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Parker 51 Comeback 2020?

parker 51

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103 replies to this topic

#41 Jerome Tarshis

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 05:59

None of this about China has actually happened. If Mercian grew up in Mercia he could when young buy many Parker pens not offered to me in the United States, but I did not then and do not now see any reason to get my knickers in a twist about that. (I own some of those pens. Britain may not be selling as much abroad as some would like, but my money was good.)

 

And we have no reason I am aware of to believe in any China-only fantasies. The document I referred to above lists US retailers selling the new Parker 51 and it just might be that if British members asked Parker they could have a similar list of British retailers.



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#42 Mercian

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 14:50

I did indeed grow up in Mercia, and even still live here (hence the description of my location).

Living within Mercia is of course not exactly ‘rare’, in that it was the largest kingdom in the heptarchy, and at one period its territory covered most of England and e.g. stretched as far as including London. I happen to live within a 20-minute drive of Parker’s former UK correspondence address - a former WW2 ‘dispersal airfield’ that used to be a ‘business park’, but which is now a housing estate. The Parker website no longer lists a UK correspondence address, because all queries are handled centrally in France.

(Btw, if anyone doesn’t believe me about that they can compare the ‘UK’ contact phone number on the Waterman website with the ‘UK’ contact phone number on the Parker website, and try telephoning it. They will hear a French dialling-tone instead of a British one, and the person who answers their call will have a French accent.)

 

But the point here is that the world has changed since I was a lad, back in the days before Mr. Berners-Lee initiated the www and also made sure that no copyright fees would be charged for its use by people outside of CERN and the academic community.

Back then companies could offer different products on different continents and almost nobody knew or even cared, because the price of getting on a ship or jetliner to travel to another continent just to go to a shop that would sell e.g. a pen would render the price of that pen ‘somewhat unrealistic’ for most consumers.
People would occasionally come back from business trips or holidays with some ‘weird’-looking product sold by a UK brand in a non-UK country, but back in those days, such things were only exotic curios.

 

Nowadays though, we are all constantly being told by Marketing that our purchase is ‘just a click away’ (because they know that making impulse buying easy means that more money gets spent), and we are all accustomed to purchasing items over the world-wide-web; even when those products come from vendors in other countries.
In this constantly-‘on’, always-‘connected’, brave new world we modern-day consumers have even proven ourselves to be willing to pay international shipping costs, and to wait for delivery.

 

So, to clarify, the question that I have mooted in this thread is not “I can’t buy this when I want to! Why won’t the bad company let me? Waah!” - I have already pointed out that IF the rumour about a ‘new’ version of the “51” is true then ‘grey-market’ vendors will appear who will be happy to buy them in China, add their own mark-up, and then ship them to me from China.

 

My question is - why would Parker (or any other company) force me to buy one of their products through third-party ‘grey-market’ exporters when they could instead be pocketing my money themselves? What is the modern-day ‘business case’ for doing that?

 

For further clarification, I have also emailed Parker to ask them whether they will in fact be producing it, and whether or not they will be selling it in the UK.


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#43 inkstainedruth

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 15:45

I did indeed grow up in Mercia, and even still live here (hence the description of my location).

Living within Mercia is of course not exactly ‘rare’, in that it was the largest kingdom in the heptarchy, and at one period its territory covered most of England and e.g. stretched as far as including London. I happen to live within a 20-minute drive of Parker’s former UK correspondence address - a former WW2 ‘dispersal airfield’ that used to be a ‘business park’, but which is now a housing estate. The Parker website no longer lists a UK correspondence address, because all queries are handled centrally in France.

(Btw, if anyone doesn’t believe me about that they can compare the ‘UK’ contact phone number on the Waterman website with the ‘UK’ contact phone number on the Parker website, and try telephoning it. They will hear a French dialling-tone instead of a British one, and the person who answers their call will have a French accent.)

 

But the point here is that the world has changed since I was a lad, back in the days before Mr. Berners-Lee initiated the www and also made sure that no copyright fees would be charged for its use by people outside of CERN and the academic community.

Back then companies could offer different products on different continents and almost nobody knew or even cared, because the price of getting on a ship or jetliner to travel to another continent just to go to a shop that would sell e.g. a pen would render the price of that pen ‘somewhat unrealistic’ for most consumers.
People would occasionally come back from business trips or holidays with some ‘weird’-looking product sold by a UK brand in a non-UK country, but back in those days, such things were only exotic curios.

 

Nowadays though, we are all constantly being told by Marketing that our purchase is ‘just a click away’ (because they know that making impulse buying easy means that more money gets spent), and we are all accustomed to purchasing items over the world-wide-web; even when those products come from vendors in other countries.
In this constantly-‘on’, always-‘connected’, brave new world we modern-day consumers have even proven ourselves to be willing to pay international shipping costs, and to wait for delivery.

