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Parker Big Red Centennial For $224 On Amazon


katerchen
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I've had both of those nib replacements myself (on the same pen) from France, and personally I think they both suck for my tastes.

I'm satisfied with mine. Not as wet as I would like (still better than too wet), but no hesitation or other quirks.

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Just to confirm that the pens arriving in smaller boxes when bought on Amazon are Pelikans.

These smaller boxes are legit though.

(as I mentioned elsewhere these are the boxes Pelikan uses when selling in bulk to shops - these boxes exist since a long time, even before Amazon, they used to be yellow black like the old 4001 colours, now they are grey)

fpn_1583330950__img_3974-3_pelikan_small

 

fpn_1583331113__img_3973-3_pelikan_small

Edited by sansenri
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That's how Pelikan (and GvFC) sell their pens. The presentation boxes are usually provided by authorized vendors. BTW the presentation boxes are also sold separately and are available on Amazon.

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Blame Amazon's pricing algorithm. God knows what factors go into that. On thing I do know: there is no catch. It's a legit Duofold Centennial Big Red. I've bought two of them so far and had both sent to France for nib replacement. I now have one with a needle point and one with a fine italic.

 

I called a few B and M pen stores about nib replacement for a pen bought “elsewhere” but no joy.

 

How to do it, with specifics, if you would be so kind?

Cheers,

 

“It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness

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I purchased this pen in 2018 from Amazon, called Parker Newell USA, phone # obtained by googling & asked if I could return my pen for a nib exchange.

 

They mailed me a prepaid shipping label, I sent the pen away to France, they fitted the nib I requested & returned the pen to me in perhaps 6 weeks time.

 

The person @ Parker USA did not ask where I purchased the pen, nor did she request a receipt of purchase; it was far easier & less expensive that any other nib exchange I have received after purchase of a pen from US retailers.

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Having gone through the process just recently, I can say it was not as hassle free.

I did email, rather than call, parkerpen, however.

 

1- email parkerpen with request for nib replacement

2- parker respond with a confirmation number which you have to write down on a piece of paper then photograph said piece of paper with the pen

3- email photo from step 2 with purchase date, proof of purchase, desired nib, other information etc etc

4- parker email shipping label to france

5- package the pen without original packaging or converter, but with printed proof of purchase and RMA, and ship off to France.

6- wait a couple of weeks

7- receive pen with new nib

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'll let you know when my case is resolved.

_...‹snip›...

If nobody is interested in how the Fine Italic nib performs when the pen is returned to me, that's okay by me; let me know, and then I won't show any writing samples here, but simply let you know the case is closed, with a succinct "resolved satisfactorily" or "without satisfactory resolution".

I'm interested, SD.

I guess I've been remiss in not giving this closure until now.

  • As I've predicted, the pen was returned from France and just showed up on 4 February without advance notice, even though I told Newell Brands when I returned the pen for service the second time that I expect to be notified, if not of the tracking number then at least the fact the pen was dispatched for return. FAIL
  • The packaging of the pen was fine, but guess what? All that internal paperwork which unnecessarily and improperly disclosed to me some other customers' names and requests, and which Newell Brands asked me to send back (the originals) to them to avoid embarrassment, come straight back to me a second time. FAIL
  • The other included paperwork sorta tells me that the service performed on it includes installation of a replacement Fine Italic nib, by virtue of the coded text in the line item only. PASS
  • The number on the bottom of the feed seems to match non-authoritative information online that the nib it is supporting is a Fine Italic (specifically for the Parker Duofold). PASS
  • The orientation of the inscribed text on the barrel now faces to the side when I write with the pen; it neither faces up (which was the case when I first received the pen from Amazon) nor faces down (after the pen was returned to me the first time), even though I asked Newell Brands to put it back as it was originally. PARTIAL FAIL

And how does the Parker Fine Italic nib perform? Not unlike the one MalcLee showed us earlier, actually. I found the edges of the lines to be mushy and lacking in crispness, and in normal orientation the nib writes likes a Stub nib, I suppose, with less "line variation" – or difference in line widths between cross-strokes and downstrokes — and the marks have well-defined edges. I tried different inks with it, but haven't found one that makes it perform anywhere near satisfactorily.

 

There seems to be a bit more line variation when the pen is held either close to upright, or at an uncomfortable shallow angle to the page, but it's at its worst when held at my normal angle of 60°–65°.

