(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter. And check out her first novel, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, now available where books are sold!)
Parker is one of those legacy brands that has the old-school, iconic look down while still doing a great job staying current and on-trend. They've always been good about keeping their products accessible for new enthusiasts and desirable for long-time collectors.
The IM line of fountain pens walks that line between old and new and does it with class. It has the sleek lines of a modern pen with all the character of its vintage ancestors.
The pen body is made from varnished brass, this one with a brushed purple finish. It has chrome accents on the top of the cap, bottom, and cap band. The grip is black plastic and is comfortable to hold. It has the classic Parker arrow clip. It's a good size--not overly small or too big. It's a bit weighted toward the nib end, but when the cap is posted, it feels well balanced. The cap has a plastic liner that prevents any scratching from posting.
The nib is a fairly plain, small steel nib. At first sight, it looks a bit odd--almost too small for the pen. It performs well, though. It writes smoothly with a good amount of wetness and just a bit of feedback. I did get some drying when I didn't use it for a few days, but with a bit of prompting, it started back up and wrote nicely again.
It takes either Parker cartridges or a converter, which is probably the main downside to this pen. Parker ink is great, but the colors are very limited. The converter is necessary, I think, but doesn't come with the pen. That boggles my mind with proprietary converters--I think they should always be included. To get one, you'll have to plunk down another $9.25, which seems high. So while the price of the pen is good at $41, it's really a $50 unless you like to write in only blue or black.
That price is still good for a good writer, though, and it's in the range for a nice gift, or for a step-up from an entry-level pen.
Apart from the lack of included converter, my only complaint about the pen is that the arrow on the clip is a bit too sharp. A bit too much like an actual arrow, perhaps. It has stabbed through my clothes a few times and those arrow barbs made it almost impossible to get back out without tearing the fabric. So be careful what you clip it to!
There are lots of attractive colors and designs available, and a premium design line for a bit more cost. I think these are great pens for graduation gifts, workaversaries, or for someone who has decided to take their interest in pens beyond the entry level.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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