2.22.2010

Review : Parker Premier Silver ST Fountain Pen


Parker Pens' only major product line release of 2009, the Parker Premier offers a high-end feel and classic quality. In the fine-writing community, much has been said about the decline of the Parker brand. Yet, it is still a revered and desired name due to its history. The Premier hails to the old standard and hopes to re-establish Parker as a heavyweight in the fine-writing market.


Each Premier is finely presented in a large gift box with a suede-like interior. The pen rests on a tray platform with three troughs (presumably to fit the other two writing modes of the series). A ribbon sash band drapes over the tray with two small tabs to lift the platform to uncover the bottom of the box. Extra refills and a warranty / instruction booklet are found in this compartment.


The Silver is the most intricate and unique finishes of the series. For those who are looking for a plainer, more elegant, classical style, the Premier offers a black with gold trim and black with silver trim, along with a deluxe black with silver cap. This silver-plated, graduated chiselling deluxe finish mirrors the appeal of a modern skyscraper. The precise engraved pattern gives the impression of velocity while accentuating the pen's grand size.


With all that metal, the pen has a solid weight, assisted by a solid brass inner barrel and cap. The girth and length is generous, but not too cumbersome to the point that it would considered over-sized. The cap pulls open and snaps shut with a satisfying click. The 18k-750 solid gold nib features the signature Parker Arrow as a nib graphic in gold and silver tones. The fountain pen fills via cartridge or converter (included in pen). I opted to fill the converter with Noodler's Standard Brown to test drive this beauty.


As I would have hoped from an 18k nib, the writing experience was smooth as silk and only the slightest touch was needed to generate fluid strokes. The point size I tested was a fine, but wrote a bit on the thicker side, which seemed closer to a medium. The weight and size really doesn't hamper this pen's ability to write and feel well-balanced in hand. True, a lighter mass would feel more comfortable over time if you write pages instead of paragraphs. If you prefer a bit more heft in your writing instrument, this is a perfect pick.

Summary:
  • Writing Quality : 18k nib commands the lightest touch and glides effortlessly across the paper. The weight gives the feeling of exceptional luxury (grade A)
  • Aesthetic Quality : Grande, classic with a modern, business-savvy appeal. The etching on the barrel and cap, along with the mirror-like surface offer a striking appearance. (grade A)
  • Utility : With a more luxurious, hefty design, the overall writing comfort over long periods of time dips a bit, but not a great amount. The deluxe gift box doubles as a pen storage case for up to three writing instruments. (grade A-)
  • Price : Available in fine, or medium nib sizes for $350 (for the Silver Finish; Lacquer finishes are $250), the cost is certainly high, but is certainly a value when compared to other gold nib fountain pens of the same class. Given the collector's market for Parker, the value will probably appreciate over time. (grade A-)

Final Grade : A
Does this series reclaim Parker authority in the fine-writing market with the Premier collection? Not yet, but this is a great start if they can build off of this series and offer a few other designs that are priced between the low-end Sonnets and the high-end Duofolds. Well, by price I also mean that the quality should be commensurate with the dollar amount. The Premier has the makings of a classic; the first step towards re-establishing Parker as a high-quality pen-making company.

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