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Parker 100 Cobalt/Charcoal Fine Nib -- 3x5 Review


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21 replies to this topic

#1 katfisch

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 04:43

Just received a Parker 100 from Avalon Pens in Zionsville Indiana, USA. The closeout price was $135, over 50% off the sticker price of $280 (get 'em while they're hot). The pen arrived in perfect condition (Thanks, Terry) in a gorgeous presentation box, with a cartridge and a converter (installed). It's a cobalt body and section which is a very rich deep lustrous blue-black, with a finely longitudinally striated charcoal dark gray snap-on cap (said to be titanium-coated), and it's a beauty -- much more handsome than I'd anticipated -- a moderately large and somewhat heavy pen. The fine nib is 18K gold (I was wrong on the 3x5 card, sorry), rhodium-plated, hooded and stiff, and the trim is silver-colored (said to be nickel palladium) -- whatever -- beautifully executed. Made in France. The fine nib is smooth and wet right side up (with Waterman Havana Brown ink), and very fine and very usable upside down, but not as smooth.
I'm going to really love this pen (and that marvelous Havana Brown ink... 85% pure cacao richness -- Ernest Hemingway would have loved this ink...)
Please note that some of the photos look very gold... my digital camera couldn't compensate for the weird compact fluorescent bulb in my kitchen... The pen is NOT gold -- see the outdoor "bluish" photos for a more accurate color rendition.
Parker100Review_9_25_08.jpg
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Edited by katfisch, 27 September 2008 - 04:06.

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#2 dennis_f

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 16:35



Hi Greg,

Thanks for the review! I've been looking at these pens for the past few days, and thinking about buying one, but I haven't seen any live so your review is a great help.

Can you say a few words about the cap? Whenever I see this pen in pictures, the cap looks less substantial than the body. I'm assuming this is because the cap is matte whereas the body is high gloss black. Unfortunately, the effect in photos is that the cap looks cheap or flimsy to me...

You mentioned that it's titanium coated. Does it feel like metal, or plastic? Is it heavy as well?

Thanks Greg,
D.

#3 edbollix

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 18:03

I think Tuesday Morning (a close-out place) has these for $99.00. I read that in the market watch section.

#4 edbollix

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 18:49

Here is the link...

https://www.tuesdaym...;NAVpTypeID=517


#5 Maine Vintner

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 20:39

D.
I own one of the Parker 100s so I thought I would weigh in on your question. Obviously Greg can provide his own impressions but my experience with the 100's cap is it is not cheap or flimsy. It does appear less substantial than the body but that is really more of a design than a quality thing. The pen is so bold, glossy, and aerodynamic that the cap suffers by comparison. The cap is metal but it is not heavy. It has held up well to my use and abuse.

A quibble with the cap that others have expressed, and with which I would concur, is the cap has a bit of a "wiggle" when snapped onto the pen. This is more of an aesthetic issue as the cap does its job by staying firmly in place, protecting the nib, and keeping the nib from drying. Bottom line, if they were to design the pen again they might have slimmed the barrel grip section a bit, which would have given the designers an opportunity to integrate the cap a little more into the overall pen's design.

Hope this helps.
...Vintner

QUOTE (donspencer @ Sep 26 2008, 12:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Greg,

Thanks for the review! I've been looking at these pens for the past few days, and thinking about buying one, but I haven't seen any live so your review is a great help.

Can you say a few words about the cap? Whenever I see this pen in pictures, the cap looks less substantial than the body. I'm assuming this is because the cap is matte whereas the body is high gloss black. Unfortunately, the effect in photos is that the cap looks cheap or flimsy to me...

You mentioned that it's titanium coated. Does it feel like metal, or plastic? Is it heavy as well?

Thanks Greg,
D.



#6 dennis_f

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 21:27



Vintner,

Thanks for your comments. I imagine the 100 is one of those pens you have to see in person in order to appreciate fully, but at least now I can imagine the contrast between the two materials a bit more easily.

Thanks for the link Ed.
D.



#7 katfisch

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 21:54

QUOTE (donspencer @ Sep 26 2008, 11:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Greg,

Thanks for the review! I've been looking at these pens for the past few days, and thinking about buying one, but I haven't seen any live so your review is a great help.

Can you say a few words about the cap? Whenever I see this pen in pictures, the cap looks less substantial than the body. I'm assuming this is because the cap is matte whereas the body is high gloss black. Unfortunately, the effect in photos is that the cap looks cheap or flimsy to me...

You mentioned that it's titanium coated. Does it feel like metal, or plastic? Is it heavy as well?

Thanks Greg,
D.


