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Parker 51 Comeback 2020?



remus1710
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Jerome Tarshis
10 minutes ago, peroride said:

Gosh, the marketing photo looks to terrific.😋 I'll bet a few drops of Quink that the marketing budget outweighs the R&D, engineering, manufacturing and janitorial services combined...🤫

 

Speaking as a man formerly employed in advertising, also as a man who remembers the 1940s and 1950s in America, all I can say is "would that it were so." Between the circumstances of the pandemic and the decline of both the mass market for fountain pens and the situation of the Parker Pen Company, I think using such words as "launch" for putting this pen on sale is laughably optimistic. We will be doing well if Parker ships product to retailers. The launch in 1941 happened in another galaxy.

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16 minutes ago, Jerome Tarshis said:

 

 The launch in 1941 happened in another galaxy.

But they had nearly 2 years to get ready...

San Francisco International Pen Show - They have dates! August 23-24-25, 2019 AND August 28-29-30, 2020. Book your travel and tables now! My PM box is usually full. Just email me: my last name at the google mail address.

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Jerome Tarshis
1 hour ago, FarmBoy said:

But they had nearly 2 years to get ready...

 

They didn't need to get ready. They were test-marketing the 51 beginning in 1939. They were also doing major advertising for other products, such as the Duofold in the 1920s and the Vacumatic in the 1930s. Those were major American products advertised in major American media. It isn't just that Parker isn't exactly there any more; it's also that Time, Life, and Fortune aren't exactly there any more.

 

Parker hasn't yet gotten itself together to advertise the new 51 on its own Web site. That does say something. Or omits to say something.

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1941-1939 = 2

 

San Francisco International Pen Show - They have dates! August 23-24-25, 2019 AND August 28-29-30, 2020. Book your travel and tables now! My PM box is usually full. Just email me: my last name at the google mail address.

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Jerome Tarshis
2 hours ago, FarmBoy said:

1941-1939 = 2

 

 

 Agreed. One might say 2021 - 2019 = 2, since Parker actually posted an ad for the new 51 in Chinese as early as 2019. And had presumably been developing the pen for some undisclosed length of time. My point is that regardless of whether 2 + 2 = 4, 2021 is very much not = 1941.

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I am afraid that this "relaunch" is a "damned if you do damned if you don't". It will never please all the hardcore vintage fans, and it might not attractive the non "pen people" who are hardly interested in its historical background at this level of details. If Parker makes a modern Sr. Duofold flat-top modelled after the original one, ebonite finial and blind cap, raised single cap band, gold nib, real button-filler, red ebonite/acrylic, would you buy it? Well, I think I would, if they try that hard 🙂. But only if.

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TheRedBeard
9 hours ago, como said:

I am afraid that this "relaunch" is a "damned if you do damned if you don't". It will never please all the hardcore vintage fans, and it might not attractive the non "pen people" who are hardly interested in its historical background at this level of details. .......

 

Absolutely agree...

Such comebacks almost never work well, at least, commercially.

All genuine Parker fans will keep comparing old classic 51s with a new one and always find flaws in a new one (and, unfortunately, rightly I am afraid).

 

There is no longer Parker Pen Company which designed and manufactured 51, 61 and other brilliant models. Most importantly, there are no Newhaven and Janesville factories anymore...

 

I don't believe in miracles.

 

The company should not name this pen 51...

 

Sorry for too gloomy post...

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the best is only beginning now...

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BaronWulfraed
On 1/11/2021 at 5:59 PM, inkstainedruth said:

Thanks, Baron Wulflaed.  I remembered it being called "5th something" but I was pretty tired last night when I was posting and couldn't remember the actual name.  (I actually rather liked the movie, myself; but then I *also* like bad Spaghetti Westerns, and the Zatoichi movies -- which are, of course, mostly a Japanese take on bad Spaghetti Westerns in of themselves).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

Suffer through the bad Greco-Roman adventures? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seven_Magnificent_Gladiators

As I recall, the main hero has a belt buckle with a big H on it -- but is not named Hercules/Heracles in this movie (Interpreting Wikipedia, he did go on to a remake of Hercules immediately after filming this one)

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inkstainedruth
19 hours ago, peroride said:

Gosh, the marketing photo looks to terrific.😋 I'll bet a few drops of Quink that the marketing budget outweighs the R&D, engineering, manufacturing and janitorial services combined...🤫

:lticaptd:

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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inkstainedruth
17 hours ago, Jerome Tarshis said:

 

They didn't need to get ready. They were test-marketing the 51 beginning in 1939. They were also doing major advertising for other products, such as the Duofold in the 1920s and the Vacumatic in the 1930s. Those were major American products advertised in major American media. It isn't just that Parker isn't exactly there any more; it's also that Time, Life, and Fortune aren't exactly there any more.

