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Parker Vector - A Classic?

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#1 Geordielass

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 15:24

For Information:

Bought: At least a decade ago from WHSmith's (large stationery shop), reduced to half price (£3-£4... I think).

 

Availability: This is about the easiest fountain pen to lay hands on in the UK and, as I understand it, it certainly isn't difficult to find in many other parts of the world, either, whether in a high-street shop, a supermarket or on the net. The price hasn't risen too much in the last decade, either. If you want a fine nib you may not get one quite so easily, though, and extra fine stopped being made ages ago!


 


 

There's a bit of a story behind this one, for me:

You have to understand, me and the Parker Vector model, we go way back...

 

When I was nine, I changed schools. My first school had carried a few of the 1970s “progressive educational” ideas into the 80s which, in part, meant that once you could print something vaguely recognisable as lower case letters (and my parents had ensured that I had started school being able to do that), they just left you to get on with handwriting the best way you could. However, my new school insisted on fountain pens! I couldn't even do “joined up” writing.


 

At around the same time, my favourite Aunt was diagnosed with lung cancer and was receiving intensive chemo- and radio-therapy. My parents and I visited her every Saturday, often in hospital, and one of us must have mentioned that I had to have a fountain pen, because she gave me £10 and told me to go and get myself a pen for school. That was how I got my first Vector fountain pen. It was a “flighter” model and I had my name engraved on it. I loved that pen, and it became doubly precious after my Aunt died the following year. We moved to Scotland when I was 13 and it got lost during that move – I grieved for that pen.


 

Moving on, rather a lot of years, I wandered into a branch of WHSmith, probably for a magazine or newspaper, but WHSmith sell two things which I can't resist, books and pens, so when I saw a bargain bin with Parker pens I made a beeline. I ended up buying a navy blue Vector (the colour is now discontinued, but there is a brighter blue version) and a magenta/gunmetal ballpoint (I still have the ballpoint somewhere but I don't even know what model it is – a bit like an Urban, but it pre-dates that, so I'm not sure). That Vector began to live in my handbag and amazingly (considering I've never been all that careful with it) it has survived to this very day. I have to admit it's well past its best now, even if it is still a very decent writer.  I thought I'd review it while it's still in the land of the living.

 


 

Appearance/Design – 6/10:

This pen is very utilitarian; there's nothing fancy or exciting about it, but it is very practical and it gets the job done. The only semi-unusual part of the design is the metal section (brushed stainless steel) with a plastic body – I can think of others, but not one so inexpensive. Other than the section/nib, the end-cap on the barrel and the clip are also metal and the clip is in the traditional Parker arrow-shape, though without any engraved fletching. The clip has plenty of spring, so no problem clipping it to most everyday things.

 

Here's a link to the Vector “family” on the Parker website: http://www.parkerpen...catalogId=12002. Parker may call it “chic”, but even though I have a lot of affection for the Vector model, objectively, “dull but worthy” is probably a better description of the design, here's mine:

10134263335_1343b988de_b.jpg
Parker Vector by Geordielass78, on Flickr

 

Perfectly good pen, but a little boring, really, isn't it? As you can see mine's a bit (OK, a lot) scuffed – it's a 10-year-old daily carry (handbag pocket with at least 1 other pen, a propelling pencil, a mobile phone and sometimes keys) and you may even be able to see that's it's less than 10 years ago that I kicked the habit of chewing pens when lost in thought!

 

Calling it boring is slightly unfair of me, it has clean straight lines and I like the contrast between the steel and plastic parts of the pen which, perhaps, makes it a little more classy than the average inexpensive plastic bodied pen. The only other thing worth noting is that it has a sturdy plastic “ring” around the bottom of the nib which gives it, almost, a semi-hooded look. The nib itself is very small and narrow, without a breather hole and PARKER printed across it just below the slit.