Hi Don,
The cap appears to be a nonferous metal, probably brass. It's fairly heavy. Nothing about this pen seems cheap or flimsy. The cap snaps on, held in place by 2 little tabs in the ring between the section and the barrel. There is a very slight amount of "play" between the cap and the barrel when the pen is closed.
Greg
None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try.
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#8 dennis_f

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 01:45



Thanks again for the review Greg, and the additional comments! It's a great help, especially when you're trying to choose site-unseen. I'm especially happy to learn that it's a heavy pen. I never would have guessed it.

D.



#9 Maine Vintner

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 02:06

D.
You are very welcome. Definitely a pen that you will appreciate more in person. Also a pen that you should spend some time holding and using to write as it is has a wider grip section than can be appreciated from pictures.

Good luck to you in your pen travels.
...Vintner

QUOTE (donspencer @ Sep 26 2008, 05:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Vintner,

Thanks for your comments. I imagine the 100 is one of those pens you have to see in person in order to appreciate fully, but at least now I can imagine the contrast between the two materials a bit more easily.

Thanks for the link Ed.
D.



#10 jonro

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 02:41

Katfisch, thanks for the review! I just ordered the same model from Tuesday morning a couple of days ago. This review will help me hold out until the pen arrives. I had trouble deciding between the gold and silver trim versions of this pen, but decided on the more conservative silver version. I couldn't see any blue in any of the photos I saw online, so it will be interesting to see the pen in person when it arrives.

#11 katfisch

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 03:29

QUOTE (jonro @ Sep 26 2008, 09:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Katfisch, thanks for the review! I just ordered the same model from Tuesday morning a couple of days ago. This review will help me hold out until the pen arrives. I had trouble deciding between the gold and silver trim versions of this pen, but decided on the more conservative silver version. I couldn't see any blue in any of the photos I saw online, so it will be interesting to see the pen in person when it arrives.

Wow, that's a fabulous price! $35 less than what I paid and 64% under retail. Congratulations. Let us know how you like the pen.
Here's the link to Tuesday Morning's page with the Parker 100s -- looks like they have a good selection:
https://www.tuesdaym...il.asp?pid=2603

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#12 J-san

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 04:05

Great review and nice photos! I like the 100 and have a cobalt black and gold, and a honey white and gold. Would have been nice if Parker had made the pen a piston fill to take advantage of the large barrel for a larger ink capacity. Still, it is a great pen.
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#13 Melnicki

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 07:00

i hate it -- i love it -- i hate it -- i love it

i hate it: the XF is SO stiff and scratchy, the black lacquer body can easily get cracked, the black lacquer body is actually navy blue in sunlight, the unmatched cap-to-body makes it look like a frankenpen

i love it: filling is not messy, ink lasts a long time between fills, the cap material is stupendous, it makes a good carry-around pen, it's very sturdy and substantial, the cap snap is perfect, works nicely with a very wet bulletproof ink (like from the Swisher's series), it doesn't feel like jewelry so I'm not afraid to use it. I always have it on me.

i hate it -- i love it -- i hate it -- i love it -- i hate it


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#14 njoyingaz

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 18:30

After seeing that Tuesday Morning had these marked down to $99, I broke down and ordered a Cobalt/Charcoal Parker 100 with an XF nib. It arrived yesterday. What I found was a scratchy XF nib with quite a wide gap at the tines and a pen that skips. angry.gif I am returning it.

...Lee

#15 John Cullen

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 19:56

Lee....when you called Tuesday morning, were they OK with the return? J

#16 rroossinck

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 20:12

Katfisch, thanks for the review and the great pics! I think the knot in the wood makes for a really cool look in the pictures!

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#17 njoyingaz

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 21:55

QUOTE (John Cullen @ Oct 3 2008, 12:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Lee....when you called Tuesday morning, were they OK with the return? J


They said "Yes, you can return it, either by mail or at any of our stores."

Edited by njoyingaz, 03 October 2008 - 21:56.


#18 katfisch

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 01:05

Frankenpen... funny yikes.gif
It looks to me like the barrel is brass as well (lacquered), with a plastic insert for the threads which connect it to the section (I'm not sure if the section is plastic or metal, but the section threads are obviously metal).
I like the firm "snap" of the cap as well... and how easily the cap snaps on and off. Fun pen. I'd call my "fine" more like a medium.

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#19 jonro

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 16:25

Mine arrived the other day. It was a hard starter, but a soaking *seems* to have cured that. My extra fine nib writes more like a fine, but is very smooth. So far, so good. The fit and finish are very good, except for one thing. The edge of the cap lip feels unfinished and a bit sharp. I wish it had been polished or otherwise finished.

Edited by jonro, 04 October 2008 - 18:54.


#20 tensai

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 09:59

Is there a way to tell what size the nib is from the pen itself?

I ordered a F and XF, arrived last Wed. Both have been good writer so far, so no complaint there.

But my XF pen writes broader than my F nib pen. The box says it's XF, but I am more than a little bit skeptical. My writing sample from the XF pen looked fairly similar to my M nib Cross Townsend, using the same ink.








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