I’ve avoided reviewing vintage fountain pens up to now because it’s hard to guarantee consistency. Even new pens can vary a little, depending on the effectiveness of a company’s quality control. So many variables can affect the quality of an old pen that it’s impossible to say if a particular model is going to be a good buy or not.
However, whilst my vintage pen buying record is not great, I’ve had good luck with old Parkers and with Parker 45s in particular. I have two Parker 45s, both bought really quite cheaply, and they are both great.
The model I’m reviewing here is a traditional black plastic with gold trim and, unusually for a Parker 45, a medium gold nib. Parker 45s generally have steel nibs, often gold plated. (My other Parker 45 has a fine steel nib that is very lovely.) My feeble detective work suggests it dates from the 1960s.
The nib is lovely and smooth, though very broad for a medium. It’s a very wet writer and absolutely shows off delicate inks such as this Pelikan Edelstein Amber at their best. The ink on this paper makes my mouth water.
The squeeze convertor is fine. It does its job well but at the rate this pen gets through ink its contents don’t last all that long.
The cap pushes rather than screws on and posts well. The clip does its job and is the iconic Parker arrow.
Parker 45s can be found in a variety of colours and styles. Many have silvery caps and furniture. They are often overlooked, hidden in the shadow of the 51 or Vacumatic, and so can be found for a fraction of the price of those (admittedly very lovely) pens.
They are an excellent first step into the world of vintage fountain pens.