With the exception of the Maxima, most English Parkers don’t sell well. The quality is very high and there’s a good range of pens to choose from. The difficulty is a perceived dullness and lack of flair, at least among the 50s and 60s Duofolds in their various sizes.
The Slimfold, of course, suffered from that view too, at least until it was redesigned to look somewhat like a Parker 45. That made it a rather elegant little pen. Some (including me) might regard it as better than the 45 in that it has a fully exposed 14ct nib.
That change in the Slimfold’s design was initiated in 1968. The first version retained the squeeze-filler. In 1971 the design was changed again and the Slimfold became a cartridge/converter filler. Some now call the 1968-71 version with the squeeze-filler a transitional model. That’s this one. A kind friend sent me a photograph of it and asked me if I wanted it. At first sight I took it to be a 45, and I did want one. I’ve always admired the Parker 45. Many have passed through my hands but I’ve never kept one for myself. When the pen arrived I realised that it wasn’t a 45 and it took me a little puzzling over it before I recognised it for what it was. The first clue was the “5” on the nib which declared it to be a Slimfold. That didn’t seem quite right to me. I assumed that a Slimfold with a Parker 45-style cap should be a cartridge/converter. Parkercollector.com , as ever, explained things to me. That’s a wonderful site. This Slimfold is a handsome little pen, in dark blue, measuring 12.4cm capped. I understand that these pens had no barrel imprint. There’s certainly nothing there now and the barrel doesn’t look worn. In fact the pen is in very good condition. It’s a screw-on cap and those threads and the barrel threads that open the pen for filling, are sharp and unworn. The filling system works well and it takes a decent charge of ink. This one needs it because it’s a wet, generous medium, close to being a broad. It lays a lot of ink on the page.
As a small, quite slender pen, it will not appeal to everyone, but I find it quite comfortable to write with. The barrel, section and nib remain the same as its predecessors but the updated cap changes the appearance completely and in a good way. I prefer the squeeze-filler to the later cartridge pen. This, I suppose, is just about the last of the self-filler Parkers. I think it’s a fine addition to my accumulation of pens, a useful writer with an interesting place in Parker history. Many thanks to my kind friend.
4 thoughts on “The Transitional Slimfold”
hello Deb – regarding your comment ……. “With the exception of the Maxima, most English Parkers don’t sell well.” I’m with your there, and for the same reasons too, but may I suggest we might add another model from this Duofold range to join the Maxima.
Aside from their unappealing livery etc., these Newhaven aero filler pens remain common, and this alone is probably sufficient to hold them back – had they been rare, well things would be different.
In 1962 Newhaven introduced the 17 Duofold and the Super Duofold 17, and for a couple of years only this model sported a form of beaked open nib, but in 1964 both versions changed to the hooded nib we’re accustomed to seeing on most 17s and variants. All 17s with the earlier open nibs are far less common than most of the other Duofolds from this period, although how their scarcity etc. compares with the Maxima or Demi, I’ve no idea.
So, my vote is that we should add these very early 17s with open nibs to the ranks of the Maxima.
Do others agree, or not.:-)
I agree. That’s a very good pen. I had one a while ago and didn’t realise it was uncommon. Sold it. Wish I’d kept it.
I have a lovely Slimfold, in black, different cap from your pictured model. Best of all is the nib that has enough spring to let me entertain myself with some line variation. Modest in its “dull” black livery but its made a place in my regular rotation.
It is a pleasure to play with a little flexibility!