(Sold) This is a 1945 Blue Diamond Parker "Striped" Duofold Vacumatic Senior in Dusty Red celluloid, with a 14k gold Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. This was Parker's flagship pen at the time, a large instrument, measuring 5.4" capped and 0.49" in diameter.
The Duofold has been Parker's flagship model for decades. Parker collectors like to debate which variant has been the Janesville company's "best" or "most successful" design. I am far from joining the debate, as I'd have to side literally with everybody - I love them all. However, there's something truly special about the "Striped" Duofold from the 1940s.
Whether it's the material, or the shape, or perhaps the filling mechanism, the pen is, in my opinion, one of the most successful designs of all time. Yes, I said it! I love its overall shape. It's classic, yes, but manages to be original, especially with the slightly angular shape of the blind cap. The material is breathtaking! I must admit, this Dusty Red is particularly gorgeous. It has immense, shimmering depth. It's as though you're looking into a tropical ocean, full of exotic sea life, reflecting sunlight in a multitude of colors as they move beneath the surface. Barrel transparency adds both character and dimension, while providing very useful functionality. The subtle, classy gold-filled trim is seamlessly integrated into the streamlined design, and is in perfect shape here. Quite honestly, this is as close to new-old-stock as I have seen the "Duovac" in a long time.
But the most exciting feature of this pen, to me, is its writing performance. The balance, posted or not, is perfect, at least for my hand. The section, slightly concave, very comfortable, and should accommodate a variety of grips. And the nib is among the best ever made. Utterly delightful.
It's a very interesting nib. It's firm but feels soft on paper. It's tuned to write at the lightest touch, but it will take a heavier hand in stride. If you ink it up with a dry ink, such as this R&K Scabiosa, you're going to have a phenomenal office writer, but one that manages to remain exciting, nimble, and capable of bringing out subtle shading in the ink. If you fill it with a more conventional ink, you'll have an effortless, gliding writer, hovering above the surface of the paper on a thin layer of ink, laying down the most enjoyable line ever. Line width, in my tests, varies between 0.4 mm and 0.5 mm, depending on ink, paper, and writing pressure. If you're expecting a lot of line variation, this nib is not for you. Its best property is its ability to dampen high-frequency vibrations resulting from dragging the point across the rough surface of the paper. A phenomenal writer!