It was unfortunate that Parker made their best low-cost pen ever just when fountain pens were falling out of fashion.
The Parker 45 held its market share remarkably well but by 1979 Parker felt that they had to do something to interest buyers, hence the introduction of the Harlequin (Parker Harlequin 80 to give it its Sunday name). A beautifully patterned pen, it came in two basic styles, the circlet or the shield. Initially these patterns were offered in grey or black. Later other colours were introduced. Parker ran into production difficulties with the Harlequin and within a few years it was discontinued.
This fine example is in the black shield pattern. All Harlequins are sought after, the black ones more than the grey, I’m told. Colours are especially collectable but they are very rare. This pen still has its original case which allows the pen to be propped up for display.
For the sake of Parker’s profits it’s a pity that the Harlequin didn’t work out in the longer term but being comparatively uncommon and appearing in several versions makes it a collector’s pen.
Though I’m no collector I do have a fondness for the Harlequin. Parker produced something very special in this pen and it did so at an economical price
Many thanks to Paul L. for the excellent photographs of his pen.