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Parker 51 Comeback 2020?

parker 51

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165 replies to this topic

#61 Charles Rice

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 20:01

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

 

 

I would put it on the block, but my two years is nearly up.  I'll be trying it out again in six weeks.  



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#62 Estycollector

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 23:00

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.

 

I am one that has the WS 601 also. I just finished my first fill of Waterman ink today. It was easy to flush with fresh water and refill. At this point, I do not think I am missing that much from using an original 51, but I am sure others would disagree. That said, I carry the WS 601 daily and that's something I probably wouldn't do with a $100 real 51. 


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#63 pajaro

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 04:03

 

I am one that has the WS 601 also. I just finished my first fill of Waterman ink today. It was easy to flush with fresh water and refill. At this point, I do not think I am missing that much from using an original 51, but I am sure others would disagree. That said, I carry the WS 601 daily and that's something I probably wouldn't do with a $100 real 51. 

 

I used to carry several 51s around at work, a fine, a medium, a stub and others, including a couple of 51s converted with Ariel Kullock clothing.  Only once did I roll an office chair over one. 

 

So far, my experience with the Wing Sung 601 has been infinitely more pleasant than my adventures with real 51 Vacs, which seemed to need restoration too often.  Sometimes in less than a year.  I never understood why I had such bad luck with them.  The aerometric filling 51s gave no problems to me.  Still, I will say that the original 51's nibs are much finer quality than the hypodermic needle in my WS 601.


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#64 Estycollector

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 12:07

 

I used to carry several 51s around at work, a fine, a medium, a stub and others, including a couple of 51s converted with Ariel Kullock clothing.  Only once did I roll an office chair over one. 

 

So far, my experience with the Wing Sung 601 has been infinitely more pleasant than my adventures with real 51 Vacs, which seemed to need restoration too often.  Sometimes in less than a year.  I never understood why I had such bad luck with them.  The aerometric filling 51s gave no problems to me.  Still, I will say that the original 51's nibs are much finer quality than the hypodermic needle in my WS 601.

 

I must have a medium nib in the WS 601. I sent a friend one for Christmas. He used some 3mu lapping film to smooth out his pen's nib and claims  now it is very smooth. https://www.globalin...91-7b3ef9e9bf92


Edited by Estycollector, 30 January 2020 - 12:07.

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#65 corgicoupe

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 14:47

So far, my experience with the Wing Sung 601 has been infinitely more pleasant than my adventures with real 51 Vacs, which seemed to need restoration too often.  Sometimes in less than a year.  I never understood why I had such bad luck with them.  The aerometric filling 51s gave no problems to me.  Still, I will say that the original 51's nibs are much finer quality than the hypodermic needle in my WS 601.

I have two 51s, an aerometric given to me in 1951 and my Dad's vacumatic from 1946.  Neither has given any trouble, even today, with no restoration required.  Perhaps I don't use the vacumatic enough to cause wear.


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#66 Mercian

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 19:03

 

I carry the WS 601 daily and that's something I probably wouldn't do with a $100 real 51. 

Reading that reminded me of something I learned a few years ago.

I had lost my treasured Ray-Ban sunglasses (through my own stupid fault), and I wanted to replace them.
That particular style was no longer made, and so I went in to a sunglasses shop in a nearby city. I took a friend with me to ask her opinion of the ones I was thinking of trying on there (before buying at a reduced price online). Turned out that those ones look great in photos, but not on me  :blush: I was slightly stumped, so a salesman came over to help me.
He listened to what my desired requirements were, and offered me several pairs that matched them to try out on my (mis-shapen) head.

I was so happy with one of the pairs of glasses that he had suggested that I paid full-retail-price for them there and then :o (My Yorkshire ancestors would be spinning in their graves.) Even though that was well north of £200 (a huge amount of money for me).

 

A couple of weeks later I was picking up the same friend to go out for a walk through a watery woodland. She noticed that I was wearing a cheap old pair of sunglasses and asked me where my new ones were. I said that I was afraid of losing/damaging such an expensive purchase. She replied to ask me what the point was in buying/owning nice things if I were never going to use them.
As soon as she said it I thought that she was dead right.

 

I am typing this as someone who had previously found that it did take me quite a few months to be happy to take my first Pelikan piston-filler out of the house with me, and if you happen to have a deep sentimental attachment to your particular "51" I completely understand if you don't take it out and about with you, but I got my own "51" long before my expensive sunglasses, and have never worried about using it out and about.

