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Chinese Alternatives To A Parker 51



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Cyclopentadiene

Dear all,

 

Boring backstory...

 

I've got a Parker 51 that works wonderfully. It's an heirloom pen and as it writes so wonderfully I no longer take it out and about. As such I'm in the market for a new 51 copy, a pen that I won't be fussed about loosing, breaking, nib down dropping, loaning... you get the picture :)

 

Question:

 

Can you wonderful folks list any 51 copies, and your experiences with them for me? If so I'd really appreciate it!

 

I've heard the Hero 100 is a good imitation, one comment on fpn even suggested that the Hero 100 is a "slight improvement" on the 51. Could this be so! And if so how?

 

Many thanks for your help,

Badger

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Jerome Tarshis

I own a Hero 100. It is my second. I can write with it. The quality is nowhere near the quality of a Parker 51. Fit and finish are really deplorable compared with my 51s. As for the idea of a slight improvement, I believe that is derived from something Richard Binder posted several years ago, about metal threads or some such point. Posting to the Web leads to a great deal of writing one's better self might disavow. It is all too easy to press the Enter key.

 

There is no real substitute for a Parker 51. There are Chinese pens that write well. They needn't look like a Parker 51. I own a Parker Super 21 that looks somewhat like a 51 and writes commendably well. Its quality of fabrication leaves much to be desired, though, compared with my 51s.

 

Consider buying a 51. If one thinks of how much housing costs today, and travel, a 51 is not such a terribly expensive thing. (But then I don't lose pens. If I were afraid my pens might come to grief, I suppose I might own a different selection of them.)

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I have a few Hero models. My Hero 100 is a great workhorse pen, but it was given to me by my Dad who knows how to pick fountain pens and knew that he'd found a good one.

 

I've settled on thinking of Hero pens as completely different pens in their own right. They may have similar external features (the hooded nib, arrow shape clip, etc.) but they're very different pens.

 

The only way I can think of a Hero 100 being an "improvement" over a Parker 51 is that a Hero 100 costs much much much less. About 40x less. And if you find a good one, it's a tremendously great pen for about $5.

 

The nib might not be that smooth when you get it, but that's relatively easy to fix.

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Cyclopentadiene

Dear badger,

I think Hero616 is good enough. Some smoothening may be needed.

 

I had looked at the 616. Certainly a good cheap pen, but there's something missing with it when I look it up...

 

I own a Hero 100. It is my second. I can write with it. The quality is nowhere near the quality of a Parker 51. Fit and finish are really deplorable compared with my 51s. As for the idea of a slight improvement, I believe that is derived from something Richard Binder posted several years ago, about metal threads or some such point. Posting to the Web leads to a great deal of writing one's better self might disavow. It is all too easy to press the Enter key.

 

There is no real substitute for a Parker 51. There are Chinese pens that write well. They needn't look like a Parker 51. I own a Parker Super 21 that looks somewhat like a 51 and writes commendably well. Its quality of fabrication leaves much to be desired, though, compared with my 51s.

 

Consider buying a 51. If one thinks of how much housing costs today, and travel, a 51 is not such a terribly expensive thing. (But then I don't lose pens. If I were afraid my pens might come to grief, I suppose I might own a different selection of them.)

 

My thanks for the info! Very interesting.

 

I had considered a Parker 21, but my issue with getting a vintage pen is that I plan to put Noodler's inks in whatever pen I buy. After damaging a sheaffer standard balance through being foolish I don't stick any questionable inks in vintage pens.

 

I must have some sort of strange pen empathy, wanting not to damage vintage pens however cheap they are... pathetic eh?

 

To be honest I might just get another 51 or a 21. Will have to think on...

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I'm not a fan of the Parker 51, but it's like comparing apples and oranges buying a Chinese 51 clone for a couple of quid and expecting it to be of a decent standard.

Long reign the House of Belmont.

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I know exactly how you feel. My father always treasured a late 51 that my mother gave him as a present, He used a duofold then bought himself a 61. The 51 stayed in the sideboard until he died. I used the 51 for nearly 30 years, then last year I lost it. I had my car taken appart, thinking it had got under the seat, then had the whole inside removed. Nothing,

I dont think a cheap pen replaces a 51, they made 40,000,000 of them, you often see them at flee markets for £10-£20 so buy the real thing. As for nibs, I have a long held belief that no 2 pens write alike, you get use to them, in time. There are some very good tweekers about, the one on here, Oxonian, I would trust with my life, but I think, maybe I am wrong, 95% has to be right in the first place, they can only provide the 5%. The nib suits your writing style, Accountants never learn to write with broad nibs.

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Dear all,

 

Boring backstory...

 

I've got a Parker 51 that works wonderfully. It's an heirloom pen and as it writes so wonderfully I no longer take it out and about. As such I'm in the market for a new 51 copy, a pen that I won't be fussed about loosing, breaking, nib down dropping, loaning... you get the picture :)

 

Question:

 

Can you wonderful folks list any 51 copies, and your experiences with them for me? If so I'd really appreciate it!

 

I've heard the Hero 100 is a good imitation, one comment on fpn even suggested that the Hero 100 is a "slight improvement" on the 51. Could this be so! And if so how?

 

Many thanks for your help,

Badger

There are several copies of the 51. Here are the copies with gold nib. Hero 100, wingsung 101, 102, 103, 105, golden star 103, 705 and 710. The following are with steel nib. hero 616, Wingsung 612(A), Golden star 565. There are more copies of the 51, but the Hero and Wingsung are the easiest to find.

