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Parker 100 Cobalt Black, Gold Trim


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26 replies to this topic

#1 I am not a number

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 20:31

The Parker 100 in Black Cobalt with Gold Trim.

KendallJ submitted an excellent review of a silver 100 almost three years ago and rightly observes that "The 100 is its own pen, not a redo of the 51 or any other vintage" but I honestly think it is inevitable that comparisons will be drawn and that some (but not all) people will judge the 100 using the 51 as a yardstick. Put simply I wanted to see the 100 and the great 51 side by side. I have found out from a post by J M Lewertowski (Penseller from France - no affiliation but I got my 100 from him and can recommend his services without hesitation) that the 100 will be discontinued in Europe from the end of the year, so if you have one of these on your shopping list you may be interested in a comparison but more importantly, some pertinent facts.

Having been brought up on the Parker 51 I was initially gratified but slightly suspicious when I first saw that in the Parker 100 a return had been made to a classic styling. I was pleased that there was a new Parker with a hooded nib (something which suits my writing style and that I find aesthetically pleasing) but I couldn't help seeing the new 100 model as something of an upstart, a pretender to the throne of the 51. After a while with the pen I have grown quickly grown to see it for what it is, a stylish modern Parker with a smoothness of writing that I personally consider to be a new benchmark for fountain pens. I think that this pen is wonderful and on the strength of its performance have placed another order.

First Impressions.

If you are considering one of these as a gift then it's good to have an idea of how it is packaged. Having removed the traditional white cardboard slipcase we are confronted with a fairly large outer box. Overcome by curiosity this will soon give way to the inner case of a pleasant clamshell design. Open up the inner case and the 100 is revealed in an attractive modern setting (apt as I consider it an attractive modern pen).



So it's time to place the new and the old side by side and have a look at the physical differences. As the 100 in this review is finished in Cobalt Black with Gold Trim, for this comparison I have used a Black Aerometric 51 with Rolled Gold Cap which I have owned for many years.

Capped:

The lengths capped are similar at 142.5 mm for the Parker 100 and 136.8 mm for the 51. The width around the widest circular section of the cap (ignoring the clip) is also greater for the 100 at 14.0 mm compared to the 12.4 mm of the 51.



Uncapped:

The lengths uncapped draw closer together with 126.0 mm for the 100 and 127.5 mm (making the older pen very slightly longer). The difference in barrel widths is also apparent with the 100 being 12.5 mm at its widest point and the 51 slightly slimmer at 11.5 mm. The uncapped inked weights are the single major difference at 21.5 grams for the 100 and 12.6 grams for the 51 making the 100 almost twice as heavy.



Posted:

Posted the lengths are only 1 mm apart at 151 mm for the newer model and 152 mm for the Parker 51. However the main difference is again in the weights of the two models. The inked 100 with its cap is 35.2 grams which is almost one and a half times the 21.0 grams of the 51 in the same configuration.



The Business End:

The obvious similarity is the hooded nib, but a closer look shows a more modern styling to the newer pen. Those who have had the pleasure of writing with a good 51 will know the feel of the pen, I can only say that after years of 51s, the smoothness of the 100 straight out of the box was a revelation. Every member of this forum has their own preference and writing style, but I honestly believe that if you get an opportunity to try one of these pens before they become a rarity, then you should jump at the chance. The first two pictures are the 100, the third is the 51.



The picture below shows the two pens nib to nib (bearing in mind that the 51 in this case has a fine nib).



The Cap End:

The new styling of the 100 is (in isolation) not quite as pleasing to me as the classic jewel of the 51, but when taken as a part of the whole new styling it becomes an attractive feature.



A Writing Test:

Here is a scan of writing compared to a Pelikan M200, both pens have medium nibs, the paper is 120gsm (32lb) smooth multi-function and the inks are annotated.



Weights and Measurements comparison:

Parker 100 vs. Parker 51 side by side:

Length (Capped) 142.5 mm vs. 136.5 mm
Length (Uncapped) 126.0 mm vs. 127.5 mm
Length (Posted) 151.0 mm 152.0 mm
Width (Widest part of cap) 14.0 mm vs. 12.4 mm
Width (Widest Part of Barrel) 12.5 mm vs. 11.5 mm
Inked Weight (Capped) 35.2 g vs. 21.0 g
Inked Weight (Uncapped) 21.5 g vs. 12.6 g
Cap Weight 13.7 g vs. 8.4 g

Personal Opinion:

It is important to remember that these are two different pens from two different eras. The Parker 51 boasted (justifiably in my opinion) that it was the "World's Most Wanted Pen". At the other end of the scale the Parker 100 has proven to be something of a damp squib in the catalogue. But it must be remembered that we now live in an age where few people are prepared to invest in a fountain pen, especially one that sits between the low-cost everyday user pen and the high end prestige editions. There are so many other consumer items clamouring for our attention and our money that I feel saddened that this pen offers so much to a largely unappreciative market.

Physically there is little difference in length between the two pens, the 100 is slightly wider but the real difference is in weight where the newcomer comes in at just under one and a half times the 51. I am over 6 feet tall and spent many years as an airborne warrior, a solid and substantial pen suits me very well and I am in every sense delighted with the 100 but realise that this will not be the case for all. I also consider that this pen has the smoothest nib that I have ever used and that straight out of the box it was a pleasure to write with.

Summary:

All I can say is that from my viewpoint, the Parker 100 is a new classic and whilst I wholeheartedly recommend it I also realise that it will not be suitable for all people. For me it will be a trusted friend in the future and I look forward to spending many happy years with another great product from the Parker stable, however only time will tell if this pen will weather the years as robustly as its illustrious predecessor.

IANAN

Edited by I am not a number, 29 November 2007 - 10:14.