 

So, to clarify, the question that I have mooted in this thread is not “I can’t buy this when I want to! Why won’t the bad company let me? Waah!” - I have already pointed out that IF the rumour about a ‘new’ version of the “51” is true then ‘grey-market’ vendors will appear who will be happy to buy them in China, add their own mark-up, and then ship them to me from China.

 

My question is - why would Parker (or any other company) force me to buy one of their products through third-party ‘grey-market’ exporters when they could instead be pocketing my money themselves? What is the modern-day ‘business case’ for doing that?

 

For further clarification, I have also emailed Parker to ask them whether they will in fact be producing it, and whether or not they will be selling it in the UK.

 

I have wondered the same thing about Pilot.  When I asked their US distributor a couple of years ago why they didn't sell all the colors of Decimo in the US, I got blather about "Marketing decisions" (which as far as I could tell, meant "Oh, guys in the US won't want a smaller pen than a full size VP, so we'll only sell the "girly" colors there" -- without bothering to consider that SOME women (like me) didn't LIKE the "girly" colors" (and if I were to do the same thing again, I'd want the dark blue, which IS now sold in the US but probably still cheaper from a Japanese vender).  So, yeah, I probably went "grey market" -- no pun intended -- buying the color I wanted (light grey) ordering directly from a Japanese seller on eBay.  Saved money, got the color I wanted.  My gain, Pilot's loss [shrug].  Ditto for when I've bought Pelikans from Rolf Thiel at Missing Pens.  Saved the Chartpak markup, and Rolf didn't have to charge me VAT because he was shipping to the US.  Again, it was a case of my gain and Pelikan/Chartpack's loss.  And when I saved probably $60 US on the M405 Stresemann that way, why WOULDN'T I do something similar in future, if Rolf or another European seller, or a Japanese seller, has what I want?  That's just dumb to do otherwise.  Yeah, okay, if I had a problem with the pens, I'd have to ship them back overseas, or find a repair person here (but oh wait, I can do that!  Ron Zorn lives less than an hour away, and comes to the Steel City Nibs meetings).  So that problem solved (not of course that I've had any issues with the Stresemann -- or, for that matter, the replacement Decimo).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

ETA: Of course, back to the original topic, I have pretty much zero interest in a c/c version of a Parker 51.  Even if Parker were to reopen the Janesville plant and actually manufacture the pens themselves.  Why would I?  I have *real* Parker 51s.


Edited by inkstainedruth, 24 January 2020 - 15:49.

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#44 corniche

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 20:25

Greetings Everyone,

Well, I have a few of the originals, but I'm still planning on trying one, but I think I'll wait for some reviews; just to make sure the price doesn't exceed the quality, (e.g., the Esterbrook Phaeton),... which has become a trending problem lately. :(


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#45 Glenn-SC

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 00:28

 

ETA: Of course, back to the original topic, I have pretty much zero interest in a c/c version of a Parker 51.  Even if Parker were to reopen the Janesville plant and actually manufacture the pens themselves.  Why would I?  I have *real* Parker 51s.

 

 

That's like saying a 2020 Ford Mustang is not a "real" Mustang because its not a 1964-1/2 and none of the parts are interchangeable.

 

I have 1940's, 1950's, 1960's and 2002 Parker "51"s.  I would buy a 2020 version if the quality is sufficient.



#46 pajaro

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 02:23

The only 51s that I really find interesting are the aerometric fillers.  The 51s of my interest from back in the day.  However, I did buy a Wing Sung 601 vac filler out of curiosity.  It does have pretty decent quality.  The quality of Chinese manufacturing seems to be getting good when they want it to be good.  The WS 601 cost me a little over a dollar.  I'll have to see about the quality of any reincarnation of the Parker 51.  Just to satisfy curiosity.


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#47 PAKMAN

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 04:00

I guess I would say that I really don't need for the Parker 51 to come back. The special edition had so many material problems and the 100 just didn't do it for me. The knock off versions didn't impress me at all. There really are enough original 51's out there to satisify my need.


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#48 Beechwood

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 16:00

By the very fact that you are reading this forum and this thread it means that you are interested in fountain pens in general and, probably Parker 51s in particular.  You will be an interested buyer if the Parker 51 Recreation comes to market.

 

I would have thought that Parker will want to sell this Recreation in much higher numbers than this esoteric ensemble may buy  and will need to cast their net pretty widely to attract the ordinary pen customer who may have heard of the original Parker 51 but doesnt particularly feel that he needs to buy one and, in any case, wouldnt know where to find one..

 

Would this new customer know that the 51 Recreation is any better or worse than the Vector or Sonnet.

