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The Parker 100


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15 replies to this topic

#1 KendallJ

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Posted 06 January 2005 - 03:43

I'm posting this review because this pen is an A#1 design in my book, and is highly deserving of praise. I think they got 98% of the design right and the price point is great value.

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1. Overall design 5*

Here's what I really like about the design concept of this pen. Instead of copying a vintage design, Parker has created in the 100 a pen that makes full use of modern design and mfg methods, but uses classic design elements, in this case, the hooded nibbed pen. The 100 is its own pen, not a redo of the 51 or any other vintage.

Some of the design features I liked:

a. use of multiple textures / colors. The pen body is lacquered in a pearlescent finish, while the cap is a brushed metal. Color combinations are striking. In my case: gunmetal cap with silver pearl body. Understated but novel design element.

b. metallic jewels at both ends. These are unlike any other jewels I've seen with recessed metallic jewels set in a metalic collar.

c. the modern version of the Parker Arrow clip. This is a phenomenal aspect taking a new interpretation of the Parker Arrow.

d. The classic hooded nib design. What can you say here. This is a classic element reminiscent of the famous 51, and 61's.

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2. Size / Weight 4*

It's a medium weight pen. Although its primarly metal, I expected a heavier pen. It's extremely well balanced unposted, and if you happen to grip your pen a little on the high side, you'll find the balance nice posted as well.

The pen also has some girth to it, coming in at almost exactly the same dimensions as my Sailor 1911. call it a 51 style body "on steroids".

3. Nib 5*

Folks, this is the only nib that I absolutely adored out of the box. Buttery smooth from the first line. Can you believe I dropped it after only a week and had to send it in to Richard Binder for repair! :blush: Cap seals well, and this pen can be counted on to write every time. It's hooded so its stiff. Don't expect flex here folks.

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4. Filling Mechanism 4*

C/C filled. Which usually means I give it a 3* rating (since I find C/C's somewhat ordinary). However, in this case I give kudos to the small black plastic insert under the nib. No extra ink stuck under the hood after filling. I have a Hero 100 (P51 knock-off) and this pen usually sneaks a drop or two of ink under the hood ready to drop off onto my desk when i least expect it. Not so with the Parker.

5. Fit / Finish 5*

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I have to hand it to parker on this one. They really classed this pen out in this department. examples of care spent:

a. the clip is folded plate like most, but you're swear it was solid metal.

b. The threading on the body / section joint is smooth as silk.

c. the cap is snap cap, held on by 2 spring loaded cams. I find this cap to be solid and sure. some have complained of a slight wobble int he pen when capped, but I have only noticed it slightly and not found it to be a hassle.

d. the surface finish of both parts of the pen is extremely well done.

Can I find something to complain about? Very little. Balance when posted, maybe. Also, I find that because of the convex lines and smooth pearl finish, that the pen is sometimes a little slippery, but these are minor items, in what is really a stellar design.

6. Overall value 5*

I'm adding this category to my reviews to reflect some sort of weight toward the price paid for the overal package. I bought the pen at Pam Braun's shop for $140. In my opinion, this is good value for a well made, functional pen, that is also a pretty piece of pocket jewelry. Much higher prices than this and my value scores start to decline, but if you like contemporary styling, and would buy a great pen in the low 100's then this is definitely one to consider. I think because Parker used modern design methods and mfg element that they are probably able to mfg this pen at a reasonable cost, and hopefully will be handsomely rewarded in profit for such a great design.

Kendall Justiniano
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#2 PenHero

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Posted 06 January 2005 - 12:40

Dear Kendall,

Great review. Although my perception of the pen is quite different, you've done a very thorough job that will help people make a good decision.

My thoughts on the pen are probably colored from my use of the Parker 51, which I consider a watershed design, with the unfortunate feature of being an excellent, but boring writer. The 51 is one of the ultimate writing "tools", but it's not an "artists" pen.

I think the 100 is too big, and this is directly on a side by side basis with the 51, which I consider to be about the perfect pen size. I think the pen suffers from this, as the design looks like an enlargement. If the pen had been smaller, I think it would be more appealing.

This, to me is another case of the recent "bigger is better" trend in the pen world. Pen makers are doing this to sell pens, but it does not appeal to me.

I actually was describing an Aurora Optima to someone recently as a "medium sized" pen, where if it had been made in the 1950s it would be considered large.

I agree that the nib is very smooth and a good writer, but the stiffness gives it no expressiveness. I don't mean by that statement that a nib has to be flexible to be good, but it needs to be more than a smooth nail to appeal to me. This is my frustration with most modern Waterman designs - they all tend to be smooth nails. The Waterman Edson, a great design, needs a nib like the Sheaffer Legacy, which has some spring to it. Then an excellent pen would be truly great.

Don't think I have a problem with modern Parkers. I think the Sonnet is the best pen in the Parker lineup. The nibs are wet, smooth, and springy, and the size and shape is proportional to the 51. I'm actually surprised Parker didn't stick a hooded section on a Sonnet and call *that* a 51.

