Posts filed under Jotter

Parker Jotter XL Ballpoint Pen Review

Parker Jotter XL Ballpoint Pen Review

When I think of classic ballpoint pens, the first one that immediately comes to mind is the Parker Jotter. There are older ballpoint pens, and there are better ballpoint pens, but there is only one Parker Jotter.

It's place among the pantheon of all-time great pens is well-deserved. Parker has treated it as such, with regular updates over the decades.

The most recent to hit the shelves is the Parker Jotter XL. As a Jotter fan myself, I was anxious to give this one a shot. And, while I like it fine, it's not compelling enough for me to recommend it over the classic-sized Jotter.

Parker Jotter XL Ballpoint Pen

Let's talk about the XL moniker first. As it relates to the original, yes, it is longer, wider, and heavier. That puts it squarely into standard pen size for me, as the basic Jotter is actually a smaller-sized pen. That small size was certainly closer to expectations from this ubiquitous pen in its 1960’s and 70’s heyday. But like almost every other product that has been around this long, bigger is assumedly better.

I don't think the larger size serves the Jotter well.

Parker Jotter XL Ballpoint Pen Clip

The Jotter has always been a small, skinny, lightweight pen, with a plastic lower barrel and a thin metal upper barrel and clip. It tapers down towards the tip of the pen, and yes, with that thinness I see it being a non-starter for those with large hands. The XL does solve that issue, but I think that is where the benefits stop.

Due to the taper that is also present in the XL, the pen becomes more unbalanced the lower you grip it. It is a high-grippers pen, if you will. The top weight shift is not drastic - it's still a generally light pen - but I could feel it instantly.

Parker Jotter XL Ballpoint Pen Refill

The refill also does this pen no justice. It shipped with a standard Parker 1.0 mm blue ballpoint refill, and while the smoothness and color were enjoyable, it was a blobby mess. Ballpoint refill technology has improved greatly over the years, so what passed for reasonable ink output a decade or so ago no longer cuts it. As I wrote, the ink collected on the tip, and subsequently transferred to the page when I rotated. I hate messy ballpoint pens, although it is correctable by swapping it out.

Parker Jotter XL Ballpoint Pen Blob

That brings up the biggest issue I have with this pen: The price. At over 60% more than the standard ($23.50 vs $14 at JetPens) it is only justifiable if a short, specific set of criteria are met. One, if you are a Jotter fan and the XL barrel fits your hands better, or two, if you are buying it as a gift. It's tailor made for engraving.

That's it in my book. It's not different enough for me to choose it over any of the few standard Parker Jotters I already own and love. Make it in bright orange or hot pink and I may change my tune (and the refill) but otherwise I'll stick with what has worked for decades.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Parker Jotter Comparison
Posted on July 15, 2019 and filed under Parker, Jotter, Ballpoint, Pen Reviews.

Parker Jotter London Architecture Red Chrome Edition Review

Parker Jotter London Architecture Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

The Parker Jotter is an iconic classic that is both easily recognizable and unassuming. If you've never owned one, then you've probably seen one out in the wild. They're available all over the place, from our favorite retailers to big-box local stores. But, just like every popular pen out there, special editions are a fairly common occurrence. The latest special edition to cross my desk is the Parker Jotter London Architecture Red Chrome edition.

Parker Jotter London Architecture

Even though this is a special edition, you immediately know that it's a Jotter. The red upper body has a great candy apple sheen , and the grip section has an ornate argyle pattern that gives the body a nice texture and visual interest. Apart from the color and unique texture, the pen is a standard Jotter. The clip is the usual Parker arrow design, and the only branding is found on the clip assembly around the body.

Parker Jotter London Architecture Clip

One of the things I associate instantly with the Parker Jotter is the unique "ker-thunk" that the click mechanism produces. When you want the room to know that you're using a pen, this is the one to get their attention. One of the other things I associate with the Parker Jotter is the character Boris Grishenko from GoldenEye and his amazing pen twirling skills. I'm pretty sure that's a Parker Jotter used in the scene, but I can't be sure since Boris is just so good at pen acrobatics.

Boris Grishenko Pen

Once you get down to the writing portion of this pen, you're greeted with the understated (yet reliable) Parker Quinkflow refill in blue. I always have mixed feelings about the Parker Jotter refills, mostly due to the fact that they can be a bit finicky when first starting to use them. After the ink starts flowing, though, they usually perform great. They're not on the same level as a Schmidt EasyFlow 9000, but they're pretty darn close. For a refill that the manufacturer makes and includes with the pen, it's a great choice. Of course, since this is a Jotter, you have many, many refill choices if the Quinkflow refill isn't for you.

Parker Jotter Refill

Overall, the Parker Jotter London Architecture Red Chrome edition is a great addition to the Parker lineup. It's not terribly expensive, and, at $25, it's only a few bucks more than a standard Jotter. If this catches your eye, pick one up before they're gone.

(Vanness Pens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Parker Jotter Review
Posted on June 20, 2018 and filed under Parker, Jotter, Ballpoint, Pen Reviews.

Jotter - History Of An Icon

One of the blind spots in the knowledge base contained between my ears is pen history. I'm up to speed on the modern pen market, but anything earlier than the 1980's I'm digging for information and hitting up my pen friends. Information isn't always easy to come by, so getting to check out a great reference book like Jotter - History of an Icon is a treat. My thanks to Pen Addict reader Todd for letting me borrow this amazing book.

What you will find within the 330 pages of this book is the story of the Parker Jotter, from its creation, through its heyday, to its current status up to 2010. The pictures alone are worth the price of admission, showing rare and unique images of the Jotter that I had no idea even existed. The Jotter was completely ingrained into society in the late 50's and 60's and it is cool to see the crazy designs and uses the Parker company came up with. You weren't Don Draper unless you left a branded Jotter behind for your customers.

The only downside of this book is it is tough to come by. There look to be a couple of sources here and here if you want to try and hunt one down. It will run you around $70, which is more than fair considering how well done it is. I enjoyed my time with it and when I start my pen library it will be on the short list for sure.

Posted on November 10, 2014 and filed under Jotter, Parker.