This is not least because the "51" was designed (and built) to be the best 'every-day-carry' pen available, in an era when folks didn't have ballpoints, wrote by hand all day at work, and would typically only own one pen.

So, unless it's a spectacularly rare one (or irreplaceable for sentimental reasons) if I were you I would take it out with you and enjoy it :thumbup:


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#67 Glenn-SC

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 21:22

 

So far, my experience with the Wing Sung 601 has been infinitely more pleasant than my adventures with real 51 Vacs, which seemed to need restoration too often.

Are you comparing two pens and choosing one over the other because it is a C/C against a Vac?

Should you not compare the nibs, ink flow, weight, balance, quality, ruggedness?

If the criteria is just "Vacs require repair" verses no repair that any pen would be better than the Vac.

 

And too I have Vacs found in the wild that work and that have never needed to be repaired.



#68 Estycollector

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 23:30

Reading that reminded me of something I learned a few years ago.

I had lost my treasured Ray-Ban sunglasses (through my own stupid fault), and I wanted to replace them.
That particular style was no longer made, and so I went in to a sunglasses shop in a nearby city. I took a friend with me to ask her opinion of the ones I was thinking of trying on there (before buying at a reduced price online). Turned out that those ones look great in photos, but not on me  :blush: I was slightly stumped, so a salesman came over to help me.
He listened to what my desired requirements were, and offered me several pairs that matched them to try out on my (mis-shapen) head.

I was so happy with one of the pairs of glasses that he had suggested that I paid full-retail-price for them there and then :o (My Yorkshire ancestors would be spinning in their graves.) Even though that was well north of £200 (a huge amount of money for me).

 

A couple of weeks later I was picking up the same friend to go out for a walk through a watery woodland. She noticed that I was wearing a cheap old pair of sunglasses and asked me where my new ones were. I said that I was afraid of losing/damaging such an expensive purchase. She replied to ask me what the point was in buying/owning nice things if I were never going to use them.
As soon as she said it I thought that she was dead right.

 

I am typing this as someone who had previously found that it did take me quite a few months to be happy to take my first Pelikan piston-filler out of the house with me, and if you happen to have a deep sentimental attachment to your particular "51" I completely understand if you don't take it out and about with you, but I got my own "51" long before my expensive sunglasses, and have never worried about using it out and about.

This is not least because the "51" was designed (and built) to be the best 'every-day-carry' pen available, in an era when folks didn't have ballpoints, wrote by hand all day at work, and would typically only own one pen.

So, unless it's a spectacularly rare one (or irreplaceable for sentimental reasons) if I were you I would take it out with you and enjoy it :thumbup:

 

Yes, I totally agree with you. I do not have a 51 and at this time feel the WS 601 will suffice. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I have a vintage pair of Ray Bans myself. 


"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"


#69 pajaro

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 05:02

Are you comparing two pens and choosing one over the other because it is a C/C against a Vac?

Should you not compare the nibs, ink flow, weight, balance, quality, ruggedness?

If the criteria is just "Vacs require repair" verses no repair that any pen would be better than the Vac.

 

And too I have Vacs found in the wild that work and that have never needed to be repaired.

 

The WS 601 that I have and was referring to is a plastic pen, a bit lighter than a Vac 51, and it has a plunger filler like the Vac 51, not a C/C filler.  It appears at least to fill like a 51 Vacumatic.  Of course, the day is young on this pen, but so far it has lasted longer than all but one of the 51 Vacs I have had.  I know you like the 51 Vacumatic.  I would like to like them, but they don't last more than six to nine months for me and they leak.  I then find a failed sac.  The first 51 Vac I had must have lasted fifteen years.  After resac, not long.  Same for the other Vacs I had bought.  Bad sacs?  Possible.  My enthusiasm for the 51 Vac, which was once high, is spent.  I have a demi I put a new sac into myself, and it still works.  I am tired of these adventures, though, and the others are parts pens.  I just don't feel the energy to restore them, and I can use the parts.


Edited by pajaro, 07 February 2020 - 05:04.

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#70 jmnav

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 11:26

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.

 

I take this meaning you don't need any more poor quality knock-offs, branded either by Parker or otherwise, not exactly that you wouldn't take a "proper" Parker 51.

 

The thing is that 51's are probably the easiest "classic" fountain pen to bring back right: no out-fashioned materials (i.e. celulloid), no difficult to replicate nibs (i.e.: not flexible), no complex internals that would make it too expensive to build (i.e.: two-staged pistons)...

