I am thinking of buying myself a present (ok, I'll be honest - I mean that I wants a new Shiny Thing I does, oh yes!), and I would like some advice from you before I Succumb to the Temptation to blow what is actually rather lot of money for me.
I am trying to choose between a current production (2019-2020) Parker Sonnet, and a Waterman Carène.
I am (as long as the Mods are happy to let me) putting this thread in to both the Parker forum and the Waterman forum, so that I can get as many well-informed replies as possible.
The Carène that I fancy the look of is (happily for me) the cheapest one available, and so it is ‘only’ the same price as a Sonnet with a gold nib.
The retailer from whom I am thinking of buying my new toy sells both pens, and in every nib width too
They also stock spare nibs, so I could buy any colour of Sonnet and also buy a gold nib to put in to it.
I already own some Parker Frontiers, so I know that the size and shape of the Sonnet suits my hand (although I don't yet know about the weight).
I also like that their nib units can be unscrewed if necessary, because I like to use Rohrer & Klingner's iron-gall inks „Salix” and „Scabiosa”.
The ease of removing the Sonnet's nib & feed for cleaning reassures me that I would have less to fear in terms of the consequences of letting any ink dry out in a Sonnet.
[I did once let some „Salix” dry-out in a Parker "51", and that was a massive PITA to put right. It took about six weeks! OK, so it has so far only happened on the one occasion, when my mother had to be rushed in to hopsital with acute neurological side-effects from a new heart medication, and was in there for a month. Happily, it hasn't happened since, but since then ease of cleaning is something that I do consider whenever I contemplate a new pen purchase.]
Regardless of my penchant for ‘planning for failure’, I am concerned that I have seen many complaints about Sonnets drying-out whilst capped, and complaints of them ‘writing dry’. Neither of those things sounds like anything I want - especially as I like pens that ‘write wet’.
So, have you found modern Sonnets to have a drying-out problem?
Do you think that there is any point in my buying a Sonnet with a gold nib, or are the steel nibs just as good?
Is the gold nib more ‘springy’ than the steel? Are both nibs ‘nails’?
With respect to the Carène, I like the look of the beast, and have read many complimetary things about it on here.
I have read the advice on how to avoid the problems that can occur when filling it, and how to adjust the rotation angle of the barrel so that the ‘stern’ end of the pen is oriented correctly when the barrel is screwed back on.
I have not yet held an example of the pen, so intend to try one out so that I can check its girth, heft, and balance before I buy it.
My potential worry with it would be its large and inaccessible feed - if I were to let an ink (but especially an iron-gall ink) dry out in that I expect that it would be a nightmare to clean out. Possibly even worse than the "51"!
What are your thoughts, oh Fount of All Wisdom that is FPN? Which of these two pens would you advise me to buy?
Do you think that the Carène is the better pen, and that I should buy the Carène and just leave the iron-gall inks for my Frontiers?
Or that each pen is as good as the other?
Or that the Sonnet is better, and that I should buy one with a gold-nib?
Or that I ought to buy a steel-nibbed Sonnet & also some nice inks with the rest of the money?
Are there any other ‘problems’ with either pen?
Have you found either to have any ‘idiosyncrasies’ that have irked you?
My thanks to you all in advance for your answers.
Edited by Mercian, 22 January 2020 - 00:35.