I’m not a fan of Parker’s Vacumatic filling system, whichever pen it’s fitted in. I don’t care for the 51 in any form, though I think the Aerometric is rather more practical. The Vacumatic, to my mind, is unnecessarily over-engineered. There are simpler versions of the assisted bulb filler that are less annoying to service. The Vac itself, in my opinion, is a beautiful pen spoiled by an over-egged filling system.
So when Wing Sung brings out a Vacumatic-filled Parker 51 clone, why do I rush to buy one? Short answer is I don’t know – maybe because I’m a sucker for anything shiny. Longer answer is I admire the cheek of the thing. Also the pen gets good reviews. Considering the complexity of the 601 the price of less than £12 seems like a giveaway. I ordered mine from an eBay seller. It came from China in a couple of weeks. Decent delivery time.
It came in a cardboard box with some instructions, mostly in Chinese. That’s okay, I’ve filled a Vac before! The pen is very 51-like apart from an ink window which is a decided improvement. I’d chosen a fine nib and I have to say it’s a great writer. Love that nib!
However, I struck an instant problem. Having recapped the pen, I pulled the cap off again. The action pulled ink out of the reservoir and there were large drops of ink on the hood. I wiped it off, recapped and took the cap off again. Same result: ink all over the hood. As faults go I think that’s a pretty bad one! Others have reported on their experience of the 601 but no one else has mentioned this fault. Have I been unlucky? I’ll spend a little time on the pen and see if I can cure this problem.
I suppose it’s worth saying what other experience I had of the 601. The push-on cap fits very well (obviously!). The blind cap is almost invisibly well fitted. The filling mechanism works well and the pen takes a good draught of ink. I chose the blue version and it goes very well with the silver cap – which is extremely Parkeresque in appearance.
Not a success for me, so far, then but perhaps I can solve the problem even if only for the sake of that excellent nib.