Parker has to be credited with perhaps the most "popular" (if the number either found in collections or daily use is any indicator) sterling silver pen, the 75. They've maintained the use of this metal through their current models, with sterling silver versions of both the Sonnet and the Duofold being offered over the last few years.
With the recent shake up in the Duofold line, it wasn't a huge surprise to find out that a new sterling silver Duofold was going to be offered. In fact, two finishes of the Duofold Presidential are being offered.... One in sterling silver, and for the big spenders among us, one in solid 18K gold. The price on that little number? Well, if you have to ask....
But the sterling silver, that's another story all together! List price right now is £550. While not exactly in the realm of "everyday purchases", this is not unreasonable for a solid sterling silver pen. At this time, these pens are only available in the European market, with a launch date for the US market scheduled for later in this year.
At a guess, the US list price should be close to $1000, in case you feel like waiting. On the other hand, once you see the Presidential, you might be tempted to simply order one from the UK and take your chances on the exchange rate! Not to mention those agonizing days waiting for the trans Atlantic trip. This is one case, though, where I think it might be worth it to get your pen sooner, rather than later. It's that good...
The Presidential is being offered only in the International size, which is either a huge drawback or just a minor detail, depending upon how you feel about pen size. The weight, thanks to the sterling silver construction, is hefty enough, weighing in at about two ounces all up, so it's not going to feel insignificant in the hand. In terms of size, as opposed to mass, it's more of a slender proposition than would be the case had it been offered in the Centennial size. Personally, I find it too slender, but not so much so that I cannot write with it at all. It's just not as comfortable as my larger pens. If you find pens such as the Pelikan M600, or Parker Sonnet to be a good size for you, you should like the size of the International Parker.
Filling is via cartridge /converter, and the nibs are 18K gold, (with the same new engraved design as the Duofold Check) plated to match the bright silver of the cap and barrel. For that matter, so is all the trim on the Silver Presidential, two cap bands, the clip, the cap top logo, and some thin trim rings on both ends of the section. This monochrome look is nicely set off by the section, barrel and, and cap top being jet black acrylic.
The engraving pattern is what really sets the Silver Presidential off. Not just sets it off from their previous sterling silver models, but really from anything currently offered by anyone. The first sterling silver Duofolds were rather staid, conservative pens, with a simple pattern of heavy lines running the length of the cap and barrel. Called the Godron pattern, this classy and elegant look served Parker quite well for both their sterling silver, as well as their solid gold versions of the Duofold. Well, it's a new century now, and it looks as though the folks at Parker wanted to make sure that we all noticed! The New Presidential will certainly not be confused with the old model sterling silver Duofolds.
However, that said, they have definitely managed to hold on to the class and elegance that made the first sterling Duofolds a success...
The pattern might look familiar to those who have been collecting pens for a few years, especially sterling silver pens. It was first used on the CP6 Pelikan M1000 overlay, and as you can see from the above shot, the pattern remains essentially the same. A blend of random interweaving lines that cut deeply into the metal, forming a wonderful pattern of raised squares and rectangles. On the massive M1000, the effect is overwhelming, and this pen has long been one of my personal favorites from among my collection. Used on the more petite Duofold International, the effect is appropriately scaled down. The glossy black of the cap top and barrel end help to contain and accent the pattern as well.
It's a wonderful pattern, and a great choice for the new sterling silver Duofold. You get great looks, and a pleasing feel. A perfect combination!
Now if only we can get them to make it in the Centennial size...
copyright 2005 William Riepl
Images copyright 2005 William Riepl