Date of manufacture: Late 1950s. Possibly 1958.
Such as with the Montblanc Meisterstuck 145, I was first struck by the pure simplicity. Stainless steel barrel and cap with a gold arrow-clip and a gold band at the bottom of the cap make for a very simple but stylish and admittedly rather futuristic and contemporary design. Even today.
I liked the fact that the stainless steel was not super-reflective, and had more of a dulled effect. It looks nice without looking overly expensive. The band is slightly faded, but is still discernable and still stands out clearly from the rest of the pen as a tasteful marker of the point where the cap and barrel meet. The pen was free of any dents, dings, missing parts and major scratches. VERY minor scratching was visible here and there, but that would be expected with a pen of this age and fame.
Appearance and finish:
Like my father commented, and like I duly noticed, the Parker 51 Flighter is amazingly simple and lacking of 'finery' in it's design. It speaks of stylishness and simplicity, but not of cheapness. The slightly dulled, but well-polished stainless steel barrel gives the pen an expensive appearance. The barrel and cap are smooth through-and-through, with the single intrruption being Parker's famous Arrow-clip. One should not pick this pen up with greasy hands, because it would fall right out of them.
The design like I said, is very simple. A pen with a clip, with no outstanding rings or carvings or engravings. The pen lies at 5.5 inches, capped, and just over 6 inches when posted. Though it's made of metal, the pen is surprisingly light. I was able to post the pen and write several lines with it, and the weight of the cap being posted on the end of the barrel was consistantly light, and almost unnoticable. Definately a good pen for posting with.
Nib design and performance:
Everyone knows of the Parker 51's famous hooded nib, so there's nothing to say there. The lack of an exposed nib did make it a little hard for me to orientate the pen correctly at first, but I've gotten over that now. The nib on my Flighter is a FINE one, which lives up to it's name in both name and nature. It produces a nice, consistantly thin line, and is nice and smooth on paper. Only rough when the nib is held at an incorrect angle. Otherwise, perfectly fine.
The Filling System:
The Parker 51 Flighter is an aerometric filler, and was surprisingly easy to use. The original designers of the 51 aero had the great foresight to engrave the filling instructions inside the barrel, thus ensuring that they would not be missed. A very handy feature. Five squeezes of the ink-sac were sufficient to fill and empty the resoviour to my satisfaction. Peter Ford said that the aerometric fillers were more durable than the vacumatics, due to the lack of moving parts.
The cost of the pen was $198AUD. While rather expensive, the pen has proved to be a good, smooth, fine-lined writer. it looks BEAUTIFUL and has an easy-to-use filling-system. I will treasure this until I die.
A beautiful pen with a beautiful appearance, a nib that writes nicely, and produces a good, thin line, which is what I like. Easily filled, easily emptied, easily stored and looked after. I'm proud to own such a famous pen.
Edited by Shangas, 22 May 2007 - 22:47.