 

The nib's only saving grace is that, when reverse-writing, it actually performs how I would expect a Fine Italic would in normal nib orientation. That is what is keeping the pen from ending up in my garbage bin. The sad thing is, I would have been a happy customer if Parker had installed a replacement nib for me (the first time I sent the pen in for nib exchange) that wrote like that in normal nib orientation; I don't think it's beyond the realms of possibility that its nib craftsmen in France can make such a nib.

 

All in all, jumping on this seemingly wonderful deal on Amazon, and giving Parker a second chance after all these years, has proven to be a waste of time, waste of money and waste of breath for me.

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Thank you!

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."

Oscar Wilde

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  • 2 months later...

The price on Amazon for The Centennial Big Red Vintage in Fine is now $195.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Any thoughts on this deal for those who benefited a while ago? Is the pen still holding up to your tastes or have you found more appealing alternatives?

 

At this special price, it's a great deal on an excellent pen/writer.

 

Two thumbs up!

 

 

Mark

FP Addict & Pretty Nice Guy

 

 

 

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Mine, after costing me in excess of A$400 — inclusive of initial purchase price, and postal charges to send it to Newell Brands in Australia twice — to get it fitted with (nominally) a Fine Italic nib, has two redeeming features:

  1. it writes how I would like and expect a Fine Italic to write when the nib is reverse-writing (in upside-down orientation, with the nib slit facing down towards the page), even though in normal orientation it's just a not-particularly crisp Stub no finer than say an Aurora Stub nib or a Sailor Music nib; and
  2. the pen is actually reasonably resilient against ink drying out when capped and unused for several weeks, unlike other Parker fountain pens I've bought and used.

So it isn't a total write-off to me at this point, although for the money I spent, I could probably have bought two gold-nibbed Sailor pens (say, a Sailor 'Red Supernova' Professional Gear Slim with a 14K gold Music nib and a Sailor 'Blue Dwarf' PGS with a 14K gold Zoom nib) that please me better, and as far as I'm concerned have a better name.

 

Done is done. I'm not throwing the pen out in the trash, I'm not in a hurry to sell it at A$200 to recoup half my costs (never mind the frustrations along the way and hassle to organise the sale), but it certainly isn't among the top 20% of pens I own and hasn't redeemed the Parker brand to me after years of my blacklisting it.

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Mine, after costing me in excess of A$400 inclusive of initial purchase price, and postal charges to send it to Newell Brands in Australia twice to get it fitted with (nominally) a Fine Italic nib, has two redeeming features:

  • it writes how I would like and expect a Fine Italic to write when the nib is reverse-writing (in upside-down orientation, with the nib slit facing down towards the page), even though in normal orientation it's just a not-particularly crisp Stub no finer than say an Aurora Stub nib or a Sailor Music nib; and
  • the pen is actually reasonably resilient against ink drying out when capped and unused for several weeks, unlike other Parker fountain pens I've bought and used.
So it isn't a total write-off to me at this point, although for the money I spent, I could probably have bought two gold-nibbed Sailor pens (say, a Sailor 'Red Supernova' Professional Gear Slim with a 14K gold Music nib and a Sailor 'Blue Dwarf' PGS with a 14K gold Zoom nib) that please me better, and as far as I'm concerned have a better name.

 

Done is done. I'm not throwing the pen out in the trash, I'm not in a hurry to sell it at A$200 to recoup half my costs (never mind the frustrations along the way and hassle to organise the sale), but it certainly isn't among the top 20% of pens I own and hasn't redeemed the Parker brand to me after years of my blacklisting it.

I have to say that, with the extensive frustration that you experienced with this pen purchase as per your documentation in this thread, your response is almost an endorsement! But I do understand your preference for the sailor pens, and I would dive into that market if I thought the slim pens would be comfortable for my hands enough to justify the $200 punt of cash. The duofold is a bit more of a safe bet in every sense in comparison. But anyway, safe bets can also end up stashed wastes of money.

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I have to say that, with the extensive frustration that you experienced with this pen purchase as per your documentation in this thread, your response is almost an endorsement!

 

Oh, wash your keyboard out with soap! :P

 

I would "understand" and/or forgive Parker if its premium "handcrafted on demand (from the individual customer seeking nib exchange) in France" 18K gold Fine Italic nibs wrote as wide — but as crisp — as a Pilot Plumix Medium nib (in normal orientation), and its Medium Italic nib wrote as wide and crisp as a Pilot Plumix Broad nib. As things played out, Parker's nibs have failed to be suitably fine or suitably crisp, and the brand owner's/distributor's customer service, at least in Australia, has been pretty lame.

