Finally, Something "New" from ParkerThe past two years have cultivated a sense of revival within the brand's aesthetic motif. During that time, the Duofold line added 3 colors based upon historical favorites like the "Big Red." Parker's IM & Urban lines added a "Vacumatic" set of colors that took its design cue from the layered, pearled striping of the Vacumatic pens initially released in the 1940's. Since the introduction of the Parker Ingenuity 5th mode in 2011, there really hasn't been anything "new" to talk about within the brand.
The Parker Sonnet line is expanding with the "Great Expectations" Editions of contemporary design pens. The model itself is the same, reliable, balanced - yet weighted pen profile that many writers enjoy as an everyday luxury pen.
The core Sonnet line features classic color combinations - black & gold, black & silver, stainless steel and a red with gold trim. The "Premium" line of Sonnets become more adventurous with grid patterned designs, sterling silver pens, rose gold and pearl white. Parker's new Great Expectations designs seem to fit more with the higher-end, premium models, featuring some stylish, yet sophisticated designs.
The aesthetics of the pen finishes are a departure from the conservative, appearing more European in the fashionable and stylish sense. Each design combines an unconventional color or pattern with the traditional to create a contrast within the pen's appearance.
|Parker Sonnet Great Expectations Lineup|
Parker's preview of the line includes six finishes :
- Sonnet Contort Purple Cisele - Plum violet cap and front section paired with an ivory pearl barrel. Cap is patterned with a rose gold grid and complimented with rose gold trim and clip.
- Sonnet Subtle Pearl and Grey - Pearl grey cap and front section paired with an ivory barrel. Trimmed in rose gold with a rose gold Parker arrow clip.
- Sonnet Secret Black Shell - Matte black cap and barrel with a dark ruthenium grey trims and clip. The metal front section is patterned with a herringbone engraving.
- Sonnet Subtle Big Red - Glossy black lacquer cap, barrel and section with an anodized red cap band and trim ring toward the front section.
- Sonnet Contort Black Cisele - Matte black barrel and cap with silver trim and grid-patterned cap design. Silver metal front section on the fountain pen and rollerball.
- Sonnet Secret Blue Shell - Blue lacquered cap and barrel with silver trim and clip. Front section on the rollerball and fountain pen have a thatch patterned metal section.
Each pen color and design combination have a distinct look and personality unique to each style. The "Contort Cisele" styles seem to be the most high-end and distinguished. The Black Shell and Blue Shell are more conservative, with exception to the front section of the rollerball and fountain pen. I'm drawing the conclusion that the "Secret" is in reference to the intricately engraved section that would be revealed when the cap is removed. The Subtle Pearl and Grey and Subtle Big Red utilize interesting color combinations to create an elegant and professional-looking look.
Since we have yet to receive definite information here in the States regarding this collection, some of the details may change and we may not see all six finishes here in the states. As it has happened in the Past with Parker, some pen variations were kept only to the European market. We'll update our blog when the pens are released to reflect the pens will be available to the US market. **EDIT** 10/06/2015 - All 6 finishes are available in the USA.
I know many fountain pen fans will be wondering about the nib. The nibs are crafted with 18kt solid gold that is either plated in gold, ruthenium or rose gold to match the trims of the pen. The rollerballs will use the standard Parker rollerball cartridge and the twist-ballpoint pens will use the ever-popular Parker-style ballpoint pen refill.
These designs are certainly intriguing and call for another look at the modern Parker brand. We hope that this is just the beginning and Parker returns to its roots as an innovating company that creates a fine writing instrument with mass appeal that is both affordable and durable. What do you think about these new designs? Looking forward to ordering them or seeing them in the flesh? Or do you think that this is just another re-hash of the same product?