Parker is considered to be the epitome of fine writing instruments. Founded by George Safford Parker in 1888, in Janesville, Wisconsin, the pen brand represents reliability, innovation, revolution and class styling. Probably one of the finest pens ever to come from America, Parker has a glorious history ornamented with monumental pen variants. Amidst it all, stands the 2011 Parker 5th technology Ingenuity, marketed by Parker as “innovative and modern”, which “intuitively adapts to your writing style in seconds for an effortlessly smooth, easy glide feeling”. Let’s find out.
The pen comes in a nice case and upon opening reveals a shiny, attractive pen. There are a bunch of finishes and patterns this pen is available in so, you don’t need to worry about not finding the right color or the right pattern. The color options are coupled with gold or chrome plated trims. The pull off cap comes with a springy arrow clip. The cap band has Parker etched on it along with its emblem and date code. The cap button is simple with the Parker emblem etched on it. The barrel tapers down beautifully. There is nothing exceptional about its structure, nothing that we have not seen before.
What is new is hidden beneath the cap. Inside is a metal grip section which is spacious enough to be comfortable when writing for long hours. But the most significant aspect of the pen is the new nib/tip, about which different people have different opinions. For me the nib is not much of a fountain nib because it resembles, both in look and performance, a fine liner or fiber tip. What gives it an edge is its hood-like design and the fake nib underneath. When you unscrew the barrel, you are welcomed not by a cartridge or a converter but a refill, which again is closer to ballpoint pens and rollerball pens than to a fountain pen. The refill twists out and when pushing it back makes a half turn to resume its original place, which actually is a smart concept.
It is a big, comfortably heavy pen, which will fit snuggly in any hand. The good thing about Parker is that its built is not poor and feels sturdy. It works decently well when the cap is posted as well. The performance on paper however lacks the beauty of a fountain pen. It gives line variations but it isn’t very pronounced. Skipping should be expected unless used upright or perpendicular to the paper like a ballpoint. What bothers me is the fact that a so-called fountain pen features a fine-liner tip in disguise of a nib. For lesser money, you can get decent rollerball or ballpoint pens that could use fine-line refills.
However, not everyone may feel the same way about this pen as I do. So, keep your options open and make a smart choice.