English Parker Duofold Aerometric

Still with Parkers, but across the Atlantic Ocean to look at the Newhaven Aerometric Duofold. These were introduced in 1953 so the oldest ones have reached retirement age but they are set to go on for at least another 65 years. They need very little in the way of servicing. Perhaps a good flush. The sacs rarely fail, though I occasionally come upon one whose sac has popped off the section. That’s easy enough to correct: just pull off the sac protector, shellac the sac back in place, leave it to cure and reassemble. Other failings – not many. The cap lip can crack but certainly no more often than other pens and much less frequently than many. The “jewel” can crack. Replacements only come from other pens. The plating is good but after sixty-odd years it isn’t surprising that some wear shows. The material that the casing is made from is quite soft. It shines up beautifully but the downside is that the barrel imprints can fade away.

So these are the detractions and they are neither many nor severe. These are among the most practical vintage pens. They come in several sizes. This one is a Standard, there are also the Junior, Demi, Senior and Maxima. The Slimfold came along a little later and the Lady, with a hooded nib, completed the range. They come in black, red, blue and green. The nibs are usually inflexible.

The English Duofold has been an influential pen. Though the high-quality Japanese pens are often said to emulate the Montblanc, their classic torpedo shape is very like the Duofold. Most writers today prefer firm nibs and the English Parker Duofold nibs are the equal of anything produced today by Pilot, Sailor or Platinum. Compared with the Conway Stewart and Swans, they remain inexpensive today. The Standard or Senior is an excellent writer and a high status pen at a bargain price.


Excuse the photography.  This pen is blue, though you’d hardly believe it!  The light was not co-operating with me.


5 thoughts on “English Parker Duofold Aerometric

  1. unexciting and with boring colours, but currently very good value for money and as you say, a truly successful series of pens – they turn up (or should I say did turn up) frequently, sometimes in droves. Unfortunately, f.ps. seem to be currently avoiding me – hope it’s only temporary. It’s always possible that had flex nibs been available this might have improved their popularity even more.
    Agree about the colours being difficult when photographing, though in the flesh this is not a problem, and vastly less difficult than Swans – those dark blues, greens and maroons all look black unless you have them in really good daylight.

    1. I don’t think there was demand for flex in the fifties and sixties. That’s a truly old or quite recent wish. I think the comparison is with modern Japanese pens and the Duofold is no more boring than, say, a Sailor 1911. As for the colours: black is black and post-war Swans weren’t in exactly exciting colours.

  2. They’re great pens alright. A little prone to burping in my experience – as if, after 50 years,the feeds can’t quite cope with the ink flow…

  3. Pens meant for writing, and writing some more. I’d like to see a pen made today working in 60 odd years, with little to no service. The Newhaven Duofold was a wonderfully made tool and instrument. I love the design, toe it’s Britain in the 50s.

    I’ll stop now. Maybe I need to write a post on the topic myself! 😄

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