 

That there's a market for properly designed pens, I think is obvious just showing how well i.e. Pelikans M400 or Montblancs 146 are still selling -even them being "inferior" to the originals (I for one will take a 50's Pelikan 400 or Montblanc 146 over their modern counterparts any day of the week, twice on weekends) so seeing how popular 51s still are, it seems a no brainer to re-introduce them (even more: being them "natural nails by design", they may appeal to a larger audience used to ball pens)... as long as they are faithful to the originals.

 

Even more, reintroducing them would allow for other variants (just like M400 opens the door to the whole Sovereign line, 400 to 1000, and a lot of variations of each of them, in colors and materials) -after all, as you say, if it were just for the 51s, there's still a ton of good originals you can buy: I would enjoy, i.e. a Super 21 exact replica in lucite and gold nib, for instance.

 

So... why not?



#71 Jerome Tarshis

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 13:43

 

I take this meaning you don't need any more poor quality knock-offs, branded either by Parker or otherwise, not exactly that you wouldn't take a "proper" Parker 51.

 

 

 

I can't speak for anyone else, but no, I probably wouldn't take a "proper" Parker 51 manufactured today if it cost substantially more than one of the many originals I could buy. I think that in today's economy a newly made Parker 51 would cost a lot more. 

 

But I am of course ready to see Parker make a 51 at the same price as the originals I can buy today.

 

That said, for me as one person, it is also true that fountain pens can have a large gift-giving market, in which buying a used pen falls short of the desired ceremonial quality. It may well be that for birthday and anniversary and graduation presents, a new and fairly expensive Parker 51 would do quite well.


Edited by Jerome Tarshis, 08 February 2020 - 17:47.


#72 jmnav

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 18:33

I can't speak for anyone else, but no, I probably wouldn't take a "proper" Parker 51 manufactured today if it cost substantially more than one of the many originals I could buy. I think that in today's economy a newly made Parker 51 would cost a lot more. 
 
But I am of course ready to see Parker make a 51 at the same price as the originals I can buy today.


Yes, of course. I gave that for granted, but you are right on pointing it out.

Not the case with the 146, but one thing I find astounding is you can buy a perfectly fine example of 50's Pelikan 400(N/NN) cheaper than an M400, even used.
 
Well, given those Pelikans are steadily rising their prices, this may be true anymore in the near future but, in the meantime...
 
Then again, a Parker 51 should be quite cheap to produce at a spec (of course, that doesn't mean Parker wouldn't price it quite higher right in competition to, say, the aforementioned Pelikan M400 -just see what happens with current Doufolds, another pen that doesn't seem to be too expensive to produce).
 

That said, for me as one person, it is also true that fountain pens can have a large gift-giving market, in which buying a used pen falls short of the desired ceremonial quality. It may well be that for birthday and anniversary and graduation presents, a new and fairly expensive Parker 51 would do quite well.


That's also an interesting insight as expensive pens are (probably that's less the case now) gifted as much as buyed.


Edited by jmnav, 08 February 2020 - 18:33.


#73 Mercian

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 15:35

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.

 

I still haven’t heard anything back from Newellco (Europe), so have emailed them again to ask what the “relevant department” has told the CS agent who answered my first email.

 

Unless I get a confirmatory reply from them soon, I am inclined to regard this rumour as a hoax.


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#74 sciumbasci

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 20:03

 
I still havent heard anything back from Newellco (Europe), so have emailed them again to ask what the relevant department has told the CS agent who answered my first email.
 
Unless I get a confirmatory reply from them soon, I am inclined to regard this rumour as a hoax.


IMHO you won't get any answer. Newell Rubbermaid may very well have no interest in disclosing such information, especially if it is a China only exclusive, made from a third party - and a Chinese supplier at that - may make a dent in their reputation.
Now, correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't Parker also produced some models in China? Those allegedly fakes you can buy for cheap from the bay and that are virtually indistinguishable from the real deal?

#75 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 20:25

 
I am one that has the WS 601 also. I just finished my first fill of Waterman ink today. It was easy to flush with fresh water and refill. At this point, I do not think I am missing that much from using an original 51, but I am sure others would disagree. That said, I carry the WS 601 daily and that's something I probably wouldn't do with a $100 real 51. 


I liked my WS 601 so much that I bought two more. My first one is always filled. So far, they fill and clean easily.

And I do have at least one 51.