#3 KendallJ

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Posted 06 January 2005 - 15:22

Jim, those are some thoughtful comments. I buy both arguments. My perspective is from one who owns mostly modern and to me flex (or expressiveness) is not as critical an element. Yes, I have some pens that are stubs or have flex to them, and while I like the line, I am perfectly happy with a nail (as long as its smooth). I actually gain a good deal of expressiveness with my stiff pens by the angles I hold them at. I've got about 3 or for different grips that change the part of the sweet spot that is used. But I can see where someone who wants more expressiveness and prefers a flexy nib might find it boring.

As to size. hmmm yes, I agree that vintage pens are all smaller and the trend is toward bigger sizes, but I'm one who benefits from the trend. I find a light pen in the med - large range to be most comfortable. An Estie J or a Pelikan 200 or Hero 100 (all of which I have) are almost too small for me. Maybe I've got pre-arthritic hands or something, but smaller pens hurt. Yes, the 100 is larger than the 51, but the only thing I didn't like about it is that it is just a tad bit slippery.

Edited by KendallJ, 06 January 2005 - 17:31.

Kendall Justiniano
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#4 Fulcanelli

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 21:40

You may have heard the Pen World International magazine reader's poll picked this as the Pen of the Year. :o

#5 Sparky

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 02:52

I just received my Parker 100. I am extremely delighted with it. It has heft, but as someone said earlier it is like a 51 on steroids. However, it is still a very nicely balanced pen. I have an extra fine and the nib is buttery smooth. I intial decided to get it becuase I liked hooded nib pens and thought that because I have several hero 100's and 616's , several Parker 51 SE's and also a vintage mint 1960 Parker 51, that I almost HAD to get this to be true to my collection (great excuse, eh). I didn't expect however, that I would like it so much because generally I like thinner pens. But for some reason, when you put it all together it is a great pen to hold and write with.

#6 Meuge

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 04:15

I just received a Parker 100 in Smoked Bronze, with a medium nib.

What everyone says about the nib is totally true - it is by far the smoothest I've tried so far... the medium is on the thick side of medium, and lays down a very wet line... so much so that it's the first pen I like using pure Noodler's Luxury Blue in, wherefore in all others it looks too light and washed out.

The pen is indeed rather heavier than the vintage Parkers, but it's not too heavy, and is balanced very well when it's not posted. The heavy cap really unbalances the pen if used.

#7 kissing

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 07:40

Don't think I have a problem with modern Parkers. I think the Sonnet is the best pen in the Parker lineup. The nibs are wet, smooth, and springy, and the size and shape is proportional to the 51. I'm actually surprised Parker didn't stick a hooded section on a Sonnet and call *that* a 51.

In that case, how does the nib on the Parker100 compare against the nib on the 2002 Parker51 'remake' ?


ps: I do love the nib on the Sonnet :) It feels even better than the Duofold, IMO, which is stiffer than a nail <_<
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#8 Richard

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 19:12

Count me as another in the "love it" column.

I'm a vintage guy -- heck, I don't even "do" modern pens -- but I have a 100, and I like it. (I have other moderns, and they're all nice pens to varying degrees, even my Tanakor rOtring Core, whose looks I hate and which I might have to dump were it not such an excellent writer.) My regular carry is a Parker "51", and I know exactly the "boring" aspect of its nib that Jim mentions -- that's one of its charms: it's utterly predictable. The other pen in my Piquadro at this time is a Waterman's Ideal Nº 452 with a BB factory stub (also rigid enough that it has no discernible flex, but oh that stub!). So why do I have, and like, my 100?

At the 2005 Boston show, I took a display sample Parker 100 in Black Cobalt in trade for some nib work, just because I liked the idea of having it:

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Yeah, the engraving on the barrel is what made it cool.

Well, this really was a display sample. Parker had epoxied the feed, nib, and converter into the section so there was no way the pen would be usable. But I'd worked on a few 100s, and I worked on a few more, and I came to the conclusion that this was a pen I wanted to own in working order. So I communed with Pam Braun, by which I mean I plunked down her price, and became the owner of a stock, standard 100 in Black Cobalt. Marrying the sample barrel with the section I got from Pam yielded the best of all possible worlds.

Anybody want a Black Cobalt 100 that won't write? :D
Click to send email: richard@richardspens.com
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#9 kissing

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 14:02

Count me as another in the "love it" column.

I'm a vintage guy -- heck, I don't even "do" modern pens -- but I have a 100, and I like it. (I have other moderns, and they're all nice pens to varying degrees, even my Tanakor rOtring Core, whose looks I hate and which I might have to dump were it not such an excellent writer.) My regular carry is a Parker "51", and I know exactly the "boring" aspect of its nib that Jim mentions -- that's one of its charms: it's utterly predictable. The other pen in my Piquadro at this time is a Waterman's Ideal Nº 452 with a BB factory stub (also rigid enough that it has no discernible flex, but oh that stub!). So why do I have, and like, my 100?

