn't mind having plenty of pressure applied, so it will survive a beginner's ham fisted first transition from a ballpoint. Indeed the nib feels a lot more like the few other gold nibbed pens I have than my steel nibbed Parkers or Safaris. It's even gold toned though I'm sure it's just cleverly constructed steel composition. I suppose if I had to find a criticism it would be just that there isn't a whole lot of feedback to be had which is something steel nibs usually do well.

I'm a big Safari / Al-star fan (not as big as some though - I only own three) and although I prefer the feel of the grip and the look of the much lauded Safari to the Frontier, I think the Frontier's actually a smoother, nicer writer and at half the price of the Safari...I wouldn't put one above the other, but that's the beauty of the price of these pens, why not have both!? For comparative purposes the line width of the frontier M is much wider than Safari M (though much narrower than the 1.5mm BI nib Al-star I own, I know that's a big range but I don't have a regular B Safari to compare it to).

It's been super reliable, running non-stop with a standard Parker converter since the day I got it, never scratchy, skipping or needing any sort of upkeep beyond a good cleaning when I switch to a new ink. In short, I couldn't be happier with it and if I were going to try to entice my friends to make the change to FPs with a cheapie or suggest a starter this would be the pen I would and have recommended.

Overall score: 7/10
Price adjusted score: 9/10

Edited by phrenzy, 04 January 2012 - 10:20.

WTB: the following GvF-C classic FPs (pref. B or OB nib) or rollerballs: platinum plated, gold plated, solid sterling silver, ebony anello and gold anello, PM me!
(also interested in most other GvF-C products in general, i.e any writing tools, leather goods, advertising/packaging)

Posted Image

Sponsored Content

#2 phrenzy

phrenzy

    Graf Von Faber-Castell county citizen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 194 posts
  • Location:Flying in a Cartesian plane
  • Flag:

Posted 04 January 2012 - 10:21

My first review, short though it is, please be gentle!

If anyone wants pictures of anything specific or general I'm happy to take requests, I have to get around to photographing my guilloche and classic for their respective reviews anyhow.

Thanks again, FPN!

Edited by phrenzy, 04 January 2012 - 10:22.

WTB: the following GvF-C classic FPs (pref. B or OB nib) or rollerballs: platinum plated, gold plated, solid sterling silver, ebony anello and gold anello, PM me!
(also interested in most other GvF-C products in general, i.e any writing tools, leather goods, advertising/packaging)

Posted Image

#3 WayTooManyHobbies

WayTooManyHobbies

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 726 posts
  • Location:Rochester Hills, MI
  • Flag:

Posted 04 January 2012 - 17:24

In short, I couldn't be happier with it and if I were going to try to entice my friends to make the change to FPs with a cheapie or suggest a starter this would be the pen I would and have recommended.

Overall score: 7/10
Price adjusted score: 9/10


Hi, Phrenzy.

Nice review! I think that sums up my Frontier experience as well - smooth, easy starter pen. My Frontier is much smoother than my Safari. Mine is a medium nib with fairly wet ink flow, so I try to confine it to fairly dry inks. A nice pen for the money.

#4 Drone

Drone

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,444 posts
  • Location:Miami > Me < Ft. Lauderdale
  • Flag:

Posted 20 January 2012 - 17:46

I have a "vintage" Parker Frontier SS/GT with M nib made in 1998 (MADE IN USA, IE date-code). AFAIK the Frontier was introduced around 1996 and discontinued in December 2010. But you can find many on the Web - and separate nib/sections as well (Google is your Friend).

Pros:

My Frontier has seen a LOT of use over the years, and I still put it into rotation once in a while. The M nib is very robust and smooth as silk, from out-of-the-box through today. It behaves excellent with a wide variety of inks. Currently my Frontier has a Parker slide converter (can't remember if it came with the converter or not), which works quite well. I even fly with this pen from time to time, and have never experienced a problem (I always fully fill the pen before flying of-course). The pen is well, balanced, especially when posted. The rubberized section has not deteriorated in any way and is comfortable. The GT plating on the nib and (especially) the clip and the top of the of the cap have never brassed, even after heavy mileage. The SS/GT version of the Frontier is quite presentable, even in a business setting. I can't say this for the Frontiers with plastic barrels as I don't have long-term experience with them. Go for the SS/GT version or all SS if you prefer.

Cons:

Over time, the Frontier is notorious for the cap rattling when capped. Mine rattles a bit, but it isn't a deal-killer IMO. The top of the cap dents (dings) easily if dropped. Some report flow problems over time. I've never had a problem with this. But I remember to clean my pens every so often, especially when taking them out of rotation. The SS cap and barrel scratch easily, but it is hard to see unless you look closely (this is NOT a P-51). If you buy a NOS Frontier (like with any new Fountain pen) remember to flush it well then dry it before first inking it.

Keep in-mind I'm only talking about my old work-horse SS/GT Frontier. I can't speak definitively about newer versions (made in UK, etc?) But I can say the plastic barrel versions are not to my liking - avoid IMHO.

Regards, David

#5 Mike 59

Mike 59

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,658 posts
  • Location:40m north of London
  • Flag:

Posted 20 January 2012 - 18:26

Completely agree about the plastic barrelled Frontier, it almost spoils a really decent pen.
I bought my Purple barrel Frontier in a sale in the UK, I don't like that colour anyway, but it was cheapish, I think it was a slow seller in that colour. So got it home, gave it a flush through with water + washing up liquid, filled a Parker converter with Skrip black, and..... terrific writer, smooth and not a hint of skipping, very surprising considering that I didn't expect much. Since then I bought the last Frontier stainless steel I saw for sale, date code = E.II,"Made in UK" and it's exactly the same, really
solid writer, and hard to fault.
What makes this a good design to my mind, it has a proper nib and feed, not very modern but it works well.
Now discontinued by the maker, things move on, trends change, a good design disappears.

Edited by Mike 59, 20 January 2012 - 18:27.







Sponsored Content




|