The Parker Slimfold


Here’s a pen that deserves more attention than it gets: the Parker Slimfold. It’s a slender pen as the name suggests but it isn’t especially short at 12.6 cm. I’ve heard it said of this pen – and indeed of all the English Duofold series of the 50s and 60s – that it is dull. I think that may be because, as they say, familiarity breeds contempt. These pens are similar in shape to (for instance) the Platinum 3776 or the Sailor 1911 and whatever else may be said about those pens nobody is suggesting that their primary characteristic is dullness!
The Slimfold has a lot of other things going in its favour. It has the usual Parker attention to detail, most obviously in the cap band and clip. The Aerometric filling system is rightly renowned and the nib, though quite small in keeping with the rest of the pen, is superb.
It’s a delight to write with, gliding across the paper with enough feedback to keep it from being slippery. It’s a favourite of mine.
Slimfolds have survived well if they have not been abused. This version was in production from 1962 to 1971 so the youngest it could be is a middle-aged 45. The gold plating remains good throughout, the plastic takes a splendid shine and the barrel imprint is still crisp and clear.
Please excuse the dust in these photographs. I must have been a very bad person in a former life to deserve all the dust that invades my photos. I’ll polish the pen until it’s sparkling, set it down for a second and suddenly it’s matted with dust and cat hair. I am cursed.


4 thoughts on “The Parker Slimfold

  1. Judging by the numbers I see Deb, I’d hazard a guess that the Slimfold is arguably the most common of all the solid colour Parkers from that era – wish I could find large Duofolds as often.
    You’re right of course about their quality of build and reliability of performance – and I’m probably guilty of some OTT criticism, but regret that Parker’s firm nib philosophy has never appealed, and those solid colours are boring – but those nib imprints are brilliant.
    Quite likely though that back in the ’60s aesthetics wasn’t so important – people simply wanted a reliably functioning pen, and the Parker name was a ‘posh’ name – not that I ever had one then …. at school we used Platignums mostly. Now of course we love everything ‘retro’.

    Just an off the wall comment re dust……….. might there be a chance that your vigorous polishing is inducing some static, and it’s this that attracts the detritus?:)

  2. No, they are not the flashiest pens out there. But surely one of the most dependable. I have a dozen or so, New Style and AF Duofolds, Slimfolds, and yes I finally found a green Demi. They may look boring, but Parker made some interesting nibs back then. Smooth, so very smooth, and each writes in its own quirky way.

    And, not all of them are nails: I have a Senior and an AF Duofold that have lovely semi-flex nibs.

  3. hope I didn’t give the impression I considered any of them to be nails:) – everything is a product of its own age, and expect we’ve all just moved on from that particular look, but agree they were always a quality pen.
    …………and, just to show I don’t discriminate, at the last count I had something approaching 100 Parkers, although expect most of you guys have more than that.

  4. Thanks for this review. I seem to remember that you have highlighted English Duofolds in the past prompting me to buy the odd one or fifteen. They are fabulous writers even though many are very firm. I, too, have a few that could pass muster as semi-flex and that extra little softness at the tines makes all the difference. I only ever considered them dull until I owned some myself and now they sit proudly alongside pens with names that hold more cachet for some folk (you know which ones I mean). The best of my Duofolds write every bit as well and, happily, are amazing value for money – until now, of course, as you will doubtless have sold the idea of owning one very successfully! Keep up the good work,

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