(I was shocked that nobody has posted a Parker Victory review at all yet, much less this mark)
Ever since reading Mr. Ernst Bitterman's review of the Parker 17 open nib, I've kind of been on a vintage Parker kick. Of course, I started with some 17s but have accumulated a good selection since. This pen, however, has been the biggest surprise to me. I really didn't know much about it, but it was posted by one of my go-to eBay sellers (davidtna and I know absolutely nothing about him at all other than a handful of eBay purchases) and so I paid special attention. I paid all of $39 for the thing. I decided to review it because it's just such a shockingly good, understated and under-appreciated pen. This pen was made sometime between 1953 and 1960 and shares parts with the '51' (I hope my research is correct -- very open to correction).
Now down to brass tacks:
- Fit and Finish: 8/10 I'd say this is a sturdy pen. As far as I can tell, it doesn't have some of the nib-drying, cap-splitting design problems of some other models. This specimen certainly seems to have held up well.
- Style: 7/10 I don't love the way the pen looks really. It's understated which I like, but I don't find the clip all that attractive. It doesn't exactly feel cheap, but it is plasticy. I think the '17' is a slightly better looking pen, somehow the proportions work out better, though they are nearly identical in size. The '17' has less fussy dipped gold and doesn't have a buldge over the cap threads.
- C/C Design / filling: 9/10 It's hard not to appreciate the Aerometric filler. I think this one is original and look how it's held up! It's even slightly transparent still. It holds a lot of ink too... I personally still prefer some kindofa fancy pistony thing, but this is a tried and true filling system that is easy to use and extremely durable.
- Nib: 9/10 This is the real shocker. The unassuming nib, marked "Parker 14k, England, 10" is an absolutely wonderful, flexible conspirator to whatever you may want it to do. In a way it's very much like the open-nib '17' except it may have even more line variation. Again, not a 'wet noodle' -- as it were, but really wonderful. Smooth and easy and not even a little scratchy and dry.
- Price: I consider this MORE than a steal at $39. I would have easily paid twice that knowing what I know now.
Showing the Aerometric filler:
Now, the best part, the little nib that could:
And some writing with it (imagine what it could do in the hands of someone who didn't have horrendous handwriting!)
I've actually been carrying it and used it to take notes in meetings yesterday:
So, in summary, if you have a chance to buy one of these pens, I don't think you'll be disappointed (specially if it's the same nib!)