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  1. Notwithstanding official announcements and/or informal heads-ups from some individual retailers (much) earlier in the year about increases to retail pricing of Platinum pens in the regional markets in which they operate, … It appears Platinum in Japan has very recently taken down its product catalogues from its Japanese and English language web sites, while they update the documents to reflect the changes to (at least) pricing of ‘entry-level’ #3776 Century models with either gold or rhodium trim and plain, single-colour (i.e. black, Bourgogne, Laurel Green, Chartres Blue, and Chenonceau White) AS resin bodies. Links to the catalogues I posted not even a week ago now return HTTP error 404; and looking at the model numbers, the gold-trimmed models are now PNB-15000 instead of PNB-13000 (which implies the ex-tax price has gone up to ¥15,000 from ¥13,000), and the rhodium finish (or “silver trim”) models are not PNB-18000CR instead of PNB-15000CR. Note: The pricing is shown on the Japanese version of the product pages.
  2. 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.
  3. Now in my mid 70's. I recently discovered two unused watermans that have survived cross country moves as well as more recent downsizings. Accordingly, they could be quite old, although I have no recollection of when I acquired them. I have browsed the Internet and viewed hundreds of images of Waterman pens, but have found nothing yet that replicates the two narrow gold-plated trim bands at the base of the barrel of either pen. Also, the letter "F" is stamped on the feed beneath the nib of the cartridge pen. Any help in discovering the model numbers or directing me to other resources would be most appreciated.
  4. belmakier

    Identify Sheaffer Pen

    I'm pretty new to this fountain pen business, but managed to get hold of a sheaffer nib/front section (i.e, nib, filler, grip) and thought I'd try and figure out what model it is. it's burgundy, with gold trim just above the nib, and above the grip. the grip is burgundy plastic. the nib is gold, and in a 'classic' style (i.e., not the sheaffer distinctive targa/imperial kind). engraved on the nib it has 'SHEAFFER', then 'F - 4' below, and finally 'M' at the bottom. any suggestions or insights would be appreciated. many thanks

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