At the 2005 Boston show, I took a display sample Parker 100 in Black Cobalt in trade for some nib work, just because I liked the idea of having it:

Posted Image

Yeah, the engraving on the barrel is what made it cool.

Well, this really was a display sample. Parker had epoxied the feed, nib, and converter into the section so there was no way the pen would be usable. But I'd worked on a few 100s, and I worked on a few more, and I came to the conclusion that this was a pen I wanted to own in working order. So I communed with Pam Braun, by which I mean I plunked down her price, and became the owner of a stock, standard 100 in Black Cobalt. Marrying the sample barrel with the section I got from Pam yielded the best of all possible worlds.

Anybody want a Black Cobalt 100 that won't write? :D

What a fun story :)

I certainly wouldn't mind a Parker 100 that won't write :lol:

Why do they bother making the "Sample" unuseable anyway :unsure: ? Wouldn't it just be cheaper for the company to display a normal 100 on display? :blink:

Oh dear...recently, Rotring company has offered me to send me a free "sample" of their new Newton fountain pen. By "sample", I hope they're not sending me an unuseable pen like that 100 you found. . . :(

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#10 Armchop

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 20:19

sm_cat.gif
Had me two 100's for a few months now.
It is a nice well designed pen.
I like the size and weight.
I've had no flow problems form on ink brand to another.
BUT:
I can't use them anymore. bawl.gif
I've tried and tried but cannot find the sweet spot. The writing angle and nib rotation is quite unforgiving to my style. Also I find I need to write slower than I usually do.
So into the vaults they go and out come back something from my older rotations.
hmm1.gif what shall it be?

Armchop

#11 LCF

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 18:43

Has anyone tried this pen with a broad nip? What size nib would you recommend?
Greetings from Denmark

#12 acfrery

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 19:01

QUOTE(LCF @ Sep 18 2007, 03:43 PM) View Post
Has anyone tried this pen with a broad nip? What size nib would you recommend?

Hi,

I have it with a B nib, and it is not as broad as, say, a modern Omas broad. It is more like a juicy fat medium. A fantastic nib in a fantastic pen.

Alejandro

#13 Chip

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Posted 27 September 2007 - 23:31

QUOTE(LCF @ Sep 18 2007, 02:43 PM) View Post
Has anyone tried this pen with a broad nip? What size nib would you recommend?



I have two Parker 100s, one an M and one an XF. My experience has been what I thought was the conventional wisdom on Parker nibs, i.e., that they run broad for a given width designation. My M Parker 100 is about the same breadth as a Lamy Safari B, maybe a tad narrower. It's much broader than a Pekikan 400 M nib that I have. The Parker M writes smoothly, but one needs to hit the fairly narrow sweet spot to avoid balky starts. I've gotten used to it, and enjoy using the pen. I have no ambivalence at all about the XF in the other Parker 100. It is slightly broader than my Pelikan 800 F and has none of the fussiness about the sweet spot that the Parker 100 M has. The M is in the "smoke bronze" color, which is pretty nice, and the XF in the cobalt black, which is a very sharp looking pen. I also have two other Parkers: a Sonnet in an F nib, which is broader than what I would consider fine, but not quite as broad as the Pelikan medium, and a 51 aeromatic in a medium nib, which runs broader than the Pelikan medium, but, as expected, is a really nice, classic pen. I don't think that the 100 comes up to the old 51, but producing the 51 today would cost an arm and a leg.

Although I think the Pelikan 800 fine is, on balance, a noticeably higher quality pen than the Parker 100, I have to confess a real fondness for the Parker 100. It's a great looking pen, and a good writer at a reasonable price for what you are getting. Hope that you enjoy it.

#14 bcrespo

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 22:04

I bought a new Parker 100 at ebay. The cap has no inner cap... is this correct or is a defect of the pen?

#15 tnt

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 20:09

I also recently bought a Cobalt Black 100 with an extra fine nib, and it is my favorite pen of the moment. I'm using Waterman black ink with the supplied converter. Before this pen I really wasn't a fan of the hooded nib. I rarely use the 51 and the 21 I own, I'm far more likely to use my Visconti, Stipula or my prized Yard 'O Lead Viceroy with Barley finish. The 100 just feels right and the nib is perfect for me. The fact that I got it brand new for $62 doesn't hurt either!

Tom

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#16 tnt

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 20:11

QUOTE(bcrespo @ Oct 1 2007, 03:04 PM) View Post
I bought a new Parker 100 at ebay. The cap has no inner cap... is this correct or is a defect of the pen?


The inner cap is very thin, and mine is black as well. There is some play when the pen is capped, but not enough to bother me at all. Maybe this is what you are experiencing?

Tom
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