A 2OTH CENTURY CLASSIC REIMAGINED
NEWS - February 1, 2021
London: The Parker 51 is as ground-breaking today as it was when 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 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 and are complimented by a metal cap and jewel, a fitting tribute to the original. Benefitting from PARKERs expertise and reputation for superior craftmanship, the Parker 51 is hand assembled and made from durable precious resin.
What’s in a Name?
Although it’s not uncommon for PARKER to use numbers to name its models, from the time it hit the market until the present day, many have wondered where the name ‘51’ originated. Several theories exist ranging from the pragmatic to the more abstract.
While the official launch wasn’t until January 1941, design work was completed in 1939, PARKERs 51st year. This is believed to be one of the reasons it was named “51”.
Another reason was 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 reason highlighted in an early print advert was that the name ‘51’ suggested that it was 10 years ahead of its time!
‘Like a pen from another planet’
For over 130 years, PARKER has constantly innovated and evolved to ensure it can meet the demands of the modern writer. The hooded nib not only looked ‘like a pen from another planet’, it also had two functional benefits that set it apart from previous PARKER models.
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 point of the nib with more control, preventing leaking and a faster restart.
Around the same time PARKER launched a “51” branded ink that 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.
Evolving an icon
Making changes to an icon is no easy feat. That’s why PARKER ensured that any changes made to the Parker 51 had to be made with improvement in mind.
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 from 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 and a tighter seal around the nib, preventing from it 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.
From conception to assembly, the attention to detail on the caps are second to none.
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 from the 1940’s.
Featured Pens in this Collection
The Revival of Six Heritage Colours
From the first year models produced in 1941 right through to the last to be manufactured in 1978, Parker 51 saw numerous colours in its assortment with many still cherished by collectors to this day. In 2021, six of those iconic heritage finishes – Black CT, Black GT Midnight Blue, Teal Blue, Burgundy, and Plum will be revived as a tribute to the early Aerometric models produced in the USA.