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A Review Of My First "modern" Parker

parker im black lacquer gold trim modern

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16 replies to this topic

#1 gammada

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 02:58

Got my hands on a rather nice looking Parker IM that I knew nothing about until today. I got this pen second hand, and, although the pen didn't really picked my interest at first, the cheap price and the fact that I don't own any "modern" Parker pens, got the best of me.

The seller told me it was a Sonnet, but as soon as I got home and started to look for info over the pen's age, I quickly found out I was dealing with an IM pen and not the aforementioned Sonnet. Digging a little deeper, I found this version was, much to my surprise, the restyled edition that came out sometime in 2016-17, when Parker pen production seems to have moved back to France.

So what it's like to use a modern Parker? The answer coming from the perspective of someone who has a nice stable of comparable pens (15, 25, 45, Vector) of the same brand, and before it was eaten alive by the Newell monster, is kind of a mixed bag.

For starters, this pen feels notably heavier than all of the aforementioned pens, even when they came in with metal caps and barrels, it is also a tiny bit bigger than any of those and it feels rather substantial. The fit and finish seems quite nice and devoid of any notable cost-cutting corners. The pen's clip feels taut and durable (in contrast with some reviews I've read of the previous version). The cap posts securely and caps/ uncaps with a reassuring click, yet, when you cap the pen, you have to push it down with a little force; the cap apparently seals way before the cap reaches the end travel. A bit odd at first, but maybe this will result in a pen that keeps moist for a longer period of time. Time will tell.

The minute you remove the cap and unscrew the barrel to fit a converter or a cartridge, you get a feel that in my case, is mostly replicated on my lacque Sheaffer Targa pens, except all the parts on this pen are heftier.

The IM previously shared its nib with the Jotter, but this updated version uses another nib design that is quite appealing but that seems a bit tiny for such a large pen. To give you a visual example, it is a bit wider but shorter than the nib on my Kaweco Liliput!

It is quite a smooth pen for a fine nib, and flows pretty well. By contrast, the F nibs on my Parker 25 stable, are a bit coarser and give more feedback, whereas the fine and extrafine nibs on my 45's seem a tiny bit smoother.

The writing experience is pleasant, even if the section is a bit small and with a step up ring just before the barrel. Said step up is not really intrusive fortunately.

The pen styling doesn't really speak to me as a Parker product, it kind of feels identity-less. Aside from the "arrow" Parker clip, there is no single design detail that could relate this pen to any of its forebears. Also, the fact that this pen is closely related to the Waterman Hemisphere, supports the notion that Parker is no longer a manufacturer; just another brand channel for selling writing products.

Is it a bad pen? Definitely not. It's much better built, quite nicely finished and on par performer than most of its competitors, but it is not a pen that could stir passions, specially not in those younger generations buying TWSBIs, Pilot, Platinum, Sailors, Lamys and Kawecos by the ton. I got mine for less than half the price is goes for online, so I did scored a win here. But I would never even consider buying this pen brand new.

 

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#3 thx1138

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 00:10

IM are made in China. Unless your pen has France stamped on it, you can assume it is made in China.
Still nice pens, well made, and good writers.

#4 gammada

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 19:44

IM are made in China. Unless your pen has France stamped on it, you can assume it is made in China.
Still nice pens, well made, and good writers.

I assumed that much. But yeah, the more I've been using it, the more I've come to appreciate it. And just now, there seems to be a furor over a limited edition of the IM Parker just launched. Seen it everywhere.

 

Do you happen to have experience with the Urban?



#5 alexwi

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 22:10

I have the Chinese "Perfect 0.5mm" version of the same pen as you and it's a good writer.

 

Then I got one of the old-design IM's in a mixed bag of pens and figured I'd ink it.

 

I never thought of buying a PARKER IM until I got the latter. The "jotter" nib looks terribly disproportionate on screen, but then I started using it and it was great, except for the inner cap being so loose that it wasn't practical, so I ordered the same model on sale somewhere for $15, and that one's just perfect.