 

What has to be noted in its favour is that, even though this is a 1980s design, meant for the younger/less affluent end of the market, instead of the pen equivalent of a huge permed mullet, enormous shoulder-pads, fluorescent eye makeup and earrings that could double as chandeliers, Parker kept the design simple and reasonably refined.


 

That's all I have to say about it, there isn't much more, is there? Score-wise, I hovered between 6 and 7, but I think the tug to 7 is based on my personal affection for the pen. Really, it's a very functional design, but just a bit plain and unexciting, so I think it has to be 6/10.


 

Construction/Quality – 10/10:

This surely has to be a high scoring category, after all its still going after 10 or more years.


 

The plastic part is light but robust – well it was robust. The body has several hairline cracks around the threaded end now (hence my surmise about it not lasting much longer). I know exactly how they came about, and it's mostly my fault. I was screwing the (metal) section into the (plastic) body about a year ago, after refilling, and I over-tightened (I knew not to do that on this pen, but I wasn't concentrating). Unfortunately, after you've cracked it once, it becomes a lot easier to do a second time. I imagine this is probably an inherent design flaw in the plastic models when used a little heavy-handedly - the metal's rigid and the plastic has a enough give to be slightly over-tightened, but not enough to survive if you are really being vigorous. Still, it took about 9 years for it to happen, so it certainly can't lose construction/quality points for this.


 

When it comes to my original flighter model it was practically indestructible – that pen was accidentally knocked off desks onto hard classroom floors numerous times, occasionally while uncapped, and took no harm, even when landing nib-down. I think it was stood on, at least once (the barrel, not the nib – I don't think it's that tough).


 

I like the nib a lot, but then again I would, I'm used to it and it's used to me – but I'll go into that in more detail later – it's undoubtedly a good quality nib for this money, though.


 

A very solidly built, reliable pen, and for an inexpensive workhorse, rather than a status symbol or future heirloom, a 10+-year lifespan is pretty impressive! So I have to give it 10/10.

 

 

Size and Weight - 6/10:

It's fairly light, especially considering it's partly stainless steel, and I guess it manages that by being fairly small. Don't get me wrong, it's not tiny, but I do think it's smaller than average – width-wise, anyway, lengthwise, it's actually pretty big, if you post it. (Thinking it was on its last legs, I decided to replace it with a stainless steel Jotter, now that is a teeny pen – not my best purchase.)  Compare it to a Parker Jotter and Platinum Preppy:


10138797266_91707e16f5_b.jpg
Parker Vector Comparison by Geordielass78, on Flickr

 

It is quite a narrow pen, which, added to the unyielding metal section, doesn't always make it the most comfortable to write with for long periods. Because I've spent so much time writing with one, over the years, I don't notice (until too late – i.e. when my hand starts to ache) that it's too small for my hands but, really, I'm more comfortable with a larger pen. For a child who is of an age/skill level to have fully-developed fine-motor skills (i.e. happily uses a fountain pen and always holds it correctly) or a woman with smaller hands, though, this makes a great pen – I just have clodhopper's hands. It's not minuscule and they are very common, both in this model and the similar roller-ball, so it's often used by men (and women with big hands), but for people with relatively large hands there are more comfortable pens out there.

 

In summary, it's a compact pen, but posted it's a very good length for even the largest hands. Unfortunately, even if it was 20-25% fatter, it still couldn't be called a wide pen. It's light, which is often easier, but it's not ideal for prolonged use, unless you have small hands.  I don't feel it can have more than 6/10.

 

 

Nib Performance - 10/10:

This nib is used in the Vector and Jotter and was used in the Reflex and others in the past (I can speak for the three pens named, since I have one of each) and I believe it's also currently used in the IM and Urban – in other words, if you have tried a current model Parker in the lower-cost half of their range you will have used one.  You'll have your own opinions on it, in that case, but I really like it. It looks undersized to me in the IM and Urban, but here it's in proportion and looks neat and appropriate (I'm afraid I'm back to the dull but worthy language) but this section of the review isn't about how it looks, it's about how it performs.