Moreover, I've seen images of the ads that they ran during the height of WWII which said "We'd LOVE to be able to sell you a pen -- but at the moment we've shifted over production to supporting the War effort...."

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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inkstainedruth
17 hours ago, Jerome Tarshis said:

Parker hasn't yet gotten itself together to advertise the new 51 on its own Web site. That does say something. Or omits to say something.

The last time I went on their website was before I got my current laptop (which is now almost 8 years old).  And all the video stuff cause my old computer's browser to crash fairly regularly.  

Oh, sorry, that's not counting the time when I tried to get contact information about sending the Urban from Hell back under warranty and basically had to go through every damned page to even get an address.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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23 hours ago, Jerome Tarshis said:

Between the circumstances of the pandemic...

Yes, the pandemic is much worse than what was going on in the world in 1939. 😉

But you are right. Parker is but a mere shadow of what it was back then, and fountain pens are now a niche item, not a necessary tool used every day by everyone. I have lots of real "51s" and cannot imagine how the new pen can even begin to match their performance.

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Estycollector

This thread has changed directions several times. From my perspective,  this pen was released because new there is a demand from consumers that want the look, but do not want to be bothered by bottled ink. 

 

Anyone wanting a well made Parker 51 type original fill system would be encouraged to consider the Wing Sung 601 in plastic or metal versions for $20. 

"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"

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encremental

I didn't realise that they were made in France. That makes them much more interesting.

 

John

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Now available for pre-order in the UK. 

 

Parker 51 with 18K gold nib £199

 

Parker 51 with steel nib £75. 

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19 hours ago, Hanamizu said:

 

 I have lots of real "51s" and cannot imagine how the new pen can even begin to match their performance.

 

I bought one on the 2018 "travel themed" Sonnets. 

 

The 18K nib is a beauty to write with. 

 

The IM's and steel nibbed sonnet I bought were indeed poor, but this - this was something else. 

 

If the nib is as good as the one in the sonnet, then I think Parker could be onto a winner. 

 

But with vintage Parkers 51's selling at quarter of the price of the new ones - could this present a problem for the new Parker 51?  

 

 

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Checklist

I doubt it; if there's one thing that this thread has settled, it's that they are not comparable.  If you're interested in the vintage 51s, you're not likely to be interested in the new one.

 

Parker missed an opportunity here.  It would have been great to see a piston-fill 51 with a nib designed around the hood; I would certainly be interested in that.  (Imagine, new 51 vs. Lamy 2000 street fights on this site.  Well worth the price of admission).  By slapping a hood on their normal nib and mating it to their standard cartridge/converter setup, it seems like there wasn't near as much effort put into the pen as the marketing.  This overselling, I think, has soured more people on modern Parkers than anything else.

"Nothing is new under the sun.  Even the thing of which we say, 'See, this is new!' has already existed in the ages that preceded us."

-Ecclesiastes

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1 hour ago, sandy101 said:

 

If the nib is as good as the one in the sonnet, then I think Parker could be onto a winner. 

 

But with vintage Parkers 51's selling at quarter of the price of the new ones - could this present a problem for the new Parker 51?  

 

 

I wasn't thinking of the nib when I mentioned performance. This is not to say "51" nibs are problematic, but the "51" is just about bulletproof. The aerometric filler is apparently ageless.  When I retired, I brought a "51" home from school and lay it down on my desk. Six months later I picked it up again for the first time. It began writing without hesitation. If the point of acquiring a fountain pen is to actually write with it, a lot; then vintage "51"s for less money are pretty appealing. 

 

On the other hand, maybe Parker is aiming for customers who have heard great things about the original, but have never actually seen or used one and have no idea how to acquire one. 

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On 1/4/2020 at 3:28 PM, Joane said:

If they do my guess is it would likely be a cartridge-convertor like the 100 they came out with about 15 years ago.

The 100 might just be the worst pen I ever bought.  

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