It was commented to me recently that Parker pens after 1950 are mostly boring and reliable. I’m not at all sure that that is true: to my mind there are several Parkers made after 1950 that are outstanding pens and would have been so at any time. The Parker 75 Cisele which went into production in 1964 is a fine example.
Parker was among the first pen manufacturers to realise that, in face of the competition from the ballpoint pen, the way forward was to make the fountain pen an objet d’art. The 75 was designed by Don Doman who had been Parker’s Design Director from 1953 to ’57, when he set up his own design company but was retained as a design consultant by Parker until he retired in 1986. The pen was intended, as well as being a fine writing instrument, to show the arts of the jeweller and metalsmith.
The material for the first 75 was 92.5% sterling silver with gold-plated trim on the ends and the clip. The grid pattern is interrupted only at the bottom of the cap where a smooth band carries the words “Parker” and “sterling silver” together with (in this case) “made in USA”. The ends of cap and barrel are gold-plated with a ring pattern. The earliest versions of the 75 are known as “flat tops” to contrast with the later ones which had a dished top, said to be to allow for corporate logos. All have a slender and elegant version of the Parker arrow.
Removing the slip-on cap reveals the black plastic triangular grip – a Parker innovation subsequently much imitated. Next is a calibrated dial which allows the user to set the nib at their preferred angle. The wraparound gold nib is engraved with the word “Parker” alone. 30 different nib grades were provided for the 75.
This is a glorious pen which would have been the pride of any company at any date. It remained in production for thirty years and was one of Parker’s most profitable products. It was later produced in many different patterns and when part of the production was moved to France, yet more outstanding patterns were issued in both metal and lacquer.
Being available in so many patterns, the 75 is a collector’s dream. It is certainly reliable, most examples writing as well today as when they were made, but I hardly think anyone could describe it as “boring”! They continue to fetch high prices, both as collectors’ items and as prestigious writers.
4 thoughts on “Parker 75 Cisele.”
I find the Parker 75 to be an un-inspiring pen. But I don’t think I would feel that way if it didn’t have such a prominent plastic section. Some 75’s (like your Cisele for-example) do command premium prices. Here’s a site dedicated to the 75:
Thanks for the post… David
Each to his own, I suppose. What’s the alternative? Many people – perhaps most people – dislike metal sections. Moulding the section in a different coloured plastic? That doesn’t sound very attractive either. It works well for me as it is.
These pens took a price hike some years ago and seem to have found their level now, at least for me buying them in unrestored state. Looking around the sales sites there is a fairly large differential in the prices asked.
I’m aware of that excellent website as 75s are among my favourite pens.
tho would agree with you in this instance Deb – ordinary it is not, and would imagine the solid silver content gives it a fair bit of heft – unfortunately I don’t have one, yet.
But this beauty is the exception rather than the rule with modern Parker’s – aside of course from other chased/engraved precious metalled models.
I’m not a fan of the zillions of plastic Lady’s/Junior’s/Slimfold’s etc. – neither am I a fan of the many brushed steel flighters that were churned out – tho they’re all very reliable Parker pens as you’d expect.
But the 75 Cisele really is a cracker – I must start saving up – apparently the flat top is the more desirable.
If I may deviate for a mo please – on slightly related subject – hoping you might have the answer. A recent small ebay purchase included what appears to be an example of a Pkr. 45 in Insignia format (with converging lines), which appears to have been issued around 1964/65.
The black plastic finial, nib and section need replacement, but barrel, clip and cap are sound.
Assuming this rolled/plated gold bodywork, then indication of such should appear on the body – but the cap lacks any marks to indicate gold – unlike the gold caps of 51’s and 61’s which are marked to show gold content.
Was this absence of ‘gold marks’ a common feature of gold bodied Insignia do you know.:)
I agree with you about the Juniors and Slimfolds – though not everyone does because they’re appreciated by some for their fine writing qualities. In a sense, they are victims of their own success, having become the standard pen of the fifties and sixties and therefore so familiar that they are dull.
I’m sorry. I can’t help you about the Parker 45. I’m really just not that familiar with them.