 

It has almost no spring. However, for a cheap steel nib, it is smooth and a real pleasure to write with. This one has had a lot of time to adapt to my writing style (and for a good proportion of the last decade it was one of only two fountain pens I regularly used, so it has been well broken in) but I don't recall it ever being at all scratchy. My two much newer Parkers with the same nib bear this out. This is a medium, and as this nib was also on my first fountain pen, it is, I think, unconsciously the standard by which I judge whether another medium nib is truly medium or not. When compared to half a dozen other mediums I own, this actually seems quite fair (though my “identical” Jotter nib is a very broad “medium”, so they aren't 100% consistent). Anyway, here is a sample to give you an idea of how it writes (the ink is Diamine Amazing Amethyst, though the colour is slightly off in the photo):

10134351646_38ec18e8fd_b.jpg
Parker Vector Sample by Geordielass78, on Flickr

 

It's got a great feed, no skipping, no hard starting (even left several weeks without using) and is fairly wet, though not a “gusher”. As you can (hopefully) see from the picture, it can produce decent shading with the right ink.

 

All in all, it's a great nib for the money. A true medium, smooth, on the wet side; I can't fault it. I'm giving it 10/10.

 

 

Filling System/Maintenance - 8/10:

With that metal end-cap, it isn't an eyedropper candidate, but if it is likely to be used as a school/work pen, I can recommend the cartridges, for convenience as well as a lot of ink capacity (but not much variety of ink). Parker cartridges are the second most readily available, after the international ones, (in the UK, at least) and they can (apparently, I don't speak from personal experience) also take the far more uncommon Aurora ones. You can get two types of converter for Parkers but I've only ever had the (smaller) basic piston filler version, so I'm not 100% sure if it takes the "deluxe" twist one (I'm fairly sure it does, but help with that, anyone?) The piston filler doesn't hold much ink, which is great if you quickly grow bored with using the same colour, but wouldn't be much use if you were sitting a 3-hour exam or were spending a full day at Uni, taking screeds of notes in every lecture.


 

This isn't the most maintenance-friendly pen. I've regularly cleaned it using water (sometimes with a little washing-up liquid) but have never been able to take the section apart. I tried again recently (I even watched Stephen Brown's disassembly line video for this pen to get some tips) and still couldn't do it. At its age, I'd really appreciate being able to take it apart for a deep clean, especially as it was a work pen used exclusively with black Quink for many years. Quink's well behaved, but I'd still have liked to have given the nib and feed a really thorough clean when I was swapping to lighter inks (to be fair, I just soaked it with a little washing-up liquid in water, overnight, and it seemed fine).

 

(I've never tried, but it may be worth pointing out, to anyone interested, that the Vector has the reputation of being able to deal with inks that should be kept at least a mile away from most other pens. Even if you don't particularly like the pen, you could still choose to buy one for iron-gall inks and others than can be harsh to a more delicate pen's innards. However, if you do try them in it, that could make it even more irksome that you can't take it apart occasionally for a thorough cleaning.)

 

Excellent availability of both cartridges and converter, able to be used with anything short of India ink, but with poor ability to then disassemble it to clean makes this a difficult to score section. However, it doesn't seem to have to be dismantled to remain in a well-maintained condition, so 8/10 is fine, I think.

 

 

Value for Money - 9/10:

If anyone's reading this with an eye to purchasing, it's no good me speaking from the point of view of what I paid 10 years ago, it needs to relate to what I'd pay now. However, the cheapest I've found it new (online) is £4.50 (with a slightly garish print). In plain colours/black, you can find it online for £6.00-£8.00 or £8.00-£10.00 for a flighter (with a small premium to get a fine nib). You'll pay a little more on the high-street. For this price, you are getting a great nib, a robust body, decent inoffensive looks, total reliability and a very recognisable brand.


 

It is an excellent pen for the money and but is narrowly misses out on a 10 because it is rather on the small side and, frankly, is a bit boring, still, it is easily a 9/10.

