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A 20th-Century Classic Reimagined
NEWS – 1 February 2021
London: The Parker 51 is as ground-breaking today as it was when it first launched in 1941. Inspired by the pen once hailed as the ‘world’s most wanted’, the latest edition of Parker 51 has been reimagined to meet the demands of the modern writer. Retaining all the hallmarks that made it one of Parker’s most popular pens of the 20th century and still a favourite among pen collectors today, its streamlined silhouette and distinctive hooded nib are ever present.
With its cap off, the Parker 51 still resembles the sleek, smooth curves of an airplane fuselage. Each finish has been carefully selected from a wide range of heritage colours from the past, complemented by a metal cap and jewel, a fitting tribute to the original. Benefitting from Parker’s expertise and reputation for superior craftsmanship, the Parker 51 is hand assembled and made from durable precious resin.
While the official launch wasn’t until January 1941, design work was completed in 1939, Parker’s 51st year. This is believed to be one of the reasons it was named ‘51’.
Another belief is that Parker wanted a name that would translate easily into any language. With ambitions for marketing the pen on the global market, using a title made of only one number was the ideal solution.
A third theory highlighted an early print advert that suggested the name ‘51’ was 10 years ahead of its time!
Unlike conventional fountain pen nibs, the hooded nib was designed to protect and keep the nib moist so it would start as soon as the nib hit paper. The other improvement was to the nib feed, which allowed the ink to get to the point of the nib with more control, preventing leaking and a faster restart.
Around the same time, Parker launched the ‘51’-branded ink, which was super-quick to dry. It was said that the hooded nib on the Parker 51 was ‘the pen made for the ink’ and that the ink was ‘made for the pen’ due to its ability to keep the ink wetter inside the hood.
Like all contemporary Parker pens, a cartridge/converter refilling system has been included to fit with different lifestyles, whether on-the-go or based at home.
Cartridges are the most convenient way to fill fountain pens. They’re prefilled with ink, lightweight and portable. For the purists, the converter enables the writer to use bottled ink and choose whichever ink they prefer.
The addition of a modern screw-fitted cap to replace the original clutch mechanism ensures a reliable cap on/cap off system and a tighter seal around the nib, preventing it from drying out when not in use. It sounds like a given that a pen would meet these basic requirements, but such are the expectations of today’s user.
The stainless-steel cap on the core range is decorated with a striking palladium-plated jewel, a contemporary progression from the classic pearlescent resin jewel.
The gold-plated cap on the deluxe range features a classic tactile, chiselled pattern with around 100 vertical lines – a nod to the early cap designs of the 1940s.