In the last week, I’ve put a couple of pens in my stable back into the rotation after having been ‘on holiday’ for almost two years. First is a Sheaffer Lifetime Flat Top, in a black & pearl body. It’s faded a bit over the years, but oh, what a pen. Another is my Parker ‘Big Red’ Sr. Duofold. Both pens manufactured (I think) in the 1920’s. Both classics. Both dependable, smooth writers. One (the Sheaffer) puts down a fine wet line. The other an equally wet medium-to-broad stroke.
It’s a shame that 75+ years later, these titans of the pen world have gone downhill. To be fair, Sheaffer (in my humble opinion) has fared slightly better than Parker. All of their modern pens that I’ve sampled (and again, to be fair, is far from the whole line) have been very high quality pens. From their Frontier to the Sonnet, all have been good pens. But Parker….
My Mother gave me this formerly gorgeous Parker Sonnet in a burgundy red lacquer Christmas before last. It’s been a pretty lousy writer from day one. Skips, dries up easily. And just look at the beautiful lacquer job on this jewel. It looks like a bus has driven over it — multiple times. This is just from posting the cap. Never dropped, never abused. As I mentioned, this was a gift, so I’m not certain what was paid for it. Too much, I know that. Fountain Pen Hospital has them for $84 bucks. In my mind, it compares to Sheaffer’s Prelude (FPH has these too, $54 bucks) which is a FAR superior pen.
Just goes to prove, it’s tough to beat a classic.