 

 

Final Conclusion/Total Score - 8/10:

These UK manufactured Parkers all seem to be sturdy and reliable (I'm including my Jotter and Reflex (and previous Vector) in that statement, so it's not quite the sweeping generalisation it may at first seem). These days, you are likely to find Vectors that are made in either France or China, I believe (unless you find NOS). I don't, for a moment, say that the quality is going to be any worse, but I can't comment on whether there will be any difference (for good or ill). All I can do is rate this pen (while referring to my first one too) and it's very good.


 

The average score is 8/10. That seems about right – it has its faults, but over all I have never had serious complaints. As hardy as this pen has proved, I'd recommend the flighter if you want extra toughness – as long as the cost difference remains negligible it's worth it. There are other (more expensive, more attention-grabbing) contenders for someone's first fountain pen, but this one is so easy to lay hands on, pleasant to use and so reliable that I think anyone could (and should) consider it – it's not “excitement, adventure and really wild things!” but it will get the job done, and do it well.

 

 

Last question - is it a classic?  Perhaps.  In the sense that it has stood the test of time and is recognisable to an awful lot people, then perhaps that's a "yes".


Edited by Geordielass, 08 October 2013 - 04:41.


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#2 Vendome

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 16:37

I've got a couple of Vectors that I use as EDC pens. I recently bought a Vector Premium and quality wise, it is on a par with my vintage 88. (Even though the 88 has a gold plated nib and cost three times as much.)


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#3 mshepp3

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 17:01

I taught for exactly one year (don't ask) at a private school in Western Canada and, having just completed six years working at a Waldorf school, I decided to issue fountain pens to all the students in my combined Grade 3/4 class.  

 

After doing some hands-on research, my two final choices came down to the Sheaffer Javelin and the Parker Vector.  If memory serves, I could almost purchase three Vectors for the price of one Javelin...and the Javelin's medium nib was rather scratchy, to boot.  Needless to say, the Vector was my ultimate choice.  

 

I still have a blue one (darker than yours Geordielass) and a black one (they came in burgundy as well)... and yes, I do fill and use them from time to time.  They are as utilitarian and functional as your review implies... and an excellent starter pen, in my opinion, although younger writers can certainly  benefit from pens which are designed so that the section promotes a proper grip orientation (for example, the Greenfield pens used in Waldorf/Steiner schools).

 

Anyway, I think your review is spot on... it is good to see reviews of writing instruments meant for the less-well financially endowed.  In fact, I think I will pick up a Flighter next time I am able to.... Thanks!

 

BTW - To answer your question: The DeLuxe Parker converter would seem to fit into the Vector quite easily - I inserted one into the section and screwed the barrel back on, but did not fill it with ink - but you are quite correct... the regular syringe type is wider and therefore would most likely hold more ink.  The DeLuxe is actually slightly shorter.  Cheers.


Edited by mshepp3, 07 October 2013 - 17:05.


#4 penrivers

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 18:01

Nice pen but the sharpened barrel plastic edge near the section can be so painfully in your index finger after some time writing. I loosened or unscrew the section

and let the barrel free, then with an Arkansas stone proceeded to smooth the edge, it doesn't take more than a minute or two and trying not to erase much material

from the barrel, it works, letting the grip sweet, smooth,easy, soft. Belive me, wonderful pen.



#5 Dillo

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 02:39

Hi,

 

I really enjoyed the Vector range a lot. I used to have a purple one. I don't have one anymore though. The design and materials were better than the Parker Reflex. My favorite one that used this nib was the Parker 15/Jotter though. I used the Deluxe converter in all my Parker pens including the 15/Jotter.

