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Parker 180


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15 replies to this topic

#1 BillTheEditor

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 19:02

I bought Old Griz's gold Parker 180, despite my concerns that it would be too slender for my big, stiff fingers. It was just "too purty" (it's a good thing you people can't hear my accent), and my resistance failed after about six weeks of wondering if Sean Colfer (corniche) was going to buy it first. Sorry, Sean.

Well, it arrived today, and it's even better looking than in Tom's picture. Loaded it right away with Noodler's Black and tried it out. It's not too skinny after all! In fact, it feels much more comfortable to hold and write with than would a ballpoint or rollerball of the same diameter. It may be slightly better balanced posted, but I'd rather not risk scratching the gold.

The 180, if you haven't seen one, is unusual in that it is designed to write lines of two different sizes. You turn the nib over to change line widths. It is true that many older pens have nibs that will do this "trick" but the 180 has a very different nib design -- it's dead flat and triangular, and has a feed that is designed to assure ink delivery with either side up. In the case of my pen, the nib writes a very nice classic medium line and an excellent extra-fine the other way. I say "classic" medium because the line is not as wide as the one laid down by my medium Sonnets and modern Duofold.

I had heard here and elsewhere that the 180 is temperamental and not smooth. This has not been my observation with this particular pen. Ink flow is smooth and the pen starts easily. No drag or scratching from the nib on either side, although the extra-fine side seems to be just the slightest bit dryer than the medium side (as might be expected).

This is a great little pen, and it might just become a favorite for letters, checks, and memos.

Edited by BillTheEditor, 18 December 2006 - 20:58.


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#2 Richard

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 19:06

Welcome to the 180 Club! They're actually great pens, so good that I had to have two. The one that I usually use is this one:



It has a nice X/M nib like yours, and it's a ball (pun very much intended) to write with.
Click to send email: richard@richardspens.com
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#3 corniche

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 19:27

QUOTE(BillTheEditor @ Dec 18 2006, 02:02 PM)
I bought Old Griz's gold Parker 180, despite my concerns that it would be too slender for my big, stiff fingers. It was just "too purty" (it's a good thing you people can't hear my accent), and my resistance failed after about six weeks of wondering if Sean Colfer (corniche) was going to buy it first. Sorry, Sean.

Hello Bill,

Don't give it a second thought- I'm glad you are enjoying it. I wanted to buy it but I have to hang on to "all of me cash" so I can get Colfer's Imperial Inks™ out of the station and onto the mainline. biggrin.gif

Your review is helpful though, because I had a couple of doubts myself. I'm glad to see they are unfounded. I have heard a rumour floating around that Parker made a couple of these pens, so I will grab the second one when it comes around. rolleyes.gif

Best wishes & Merry Christmas,

Sean

smile.gif
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#4 amh210

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 06:04

Sheaffer made a 2-sided nib like that as well. Does anyone know what the pen is called? (I recently got one in a mixed ebay lot.) Not a nice gold one like Griz, but a pedestrian plastic barrel with a crome/steel cap.

Cartridge filler.

Anybody know its name?

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#5 mmoncur

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 07:08

That would be the Sheaffer Stylist.

I think Stylists also came in a couple of nib variations. A short Triumph-style nib and a recessed one that looked like a Parker 45. Not sure which is the "true" Stylist or the most common...
Michael Moncur

#6 brh

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 07:30

Very cool... Glad to hear that pen is working out for you... I really like the looks of the nib but had wondered about the flow myself... Not that I wouldn't buy one anyway just hoping that mine would be the one good one.. I was very tempted by Griz's but I just can't handle the gold.. Thanks for the review!

-brian

#7 OldGriz

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 12:19

Glad to hear you like the pen.... it was way too slim for my sausage fingers.... It is a pretty pen...
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#8 amh210

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 02:26

QUOTE(mmoncur @ Dec 18 2006, 11:08 PM)
That would be the Sheaffer Stylist.

I think Stylists also came in a couple of nib variations. A short Triumph-style nib and a recessed one that looked like a Parker 45. Not sure which is the "true" Stylist or the most common...



That's it! I have the same pen in the same color as this image (borrowed from Richard Binder's wonderful site).
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#9 cmeisenzahl

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 13:52

Not a bad looking pen at all! smile.gif

#10 tonydacrow

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 22:17

Call me a left-handed yak herder, but does the Parker 180's nib look a little like the Hero 360's nib? Do you think this is where Hero copied the design?

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#11 BillTheEditor

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 22:31

QUOTE(tonydacrow @ Dec 22 2006, 04:17 PM)
Call me a left-handed yak herder, but does the Parker 180's nib look a little like the Hero 360's nib? Do you think this is where Hero copied the design?

I'm sure it is. However, doesn't the Hero 360 write the same line width in either orientation? I believe that Sailor also had a similar design, although I also seem to recall that the Sailor wrote no matter the degree of rotation. With the 180 and the 360, you only have one ink slit; the Sailor had, what, 4?

For a left-handed yak herder, you take nice pictures. laugh.gif

#12 *david*

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 22:40

Hero was a Parker factory, re-named after the communist take-over. Hero's Parker-like models are not really copies at all - they're the real thing, but taken in a different direction. One could argue that their constant re-hashing of the best models from the '40s through the '60s (even if made more cheaply) is a better move than what the western Parker corp. has done lately (which is constant re-hashing of the generic cartridge pen).

#13 Shabubu

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 23:31

QUOTE(tonydacrow @ Dec 22 2006, 10:17 PM)
Call me a left-handed yak herder, but does the Parker 180's nib look a little like the Hero 360's nib? Do you think this is where Hero copied the design?

The Hero is more a copy of the Sailor trident, a pen released in the 70's to try and compete against the ballpoint. The Hero and the sailor had 3 'nibs' formed into a tip, from what I can see of the parker it is flat, though the hero does have some cues from the parker design.

Link to info on the sailor trident.
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#14 *david*

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 23:35

Thanks Shabubu. This particular pen appears to be a copy (of the Sailor) after all. I stand corrected.

#15 seymour

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 14:05

Hallo

I also have a Parker 180. It is the cheap version with the metallic finish and nib.
I have had no problems with it and can recommend it highly.

I like the 2 sided nib and even an amateur like me finds it easy to take it apart
to clean it.

I am certainly not interested in selling, but out of curiosity, how much is the
simplest model worth?

Yours

Chaim Seymour
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#16 BillTheEditor

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 14:35

Chaim, I'm no expert on 180s. I did watch the prices on them on eBay for a while before I bought, and the flighter version (stainless steel body) in good condition seemed to sell for around US$70.

For what it's worth, I don't think there were any "cheap" versions of the 180. Some of them were pretty expensive, but all of them were more toward the upper end of the scale, or so it seems to me. Don't undervalue your pen by thinking of it as cheap (especially not when you see what it would cost to replace it).






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