I don’t have a single Parker fountain pen. When it comes to Parker products my experience is limited- so far I reviewed only some old Parker penman inks. I didn’t have much interest in their modern fountain pens and inks though. Sadly Parker is the best example of the company with amazing tradition that was monetized in all the wrong ways throughout the years.
Duofold may be considered as an exception to this rule as it remains faithful to its predecessor. The design is almost unchanged. It still has the same stately, flattop design. Main difference – apart from materials used to build the pen – is filling system. This line of pens look really well – I like stout, wide pens available in variety of finishes.
The one I was lent is an intriguing one – it seems something happened on production line as it’s half Centennial Olive and half Centennial Blue. It looks pretty cool to be honest 🙂 Its pearlescent checkered finish and the way light dances across the acrylic body are pretty amazing, especially in the direct sunlight. The pen is said to be hand-polished and manually assembled. Even if it’s not, it doesn’t disappoint.
It’s a modern-classic that stays connected to Parker history. The cast acrylic cap has a cap crown medallion, a stylized ace of spades and the world Duofold, that matches the ace of spades design on the 18K two-tone solid gold nib. The tapered cap crown leads down to a chromium plated trim ring which finishes off the top of the arrow clip. There are also two equal width rungs on the cap and two on the section.
The cap can be posted but in the process the pen will become top-heavy.
The underside of the feed is smooth and stamped M for medium. The nib is oversized and quite nice.
The nib is big and bulky. It looks nib doesn’t feel that way when you’re writing, it glides without any skips or hard starts. There’s enough feedback in the nib that you can feel what you’re writing on, but it doesn’t impact smoothness. My main issue with this nib is lack of charisma. It’s expensive fountain pen that looks well but writing experience is average. To be honest my 20$ Kaigelu 316 with steel nib writes as well as this one. By no means it’s a bd nib though. It’s just not mind-blowing.
The feed on the underside of the nib is smooth, it doesn’t have any ribs on it. The ink delivery is generous and the line is broader than japanese medium and some european ones (Kaweco for example).
The Parker Duofold Centennial fountain pen comes with long Parker Quink cartridges and a Parker converter. Nothing fancy here.
The Parker Duofold Centennial retails for 435 EUR. Not cheap. The pen is well made and comfortable but I just can’t see anything – apart from marketing and pricing policy – that would justify the cost. I understand it intellectually, especially that it’s Parker flagship fountain pen but for the price you can easily buy few pens that are as good as this one or even better. Having said that I’ll have to admit I enjoyed using the pen – it fits my hand almost perfectly. The design is great and fit&finish impress.
If I’ll ever find Parker Duofold Big Red (great color combination) for, say, 50 % of MSRP I’ll buy it in an instant.
Disclaimer: The pen was lent me by FPN user VodnikVolsovecek. It hasn’t influenced my opinion but I guess some of you want to know such things. Krzysiek – thank you for being so generous and allowing me to play with high-end fountain pens 🙂