However, to be honest, I think the ordeal reflects more of Gil's super high (likely unattainable) nib standards (modelled on Asian company performance) than Parker's failings. Parker is a western pen company that I know makes very good nibs otherwise.
I certainly admit I have (super?) high standards when it comes to nibs being crisp and precise, lending themselves to very tight control by the user (but that trait is not inherently an obstruction to expressiveness), and putting down suitably narrow lines for the width grade (e.g. Extra Fine) and type (e.g. Italic). However, I must note that Aurora generally makes a good Extra Fine nib, just not consistently as narrow as each other (across the seven 14K gold and 18K gold EF nibs I have); and Nemosine offered 0.6 Stub nibs made by JoWo that is quite precise and can certainly pass for "cursive italic". To me, they are "Western" companies, brands and products through and through. I am sorely disappointed that Parker's "needlepoint" or Extra Extra Fine is even as narrow and crisp as an Aurora gold EF, Lamy Z55 14K gold EF or even Parker's own 18K gold F nib that originally came with my Duofold Centennial Big Red Vintage. I will be disappointed if Parker's Fine Italic nib turns out to be no match in terms of precision and crispness as the Nemosine steel 0.6 Stub nib. My one and only "Western" gold Fine Italic is an Aurora 18K gold F nib customised to an Italic grind for me by Dan Smith; and would it be fair to expect Parker's "hand-made" nib produce in France to match Dan's masterful work? (The one he did for me on the Pelikan M600 started out as an EF nib.)
A lot of issues I've had with Parker of late, though, were simply errors and failures in customer service. Promises that weren't kept (e.g. send something to me in writing by a specific date, not demanded or nominated by me, but volunteered by Newell Brands's staff), poor (or lack of) communication, failing to take due care in protecting what I the customer have sent back to the company (and they didn't ask, suggest or instruct me not to send the original gift box back in the first place), failing to take action (e.g. set up an Australia Post Reply Paid address for repairs and returns, or offer to reimburse the customer for return postage on presentation of evidence of the shipping charges paid) to cover postage for Australian customers, setting the replacement nib and section without observing how the imprinted text on the barrel was aligned with the scrollwork on the original nib, sending me paperwork in error and thus failing to properly protect its other customers' privacy, and so on. None of that has anything to do with the quality or performance of the actual nib that was fitted, but everything to do with the process of my getting Parker to honour its open offer of providing a nib exchange on new pens.
If I was truly selfish and/or vindictive towards Parker, I'd be encouraging fellow members on here to jump on the deal by the hundreds to demand your individual choice of nib widths/types — be it Extra Extra Fine, Extra Extra Broad, Medium Reverse Oblique, or Fine Italic — and watch Parker "sink or swim". How many mistakes will Parker make, how much will it cost the company to rectify those, and what proportion of customers requesting nib exchanges (per Parker's published open offer) get their satisfaction? But, like I said, it hasn't worked out well for me (at my cost and frustration), and I'd prefer to be the only fool sucked in by the "good deal" and choice of nib on offer, because I'm not going to bet on anyone else's chances of getting exactly what they want in the nib they requested from Parker and the company not messing something up.
I'll let you know when my case is resolved. Frankly, I'm not interested in sending the pen back a third time (at my expense again), if this second nib replacement doesn't work out satisfactorily, unless they return my pen with a scratched barrel, leaky section, nib with signs of corrosion, or some such. If the Fine Italic nib is not, in my opinion, fit for purpose but will write anyway, I'll either sell the pen or keep it around to show others how bad it is in comparison to Aurora and Pelikan, Sailor and Platinum.
If nobody is interested in how the Fine Italic nib performs when the pen is returned to me, that's okay by me; let me know, and then I won't show any writing samples here, but simply let you know the case is closed, with a succinct "resolved satisfactorily" or "without satisfactory resolution".
As always: 1.
Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN
is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment. 2.
I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong.
My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published. 3.
I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write
, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself
and see the results, I entreat you to do so.