 

I think that Parker have a marketing problem and unless they try and recreate a '40s Parker Vac with a 40s style box aimed at the collector market I dont know how they will make good sales


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#49 corniche

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 16:49

I think that Parker have a marketing problem and unless they try and recreate a '40s Parker Vac with a 40s style box aimed at the collector market I dont know how they will make good sales


Hi Beechwood,

I personally like this approach and I think the retro advertising and packaging is the way to go, but I have serious doubts if the mainstream gel-pen buyer would want anything to do with a vac pen. :unsure: (And I would assume the mainstream buyer is who they want; we're a pretty small minority).

It's a dicey game, because as a C/C pen, it would just be a glorified Hero 100. Well, we'll see; I'm still hoping that I'll want to buy one.


Sean :)

Edited by corniche, 27 January 2020 - 16:51.

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#50 remus1710

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 17:07

This thread is really starting to get off :) i hope the rumour is true and we don t get our hopes up for nothing :)



#51 Glenn-SC

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 00:05

It's a dicey game, because as a C/C pen, it would just be a glorified Hero 100. Well, we'll see; I'm still hoping that I'll want to buy one.

 

 

There was a C/C "51" in the early 60s, so the angst over a new C/C "51" is interesting.

Also, Hero is a cheap "51".



#52 pajaro

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 02:01

I don't need Parker to bring the 51 back either.  If this comes off, I suspect it will have to be designed with wider appeal.  Probably coming forth in rollerball and fiber tip. 


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#53 corniche

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 02:33

There was a C/C "51" in the early 60s, so the angst over a new C/C "51" is interesting...


Hi GlennSC,

Yes, I've read about them; they were short-lived though, because nobody liked them then, either. :D


Sean :)
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#54 jchch1950

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 09:56

The use of a cartridge in a new Parker 51 can increase the demand for it if the price is right. C/c are useful when you travel or work out of an office but the limited colours of the Parker or Aurora c has to be taken into account when buying the pen.



#55 Mercian

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 15:02

Probably coming forth in rollerball and fiber tip. 

 

 

Aiieee! Please don’t don’t type that ‘out loud’ - somebody at Parker might see it and think ‘hey, forget the FP version, the ‘5th’ is the only way forward!’  :yikes:


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#56 Mercian

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 15:11

The use of a cartridge in a new Parker 51 can increase the demand for it if the price is right. C/c are useful when you travel or work out of an office but the limited colours of the Parker or Aurora c has to be taken into account when buying the pen.

Parker do sell converters for their pens, so only those unaware of their existence would be restricted to Parker/Aurora cartridges.

 

Then again, as the (amazingly-poorly-designed) Parker website doesn’t seem to make any mention of their converters at all, that could well be most people in the world. What’s more-weird is that the website does showcase their bottled inks.
Hilariously, if one clicks all the way through the Parker website to the page for a specific bottled ink, the template of the page that opens up is still (at time of typing) the same one that is used for their individual pens, and so there’s a banner to highlight ‘the nib’. When one is looking at a bottle of ink  :headsmack:

 

Anyway, even if one doesn’t have a Parker converter, there’s the option to syringe-fill a used Parker or Aurora cartridge with whatever ink one prefers.


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#57 Flounder

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 19:23

Parker do sell converters for their pens, so only those unaware of their existence would be restricted to Parker/Aurora cartridges.

 

Then again, as the (amazingly-poorly-designed) Parker website doesn’t seem to make any mention of their converters at all, that could well be most people in the world. What’s more-weird is that the website does showcase their bottled inks.
Hilariously, if one clicks all the way through the Parker website to the page for a specific bottled ink, the template of the page that opens up is still (at time of typing) the same one that is used for their individual pens, and so there’s a banner to highlight ‘the nib’. When one is looking at a bottle of ink  :headsmack:

 

Anyway, even if one doesn’t have a Parker converter, there’s the option to syringe-fill a used Parker or Aurora cartridge with whatever ink one prefers.

It really is amazingly poorly designed, Parker I hope you are reading this!


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#58 FarmBoy

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 03:56

When did Parker converters become a mystery?  With a few exceptions to prove the rule, they are interchangeable with one another.

Note also I've never had an issue with converter filled 51 though I found absolutely no advantage to having a converter filled 51.


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#59 Charles Rice

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 04:17

One of these days I'lll figure out just why the 51 has such a following.  The only reason I keep mine is that it's my oldest new-bought pen from back in my high school days.  I did have fountain pens before that, but they were cheapies that I either lost or tossed.  I bring it out of my case about every other year in an attempt to like it.


Edited by Charles Rice, 29 January 2020 - 04:19.


#60 Mercian

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 19:40

If, Mr. Rice, you should find that you still don’t like your “51” then I’m sure that there will not be any shortage of volunteers among us to ‘take it off your hands’ or ‘relieve you of the burden of its possession’, myself included  :D

 

As for the prospect of Parker remaking the “51”, I have now received a reply to my email to Parker, albeit only to tell me that the adviser will enquire about it with “the relevant department” and then get back to me.

 

When he has done that I’ll let all y’all know what he has told me.


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