 

If your luck is not bad enough, you will find a good copy of the 51, or at least a copy that can be turned to a good pen. Hero 100 is a good pen but don’t expect more.

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Badger,

 

Please allow me to share some random thoughts.

 

Supposing you have a classic car, say, a Dante Giacosa designed Fiat 124 which you want to keep in good nick. So you buy a Lada 1200 as your everyday user because it looks really like the 124. But then, under the skin it's a very different machine: it does not replicate the physical aspect of the 124, nor does it perform the same way.

 

The only thing that works like a 124 is another identical 124, maintained the same way. The 1200 is not going to do that just because it looks similar, it's different because it's basically a different car, designed and engineered to suit the specific, and different environment. If you use your 124 as a yardstick, being different would be the same as being less good. That, I think, goes some way to explain it.

No, I am not going to list my pens here.

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Cyclopentadiene

Thanks for all your replies folks!

 

What has been said is true. The closest thing to a 51 is a 51.

 

Rather than buying a 51 or a copy I've decided that I'm going to save up for something completely different for a special event. I'm probably going to import one of the Gate City pens next year, that's a lot of savings to do! Especially when you consider the U.K.s 20% VAT and Import Duty (where did free trade and 'may the best product win' go?...)

 

But hell... If I carry on buying every bargain I see I'll be running out of space here! :D

 

Thanks for helping me to decide, I really appreciate it :) ,

 

Badger

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Cyclopentadiene

P.S. Parker51man - Sorry to hear you lost your particular pen. I thought I lost my vanishing point last week (hardly as precious I know) but I agree that once a pen is worn in it can't be fully replaced.

 

Hope it turns up! Maybe under the sofa/seats?

 

Best wishes,

Badger

Edited by Cyclopentadiene
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quote - Accountants never learn to write with broad nibs.

 

How very true, I CANNOT write with a broad nib. My usual is a Fine nib, sometimes an XF. I use my Medium nib only when I have the space to write with it, as otherwise I endup closing all my loops and it looks messy. I have been writing for a few months on wide ruled paper trying to get my handwriting larger, but I fear it is too late. I am to a point that I can write with a M nib OK, but not a B nib. For me the only thing wider than a M nib is my caligraphy/italic nibs, and that is a whole different way of writing.

 

Back to the 51 clone.

However, I have not been able to find the Hero 616 in other than Chinese F = western XF. I would prefer a slightly wider Chinese M = western F nib.

The reason is that I find it more comfortable to write with a pen that does not feel scratchy. And unfortunately the Hero that I have with its Chinese F nib, feels scratchy on my every-day journal (Brazil paper). I would prefer a wider tip the size of like a Parker F tip, which would be a Chinese M nib.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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I don't own one ....but I have read here that the Hero 110 is better than the 100

 

I thought about getting one for similar reasons to yourself, anyone any experience of the 110 ?

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I have some Parker 51s (Vacumatic, Aerometric and Special), some Hero 100s as well as Hero 616 Jumbo.

 

The 616 Jumbo is the exact size of the 51 (you can even swap caps) but it doesn't feel like a 51. The 100s are much better quality, but are smaller and/or heavier, depending on the model.

 

Currently the Hero 100s are going for $40~$60. A reasonable condition workhorse 51 can be found for ~$60.

 

A Hero 616 will last you a couple of years. A Hero 100, maybe 3~10 years. A vintage 51 probably has another 50 years life in it.

 

I know where I would spend my money.

fpn_1412827311__pg_d_104def64.gif




“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.


And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”


Granny Aching

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Well.....the thing is, although the 616 jumbo(aka the Doctor) is almost identical in design with the 51, the nibs feel different. The hero is slightly on the dry side and has some drag to it- feedback. Then again, the fine P51 nib that i have isn`t exacly great either.

 

When it comes to medium nibs, a hero 336 draws a wetter and slightly thicker line than the 616 jumbo, and feels closer in performance with a parker 51 with medium-fine nib- the hero does have more tooth to it, though.

 

I never tried a hero 100, but i do understand that they are the best replacement for a P51.

Edited by rochester21
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I couldn't see much of a difference between a Hero 616 and a Hero 329 from where I was sitting, so I got one of each, for pennies, off the bay.

 

Both write ok out of the box. The 616 is finer than the 329, and a bit drier, far as I can tell, but both work fine. I've never tried to smooth a nib, but I might on these, as I have very little to lose, and it might improve them, but they certainly writeas is.

 

I am not a fan of the way Parkers look, so I haven't bought myself one, and haven't inherited one, so I can't compare them to that, I can just say they work and are certainly cheap enough not to worry about.

 

T

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I have some Parker 51s (Vacumatic, Aerometric and Special), some Hero 100s as well as Hero 616 Jumbo.

 

The 616 Jumbo is the exact size of the 51 (you can even swap caps) but it doesn't feel like a 51. The 100s are much better quality, but are smaller and/or heavier, depending on the model.

 

Currently the Hero 100s are going for $40~$60. A reasonable condition workhorse 51 can be found for ~$60.

 

A Hero 616 will last you a couple of years. A Hero 100, maybe 3~10 years. A vintage 51 probably has another 50 years life in it.

 

I know where I would spend my money.

 

hints on where to look for 51 for ~$60?

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