Fountain pens

I’ve been getting back into fountain pens in a big way lately.

Well, that’s not entirely true – I have never really stopped using them. When working on client sites, I tend to keep a hand written day log and enjoy using a Parker 45 fountain pen to write it. It gives me a small amount of pleasure to do so.

I have two examples of the Parker 45 Flighter – one from the late 1980’s which was a present from my parents, and has a matching retractable ballpoint. The other is an almost identical Parker 45 Flighter which bought in the mid-2000’s a little before Parker ceased production of the 45 in 2008. I bought it because I had mislaid the original Parker 45, although fortunately I have now found it again.

The 1980’s pair are unfortunately engraved with a name I no longer use, which is a shame.

Parker 45 Flighter
Parker 45 Flighter

There are some interesting differences between the two, which you can see on the Parker 45 Flighter Timeline on Pen Collect. The earlier pens have a dimpled cap end, whilst the later pen has a small dome or jewel.

Parker 45 cap ends
Parker 45 cap ends

Recently I have been inspired by a thread on an internet forum to look into additional pens. There are some really good quality pens coming over from China now from Jinhao and Hero, which can be bought for as little as £2 or less, including postage, if you are prepared to buy from China on eBay and wait 2-3 weeks for them to arrive. I am also seeing vintage pens for sale in the various Antiques and Collectors fairs that I go to (which I am still going to as much as ever, but don’t really blog about it so much as it is probably getting a little boring for people).

Before that, though, I went looking for another pen which I had, which I had used at school in the mid 1970’s because back in those day you were expected to use a fountain pen. I never really liked this one as it was scratchy, and haven’t written with it in decades. It turns out it is a Parker 25. A little research on Pen Collect and More Engineering suggests it is a Mark III, since it has no nib breather hole, has a dimpled end, and is stamped “Made in England” on the cap. That implies it dates from 1979 onwards, but this confuses me as I’m almost certain I was using it at school in 1977. I changed schools in 1978 and I am sure I was using that pen at the school before rather than after.

Parker 25
Parker 25

Looking at the nib with a loupe, it looks like it is damaged, with a downward bend and too much of a gap between the tines (the two halves of the nib). However, amazingly, when inked it writes just fine. However, I don’t have a lot of love for this pen and I doubt I will be using it regularly. It has no resale value as, sadly, it is also engraved with my name.

Those were all of the fountain pens in my possession at the time. In subsequent posts I will mention acquisitions I have made since.




I have since learned how to read the date codes that some Parker pens have. In fact I hadn’t even noticed my pens had date codes!

The 1980’s Parker 45 Flighter fountain pen and ballpoint set both have “IN” stamped on them, which means they were manufactured the the 3rd quarter of 1989, whilst the 2000’s Parker 45 has “T.I” which makes it 3rd quarter of 2005.

The Parker 25 doesn’t have a date code.

You can read more about dating a Parker pen here.

8 thoughts on “Fountain pens

  1. Love them P45s. I have a few in my collection and use them often. Recently found one with B nib but sadly with a broken feed. Am yet to have a working P45 with B nib.

  2. Thank you for the link. I am quite aware of how the nib/feed of P45 is constructed. Have had no issue with three previous P45s. My recent find P45 which is a late flighter version (previous three are all in plastics) comes with the feed a bit deformed and cannot be pushed out through the collar. I know I can make use of the broad nib but I will wait for perhaps another catch of P45 for it.
    Ps. On another note I do remember using Parker 25 back in school. Then we just used what we had. Looking back, the nib on P25 was harder than nail! Uggh….

      1. No apology required. It is all in the spirit of sharing. I do appreciate it. Funny that I really dont have much use for fountains pens anymore and yet I own quite a few. These days they are not cheap like they were used to when everyone was using one. Writing or doodling with FP is such a pleasure. Beautiful handwriting has gone the way of the dodo just because less people care about the quality of their writing implements. These days at every opportunity I promote their use. For young kids I usually start them with decent 2B woodcased pencil with decent lead to encourage them to write with less pressure and yet with better control. I have found that that will prepare them better for an introduction to a fountain pen. Parker Vector is my usual choice for them, after seeing to the nib first of course.

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