National Geographic : 1977 May
Ifyou thought craftsmanship was dead, you owe it to yourself to inspect todays Parker pens. Few things at any price will perform so well so long. Parker pens have been called "jewelry that writes" and "a minor miracle in engineering." Yet they don't cost a bundle of money. Many of the differences that set a Parker pen apart are not immediately evident, but each con tributes to its rare performance and confirms its quality in a world of diminished standards. Whether you select the slim Classic ball pen, or the 75 ball pen, fountain pen or soft tip pen, each is a precision machine housed in an elegant cas ing. It still may seem extravagant to buy this much pen for yourself (we hope not). But its obvious worth and functionality make it apparent it would be an exceptional long-term asset. Here's why a Parker pen offers substantially more for your money 1. The distinctive Parker grid design was inspired by a leading London silversmith. Carved deeply into the case by a precise sequence of bev eled cuts, the design is found on all sterling silver Classic and 75 ball pens, fountain pens and soft tip pens. The result is a metal sculpture that provides dozens of finger fitting treads for easy, certain grip. '^gs&^^s=- ^r--^ 2. The arrow clip on the Parker 75 is a study in tenacity.Made of tough, resilient beryllium copper and cre ated through nine separate stages of metalwork, it is tested to 20,000 snap actions. Clipped low and se cure in a pocket, a Parker pen will not lose its grip. 3. The near-perfect sphere at the point of a Parker ball pen takes three weeks to make! This intricate bit of powder metallurgy is a Parker contribution to the art of penmaking. For S smooth, even ink deliv ery,we make the ball round within ten/millionths of an inch. Microscopic texture on its tungsten carbide surface is formed by some thing our scientists call "controlled crater geometry." Result is ideal grip on paper and a clean, even line. If you think no other ball pen writes quite like a Parker, it's not your imagination. touch, but won't wear out. Of the eight precious metals in the world, we consider it essential to use four in making the Parker 75 Sterling fountain pen. 4. How well a ball pen writes de pends as much on the ball socket as on the ball itself. If the lip of this nose-cone isn't strong enough, it will rub against the ball. Result: blobbing. Also, if the socket wears or corrodes, you will get an uneven, "goopy" kind of writing. The Parker ball socket is extremely tough, cor rosion-resistant stainless steel. It must be this durable because the Parker ball pen writes months long er than the ordinary ballpoint and the socket has to stand up through out all that extra writing life. 5. Like a fountain pen for writing with flow and character? Remember, the nib is the sensor of the fountain pen. For a smooth feel and even ink flow, it must have some flexibility. The Parker 75 nib is solid 14K gold, which has the flexibility and resil ience necessaryand resists corrosion. 6. Good as gold is for a nib, it would wear down in short order if it came in contact with the paper, a natural abrasive. This would cause a scratchy feel and uneven ink deliv ery. So the Parker 75 nib is tipped with a tiny pellet. This pellet is an incredibly tough alloy of ruthenium and platinum that wears in, to your 7. Soft tip points can let you down. All too often they grow limp or splay. The Parker point is made of strong, individual strands of nylon bonded together by a special trace of epoxy glue. 8. A Parker even sounds different. When the cap snaps together with the working end, a positive clutch is engaged. This marries the two parts very firmly.The sound,in miniature, is not unlike the authoritative "thunk" made by closing the door of a fine sports car. The only thing better than one Parker pen is a Parker pen set. And it's easy to make up exactly what you want. Just mix and match any Classic or 75 pen, ball pen, soft tip pen or gift pencil with any other. Every Parker pen is refillable and built to last. Because we expect you, or someone you're fond of, to use it not just for a few years but for a few decades. PARKER World's most wantedpens ©1977 The Parker Pen Company, Janesville, Wisconsin, U.S .A .