 

One thing I did to all three was to carefully affix a tiny piece of scotch tape under the clip to cover the breather hole, which causes this pen to dry sooner than it should. Takes a bit of practice to cut it to the right size and place it correctly, though.

 

alex



#6 gammada

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 02:12

I have the Chinese "Perfect 0.5mm" version of the same pen as you and it's a good writer.

 

Then I got one of the old-design IM's in a mixed bag of pens and figured I'd ink it.

 

I never thought of buying a PARKER IM until I got the latter. The "jotter" nib looks terribly disproportionate on screen, but then I started using it and it was great, except for the inner cap being so loose that it wasn't practical, so I ordered the same model on sale somewhere for $15, and that one's just perfect.

 

One thing I did to all three was to carefully affix a tiny piece of scotch tape under the clip to cover the breather hole, which causes this pen to dry sooner than it should. Takes a bit of practice to cut it to the right size and place it correctly, though.

 

alex

Is there a Chinese branded version of this pen?

 

The model I have doesn't have the Jotter nib any longer. It now uses a similar nib to that of the Urban, but with different etchings. As for the breather hole, it seems to have a rectangular opening below the clip, but it is now sealed. As a mentioned on my review, the cap feels like sealing in a very noticeable way. Maybe the upgrade was more than cosmetic. So far, it's been working like a charm!



#7 alexwi

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 02:51

Is there a Chinese branded version of this pen?

 

The model I have doesn't have the Jotter nib any longer. It now uses a similar nib to that of the Urban, but with different etchings. As for the breather hole, it seems to have a rectangular opening below the clip, but it is now sealed. As a mentioned on my review, the cap feels like sealing in a very noticeable way. Maybe the upgrade was more than cosmetic. So far, it's been working like a charm!

 

Go to ebay and search for "Parker IM fountain pen." If the nib grade is "0.5 mm" and the seller's in China, it's definitely counterfeit.

 

I don't know if Baoer, who makes a knock-off of the Sonnet with the Baoer brand name on it, does the same for the IM.

 

alex



#8 gammada

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 16:28

 

Go to ebay and search for "Parker IM fountain pen." If the nib grade is "0.5 mm" and the seller's in China, it's definitely counterfeit.

 

I don't know if Baoer, who makes a knock-off of the Sonnet with the Baoer brand name on it, does the same for the IM.

 

alex

Indeed! Just saw a bunch of both, old and new design IM pens. Do you happen to know if these counterfeit pens accept Parker cartridges?



#9 alexwi

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 17:17

Indeed! Just saw a bunch of both, old and new design IM pens. Do you happen to know if these counterfeit pens accept Parker cartridges?

 

Of course they do! They're "Perfect Parkers," after all.

 

OK, seriously, I imagine they do. The only fake I have is an IM similar to yours and it takes Parker cartridges and converters.

 

The bottom line with this model, however, is that if you are patient enough, you can get original Parker IM's for the same prices (around $15, which is what I paid for mine).

 

Alex



#10 gammada

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 05:11

 

Of course they do! They're "Perfect Parkers," after all.

 

OK, seriously, I imagine they do. The only fake I have is an IM similar to yours and it takes Parker cartridges and converters.

 

The bottom line with this model, however, is that if you are patient enough, you can get original Parker IM's for the same prices (around $15, which is what I paid for mine).

 

Alex

 

I paid like $20 for mine, so I did well. If this is a counterfeit, now I really don't know. I would like to think it's an original, but who knows!



#11 Kenlowe

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 15:23

There was a seller of fake Parkers who claimed that his pens would take both Parker and international cartridges!

 

In my experience the faking doesn't extend to the pens acceptance of Parker cartridges.



#12 gammada

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 16:54

There was a seller of fake Parkers who claimed that his pens would take both Parker and international cartridges!

 

In my experience the faking doesn't extend to the pens acceptance of Parker cartridges.

So far, all videos I've seen of fake Parkers seem to verify that they do not accept original Parker cartridges or converters.

 

Another thing I've noticed on my Parker IM that was the subject of this post, is that if you try to use Standard International large cartridges or any other cartridge resembling the size of the Parker one (think Lamy), it just won't take it. It seems to have a taper inside that pulls open original cartridges when screwing the pen and so, it will only accept the slim end Parker is known for. That kind of gives peace as to the originality of my product!