 

I'm just trying my best to simply not to hate Parker or the pen more than I did, and simply chalk it up to another substandard product I will never recommend to anyone to whom I bear goodwill.

 

fpn_1591169214__parker_duofold_centennia

 

fpn_1591169259__parker_duofold_centennia

 

I will note, by the way, that the product no longer appears to be available via Amazon Australia (sold and shipped by Amazon US) as of January 2020. For the prospective Aussie buyer who is still keen, it can still be bought on Amazon.com (note: no .au suffix) and shipped to Australia if the listing is sold by Amazon US, if he/she is prepared to pay the shipping charge (and 10% GST will be added all the same to the price).

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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I'm happy with mine in M and think it was worth the price on Amazon. I don't think it's worth the price being sold on other dealers. For Montblanc money I would rather have the Montblanc...

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Oh, wash your keyboard out with soap! :P

 

I would "understand" and/or forgive Parker if its premium "handcrafted on demand (from the individual customer seeking nib exchange) in France" 18K gold Fine Italic nibs wrote as wide — but as crisp — as a Pilot Plumix Medium nib (in normal orientation), and its Medium Italic nib wrote as wide and crisp as a Pilot Plumix Broad nib. As things played out, Parker's nibs have failed to be suitably fine or suitably crisp, and the brand owner's/distributor's customer service, at least in Australia, has been pretty lame.

 

I'm just trying my best to simply not to hate Parker or the pen more than I did, and simply chalk it up to another substandard product I will never recommend to anyone to whom I bear goodwill.

 

fpn_1591169214__parker_duofold_centennia

 

fpn_1591169259__parker_duofold_centennia

 

I will note, by the way, that the product no longer appears to be available via Amazon Australia (sold and shipped by Amazon US) as of January 2020. For the prospective Aussie buyer who is still keen, it can still be bought on Amazon.com (note: no .au suffix) and shipped to Australia if the listing is sold by Amazon US, if he/she is prepared to pay the shipping charge (and 10% GST will be added all the same to the price).

 

This is depressingly beautiful handwriting...

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I guess I've been remiss in not giving this closure until now.

  • As I've predicted, the pen was returned from France and just showed up on 4 February without advance notice, even though I told Newell Brands when I returned the pen for service the second time that I expect to be notified, if not of the tracking number then at least the fact the pen was dispatched for return. FAIL
  • The packaging of the pen was fine, but guess what? All that internal paperwork which unnecessarily and improperly disclosed to me some other customers' names and requests, and which Newell Brands asked me to send back (the originals) to them to avoid embarrassment, come straight back to me a second time. FAIL
  • The other included paperwork sorta tells me that the service performed on it includes installation of a replacement Fine Italic nib, by virtue of the coded text in the line item only. PASS
  • The number on the bottom of the feed seems to match non-authoritative information online that the nib it is supporting is a Fine Italic (specifically for the Parker Duofold). PASS
  • The orientation of the inscribed text on the barrel now faces to the side when I write with the pen; it neither faces up (which was the case when I first received the pen from Amazon) nor faces down (after the pen was returned to me the first time), even though I asked Newell Brands to put it back as it was originally. PARTIAL FAIL

And how does the Parker Fine Italic nib perform? Not unlike the one MalcLee showed us earlier, actually. I found the edges of the lines to be mushy and lacking in crispness, and in normal orientation the nib writes likes a Stub nib, I suppose, with less "line variation" – or difference in line widths between cross-strokes and downstrokes — and the marks have well-defined edges. I tried different inks with it, but haven't found one that makes it perform anywhere near satisfactorily.

 

There seems to be a bit more line variation when the pen is held either close to upright, or at an uncomfortable shallow angle to the page, but it's at its worst when held at my normal angle of 60°–65°.

 

The nib's only saving grace is that, when reverse-writing, it actually performs how I would expect a Fine Italic would in normal nib orientation. That is what is keeping the pen from ending up in my garbage bin. The sad thing is, I would have been a happy customer if Parker had installed a replacement nib for me (the first time I sent the pen in for nib exchange) that wrote like that in normal nib orientation; I don't think it's beyond the realms of possibility that its nib craftsmen in France can make such a nib.

 

All in all, jumping on this seemingly wonderful deal on Amazon, and giving Parker a second chance after all these years, has proven to be a waste of time, waste of money and waste of breath for me.

 

 

Any reference or link to learn how to write the way you do?

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