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#2 slimnib

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 00:10

All I can say is WOW.


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#3 Waterman

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 00:16

Why exactly did parker discontinue this pen?

Thanks
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#4 greencobra

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 06:44

Good job on this review and comparison. Enjoyed it very much.
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#5 FrankB

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 08:14

This is a good review and comparison.

I am an old guy who grew up with Parker 51's. I continue to love them. I agree the 100 is its own pen, and I like some of the differences between the 51 and 100. Using the 100 is a nice change of pace for me.

My M nib is really wet, and it writes broader than B, depending on the ink I use. I am still considering having it customized into a cursive italic and having the ink flow reduced, but I just keep using it as it is.

I am also curious why Parker is discontinuing this model. I wonder if too many people compared it to the 51 and it did not sell well as a model?

#6 Immoteus

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 09:53

Great Review! How would you describe the colours of the pen? Because the colours don't show up to well on my lcd; the body varies from blue to dark blue and the cap varies from silver to graphite.
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#7 I am not a number

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 10:20

Thanks!

Unusually for the UK there is a big glowing thing in the sky at the moment which I think is called the Sun and I have used this rare opportunity to take a few more shots. I would say that if anything the 100 has a slightly deeper quality to the black finish than the India Black 51. The 100 can also display some slight tonality on total black depending on the light under which it is viewed, I like this lustrous quality.

Here are a few daylight comparisons...













I hope that they help!

IANAN



Edited by I am not a number, 29 November 2007 - 13:40.

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#8 Hennypenny

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 11:38

I bought the Honey White P100 with a Fine Nib (from Lewertowski, as well) several months ago. I love it, too. I like the large size, good balance, striking colors -- and wonderful nib. I won't say it's the smoothest writer I have, but it has a feel unlike any other pen I own -- so it's a very unique writing experience and one that I enjoy (I believe other reviewers have described it as having a quirky sweet-spot -- it just might, but it's a quirk that suits me). HP
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#9 jonro

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 18:56

Why did you have to go and post that great review? Now I want to buy one.

#10 Bradley

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 22:33

What a nice, thoughtful review. Thank you very much, "I am not a number." I own two "100"s now and appreciate your accuracy.

I must say, both of my pens are slow-starters. My first, a fine Cobalt and Silver, was purchased used and has seen some use since I bought it, but it is still slow to start. That is, it begins very dry and the ink is faded until I've written a few lines. Then, it is fine. My second, a medium Ivory and Gold, was purchased brand new. I feel that this pen is still being "written in". Again, it is rather slow to start, as I described with my first pen. Also, once it gets going, it tends to skip every now and then. With use, this problem seems to be lessening to some degree, but it remains an issue. And my medium writes a very broad line indeed. Maybe the occasional skipping has something to do with that "sweet spot" that others have mentioned.

That being said, I am very encouraged by your excellent review and will continue to be patient with my "100"s. They really are beautiful pens and do write like a dream (once they get going, in my case), and I feel I need to justify spending all that money!
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#11 omasfan

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 23:41

How does the "100" fill? And how much ink does it hold in comparison to the "51"? What is the mileage you get with the "100"?
Thanks, Wolfgang

#12 I am not a number

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 00:25

QUOTE(dupontfan @ Dec 1 2007, 01:41 AM) View Post
How does the "100" fill? And how much ink does it hold in comparison to the "51"? What is the mileage you get with the "100"?
Thanks, Wolfgang

Cartridge/Converter filling and the mileage will be a function of nib width and writing style, I use a medium and a broad and they run well enough when compared to my similar 51s (although the 51s get more ink into the bigger volume of the sac). Think along the lines of a standard Parker cartridge for the 100 and you won't go far wrong.
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#13 Immoteus

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 03:13

IANAN,

Thanks fo the pictures! Now i want to buy one! I just received my 51 today and I was surprised by the size and weight of the pen (Small and featherweight), very similar to the prera.
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#14 Hennypenny

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Posted 02 December 2007 - 20:44

Here's the Honey White version -- I really like the substantial size and weight of this pen! HP


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#15 pmsalty

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Posted 02 December 2007 - 21:38

Thanks for the comparison review. Quite helpful. Good job!
PMS
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#16 smithno

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 01:53

My Parker 100 is my #1 pen! It is the Smoked Bronze with an F nib. I've had it almost exactly a year. For the first 8 months, it never failed to write. Then it became a hard starter. I finally cleaned/flushed it 4 or 5 times in a row, which took care of the slow starting. I pay much more attention to flushing it after each ink fill and the problem has stayed away.

#17 sdonahue

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 15:20

I got one---Extra Fine, and it's blue with the gold cap. I was disctinctly underwhelmed. Allegedly new, I initially cleaned the nib, and out comes a gusher of blue ink. Then, something was rattling around in the nib, plus the pen had a leak prob and an ink flow prob. I sent it back and the new one hasn't been sent back after 2 weeks and I got in to an argument with the pen store. I can only hope the replacement will be better.

#18 I am not a number

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 21:14

It would be pretty impressive if it was worse!

Hope the next one turns out how you'd like it.
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#19 Stylo

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 21:51

I suspect that part of the reason the 100 hasn't been a commercial success is the odd finishes Parker used for this pen. At least based on online pictures, the textured frosty matte-like cap finishes do not seem to always go that well with the rest of the body of the pen. Esthetically, they seems destined to appeal only to a limited group of users. Take the black lacquer, for example. It would have been wise of Parker to have at least one classic finish where the entire pen was made out of shiny lacquer, instead of having an unusual finish on the cap that clashes with the body of the pen.

#20 I am not a number

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 09:58

Pictures restored...
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of nothing at all...






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