#76 Estycollector

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 20:37

I liked my WS 601 so much that I bought two more. My first one is always filled. So far, they fill and clean easily.

And I do have at least one 51.

 

I have an offer outstanding on a '42 51. 


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#77 Jerome Tarshis

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 00:51

Several days ago I telephoned Parker at the customer service telephone number given for the United States. The woman who answered the phone said that yes, Parker does plan to release a new 51 but she does not have a date she can give me and the manufacturing division has not sent Customer Service any specifications for the pen.

 

She advised me that when Parker is ready to make a public announcement I will find the information on the Web site.

 

I do not believe we are dealing with a hoax.



#78 Mercian

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 14:27

IMHO you won't get any answer. Newell Rubbermaid may very well have no interest in disclosing such information, especially if it is a China only exclusive...

 

That’s a very good point - I was ignoring the reluctance of companies to publicise internal discussions, especially if the model might only be introduced in certain markets.
 

 

Several days ago I telephoned Parker at the customer service telephone number given for the United States. The woman who answered the phone said that yes, Parker does plan to release a new 51 but she does not have a date she can give me and the manufacturing division has not sent Customer Service any specifications for the pen.

 

She advised me that when Parker is ready to make a public announcement I will find the information on the Web site.

 

I do not believe we are dealing with a hoax.

 

I wish that Newellco’s European ‘customer service’ unit were as honest and as forthcoming with information as its US counterparts.

 

Sadly, this experience with Newellco Europe (even though they are in France and not Britain) has been almost entirely* in keeping with my experience of ‘customer service’ ‘teams’ in modern UK corporations.
Their purpose here is NOT to ‘serve’ customers - it is to act as ‘human shields’.
They are employed to actively prevent pesky customers from being able to talk to anyone who even has access to information, let alone anyone who has the authority to make a decision or cause the company to take action.

In the UK this function is achieved brilliantly - and cheaply - by outsourcing the provision of ‘customer service’ ‘teams’ to the lowest-bidding third-party company.
After all, when the ’customer service agent’ to whom a customer is speaking isn’t even employed by the company that the customer is trying to reach, and is located in a different city, then that ‘agent’ certainly has ‘plausible deniability’ when they say that they ‘cannot access that information’.

 

* The difference has been that Newellco in France actually answer their telephone  :o
I cannot remember the last time that I rang any large or medium-sized UK organisation’s ‘customer enquiry’ line and did NOT have to listen to a recorded message repeating the Lie that “we are currently experiencing a very high volume of calls”, and going on to try to gull me in to either ‘going online’ (where my question cannot be answered) or ‘calling back later’  :angry: 
If you are NOT in the UK, beware - for this vile, mendacious, exploitative, highly-profitable practice is very likely to be attempted in your country soon.


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#79 inkstainedruth

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 16:47

* The difference has been that Newellco in France actually answer their telephone  :o

I cannot remember the last time that I rang any large or medium-sized UK organisation’s ‘customer enquiry’ line and did NOT have to listen to a recorded message repeating the Lie that “we are currently experiencing a very high volume of calls”, and going on to try to gull me in to either ‘going online’ (where my question cannot be answered) or ‘calling back later’  :angry: 
If you are NOT in the UK, beware - for this vile, mendacious, exploitative, highly-profitable practice is very likely to be attempted in your country soon.

 

Clearly you have never had to deal with Verizon Wireless.... :angry:  (Lucky you.)

That is EXACTLY their MO (so yeah, the practice has already crossed the pond, and I suspect that the trip was actually from the US to there...).  We've been fighting with them since July over the lousy service we got on the home phone after (reluctantly on my part) agreeing to have our landline switched over to a VoIP system.  They FINALLY -- after nearly a month -- got us a new box to connect up the home phones, and the caller ID still doesn't work half the time.  One tech support manager gave my husband his personal work email -- which bounced.  A guy who was supposed to PERSONALLY call us back (after having gotten special permission to do so from his boss) -- well, didn't.  And the stupid part is that if they had dealt with the issue of the caller ID several months ago when it first started happening, they wouldn't have had to credit us $80 on the current bill (on top of the $31 we'd already been credited...).  

And Apple isn't a whole lot better....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#80 brabus

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 07:00

Our hobby is by no means mainstream but the fact that they're bringing back the P51 tells me that interest in this hobby is growing, and that's a good thing. Obviously the modern P51 will probably never compare to the legacy P51's but it's a step in the right direction.







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