 

Dillon


Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Dillon


#6 inkstainedruth

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 03:16

A blue Vector was my first "good" pen (replacing a couple of low end model Parkers with really nasty rubberized sections that disintegrated).  At the time I was thinking to myself "OMG -- I'm paying $9 just for a pen!" (okay, who knew).  It's a wet writing F, and recently got nicknamed "Perdita" because I've lost and found the thing two or three times in the past year and a half (but fortunately it always turns up eventually).  And the thing is a trooper -- the first time I lost it, it got left at my brother-in-law's for something like a month, and then spent a week in 20 degree weather in the bottom of my husband's car before I got it back.  The next morning?  It started right up as if I had been using it 5 minutes before, without a hitch, hiccup or skip.

I have many better pens now, but Perdita is my sentimental favorite -- and I liked it so much that I now have 4 other Vectors: a red one; a bright blue/turquoise; a flighter with some sort of company logo on it; and a black one that came in a 4-nib calligraphy set.  

All of mine are UK made, and the date codes range from the (I think) mid-1980s to around 2003.  I now have slide converters for all of them, although I still do have some cartridges for emergencies (as well as the carts that came with the calligraphy set).  Other than for that set, I have M and F nibs.

And I agree with Geordielass -- they do quite well with IG inks (especially Perdita).

Thanks for a review of a workhorse pen.  They may be considered "school pens" by some, but count me amongst their fans.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

ETA: The design of the pen also makes for easy and efficient posting.


Edited by inkstainedruth, 08 October 2013 - 03:17.

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#7 usk15

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 03:40

I have a Flighter Vector, never used because i find it too small...

Very good review! Well done!



#8 Seele

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 03:41

From my limited experience: the nib/feed can indeed be pulled out but it's a bit more difficult than most others, a main factor is that the feed is markedly curved, so there's little to hold on to.

 

I use my usual tool: a short length (perhaps an inch and a half long) cut from a dead bicycle inner tube, this grabs hold of the nib and feed and then it can be slowly wiggled out. You might be quite surprised by the amount of dead ink stuck in there.


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#9 ScottT

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 03:44

Thank you, Geordielass, for a great review and for me, a stroll down memory lane. :)



#10 Geordielass

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 05:29

Thanks to everyone who confirmed that the Vector can take the deluxe convertor, I was pretty sure it could, but I didn't want to state it as fact unless I was certain.

 

I've got a couple of Vectors that I use as EDC pens. I recently bought a Vector Premium and quality wise, it is on a par with my vintage 88. (Even though the 88 has a gold plated nib and cost three times as much.)

Nice to know that the new ones are just as good as the old UK-made ones.  When this one finally drops apart altogether, I thought I might try one of those Premium ones - I like the engraved lid.

 

I still have a blue one (darker than yours Geordielass) and a black one (they came in burgundy as well)... and yes, I do fill and use them from time to time.  They are as utilitarian and functional as your review implies... and an excellent starter pen, in my opinion, although younger writers can certainly  benefit from pens which are designed so that the section promotes a proper grip orientation (for example, the Greenfield pens used in Waldorf/Steiner schools).

I think these make great school pens, they really are tough as old boots!  I agree, though, that until a child has learned to hold a pen correctly, one with a properly shaped grip should be the first choice.  (I think my blue one is a little darker than the photos, actually; my point and click camera isn't the most sophisticated gadget in the world - getting colour correct is one of its failings).

 

Nice pen but the sharpened barrel plastic edge near the section can be so painfully in your index finger after some time writing. I loosened or unscrew the section

and let the barrel free, then with an Arkansas stone proceeded to smooth the edge, it doesn't take more than a minute or two and trying not to erase much material

from the barrel, it works, letting the grip sweet, smooth,easy, soft. Belive me, wonderful pen.

Mine is smooth (almost rounded) at the end of the barrel, so even though I hold the pen so that my fingers overlap the section/barrel join, I've never had any discomfort - I don't know if that means I was especially lucky or you were especially unlucky, though.

 

From my limited experience: the nib/feed can indeed be pulled out but it's a bit more difficult than most others, a main factor is that the feed is markedly curved, so there's little to hold on to.

