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vjreviews Parker 51 NG Gold nib - Disgrace to the legacy or NOT?
VijayGS posted a topic in Fountain Pen ReviewsThe Legacy of the Parker 51 is unmatched. The name Parker 51 has got its own volume in the pages of fountain pen history. A pen launched in 1941 marking the 51st anniversary of the company, still stands up to its marketing slogan of "the world's most wanted pen". It took eleven years for the development of the pen and sold over 20 million pens between 1941 to 1972 and returning a whopping 400 million dollars in revenue for the company. The pen was designed to resemble a jet fighter with a brand new tubular nib to fit the pen. Turning the pages of worlds history, in last century the iconic Parker 51 was used to sign the surrender of Germany and Japan in World war II, General Dwight D. Eisenhower used 2 Parker 51s to create a symbolic V for victory and the late Queen Elizabeth II preferred choice of pen. The Parker 51 has its own place in the Whitehouse. From the late US President John. F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson to Ronald Reagan, Parker 51 had played its vital, final and firm role in world politics. It would be absolutely apt to call this legend of a writing instrument "The True King of Pens". Parker 51 NG The year was 2021 and the management of Parker woke up from a deep slumber and decided to live upto their legacy i.e. to introduce a pen during a worldwide crisis just like their predecessors did with the launch of Parker Vacumatic during the great depression or the launch of Parker Victory and the 51 during the second world war. Unlike their predecessors who are renowned for their innovations and novelty in launching new products and making it a phenomenal success, the sluggish, average Joe current generation planned on relaunching a neo version of an old legend and the retired legend they chose to resurrect was the Parker 51!. Hearing this I lost my sleep. Owning and using a few of the Vintage 51 myself, the expectations rose sky high. Not an exaggeration but there were so many nights where the thought of this relaunch used to be my sheep count to put me to sleep. The D-day arrived and the pen was officially launched and YouTube was flooded with reviews. Most of the reviews were for the steel nib version and I wouldn't lie, each of those reviews were a punch to the gut. All my imaginations and expectations started crumbling and let the thought of buying the pen pass. Few months later after the on and off use of the vintage 51s, I chose to revisit those YouTube reviews. An odd point stood out. Most of the reviews were steel nib and from my limited decade old experience in using fountain pens, the thought that struck me was each fountain pen has an unique character and a million dollar question of how could a renowned brand like Parker make an absolute blunder with a legend like the Parker 51. With the above justification and reasoning out a thousand times with myself to spend INR 26,500/-, I took the infamous dive down the Rabbit-hole. Placed the order for the plum golden nib through a good friend Mr. Rajesh Pillai and the pen arrived safe and sound. First Impressions The pen arrived in the box of premium standards. The pen sported the precious resin with chisel golden cap and trims. The weight was apt and well balanced pen for my medium sized hand (Glove size 7.5). The breather hole at the bottom or the side as seen with the vintage was absent. The classic cap jewel was replaced with a metal one with a gap!! Not sure if the design is supposed to mimic a propellor of the P-51 fighter jet or a very outdated and unnecessary breather hole. However I couldn't think of any use to the gap in the cap. The major design change was the screw type cap in place of the slip on/push cap and to make matters worse it was metal on resin, popping the question of lifespan of this pen. The classical hooded design was replaced to a semi hood covering half the 18KT gold fine tip nib and a very noticeable gap between the tip of the hood and the nib. The resin threaded barrel again screws up to a metal nipple. On observing this all I could do was keep my fingers crossed and pray that this pen lasts for a considerable amount of time in my hands and my hard earned money that I spent on this pen doesn't go down the drain in the near future. The pan came with a conventional cartridge and a twist convertor. First Write After making the above observations it was zero hour. The time to put the resurrected legend to action. The ink of choice was Montblanc petrol blue and with the first dip and few twists the convertor was filled with a tiny air bubble. The moment of truth. the first stroke of the pen was flawless, nothing less than the vintage Parker 51. It was totally an flabbergasting experience given the thought of negative reviews racing in your head and personally observing and highlighting the flaws in the design. The wetness along with the feedback of the nib, the weight and balance of the pen vanished the fears of flushing the money spent on this pen down the drain. It was pure bliss and joy to write with this pen. Rising up to the challenge With all things said and done, it is the duty of this particular model to stand up to its predecessors glory. This pen according to me had a great challenge to face down the road. The vintage original Parker 51 had two primary objectives. One the aerodynamic design resembling a fighter jet which the 51 NG managed to achieve in its own way with few flaws. The second Himalayan task ahead was the no dry flawless writing with no skips especially on long storage which was a boasting promise of Parker on the original vintage 51. It so happened that after two days of acquiring this pen, I had to leave the country for a week for a conference. Leaving behind the 51, I flew to Japan and on coming back after a week, I could see the 51 staring at me from my pen stand. So with no further ado, I unscrewed the cap and placed the nib on my personal journal, and there was the dot of ink on the paper. The pen started to write with no skips jus like its ancestors from the last century. That was the moment my fears and doubts were completely washed away. There was no drying up issue and the NG had proven itself. I have been using it for a period of two months now, not once has the nib dried up nor had any skips during my long writing sessions. Final word It was a gutsy move from Parker to resurrect a classic successful model and kudos on the effort. Yet it was absolute ignorance, dim-witted boneheadedness to think that they could resurrect a classic from the last century with no proper R&D, using the existing parts, to tag a price that is pompous and wheedle out of the situation. The Parker 51 NG to me is no blast from the past appearance wise, however putting it to use, it is no way less in terms of performance and stands equal to its predecessors. In a profession where people judge you in a jiffy this pen can be an EDC for two reason, One not too flashy for an observer to notice and the second reason being a reliable flawless writer. This pen has been my EDC for the past two months putting my trusted Waterman Hemisphere which has been a loyal companion for a decade to rest. To conclude the vintage/original 51 Is the late Queen Elizabeth II and the 51 NG is King Charles III. I'll leave the interpretation open to the readers. Rating Looks - 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Build - 2/5 ⭐⭐ Nib - 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Value for Money - 3/5 ⭐⭐⭐ As an EDC - 👍