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Parker 51 Vs. Parker 61


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#21 classenigma

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 06:51

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Edited by classenigma, 28 February 2013 - 06:55.


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#22 ps4ever

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 00:21

It certainly didn't eclipse it.  The 51, as has been said so often, was probably the best fountain pen ever made, or one of them.  The 61 was a nice idea, and actually works extremely well.  But it doesn't stand up well to abuse.  For the careful user, who keeps it filled, handles it carefully, and follows the instructions provided by Parker (speaking here of the capillary filler), the pen works very well and does exactly what it is supposed to do, and does it exceedingly well.  When the user deviates from this pattern however, problems ensue, and those are what you here about.  My 61 set is my favorite pen as well as mechanical pencil.  Both operate fantastic.  But that is because I got a NOS set, knew about the problems with the 61, and followed the instructions for the pen.  But when consumer products are evaluated, part of the credit is assign to how well they hold up when the user isn't as careful with it as should be, or doesn't follow instructions properly.  As far as that goes, the 61 was too fragile.  The capillary system, however, is almost ideal for a daily use pen.  It is neat and clean, and has no moving parts to wear out.  It was really a better pen than the Snorkel in the no-mess filling competition, but the 61 ended up with the bad reputation.



#23 pajaro

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 23:16

"Eclipsed" is a word that makes a big statement. Having, in the opinion of some, a better nib than the Parker 51 does not mean the 61 eclipsed the 51.

No pen Parker has made since the 51 has eclipsed the 51. Or come close. Parker could with reasonable sincerity advertise the 51 as "the world's most wanted pen." Never true of the 61, or the 75, or the Sonnet, or the current version of the Duofold. As Tony Fischier explains on parkerpens.net, one reason why Parker developed the 75 was that the 61 was a disappointment in the marketplace after the 51.

The 51 was a well-designed and well-made pen, but its desirability arose from more than that. It stood in the public mind for American know-how and an open and strong social system and above all it stood for the America that played such a large part in winning World War II. The good America. The 61's years of production were 1958-83. Not the same perception of America, or of fountain pens, during those years. (And I speak as one who was an adult when the 61 was introduced.)

 

After reading this again, I have to say I like it better each time I read it.  It gets right to the heart of the matter.  

 

I have tried many pens, thinking sometimes, that some of them might eclipse the 51.  It has never happened in my experience, but I have found a couple of pens that were almost as good as a 51, but they fall down in some way, large or small.


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#24 Flounder

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 23:36

Duh-doy!!

 

The 61 has a cool little arrow pointing out the nib orientation! It's all like, "Oh, this is IT! We're getting things DONE right here!".


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#25 Chouffleur

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 00:48

Duh-doy!!

 

The 61 has a cool little arrow pointing out the nib orientation! It's all like, "Oh, this is IT! We're getting things DONE right here!".

The "cool little arrow" had a purpose. It let you know where the damn hidden nib is. My first (of two) 51s had the hood chipped away a bit in an "aftermarket" modification. By no means is this the only time I've seen the modification. So it may not "eclipse" the 51 but in this one area it is demonstrably "better". ;-)


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#26 DustyR

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 04:36

"Eclipsed" is a word that makes a big statement. Having, in the opinion of some, a better nib than the Parker 51 does not mean the 61 eclipsed the 51.

No pen Parker has made since the 51 has eclipsed the 51. Or come close. Parker could with reasonable sincerity advertise the 51 as "the world's most wanted pen." Never true of the 61, or the 75, or the Sonnet, or the current version of the Duofold. As Tony Fischier explains on parkerpens.net, one reason why Parker developed the 75 was that the 61 was a disappointment in the marketplace after the 51.

The 51 was a well-designed and well-made pen, but its desirability arose from more than that. It stood in the public mind for American know-how and an open and strong social system and above all it stood for the America that played such a large part in winning World War II. The good America. The 61's years of production were 1958-83. Not the same perception of America, or of fountain pens, during those years. (And I speak as one who was an adult when the 61 was introduced.)

 

Most of the things we buy, collect and use are embedded in webs of history and social relations.  To miss that context means missing an important piece of what makes them what they are.  This was a great post, and I'm glad to find it now, even if I'm a little late... ;-)

 

Thanks.


Edited by DustyR, 04 March 2016 - 04:36.


#27 pajaro

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 04:30

Maybe the 51 set people's expectations so high that nothing could meet them.  Really the 61 I have works pretty well, but the nib is too broad.  The capillary filler  works well.  I write too slowly, and the ink blobs.  Medium and broad nibs on 51s are collector's items to me.  Ink blobs again.


"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.







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