 

I use my usual tool: a short length (perhaps an inch and a half long) cut from a dead bicycle inner tube, this grabs hold of the nib and feed and then it can be slowly wiggled out. You might be quite surprised by the amount of dead ink stuck in there.

I've tried wearing a pair of rubber gloves (the type for washing dishes - I own a pair more for getting lids off jars than anything else) for easing it out, but no joy, I also tried hooking a length of dental floss (it's strong) under the only visible flange and pulling with that - equally no joy.  It may even be all the encrusted dried up ink that's stopping it from budging :rolleyes:.  The pen is on its way out, so I suspect it will find its way to its final resting place (the dust-bin) in a few months time without me ever managing to disassemble it.  It would be nice to do, but it copes without it.



#11 Dillo

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 05:33

Hi,

 

The feed and nib are quite nice. The feed has two channels, even the old ones do. Some old ones don't even have Parker written on the nib. It's certainly a very nice pen. I really liked it. If you want to clean it, you can use an ultrasonic cleaner. It does really well with these nibs. You don't need to take it apart since the nib and feed are very tight and can be damaged when you pull them.

 

Dillon


Edited by Dillo, 08 October 2013 - 05:34.

Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Dillon


#12 Geordielass

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 06:25

Hi,

 

The feed and nib are quite nice. The feed has two channels, even the old ones do. Some old ones don't even have Parker written on the nib. It's certainly a very nice pen. I really liked it. If you want to clean it, you can use an ultrasonic cleaner. It does really well with these nibs. You don't need to take it apart since the nib and feed are very tight and can be damaged when you pull them.

 

Dillon

I don't think it's very necessary either, I'd probably try a lot harder if I thought it really needed it, or if coloured inks appeared to be contaminated by anything encrusted that might be left in the feed.  My Mam has an ultrasonic jewellery cleaner, I think; I shall have to take my pens that can't be disassembled with me when I go to stay with them at Christmas and hijack it!
 

 

Interesting about the two-channeled feed - you don't see them much on the lower-cost fountain pens (as far as I'm aware - actually I'm not sure you see them all that much on the more expensive ones either), but it does explain why the ink flow seems so consistent, I guess.  I agree about it being a nice pen, I like them a lot - I've tried to be as objective as I could  in the review, but the fact that I continue to use one when I have pens that are more comfortable kind of says it all - some pens just become favourites.


Edited by Geordielass, 08 October 2013 - 18:05.


#13 ArtsNibs

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:13

My first fountain was a black Vector in medium, a 1994 model when I was in middle school. I don't recall why I stopped using it at the time, probably a simple ink spill from not knowing how to properly handle them. A few months ago while visiting my parents I found the Vector sitting in a pen cup! I brought it back home and to my surprise it is an excellent writer:-) I've had it inked ever since.
@arts_nibs

#14 Geordielass

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 07:37

My first fountain was a black Vector in medium, a 1994 model when I was in middle school. I don't recall why I stopped using it at the time, probably a simple ink spill from not knowing how to properly handle them. A few months ago while visiting my parents I found the Vector sitting in a pen cup! I brought it back home and to my surprise it is an excellent writer:-) I've had it inked ever since.

I'm very glad that a Vector was my first fountain pen, it meant that even though I went over to gel pens once I lost my first one (it was the early 90s - they were the "in thing" at school), I had positive experiences and memories of fountain pens and was glad to come back to using one - though it did take a few years. 

 

As I mentioned, the barrel of mine is definitely on its last legs, and once it goes I may do without one for a while, but I imagine I'll eventually get another; the idea of doing without a Vector altogether seems strange, now.

 

Cool that you found your old one though and that you still use it! :)


Edited by Geordielass, 13 October 2013 - 07:38.


#15 Drone

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 10:19

I have a Vector, everyone should have at least one. I can't get past the styling though. On the other hand, my "vintage" U.S. made SS/GT Parker Frontier with a glassy smooth M nib is another matter entirely. The Frontier cost probably two or thee times that of a Vector today; but what a difference. The only problem is that after decades of use, the Frontier has developed the ubiquitous cap rattle issue when capped.



