Wednesday, October 5, 2011
This is one of my favorite fountain pens that took some time to find, mostly because I was looking for the Azure (blue) color in a slim profile. The Parker Vacumatic comes in a lot of shapes and sizes: Major, Junior, Debutante, Sub-Deb, and whatever else.
Mine seems to be a late model (1941-1945) plastic filler sub-debutante, a smaller model than the Debutante and measuring 4 9/16 inches capped (from nib tip to end it's 4.25 inches, and capped it's 5.25 inches). This plunger system, made of celluloid, was used in response to the lack of materials during war time. It's smaller in diameter than it's metal predecessors, with a button end.
This is a small pen but a bit larger than vest pocket size, likely meant to fit into a handbag or perhaps into a shirt pocket. The nib looks like it's a fine point, and one of the smoothest writers I've got (all of my vintage pens have fantastically smooth-writing nibs, while my modern pens seem to be temperamental).
From what I've seen, the transparency is okay (I have to hold it up to the light to see through it) while the imprint (Parker Parker Vacumatic USA Pat) is clear and fairly deep.
What's interesting to me is the clip, which is a non-blue diamond that came about in 1947. Reading around I've learned that the blue enamel on the diamond at the top of the clip indicates a lifetime guarantee. The nib simply says Parker and the arrow has 5 feathers to it (some nibs have 8).
Next to my Parker Sonnet you can really see the size difference, both length and diameter. The jeweled tassie on the cap adds a nice touch, while the blind cap at the end (the part over the filler) is plain and sleekly curved. I like the profile of this pen, and the single gold-filled band just gives it a touch of sparkle.