#13 alexwi

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 19:42

So far, all videos I've seen of fake Parkers seem to verify that they do not accept original Parker cartridges or converters.

 

Another thing I've noticed on my Parker IM that was the subject of this post, is that if you try to use Standard International large cartridges or any other cartridge resembling the size of the Parker one (think Lamy), it just won't take it. It seems to have a taper inside that pulls open original cartridges when screwing the pen and so, it will only accept the slim end Parker is known for. That kind of gives peace as to the originality of my product!

 

I won't be able to test this theory until next week, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I've a ton of work waiting for me and would have to fish for cartridges in order to test if this is the case with the Parker IM that I have that I know for a fact to be fake.

 

If this is true (i.e. fake Parkers accepting only International standard cartridges), detecting them would be trivial, and that isn't the case with Sonnets, at least.

 

Alex



#14 gammada

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 04:28

 

I won't be able to test this theory until next week, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I've a ton of work waiting for me and would have to fish for cartridges in order to test if this is the case with the Parker IM that I have that I know for a fact to be fake.

 

If this is true (i.e. fake Parkers accepting only International standard cartridges), detecting them would be trivial, and that isn't the case with Sonnets, at least.

 

Alex

I will definitely stay tuned! Thanks!



#15 alexwi

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 17:39

I finally had a chance to test this.

 

These are the two IMs that I have. The one on the left is the Chinese knock-off and I can only imagine that the other one's a real Parker, because I ordered it from PensAndPencils.net.

 

fpn_1594918719__parker_im_chinese_-_orig

 

I only tried with an empty Parker cartridge and it fit both pens, although the fit was considerably tighter on the Chinese one. I put it in and screwed the barrel fully and neither pen damaged the cartridge (or at least I can't notice any damage).

 

I didn't really think that Chinese knock-offs only accept International cartridges, as that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Makes no sense for this (or these) manufacturers to invest so heavily in design, equipment, and materials to have such a dumb detail ruin their endeavor, but your post made me doubt.

 

alex



#16 gammada

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 16:24

See

 

I finally had a chance to test this.

 

These are the two IMs that I have. The one on the left is the Chinese knock-off and I can only imagine that the other one's a real Parker, because I ordered it from PensAndPencils.net.

 

fpn_1594918719__parker_im_chinese_-_orig

 

I only tried with an empty Parker cartridge and it fit both pens, although the fit was considerably tighter on the Chinese one. I put it in and screwed the barrel fully and neither pen damaged the cartridge (or at least I can't notice any damage).

 

I didn't really think that Chinese knock-offs only accept International cartridges, as that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Makes no sense for this (or these) manufacturers to invest so heavily in design, equipment, and materials to have such a dumb detail ruin their endeavor, but your post made me doubt.

 

alex

Thanks for the update. Gotta say that I don't think replacing the Parker cartridge with an international one could be detrimental for them. They don't profit much from either if the pen is sold outside of China. Actually, a few days ago I found out about an original Sheaffer pen (from the BIC days) that doesn't use Sheaffer cartridges, it only takes international!

 

Also, here in Mexico, it isn't easy anymore to find ink cartridges for Parker pens. Amazon is pretty much your only choice for cartridges or converters -and those are helluva expensive, whereas international cartridges are still sold in many places.



#17 alexwi

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 16:42

....

 

Also, here in Mexico, it isn't easy anymore to find ink cartridges for Parker pens. Amazon is pretty much your only choice for cartridges or converters -and those are helluva expensive, whereas international cartridges are still sold in many places.

 

If you must use cartridges, it's possible to refill them. If I'm not mistaken, Ruth and a few others here, have done so.

 

Fill the cartridge with a syringe and then use a glob of silicone glue to seal it. It can be removed easily once you're ready to use it. I might have also read that hot glue also works, but am not sure. If I were to do this, I'd carry those cartridges wrapped in tissue or a paper towel inside an airtight bag, just in case.

 

Alex







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