#16 Geordielass

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 16:11

I have a Vector, everyone should have at least one. I can't get past the styling though. On the other hand, my "vintage" U.S. made SS/GT Parker Frontier with a glassy smooth M nib is another matter entirely. The Frontier cost probably two or thee times that of a Vector today; but what a difference. The only problem is that after decades of use, the Frontier has developed the ubiquitous cap rattle issue when capped.

I'm probably going to try to get my hands on a Frontier sometime soon - there's still lots of NOS around and the prices are very little more than a new Vector.  Definitely worth snapping up while they are still out there! 

 

I've heard very good things about the Frontier's nib.  I'm kind of surprised that Parker decided to use the Vector/Jotter nib in the IM and Urban when they were already producing the Frontier nib - that wouldn't have seemed so undersized - profit margins/economies of scale, no doubt.



#17 Vendome

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 16:37

I agree Geordielass. The style of the nib on the I.M was the only let down for me on such a great pen, being too skinny and elongated. It would have definitely benefitted from having a more classic shape of nib, such as found on the Sonnet and Frontier.

 

I suppose it got the Vector style nib as the I.M / Profile was an update of the Vector XL and 3-in-1, so it's part of the Vector family. However, the redesigned all metal I.M, (being a heavier pen) deserved a heftier nib than what was on the earlier plasticky Profile version.


Long reign the House of Belmont.


#18 PeterPenPencil

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 17:27

If a very cheap pen is so good than the Vector is, then you will never like to purchase an expensive one that does not performs like it. I own many Parker Vector pens and once in a while end up writing and drawing with them. I have even interchanged parts among the many styles of Vectors. It is a very shameful fact that other more expensive pen's nibs perform so bad when the pens are new.  I've had to learn by myself to repair the nibs of many of my expensive ones, because, when compared to the Parker Vector nibs, they cannot perform so nice. The Parker Vector is one of the standards of cheap pens, and of quality. If you want to start in fountain pen use, please try to purchase a Vector, you will not repent from the decision. This topic and the nice people who wrote here are the proofs of what we say here.



#19 Dillo

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 17:34

I'm probably going to try to get my hands on a Frontier sometime soon - there's still lots of NOS around and the prices are very little more than a new Vector.  Definitely worth snapping up while they are still out there! 

 

I've heard very good things about the Frontier's nib.  I'm kind of surprised that Parker decided to use the Vector/Jotter nib in the IM and Urban when they were already producing the Frontier nib - that wouldn't have seemed so undersized - profit margins/economies of scale, no doubt.

The Frontier nib was quite nice. It actually unscrews from the grip section if done carefully. I didn't like that the section was rubberized though.

 

Dillon


Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

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#20 inkstainedruth

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 18:58

If a very cheap pen is so good than the Vector is, then you will never like to purchase an expensive one that does not performs like it. I own many Parker Vector pens and once in a while end up writing and drawing with them. I have even interchanged parts among the many styles of Vectors. It is a very shameful fact that other more expensive pen's nibs perform so bad when the pens are new.  I've had to learn by myself to repair the nibs of many of my expensive ones, because, when compared to the Parker Vector nibs, they cannot perform so nice. The Parker Vector is one of the standards of cheap pens, and of quality. If you want to start in fountain pen use, please try to purchase a Vector, you will not repent from the decision. This topic and the nice people who wrote here are the proofs of what we say here.

I have to agree -- when I thought I lost the original Vector I got one of the Urban sets they sell at places like Office Max (pen, four cartridges, slide converter and bottle of Quink) and had all sorts of problems with converters; the second time I sent it back for warranty repairs they sent me a new one which has just been an awful pen -- scratchy nib that leaks from the top from under the section. I'm tempted to send it back again because I still have a couple of years left on the warranty (which is course on the *original* pen, not this new one...).
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth
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